Author archives: Daniel Hart

4 Unforgettable Thoughts On Marriage

by Daniel Hart

February 7, 2018

Anyone who has spent any time perusing the blogosphere knows that there are thousands upon thousands of articles out there giving advice on marriage. I’ve certainly read my fair share, so I thought it would be helpful to distill the reflections that I thought were most insightful into one place. In honor of National Marriage Week, here are my four favorite musings on the beauty of marriage.

1.  Take Your Vows Seriously So That You Will Always Have Someone to Tell the Truth To

One of the primary blessings of marriage is that it gives us a lifelong partner to confide in, no matter how unbearable life may become. The freedom that comes with the ability to be completely open and honest with our spouses is a wonderful thing. Jordan Peterson put it this way:

What do you do when you get married? You take someone who’s just as useless and horrible as you are, and then you shackle yourself to them. And then you say, we’re not running away no matter what happens…If you can run away, you can’t tell each other the truth…If you don’t have someone around that can’t run away, then you can’t tell them the truth. If you can leave, then you don’t have to tell each other the truth. It’s as simple as that, because you can just leave. And then you don’t have anyone to tell the truth to.

2. Use Your Spouse’s Criticism as an Opportunity to Deepen Your Love

Best-selling author Dr. Warren Farrell speaks of the critical importance of how we handle criticism from our spouse:

Making marriages better serves everyone. Many couples with children who are legally married are psychologically divorced. Divorces are due less to problems with money, sex or children, and more to each partner feeling that her or his perspectives on money, sex, or children are rarely heard. When our partner airs her or his perspective, we often take it as criticism, and the Achilles’ heel of human beings is our inability to handle personal criticism from a loved one without becoming defensive.

I introduce in The Boy Crisis my “Altered Mindsets Method of Non-defensive Communication,” which has allowed couples to emotionally associate their partner’s criticism as an opportunity to deepen their love. It’s a method I have honed over two decades via couples’ communication workshops… [E]mpathy communication skills need to be part of every elementary school’s core curriculum… This is the most important single global change for love in our families and peace in the world.

3. Sustaining Love Does Not Come Naturally

Dr. Farrell further explains how sustaining love within a marriage does not come naturally, but yet this is an absolute must not only for the couple themselves, but for their children: “…[W]e have a ‘love dilemma’: while ‘falling in love’ is biologically natural, sustaining love is biologically unnatural. For our children to not fear marriage, then, they need to see that their parents have learned how to do what does not come naturally: sustain love.”

So how can couples sustain love? Here is a great compilation of ways to do this in everyday life.

4. ‘Thank you for choosing me.’

This is from “Marriage According to 10 Couples”:

‘Thank you for choosing me.’ We often spontaneously use this line, communicating how grateful or undeserving we feel to be given such a genuine love. We’ve quickly learned that it is a choice that comes with each new sunrise in marriage, and it’s the deep confidence found in the other’s daily commitment that has moved mountains internally in our first year as newlyweds. ‘Thank you for choosing me …’ They are words we’ll whisper in each other’s ear well into old age; I’m certain of it.”—Angela Hoyer

Social Conservative Review - February 2, 2018

by Daniel Hart

February 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

Did you know that there is a genocide happening as you read this?

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a country to the south of China, in between Bangladesh and Thailand. The country is predominantly Buddhist—almost 90 percent. There is a small ethnic minority group of people there called the Rohingya, who are mostly Muslim, with a minority practicing Hinduism. The Rohingya people have been systematically denied citizenship, education, and jobs in Myanmar despite tracing their history there to the eighth century. This has led to them facing persecution by the Myanmar military over the last 40 years.

In late 2016, the persecution became much worse as the military began a campaign of extermination, which has included infanticide, gang rape, and arson. This has caused a massive refugee crisis, with over 700,000 fleeing west to Bangladesh. Now, new reports are surfacing that mass graves are being uncovered, which shows that the crisis is devolving into a genocide.

It can be hard as American Christians to feel much of a connection with a crisis that is happening on the other side of the world between those of different faiths. But it’s important to remember to pray specifically for an end to such inhumane atrocities like genocide no matter where it is happening, especially for a tragedy like this that is not getting much media attention. When we prioritize our prayer for those who are undergoing the most acute suffering, grace will abound all the more.

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

Planned Parenthood’s annual report is out: Another unhappy tale – Cathy Ruse

Americans are ready for meaningful limits on abortion – Tony Perkins

Christians in the Middle East are suffering. When will aid promised by Team Trump arrive? – Tony Perkins

Public School Assembly Tells Kids That Sex Changes Are Perfectly Normal – Cathy Ruse

New York Times Spreads Fake News About Sexual Orientation Therapy – Peter Sprigg

Can the LGBT Movement Own a Phrase? – Travis Weber

A Woman’s Right to Not Be Pressured to Abort – Dan Hart

Religious Freedom Day: A Call to Action

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Court tells University of Iowa to stop discriminating against religious student groups – Nicole Russell, Washington Examiner

Justice Dept backs archdiocese in Christmas transit ad fight – Fox News

New Harvard Research Says U.S. Christianity Is Not Shrinking, But Growing Stronger – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Fire Captain Fired for Sending Christian Emails Victorious at State Supreme Court – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

New Bill Would Allow Public High School Coaches to Pray With Students in Georgia – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

What the New York Times Gets Wrong about Conscience – David French, National Review

The War On The Hippocratic Oath – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

International Religious Freedom

Praying for the persecuted church: Eritrea – Zachary Jones, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

AP Investigation Details Shocking Massacre, Mass Graves Of Myanmar Rohingya – Scott Neuman, NPR

Military Religious Freedom

Atheists Urge Defense Secretary to End Religious Favoritism in the Military – Hemant Mehta, Patheos

 

Life

Abortion

Love is and always will be the basis of the pro-life movement – Jeanne Mancini, The Hill

Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost – Emma Green, The Atlantic

Why the Pro-Life Movement Will Live Long, and Prosper – Mary Eberstadt, First Things

Millennials have a surprising view on later-term abortions – Eugene Scott, The Washington Post

Three in Four Americans Favor Substantial Abortion Restrictions – Brendan Kirby, LifeZette

Adoption

Why orphan prevention is an important part of the pro-life ethic – Christy Britton, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Georgia House Passes Sweeping Changes to Adoption Code – Ben Nadler, AP

Sweet Home couple hope to fund adoption with new book – Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald

Bioethics

They’ve cloned monkeys. Here’s why we should be very afraid of what’s next – John Burger, Aleteia

Obamacare

Obamacare Continues to Crush Small Business Owners in 2018 – Whitney Jones, The Daily Signal

Senator Questions CBO’s Political Neutrality Over Obamacare Numbers – Kyle Perisic, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Homeschooling Is Not a Crime – Michelle Malkin, The Daily Signal

Can We Stop Fighting Over Schools? – Charles L. Glenn, Public Discourse

Marriage

Are millennials putting a little too much effort into parenting? – Chloe Langr, Aleteia

When Bad Marriages Happen to Good People – Patti Armstrong, National Catholic Register

This odd phrase may be the best thing you can say to newlyweds – Marcin Gomólka, Aleteia

Number of Married Couples With Kids Hits 56-Year Low – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

The Unexpected Ways a Baby Tested Our Marriage Vows – Elizabeth Nogan Ranieri, Verily

Faith/Character/Culture

Does Trump Get a Moral Mulligan? – Michael Brown, The Stream

The Last Gasps of Outrage Culture? – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

Most of Life Is Waiting – Jani Ortlund, Desiring God

Video: William Lane Craig and Bishop Robert Barron discuss evangelism, faith and science, secularism, and more

Prisoners Are Not Animals – Alexi Sargeant, First Things

Human Sexuality

Powerless to Say No? Study Looks at Teenage Girls and Sexting – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex in a Sex-Obsessed Culture – Marcia Segelstein, National Catholic Register

The Medical Monsters Among Us – Austin Ruse, Crisis

Transgenderism: A State-Sponsored Religion? – Andre Van Mol, Public Discourse

Same-Sex Attraction and the Wait for Change – Nick Roen, Desiring God

The Philosophical Contradictions of the Transgender Worldview – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Human Trafficking

The Super Bowl is for Football, Not Buying Sex – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Understanding The Heartbreaking Sex Trafficking Industry In The Philippines – Fight the New Drug

Sex Trafficking: 4 Things You Can Do to Help Sexually Exploited Victims in America – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Pornography

Pornography: It’s Not Really About Sex, And Here’s Why – Fight the New Drug

A Woman’s Right to Not Be Pressured to Abort

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2018

A new study of women who have undergone abortions reveals what many in the pro-life movement have known for years: that “a woman’s right to choose” is more often than not no choice at all.

The study was recently published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by Bowling Green State University professor Priscilla K. Coleman. Of the 987 post-abortive women who were surveyed, 58 percent said that they had their abortions in order to “make others happy,” with over 28 percent saying they had the abortion because “they feared their partner would leave them” if they did not. In addition, almost half of the women believed that their unborn baby was indeed a “human being at the time of the abortion.” In perhaps the most heartbreaking statistic, fully 66 percent of women “said they knew in their hearts that they were making a mistake when they underwent the abortion.”

This study explodes a number of myths perpetuated by abortion activists. Chief among them is that abortion must be available on demand in order to preserve women’s “reproductive freedom” and “choice.” But what is painfully clear from this most recent study is that just the opposite is true. Instead of empowering women to make their own reproductive choices, abortion on demand more often empowers men to use abortion as a kind of cudgel to hold over their wife or girlfriend’s heads and demand that they make an appointment down at the local Planned Parenthood to get rid of the unwanted baby for a quick and easy $300. In other words, abortion provides an easy way for men to avoid the responsibility that is inherent in the sexual relationship that they share with their wife or girlfriend.

Meanwhile, the woman is left to pick up the pieces. As the study reveals, a majority of these women are completely unprepared for the emotional devastation that abortion causes. Only 13 percent visited a mental health professional before their abortions, but after the procedure, the percentage skyrocketed to 67.5 percent. Similarly, only 6.6 percent of women reported using prescription drugs before their abortions; afterwards, 51 percent reported prescription drug use.

There are so many devastating lessons that can be drawn from these findings—the failure of men to own up to their responsibilities and show true love for their wives and girlfriends; the failure of the abortion industry to properly warn women of the psychological effects of abortion; the failure of our culture to see sex as a sacred act that should be treated with respect due to its inherent power of human procreation.

One positive that can come out of this study is just the fact that it exists at all. This is precisely the kind of information that the abortion industry is desperate to cover up, because it so clearly and directly contradicts their “woman’s right to choose” mantra that they have been espousing for decades. This study is the latest example of a light of truth illuminating the darkness of abortion, and when it is shared on social media and blogged about by thousands of people (hint, hint), the darkness cannot overcome it (see John 1:5).

Studies like these should strengthen the resolve of all of us in the pro-life movement, and give us an extra spring in our step as we join the March for Life tomorrow in Washington, D.C., not only to speak up for millions of tiny innocent lives, but to speak up for millions of mothers who are forced to carry the excruciating yet invisible weight of their offspring’s death on their shoulders, a weight that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Social Conservative Review - January 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

January 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

Over and over, the New Testament gives us a “simple” commandment: love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 3:11, Romans 13:8, Ephesians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, etc.). It sounds simple, but we all know that putting this commandment into practice is anything but.

When we are reminded to love one another, it’s easy to get discouraged by thinking of all the times we have failed to show love to our neighbor. C.S. Lewis provides an insightful way to think about how we can develop a habit of love by using the metaphor of mathematics. When we study math, we don’t begin by trying to understand calculus—we start with basic addition. In the same way, we learn to love by first loving our family—the basic unit of society from which we come from. This plays out in small, everyday acts of love, like forgiving your spouse for leaving the sink piled high with dirty dishes, or forgiving your child for blurting out an insult.

Once we gain this habit of love in our families, we can more easily transfer the habit to everyone we meet in our everyday lives. But it is still quite difficult, as we all know, because unloving feelings seem to naturally bubble up within us out of nowhere, and they are often difficult to shake. One example is when we are driving on a highway, and we are abruptly cut off by another driver who changes lanes right in front of us, forcing us to slow down. The immediate reaction is one of resentment, and we are often tempted to react in equal measure, perhaps by speeding up to tailgate them. But this is a failure to love one another. As C.S. Lewis has written, “The feeling of resentment, the desire for payback, must be simply killed. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible.”

When we feel the inklings of resentment building up within us, we must stop them before they become worse. Instead of letting your anger rise, take a deep breath and ask Jesus for the grace to forgive the person who has wronged you. Say a prayer for the person, asking the Lord to help them see the truth. When we begin to form this kind of habit of forgiveness and practice it over and over again, it will with time blossom into a way of life. When God sees our attempts at love, however small they may be, He pours His grace into our lives, giving us continued strength to persevere in love.

On this Martin Luther King Day, let us be especially mindful of the importance of loving one another in order to bring about increased harmony between those of different ethnicities and cultures.

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

Voices From The Grave Cry Out For Justice In Iran – Ken Blackwell

Every Vote Really Does Count – Ken Blackwell

Will Republicans Finish The Job for Seniors And Small Businesses? – Ken Blackwell

Chai Feldblum Should Not Be Reappointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Peter Spring

What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking – Dan Hart

Oregon State Appeals Court Rules Against Aaron and Melissa Klein – Travis Weber

How the New Tax Bill Helps Families – Andrew Guernsey

A Pastor’s Take on the Sex Abuse Scandals of 2017 – Andrew Hebert

The Rich History of Christmas Traditions – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Is Your Church Prepared to Handle a Challenge to its Religious Liberty? – Erik Stanley, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

What the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover – Michael Berry, The Daily Signal

Christian school fights Michigan Township for right to operate out of a church – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

FEMA to Allow Churches to Receive Disaster Relief After Key Policy Change – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Calif. County Allows Christian Group to Display Nativity Scene on Public Property for Epiphany – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Top 5 religious liberty stories of 2017 – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Atheist Group Forces Louisiana Sheriff’s Office to Remove Christian Facebook Posts – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Free to Believe”

Judge Gives Partial Victory to Fired Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Christian Couple Who Lost Bakery After Heavy Fine for Not Making Lesbian Wedding Cake Loses Appeal – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

NJ Gives Christian Teacher 3-Year Suspension After Facebook Post on Homosexuality – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Italy Faces ‘Dark Future’ After Passing New End-of-Life Law – Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

Under Justin Trudeau, Canada marches towards totalitarianism – Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNews

Christians in Egypt Celebrate Christmas Amid Tight SecurityThe Christian Post

China church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians – Benjamin Haas, The Guardian

 

Life

Abortion

The new pro-life generation – Leigh Jones, WORLD

From Ireland to Africa: What Happened in the Pro-Life Movement in 2017 – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

Planned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

Path to pro-life: Overcoming pro-abortion peer pressure with facts – Marvin Olasky, WORLD

Ohio passes Down syndrome abortion ban – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Unsafe: Ambulance calls to abortion facilities doubled in 2017 – Rebecca Downs, Live Action

Court strikes down Baltimore law on pregnancy centers – Associated Press

Women Describe Trauma of Abortion in Survey; Nearly 3 in 5 Abortions Done ‘To Make Others Happy’ – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

How Abortion Pills Upend the Politics and Practice of Abortion – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Adoption

Mother records heartfelt message for her son before he’s placed for adoption – KOAT

Bioethics

Six Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide – Nancy Valko, Public Discourse

Physicians Cannot Serve Both Death and Life – Gerard T. Mundy, Public Discourse

Health Care

Trump Rule Aims to Extend Health Care Option to 11 Million Uninsured – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Taxes and Parental Educational Autonomy – John Grondelski, Ethika Politika

4 Of The Biggest Myths About The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act – Justin Haskins, The Federalist

A Good Guide: A Winsome Argument for Virtue in Business – John Yoest, The Stream

How Common Core Taught Me Bureaucrats Will Always Win Unless We Slash Big Government – Jenni White, The Federalist

Communicating Key Truths About Marriage and Family in the University Classroom – D. Scott Sibley, Family Studies

Marriage

What’s the Secret to Great Marriage in the New Year? – Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

If Women Want A Family, They Need To Prioritize Marriage Above Their Careers – Suzanne Venker, The Federalist

7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Marriage in 2018 – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

How to Live Out the Gospel in Your Marriage – Kaitlin Curtice, Relevant

Faith/Character/Culture

Why MLK’s Vision of Love as a Moral Imperative Still Matters – Joshua F.J. Inwood, Intellectual Takeout

The Anomaly of Being an Anti-Drifter – Jared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

Creation waits: Incarnation and resurrection are the pulse of the world – Janie B. Cheaney, WORLD

A Modest Suggestion: Perhaps Things Aren’t That Bad – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

The Supernatural Foundation of Charity – Gary A. Anderson, Principles

The Fatal Flaw of Going It AloneRelevant

Be True to Yourself – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

6 Ways to practice being kinder – Cynthia Dermody, Aleteia

Modesty and Charity – Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing

Human Sexuality

Manhood Is Not Natural – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

In Defense of Prudery – David Sandifer, Touchstone

Military to begin accepting transgender recruits after Trump delays appeal – Julia Manchester, The Hill

The Cure for Toxic Masculinity is Real Masculinity – Robin Koerner, The Stream

Psychologist Says Teens Need to Stop Asking for Nude Texts – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

CDC study shows decline in teen sex during abstinence education period – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

How Their Refusal To Tolerate Dissent Is Creating A Global Backlash Against LGBT People – Stefano Gennarini, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Sex Trafficking In Your Daily Life – Fight the New Drug

How to Participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 2018 – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Harvey Weinstein Isn’t Unusual: Sexual Abuse and Trafficking in the United States – Mary Rose Somarriba, Public Discourse

Bill to Aid Victims of Child Pornography Passes Senate Judiciary CommitteeNational Catholic Register

Pornography

Your Brain on Porn – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

16 Need-To-Know Facts About How Porn Is Impacting Our Society – Fight the New Drug

What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking

by Daniel Hart

January 9, 2018

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. There are an estimated 20 to 30 million human trafficking victims in the world today, with an estimated 4.5 million of those forcibly involved in sex trafficking. In the U.S., an estimated 640,000 are being trafficked for sex.

These numbers are profoundly disturbing, and it can be tempting to feel discouraged that ordinary citizens like us are powerless to help these victims and to help stop the demand for paid sex. In reality, there are a number of ways that all of us can help in the fight. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Fight the New Drug have both published a list of practical ways we can all join the cause. Here is a brief summary of what you can do:

1. Do Not View or Pay for Porn

As we have written about previously, porn and sex trafficking are inseparably linked. Each click of pornography creates a demand for more pornography and brings in a profit to the industry. The demand causes traffickers, pimps, and those involved in the sex industry to abuse their victims by filming them in sex acts.

2. Learn How to Identify Potential Victims and Report Suspicious Activity

If you think you see suspicious activity happening wherever you are, be sure you have learned about what to look for. The Department of Homeland Security has published Indicators of Human Trafficking—be sure to look for these warning signs particularly in airports, gas stations, rest stops, and hotels. If you think you see something suspicious, call local law enforcement, or you can contact the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

3. Use a New App to Take Pictures of Your Hotel Room

Hotel rooms are a hotspot for sex trafficking. Victims are often advertised online through pictures taken of them in hotel rooms. As Fight the New Drug has written on, there is a new app called TraffickCam that catalogues details of different hotel rooms like wallpaper and furniture to help create a database of identifiers, which can then be used by TraffickCam’s algorithm to match images of sex trafficking victims that will help law enforcement identify the possible locations of victims.

4. Participate in Online Activism

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has organized a number of ways that you can participate in online activism. Here are two:

  • Joining NCSE’s #TACKLEDEMAND social media campaign before the Super Bowl is a way to bring awareness about the problem of large commercial sporting events being used by sex traffickers and buyers for sexual exploitation.
  • Netflix is producing a show called “Baby” that normalizes the sexual exploitation of young teenagers by portraying it as a kind of “edgy” coming of age story. You can protest this repulsive show by sending an email or Facebook message to Netflix executives demanding that they stop producing it.

The Rich History of Christmas Traditions

by Daniel Hart

December 18, 2017

Have you ever wondered why it became such a common tradition for Christians to bring a tree into their homes for Christmas? Or why certain plants like holly and mistletoe are often used as Christmas decorations? As it turns out, there is a rich history behind many of the Christmas traditions that seem so common to us now.

Christmas trees

St. Boniface traveled to Germany from England in the eighth century to try and convert the pagans that lived there. He discovered that many of the people there were open to his message of Christ’s salvation, but still insisted on worshipping their pagan gods, including an oak tree that they considered to be sacred. Boniface was uncertain about how he could convince the people that the tree was not a god; finally, he decided to cut the tree down. The people were angered by this, so he gave them a young evergreen tree instead. Unlike the oak tree which lost its leaves each year, the evergreen tree kept its green needles all year around. Therefore, the evergreen tree is richly symbolic of the everlasting life that Christ offers us.

Christmas plants

Holly, ivy, and mistletoe are often used as decorative ornaments for Christmas. So how did these traditions originate? Holly has been used for hundreds of years for making wreaths and for decorating tables and mantelpieces. The sharp, thorny edges of holly leaves are a reminder of the crown of thorns that was placed on Christ’s head, and the red berries symbolize drops of his blood. Ivy was once used by pagan religions to form crowns that were placed on the statues of pagan gods, but has since been adopted by Christians for use in wreaths and ornaments, with the white berries of some varieties of ivy representing purity and innocence. Before Christianity arrived in Ireland, mistletoe was once used by Celtic Druids (pagan priests) in their ceremonies. It was eventually adopted by Christians to decorate their homes and to act as a symbol of marriage. This is how the custom of kissing a person standing under the mistletoe began.

Christmas cards

The earliest forms of Christmas cards date back to the fifteenth century, when sheets of paper were used to print the Christmas story on. The first Christmas cards to appear as we know them today were made by Henry Cole in England in 1843. The cards featured scenes of Christians doing acts of charity, and said “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you.” In the U.S., Louis Prang of Boston was one of the first to produce Christmas cards in 1875, and they proved to be very successful. Today, over two billion Christmas cards are mailed in the U.S. each year.

Christmas Day

The exact date of Christ’s birth was not known by the early church, but one of its earliest traditions is that the Annunciation of Mary (when the Archangel Gabriel appears to her with the news of her motherhood of God) happened on March 25th. It is believed that since December 25th is exactly nine months later, the church decided that this would be the appropriate date of Christ’s birth. Another possible reason why this date was chosen was that in Rome during this time, the pagans celebrated December 25th as the birth of the sun (the winter solstice) with a large feast. As a way to persuade the pagans to become Christian, the Christians decided to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th as well. This was also very appropriate since Christ was prophesied in Malachi 4:2 as the “sun of righteousness”: “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.”

The Christmas traditions that we often take for granted do indeed have a rich history grounded in the traditions of many different peoples and cultures. As the Lord of history and the Savior of all mankind, Christ has and continues to transcend, enrich, and fulfil our earthly traditions and lives with his salvific grace.

Sources: Celebrating Christmas by Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.; “Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December?”; “Christmas

Social Conservative Review - December 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

December 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

For many Americans, the time off from work and school that Christmas allows is a wonderful opportunity to reunite with family and friends. It can be a joyous time of catching up on new developments and accomplishments that have transpired over the last year, exchanging gifts, and partaking in delicious Christmas hams and cookies.

As we enjoy this delightful time of year with our loved ones, let us not forget the true reason for why we gather and make merry: the coming of God into our lives. Since many of us have family and loved ones that do not share our faith, Christmas provides us with an invaluable opportunity to witness to the faith that God has gifted to us through the person of his Son Jesus. This doesn’t mean that we need to try and proselytize, which can easily cause tension and conflict and distract away from the spirit of the season. Witnessing to our faith should instead take the form of invitation. For example, simply invite a non-practicing loved one to come with you to your Christmas Eve church service without any expectations or obligation. Another option could be to invite them to join in singing Christmas carols with a group in the local neighborhood, or you could simply make it a fun family activity and sing carols as you sip hot chocolate and munch on cookies.

It can be easy to slip into the habit of thinking that we have to organize an elaborate intellectual argument in order to witness to our Christian faith. But that’s not how God invites us into His divine life. Think of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew—when he comes upon Peter and Andrew casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, he doesn’t launch into a philosophical discourse about the reasons why the two men should follow him. Instead, he offers them a simple invitation: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). Let us imitate Christ by inviting our loved ones to join us in a joyful spirit of love, free from expectation and obligation. For it is only in true freedom and joy that hearts are truly and joyfully converted.

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 ‘War on Christmas’ Is Real – Travis Weber

Sessions’ First Year: A Breath of Fresh Air After Years of Obama Scandals – Ken Blackwell

In Masterpiece, the Supreme Court Grapples With a Problem of Its Own Making – Travis Weber

Supreme Court Justices Grill ACLU and Colorado in Christian Baker’s Case – Travis Weber

Franken’s Senate Replacement is a Former Planned Parenthood VP – Kelly Marcum

Kicking Jesus Off the Bus? – Travis Weber

A Three-Dimensional Case for Masterpiece Cakeshop — from Justice Kagan, No Less – Peter Sprigg

5 Great Resources That Help Kids Keep Christ in Christmas – Peter Witkowski

5 Great Resources that Help Keep Christ in Christmas – Peter Witkowski

Planned Parenthood’s Tacit Support of Physical Assault – Kelly Marcum

Can American Higher Education Be Salvaged?

Will the Supreme Court Recognize Consumable Beauty in Wedding Cake Case? – Peter Sprigg

Remembering Mike Penner – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Here’s why I can’t custom-design cakes for same-sex weddings – Jack Phillips, USA Today

Religious Exemptions Aren’t Special Privileges – Stephanie Barclay, Public Discourse

Judge Denies FEMA Relief For Three Texas Churches – Brien Straw, Houston Public Media

DC buses can ban ‘religious’ Christmas ads, judge rules – Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNews

Liberals attack doughnut shop’s good deed – Todd Starnes, Fox News

Religious Freedom in 2018: What to Watch – Nancy Flory, The Stream

International Religious Freedom

Canada’s Free Speech Wars – Scott Ventureyra, Crisis

Nations Speak Out for Life and the Family in UN Human Rights Mechanism – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Over 77,000 Sign Petitions Supporting Air Force Colonel Punished for Opposing Gay Marriage – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Fighting taxpayer-funded abortion in Illinois – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Abortion is Traumatic, Not Empowering – Marcia Segelstein, National Catholic Register

First trimester babies aren’t blobs of tissue — they’re amazingly complex – Live Action

7 Shocking Facts Americans Learned About Planned Parenthood in 2017 – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

About That New York Editor Who Would End Lives Like My Children’s – Kristan Hawkins, National Review

Ohio Legislature votes to ban abortions on babies with Down syndrome – Becky Yeh, Live Action

Adoption

Police officer adopts homeless heroin addict’s baby – Ashley Jonkman, Aleteia

Bioethics

Assisted Suicide Is No Choice At All – Lawrence Carter-Long, RealClear Policy

Self-Sacrificial Love in the Bioethics-Sphere – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

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

The Inalienable Right to Life: An Update on Assisted Suicide in the United States and Canada – Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

Suicide prevention organization: Assisted suicide is not suicide – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Obamacare

Eight Insurance Companies in 5 States Fail to Disclose If Their Obamacare Plans Fund Abortions – Mallory Quigley, LifeNews

 

Family

Economics/Education

Half the World’s Population is Reaching Below Replacement Fertility – Tomas Frejka, Family Studies

Power to the parents – Leigh Jones, WORLD

It’s Time to Fully Repeal the Unjust and Immoral Death Tax – Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

Why the Humanities Must Remain Human (Or Die) – Joshua Mayo, First Things

How Affirmative Action Hurts Asian-Americans in College Admissions – Helaina Hirsch and Mike Gonzalez, The Daily Signal

Marriage

The one thing you need to do to make sure your child marries well – Luz Ivonne Ream, Aleteia

For a Happy Marriage: Speak With Kindness — Especially When You Want to “Tell It Like It Is” – Shaunti Feldhahn, Focus on the Family

When You and Your Spouse Can’t Agree – Teri Reisser, Focus on the Family

Cohabitation Agreements: Better Than Nothing? – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies

Podcast: Failure of Fatherhood – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

11 Rules on Marriage You Won’t Learn in School – Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife

Faith/Character/Culture

Sin, Happiness, and Breaking Out of Spiritual Boredom – Chris Hazell, Word On Fire

If You’re Feeling Too Frantic, Genuine Leisure Can Restore Your Soul – Aphrodite Kishi, The Federalist

In the Age of Amazon Sundays Can’t be Sacred – Mattias A. Caro, Ethika Politika

The Danger of Talking Over Others – David Stavarz, Word On Fire

We are desperately in need of boredom – Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Loneliness: An old way to solve this modern problem – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

What Made ‘Fixer Upper’ a Hit? – Dean Abbott, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

Thank Separating Sex From Morality For The Great American Sexual Meltdown – Curt Anderson, The Federalist

New Study Finds Hormonal Birth Control Triples Women’s Risk Of Suicide – Kelsey Harkness, The Federalist

Lauer, and Franken, and Louis CK: The crisis within them, and in us – Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Will the Trump Administration Push Back Against Transgender Ideology in Schools? – Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty, Public Discourse

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

God is not silent: What the Bible teaches about sexual assault – Katie McCoy, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Figuring Out Faithfulness with Same-Sex Attraction – Ed Shaw and Rachel Gilson, The Gospel Coalition

This Formerly Trans 14-Year-Old Has A Message For Questioning Kids – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

The Truth about Men, Women, and Sex – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Human Trafficking

Mom Posts Viral Warning After Sex Traffickers Try Kidnapping 2-Yr-Old in Grocery Store – Kelsey Straeter, Faithit

Man Sentenced To Longest Human Sex Trafficking Sentence In US History – Fight the New Drug

Care about Cyntoia Brown? Stop normalizing “teenage prostitution.” – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Video: Neurosurgeon Dr. Donald Hilton Reveals Shocking Scientific Truths About Porn – Fight the New Drug

40 Reasons To Start Off The New Year By Ditching Porn – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - December 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

December 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

The great season of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for Christians in anticipation of Christ’s birth, is about to begin.

One beautiful way of reflecting on this season is to think about the first Advent, when an expectant Mary and her husband Joseph awaited the birth of God’s Son. For expectant mothers and soon-to-be fathers, pregnancy is often a time when careful preparations are made around the house for the coming baby—the nursery is rearranged to accommodate cribs and changing tables, diapers and wipes are stockpiled, baby clothes are carefully organized in drawers, linens are freshly washed, etc.

In the same way, Christians should spend Advent carefully preparing their hearts and minds for the coming of the Savior. This can take on the form of a kind of spiritual reinforcement and house cleaning—spending a little extra time in prayer each morning to prepare ourselves to live for Christ in the day before us, and to make peace with anyone we may have ill will toward and repent of our sins. Just as soon-to-be parents desire to make their home as clean and comfortable as possible for their newborn, Christians should desire to prepare and cleanse their hearts to fully welcome the coming Christ child. This may require us to detach ourselves from worldly attachments to obtain the true freedom that God desires for us. Is a nightly TV-watching habit cutting in to our prayer and family time? Is a regular habit of eating out cutting in to our budget so that we have less for gift-giving and those in need?

Thinking about the first Advent is also to contemplate the Holy Family traveling from Galilee to Bethlehem, and the difficult journey that must have been for them. Imagine the exhaustion that Mary must have felt in her third trimester on such a long and arduous journey over rough roads on the back of a donkey, with Joseph enduring mile after mile of dust and rocks in leading her and the animal along. Amongst this shared suffering and journeying, the Holy Family must have grown ever closer to each other. In the same way, Advent is an opportunity for us to draw ever closer to our own families. Maybe this could take the form of creating hand-crafted gifts for loved ones, baking Christmas cookies, assembling care packages for those serving in the military, or perhaps joining a Christmas carol troupe that your church has organized—the point here is to spend quality time together as a family doing acts of service and growing in virtue.

The season of Advent points to the coming of our Lord. Let us make the most of this wonderful time and prepare our hearts to receive the perfect gift of Christ.

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

LGBT advocates seek to scuttle a vital Constitutional right – Travis Weber

ACLU: Forcing Faith Out of Adoption – Travis Weber

Love to Give: An Adoption Story – Alison Contreras

Adoption: Multi-Racial, Multi-National, Heaven-Blessed – Rob Schwarzwalder

The Unexpected Blessing of Adoption – Harold Harper

10th Circuit Lets Police Officers Off the Hook After Telling Woman She Could Not Pray in Her Own Home – Travis Weber and Natalie Pugh

Why It Is Unnecessary to Force Jack Phillips to Bake a Wedding Cake – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

2 Gay Men Explain Why They Support Baker’s Refusal to Make Same-Sex Wedding Cakes – Ian Snively and Peter Parisi, The Daily Signal

Stop Misrepresenting Masterpiece Cakeshop – David French, National Review

Designated haters – Juliana Chan Erikson, WORLD

UNL campus not ‘safe’ for conservatives, public records revealConservative Review

Why the Conscience Protection Act is critical – Jeff Pickering, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

GOP senators defend military officer disciplined for refusing to sign same-sex certificate – Diana Stancy Correll, Washington Examiner

American Muslims, Lot’s Wife, and the Christian Baker – Ismail Royer, Public Discourse

International Religious Freedom

The UN doesn’t recognize the Christian genocide in Iraq. This new documentary does. – Miriam Diez Bosch, Aleteia

Canada rejects Christian couple for adoption – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

Africans Put Parental Rights Back in UN Sex Ed Policy – Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam

Repairing the Ravages of ISIS on Iraq’s Nineveh Plains – George J. Marlin, The Catholic Thing

Military Religious Freedom

Senators Cruz, Rubio demand justice for Air Force colonel fired for standing up for pro-family values – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

 

Life

Abortion

World-famous supermodel gracefully obliterates every argument for abortion – Save the Storks

Abortion rates in US hit historic low, CDC report finds – Fox News

The push to force pro-life centers to provide free advertising for the abortion industry – Ken Connelly, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

It’s Official: Arkansas Cuts Medicaid Funding for Planned Parenthood – Jerry Cox, Arkansas Family Council

Adoption

Let Foster Children Wait No MoreNational Review

10 Things You Should Know about Adoption – Russell D. Moore, Crossway

Do you believe these 5 myths about adoption? – Sophia Swinford, Aleteia

Open your heart’: Adoptive mom debunks three modern adoption myths – Natalie Brumfield, Live Action

Bioethics

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

The Overlooked Risks of Surrogacy for Women – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies

From Darwin to Iceland: The Eugenic Solution to the ‘Undesirable’ – Roberto Rivera, The Stream

 

Family

Economics/Education

Undoing the Dis-Education of Millennials – Adam J. MacLeod, NewBostonPost

This may be one of the biggest benefits to marriage we’ve ever seen – Catey Hill, Moneyish

The state of marriage as an institutionThe Economist

Marriage

Over One-Quarter of Children Under Age 18 Live With One ParentU.S. Census Bureau

When Your Partner Is Down and Can’t Get Up – Glen Scrivener, The Gospel Coalition

Understanding Your Feelings to Stay Connected In Your Marriage – David and Jan Stoop, Focus on the Family

Can Marriage Help Prevent Dementia? – Carolyn Moynihan, Intellectual Takeout

Your Spouse Doesn’t Need Your Unconditional Support – Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, Christianity Today

Why I Stopped Comparing My Marriage to My Parents’ Marriage – Laura Triggs, Verily

Faith/Character/Culture

Netflix Thinks You’re Bored and Lonely – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

Do You Talk to Your Children About Race? – Trillia Newbell, Desiring God

This Is a More Important Goal Than Being Happy – Julia Hogan, Verily

3 Creative and impressive ways people are helping the homeless – Elizabeth Pardi, Aleteia

Politics is About More Than Winning – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Jesus: the Heart of Christian Morality – Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, The Catholic Thing

4 things I want a new mom to know – Jill Waggoner, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Sexuality

You Can Protect Your Kids from Hyper-Sexualized Culture – Eliza Powell, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

How to talk to your kids about sexual assault and harassment scandals – Phillip Bethancourt, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Seven Questions for Couples to Consider Before Moving In Together – Rhonda Kruse Nordin, Family Studies

Men, Stop Virtue-Signaling and Return to Rules – Ben Shapiro, National Review

Let’s rethink sex – Christine Emba, The Washington Post

Scam Artists and Sex Education – Carl R. Trueman, First Things

Consent is Not Enough: Harvey Weinstein, Sex, and Human Flourishing – Angela Franks, Public Discourse

The Pragmatic Benefits of God-Given Sexual Boundaries – Melinda Penner, The Stream

Human Trafficking

Tackling Modern-Day Slavery, Online Sex Trafficking – Lisa L. Thompson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Porn Epidemic Hampers Fight Against Child Pornography – Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam

The Pathway from Porn to Adultery – Kent Butterfield, Desiring God

Porn is the Missing Piece in the Louis C.K. Story – Mary Rose Somarriba, Public Discourse

Behind the harassment scandals, another dirty little secret: pornography – Zac Crippen, Los Angeles Times

Louisiana is the 5th State to Formally Recognize Public Health Harms of Pornography – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Social Conservative Review - November 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

November 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

In our current cultural age of distraction and brokenness, it’s important to remember a fact of life that is often ignored: actions have consequences.

This essential principle becomes startlingly obvious in light of FRC’s newest publication, “The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion.” As this paper establishes, a single click of internet pornography by the public indicates to the pornography producer that their material is in demand, which will then fuel the continued production of porn, which then fuels the continued exploitation of women who are often pressured into being filmed doing sex acts, which then fuels the lustful desires of the pornography consumer to seek paid sex from women who are often being sex trafficked themselves, which often leads to them having forced abortions.

This is just one example of the horrific chain of consequences that can happen as a result of one poor choice. Happily, however, good deeds also have consequences, or more fittingly, fruits. When we give of ourselves generously, the person who receives this gift (or even someone who just observes the good deed) will often feel grateful and humbled, and even feel inspired to act generously themselves in response.

This reflects the nature of God—He exists in the form of gift. In other words, everything that we have—our lives, our breath, our material possessions—are a gift from Him. Therefore, we are all called to give ourselves away, just as God has done for us. May we always remember this principle and live by it, that selfish actions have dire consequences, but selfless deeds bear plentiful fruit.

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 Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion – Arina Grossu

The First Amendment Protects a Dissenting Cake Baker, Not State Coercion – Travis Weber

School Worker Was Told She Could Be Fired If She Offered to Pray for Someone Again – Tony Perkins

Sen. Cassidy Was Right: Most Planned Parenthood Businesses Are in Urban Areas – Arina Grossu

Atheists, Courts Mark Veterans Day While Demanding Demolition Of Veterans Memorials – Travis Weber

ObamaCare 2018: Unaffordable, fewer options, still covers abortion – Arina Grossu

What This Disabled Navy Veteran Told NFL Team When They Tried to Honor Him – Tony Perkins

66% Don’t Believe Bakery Should Be Punished for Not Baking Cake for Same-Sex Wedding – Tony Perkins

Conservative Group Claims YouTube Is Censoring Its Videos – Tony Perkins

Judge Usurps Power, Ignores Real Issues in Transgender Military Injunction – Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin

Religious Freedom for Bakers is Common Ground for Most Americans – Natalie Pugh

From Zero to Zelie: Our Adoption Journey and What We’ve Learned – Daniel and Bethany Meola

Concern for “Rights” Is Nothing New for Social Conservatives – Peter Sprigg

Following God’s Call to Adopt in Ethiopia – Maggie Banga

Did the ACLU Hide the Ball and Rush an Abortion? – Travis Weber

Scalise Shooting Declared to be an Act of Terrorism Under Virginia Law, So Why is the FBI Confused? – Chris Gacek

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Poll: 71% of Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have, 58% Have Political Views They’re Afraid to ShareCATO Institute

Most Americans Believe Christian Bakers Should Not Be Forced to Make Cakes for Gay Weddings – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Atheist Group Demands School District End Evangelical Group’s Mentor Program – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Minnesota officials attempt to control the message of Christian filmmakers – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Free to Believe”

Georgia School District Bans Coach From Praying With Team After Atheists Complain – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Victory for Special Education Employee Reprimanded for Telling Coworker, “I will pray for you” – First Liberty

She publicly turned from her lesbian lifestyle, so this college refused to hire her as a coach – Aaron Colen, TheBlaze

Department of Agriculture Religious Freedom Policy Resolves Case of Christian Meat Packer – Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart

International Religious Freedom

Egypt’s President Sisi Meets With US Evangelical Leaders for First Time in Cairo – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

French court orders removal of cross from statue of John Paul II – Zelda Caldwell, Aleteia

Christians Called to Take Action on International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Ohio House votes to ban abortions on babies with Down syndrome – Nancy Flanders, Live Action

7 Things I Learned At The Women’s Convention About Feminists And Abortion – Abby Johnson, The Federalist

Supreme Court to hear case against California law forcing pro-life centers to advertise abortion – Pete Baklinski, LifeSiteNews

Pro-life student impeached for her views speaks out: I will never lose my passion for protecting life – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Adoption

Adoption Tax Credit Saved by Both House and Senate – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Why the Adoption Tax Credit matters – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Adoption Videos & Documentaries – BraveLove.org

National Adoption Awareness Month: one family’s adoption story – Julie Bourdon, Mission Network News

Video: Older Child, Foster Care Adoption – Bethany Christian Services

5 Facts about orphans – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Singer Sarah McLachlan, other celebs explain what it feels like to be adopted – Kelli, Live Action

Bioethics

Contract Pregnancies Exposed: Surrogacy Contracts Don’t Protect Surrogate Mothers and Their Children – Jennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

Why are attempts to legalize assisted suicide failing across the United States? – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Embryology and Science Denial – Patrick Lee and Melissa Moschella, Public Discourse

Down Syndrome and Eugenics – Roberto Rivera, BreakPoint

Obamacare

Obamacare Won’t Pay for His Back Surgery, but Will Cover Opioids – Lorie Johnson, CBN News

Hits keep on coming: Obamacare premiums rising by $1K per month – Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

 

Family

Economics/Education

The Missing Ingredients in Modern Education – Dwight Longenecker, Intellectual Takeout

A Record Share of Men Are “Marrying Up” Educationally – Wendy Wang, Family Studies

Marriage

The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Cheap Sex is the “Inconvenient Truth” in the Retreat from Marriage – Mark Regnerus, Family Studies

I Married a Same-Sex Attracted Man. And I Am Blessed. – Jaclyn S. Parrish, The Gospel Coalition

Cheap sex and tumbling marriage rates – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

Marriage is a dance of growing together, apart, together – Dani Shapiro, PBS NewsHour

Faith/Character/Culture

It’s Time We Got Loud About Love Again – Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register

No. 1 Thing Parents Can Do to Ensure Kids Are Faithful Christians When They Grow Up – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

By Rejecting God, Modern Man Rejects His Humanity – Paul Krause, Crisis

Passions’ Republic: The Christian Cure for What Ails Modern Politics – David Bradshaw, Touchstone

The Science About Motherhood Liberals Don’t Want to Hear – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Do Men Owe Women a Special Kind of Care? – John Piper, Desiring God

Attacking the Ties That Bind – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Human Sexuality

Open secret: The one thing that can prevent sexual harassment – Elizabeth Scalia, Aleteia

Children fast-tracked into gender transition – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

Let’s Cast a Vision for Mere Sexuality – Todd Wilson, The Gospel Coalition

Trump Administration To Conduct New Research On Sex Education Programs – David Brody, CBN News

Human Trafficking

Under Pressure, Tech Giants Drop Opposition to Anti-Trafficking Bill – Lisa Correnti, C-Fam

Pornography

You won’t believe how many kids under 10 are watching porn – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

Podcast: Jimmy and Kelly Needham discuss overcoming pornography – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Could Porn Be One Explanation for Sexual Predators Like Louis C.K.? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

Social Conservative Review - November 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

November 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

A disturbing idea has been embedded in our culture for quite some time. It is the idea that in general, people should be left to their own devices to decide what is right and wrong for them. In other words, people, particularly children, should not be imposed upon or “nurtured,” they should instead be free to take on their own “nature,” whatever that may manifest to be. This is illustrated by the growing phenomenon of parents insisting that their children must be free to choose their gender.

Those who adhere to this philosophy, I would argue, are not being totally honest with themselves. What I mean by this is that those who insist that everyone must be free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong are the very same people that expect society to adhere to certain rules, such as the prohibitions against murder, rape, and theft. This is quite telling, because it reveals that there are some things in life that most people agree are inherently true and therefore non-negotiable; indeed, they can and should be imposed.

This reveals the inherent flaw in the “nature over nurture” logic. Believers know that if man is left to his own devices, he will eventually devolve into a selfish beast. In other words, man does not come upon moral behavior by chance or by nature—it must be taught and shown to him. This fact underscores the critical role that parents have in educating their children. When believers pass on the tenets of their faith to their children, they are giving them a foundation to not only become a stable member of society and have a successful future, but to enjoy a life of happiness that can only be found by serving God. As Ian Rowe has written in Family Studies, even our country’s most wealthy educational benefactors do not understand this basic fact—that children who are most likely to succeed are those whose parents are their primary educators.

More and more evidence for the importance of stable family structures continues to come out every day. May we lead by example and help transform our culture into one that values and upholds the family unit.

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

Ignoring Military’s Reasons for Transgender Order, Unelected Judge Sets National Security Policy – Tony Perkins

In abortion case, we let two children down: Jane Doe and Baby Doe – Travis Weber

Trump is a great champion of religious liberty — a welcome change from Obama – Tony Perkins

All Hat, No Decency – Ken Blackwell

Foster Parenting and Adoption: Answering God’s Call to Love – Kathy Athearn

Vice President Pence Announces Relief for Middle East Christians – Travis Weber

Georgetown University’s Identity Crisis – Kelly Marcum

We Need To Rethink Our Sexual Culture – Dan Hart

In Today’s Media Environment, It’s “News” When the Department of Justice Actually Enforces the Law – Travis Weber

Is the Air Force Finished With People of Faith? – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Uses and Abuses of Hate – Robert Knight, Townhall

When Will The Media Stop Trusting A Hate Group To Label Hate Groups? – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

Federal court rules World War I memorial cross must be torn down – Todd Starnes, Fox News

91% of pastors want to speak freely without govt punishment – Alliance Defending Freedom

ACLU Silent on Gay Coffee Shop Owner Who Kicked Out Pro-Lifers – Amber Randall, The Daily Signal

Georgetown may defund student group for defending Church teaching on marriage – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Why the Government Shouldn’t Force Bakers—Or Anyone—to Express Support for Same-Sex Marriage – Steven Smith, Public Discourse

I’m a Conservative at Princeton. Why My Fellow Student Is Wrong to Make War on Free Speech. – Owen Wheeler, The Daily Signal

Free to Believe”

Colorado Baker Asked to Make ‘Birthday Cake’ for Satan – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

KY Judge Who Objects to Homosexual Adoptions Faces Charges – FACT

Arizona judge rejects wedding shop’s challenge to ordinance that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation – Fox News

International Religious Freedom

Modern Horror: New Report Says Global Persecution of Christians Is at Historic PeakNational Catholic Register

The Last Christians: Priest Describes Horror, Courage of Christians Being Killed for Their Faith – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

White House Reveals ‘Game-Changer’ for Persecuted Middle East Christians – Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic Register

North Korean defector describes ‘life of hell’ for Christians – Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News

Court: Student can be expelled for calling gay ‘marriage’ a sin on Facebook – LifeSiteNews

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force Punishes Colonel who Refused to Affirm Gay Marriage – ToddStarnes.com

 

Life

Abortion

How 1,000 Churches Could Transform the Abortion Debate – Greg Austen, Care Net

Abortionist cancels illegal late-term abortions after pro-lifers expose him – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Maryland Pro-Lifers to Protest Newly Opened Late Term Abortion Clinic of LeRoy Carhart – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

In Blocking Abortion Legislation, Democrats Will Display Their Extremism – George Will, National Review

Abortion Rate Drops 25% Over Last 6 Years as More Babies Saved From Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Ontario bans pro-life witness outside abortion centers – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

Abortion Clinics are Crawling With Dirty Health Violations, Report Finds – Grace Carr, The Stream

Adoption

International Adoptions Drop to New Low as Evangelical Funding Spikes – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

ACLU Threatens to Stamp Out Diversity by Shuttering Faith-Based Adoption Agencies – Emilie Kao and Zachary Jones, The Daily Signal

Video: Foster Care and Adoption: The Keberlein Story

A Theology Of Adoption – Lauren Rae Konkol, First Things

Bioethics

Embryos and Five-Year-Olds: Whom to Rescue – Robert P. George and Christopher O. Tollefsen, Public Discourse

Basic Bioethics: An A to Z glossary on ‘making life’ – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

A Right To the Baby We Want – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Radical Autonomy: A Dangerous Metaphysical Myth – Philip Hawley, Jr., Public Discourse

Obamacare

How Iowa Became An Obamacare Horror Story – Paul Demko, Politico Magazine

 

Family

Economics/Education

Bill Gates Overlooks the Vital Role of Families in Shaping Children’s Academic Outcomes – Ian Rowe, Family Studies

What Tax Reform Owes Families – Josh McCabe, Family Studies

4 ways to display the gospel as a public school teacher – Anonymous, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Why Catholic Schools Should Scrap Scholastic Book Fairs – Jean Schoonover-Egolf, Crisis

Marriage

What 25 Years of Marriage Have Taught Me – John Clark, National Catholic Register

Are We Asking Too Much of Our Marriages? – Anna Sutherland, Family Studies

More Than Marriage: What’s Behind Polyamory In the Church – Katie McCoy, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Video: The Biggest Misconception About MarriageThe Gospel Coalition

10 Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Marriage – Nina Vallone, Chicago Now

Faith/Character/Culture

The Crisis of Masculinity – Tony Reinke, Desiring God

I Don’t Care If It’s Halloween. Your Gruesome And Tacky Yard Decorations Are Sick And Rude – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

At Least as Dangerous as Porn – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Happier Mealtimes, Healthier Eating for Kids – Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay

Life Is Still Beautiful – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

Why Fatherlessness Is Not Normal and Dads Need to Hug Their Kids – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

What Women Who Have Had A Miscarriage Want You To Know – Emily Carrington, The Federalist

Video: How to Resist the Allure of GossipThe Gospel Coalition

Women Should Stop Insisting Men Are Bad Just Because They Feel Sexual TensionD.C. McAllister, The Federalist

Has Promoting Mother Absence Spawned Campus Crybabies? – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Human Sexuality

Why the Light of Purity is Needed to See the Mystery of Sex – Dietrich von Hildebrand, National Catholic Register

#Metoo: The prevalence of sexual assault and a call to the church – Trillia Newbell, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Let’s (Not) Talk About Sex, Baby – Marshall Segal, Desiring God

The Ugly Truth About Sex Reassignment the Transgender Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Know – Bruce Ashford, The Daily Signal

Why America’s STD Crisis Is a Pro-Life Issue – Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Transgender hormone blockers are ‘institutionalized child abuse’: pediatrician – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

Studies Show Birth Control and Contraception Don’t Reduce Unintended Pregnancies – Michael New, LifeNews

A Pastoral Approach to the Transgender Debate – Todd Miles, The Gospel Coalition

Are We Equipping Young People to Combat Sexual Harassment and Assault? – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Pornography

Why You Can’t Consistently Fight Sexual Abuse Without Also Fighting Porn – Fight the New Drug

Pornography Use and Relationship Quality: An Interview with Samuel Perry (Part 1) and Part 2 – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

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