Author archives: Daniel Hart

Boys Need Fathers

by Daniel Hart

March 24, 2017

While watching a documentary about the rise and fall of the rock band Oasis recently, I was struck by a comment that the group’s songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher made while discussing his relationship with his estranged father, who left the family when he was a child: “I’m long since over whatever was going on with my old fella. All I care about is the music. In the end, none of this will matter. When it’s all said and done, what will remain is the songs.”

I can certainly understand why he would feel this way about a father who was almost totally absent from his childhood. But what struck me was how he dismissed this gaping hole in his life as not even mattering, in the end. We as human beings know intuitively that having a stable childhood with a loving mother and father matters a great deal, often in ways that we don’t comprehend at the time but later realize in hindsight. But as adults, this can often be too painful to admit.

A recent two-part interview (1 & 2) with Dr. Warren Farrell conducted by Family Studies sheds further light on a growing body of evidence that illustrates the devastating effects that fatherlessness causes on kids, particularly boys:

Dads tend to build bonds with their sons by, for example, playing games and rough-housing, and then use the resulting bond as leverage for their sons to “get to bed on time” lest there be “no playing tomorrow night.” This boundary enforcement teaches boys postponed gratification. Boys with minimal or no father involvement more frequently suffer from an addiction to immediate gratification. For example, with minimal or no father involvement there is a much greater likelihood of video game addiction, more ADHD, worse grades in every subject, less empathy, less assertiveness (but more aggression), fewer social skills, more alienation and loneliness, more obesity, rudderlessness, anger, drugs, drinking, delinquency, disobedience, depression and suicide.

A boy looks at his dad and sees the man he could become. If his dad is minimally present, that doesn’t give him much hope that marriage with children will lead to him having the emotional satisfaction of being a fully-involved dad. Some dad-deprived boys see their dad living in a small apartment after divorce, and having to fight in court to be more involved with them, even as their dads are working a job they don’t like to pay for the children they can’t see as much as they’d like. That reinforces their purpose void and an abyss of hopelessness.

This demonstrates what has become a tragic pattern in our culture: when boys do not have their fathers in their lives, they themselves become skeptical and distrustful of marriage as a legitimate life goal. Too often, this leads to these same boys becoming absent fathers through non-marital relationships that break up. And so the cycle continues from one generation to the next.

Farrell observes that part of the solution “involves guiding our sons to seize the opportunity to find more meaningful senses of purpose in work and parenting—ones tailored to their unique self.” He further argues that mentorship is crucial for boys to find their unique vocational calling: “Dads and male mentors are crucial in this process, as are women who understand how to not throw out the baby of masculinity with the bathwater.”

And how do boys find meaning in parenthood? Not surprisingly, Farrell argues that healthy marriages are crucial:

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.

That is, we 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.

This creates the greatest single opportunity for the most radical solution to the boy crisis: parental modeling of how to sustain love. 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.

When couples continually work at sustaining love within their marriage, divorces will decrease and more and more boys will grow up with their fathers. I think everyone, including Noel Gallagher, would agree that this is a goal worth fighting for, and it matters greatly indeed.

Social Conservative Review - March 16, 2017

by Daniel Hart

March 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

By now, you have probably seen or heard about the viral video of a dad whose kids unexpectedly burst into his home office during a live BBC interview he is doing over Skype. It was a hilariously endearing moment, and not just because of the panicked yet heroic efforts of the man’s wife as she swooped in to grab the kids. For me, it was also a messily beautiful reminder of the intimate connection between work and the family.

In today’s culture, work is often trumpeted as an end in itself. A high-paying career is frequently seen as something that can be pursued at all costs, without regard to the detrimental effects that this can have on one’s personal life. This attitude causes a tragic segmentation in life, which should be holistic in nature. A career should never be pursued at the expense of neglecting the relationships that sustain us and that we are called by God to nurture. A “career first” mentality has it exactly backward—work should always be in the service of our families and our communities.

Another sad tendency in modern culture is to distort the definition of “work” itself. When studies come out showing that wives on average do more housework than husbands and husbands on average engage in more paid work than wives, cries of “inequality!” are yelped from the rooftops of mainstream media outlets. But let’s stop and think about this for a minute: one person works for the money to pay for the groceries; the other uses the groceries to prepare the meals. Both activities are different kinds of work that are equally important and intrinsically united—if either of the two are not done, nobody eats.

I say all this to illustrate my central point: an increasingly secular culture tends to strictly divide “professional life” from “personal life.” But in a wonderfully unscripted moment during a live BBC newscast, this artificial edifice was briefly torn down with the help of an excited toddler and her sibling.

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

I’m Grateful for the Restoration of the Mexico City Policy This International Women’s DayArina Grossu

Another Chance for President Trump to Make Sure Foreign Governments Play by the RulesKen Blackwell

Judge Neil Gorsuch: The Case for ConfirmationTravis Weber and Chris Gacek

The Refugee Implications of President Trump’s Executive Orders – Travis Weber

Joseph Nicolosi, Father of “Reparative Therapy” for Homosexuality, Dies Suddenly – Peter Sprigg

A Biblical Perspective on Immigration – Travis Weber

President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration: Religious Freedom and Other Implications – Travis Weber

The U.S. No Longer Funds Overseas Abortions. Canada and Europe Grind Their Teeth – Dan Hart

Voiceless: Christians Must Engage the Culture to Fight Abortion – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Rioters Are WinningDavid French, National Review

Over 150 conservative leaders urge Trump to sign order protecting religious libertyClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

School: Trump Chant is Hate SpeechToddStarnes.com

Just Because Liberals Call Something ‘Discrimination’ Doesn’t Mean It Actually IsRyan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

International Religious Freedom

Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, according to studiesZoe Romanowsky, Aleteia

United Nations Committee Demands Ireland Legalize AbortionMicaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Pro-Life Counseling Becomes Illegal in FranceMarie Meaney, Crisis

Liberal bill empowers gvmt to take kids from Ontario parents who don’t accept gender ideology: legal experts – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

Christian Group Compassion International Closes India Operations Amid Crackdown by Hindu Nationalists – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

2016 Annual Report: Chinese Government Persecution of Churches and Christians in Mainland China  – China Aid

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force Says Words Like ‘Boy’ & ‘Girl’ Could be OffensiveToddStarnes.com

Religious Freedom Group Defends Military Chaplains’ Right to Pray at Official EventsLiberty McArtor, The Stream

 

Life

Abortion

Canadian gvmt pledges $650 million to increase abortion globallyLianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

Hawaii considering bill to force church, pro-life centers to promote abortion – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

One Planned Parenthood Clinic Has Injured Women in 64 Botched Abortions, Has 39 Health Violations – Cheryl Sullenger, Life News

Pro-Life, Pro-TruthAlexi Sargeant, First Things

In Iceland 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Think about that.Lauren Bell, LifeSiteNews

Human Rights Activist: Forced Abortion Policy Leads to 23 Million Abortions a Year in China – Penny Starr, Breitbart

Adoption

New South Dakota law could protect religious adoption agencies – Catholic News Agency

How 5 siblings pleading to stay together as a family became a ‘great crisis’Rick Montgomery, The Sacramento Bee

Nebraska’s budget squeeze puts post-adoption help at riskMartha Stoddard, Omaha World-Herald

Bioethics

Embryo Experiments Reveal Earliest Human Development, But Stir Ethical DebateRob Stein, NPR

Science confirms that human life begins at fertilizationLuke Faulkner, Live Action News

Alaska Legislature Will Hold Hearing on Dangerous Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide – Steve Ertelt, LifeNews

Democrats Push Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide in Wisconsin – Erin Parfet, LifeNews

Maryland Pro-Life Advocates Stop Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide – Dave Andrusko, LifeNews

Obamacare

Repealing Obamacare Will Create, Not Kill, JobsJohn R. Graham, Independent Institute

Pro-Life Groups Sound Caution on Obamacare Replacement Bill – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Can Declining Productivity Growth Be Reversed? – Bourree Lam, The Atlantic

Marriage

Your Marriage: You Have No Idea of the Good You Are DoingDoug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

Married Parenthood Remains the Best Path to a Stable FamilyAlysse ElHage, Family Studies

Couple with Down Syndrome Criticized over Engagement. But after Twenty-Two Years of Marriage, See Them NowNoell Wolfgram Evans, Liftable

Is Your Smartphone Coming Between You and Your Spouse?Greg Smalley, Focus on the Family

Sex in the Modern MarriageAshley McGuire, Family Studies

How Faith Influences Divorce DecisionsSteven M. Harris, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

Ideology and the Corruption of LanguageRandall Smith, Public Discourse

Throw Like a Girl: Why Feminism Insults Real WomenRebekah Merkle, Desiring God

Day Without Women’ Measures Women’s Value The Wrong WayGracy Olmstead, The Federalist

Out of the Ashes: Anthony Esolen’s Clarion Call to Restore Culture, Faith, and Sanity – Michael Bradley, Public Discourse

Emma Watson Explains Perfectly Why I’m A Woman Who Is Afraid Of Feminism – Monica Gabriel Marshall, Verily

Human Sexuality

A Requiem for Friendship – Anthony Esolen, Touchstone

Life in a Foreign Country: Navigating Our Culture’s Change on SexualityEd Shaw, The Gospel Coalition

Biology Isn’t Bigotry: Christians, Lesbians, and Radical Feminists Unite to Fight Gender IdeologyEmily Zinos, Public Discourse

Americans having less sex than they once didTara Bahrampour, The Washington Post

Putting genies back into bottles: Sex before marriageKatrina Fernandez, Aleteia

Human Trafficking

Film spotlights human trafficking as Trump promises actionAP News

Human trafficking growing problem in metro AtlantaNathalie Pozo, Fox 5

Pornography

The High Cost of Free Porn – Owen Strachan, Desiring God

Is Life Better Without Porn? – Frank Honess, The Christian Post

The U.S. No Longer Funds Overseas Abortions. Canada and Europe Grind Their Teeth

by Daniel Hart

March 8, 2017

On January 23rd, President Trump signed an executive order that reinstated the “Mexico City Policy.” The policy, which was originally issued by President Reagan in 1984, halts federal funds from going to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that commit abortions or “actively promote” abortion.

The order ensures U.S. aid will continue to go to health care, humanitarian relief, and even family planning in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.

Prior to President Reagan’s actions, American policy on paper was to never promote abortion overseas, however in practice U.S. tax dollars directly supported organizations which advocated and performed abortion. It remained in effect until 1993 when President Clinton rescinded the Mexico City policy on January 22, 1993 for the entirety of his tenure in office. On January 22, 2001, President Bush issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy. President Bush had also determined that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was complicit in China’s forced abortion and sterilization program, and withdrew its U.S. funding. President Obama ignored such facts and rescinded the policies.

The principal behind the Mexico City Policy is simple: abortion is not health care. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason why the U.S. should fund the killing of babies in the womb by giving taxpayer money to NGOs that participate in or promote abortion.

In response to the U.S. policy’s reinstatement, the Netherlands announced in February that it has launched a new fund to replace the money that the Mexico City Policy withholds from funding abortions overseas. Dubbed the “She Decides Global Fundraising Initiative,” the fund will solicit donations from other countries in order to bankroll “ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion,” according to the initiative’s website. So far, seven other countries (Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, and Cape Verde) have officially joined the fund.

If there was ever proof of the extent to which the pro-abortion mentality has taken over in Canada and Europe, this is surely it. When no quarter is given to withholding taxpayer money from be used to directly fund the killing of unborn children, the true colors of those who tout their support of “family planning” are revealed. What was completely glossed over in the media furor over Trump’s Mexico City Policy reinstatement is the fact that it still fully funds all forms of family planning that does not involve the active promotion of abortion. “Active promotion” is defined as providing advice and information regarding the availability of abortion or encourage women to consider abortion; lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion more available; or conducting a public information campaign regarding the benefits and/or availability of abortion.

In a country that is roughly 58 percent “pro-life” (according to a 2015 CNN poll), the Mexico City Policy is a common sense rule that establishes a solid middle ground regarding abortion and the rights of taxpayers in America. If other countries want to protest this by feigning “human rights” for women and girls in the form of abortion, as the “She Decides” initiative does, that is their inhuman prerogative. Meanwhile, the pro-life movement is thankful for President Trump’s pro-life action and will continue to fight for the human rights of unborn girls.

Voiceless: Christians Must Engage the Culture to Fight Abortion

by Daniel Hart

March 3, 2017

In the powerful new film Voiceless, a war veteran starts a new job in the inner city of Philadelphia as a community outreach leader for a church. He soon discovers that an abortion clinic is located directly across the street. As he wrestles with what to do about it, he has a tragic personal experience which convicts him to take action and start a pro-life ministry. When he asks for support from his pastor, the church community, and even his wife, he is met with resistance. Finally, he is faced with a choice between backing away, or fighting for what he believes is right and risking everything he has.

In a panel discussion about the film, Executive Producer Stuart Migdon boiled down the point of Voiceless to this: to motivate Christians to engage the culture in the fight to end abortion. He cited a sobering statistic that found that over 90 percent of evangelical churches do not have a pro-life presence. Another study found that 90 percent of Christians want to hear their church speak on how to confront abortion. This displays a clear disconnect between what believers know is a grave evil and what their churches are doing about it.

As Migdon pointed out, if more Christians were to “wrap their arms around these men and women who are in these situations where they have an unplanned pregnancy, and they were to help them emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, if they were to give their all to these people, then we would see a change in this country that we have not seen, even before Roe v. Wade.” Migdon continued: “Eighty-four percent of women that have had abortions … say that they never felt they had a choice. The church is designed to be that voice to give them that choice.”

While Voiceless is a thoroughly pro-life film with a clear message, Pat Necerato, the Writer, Producer, and Director, noted that he wanted to make a “character-driven movie about a real person having these struggles and not make it about throwing pie in the pro-choice people’s face.” He also pointed out that he wanted the film to “inspire people to take a stand for what they believe is right.” Necerato believes that the message of Voiceless could really be applied to any cause that people feel passionate about: “If that [any cause] is what you truly believe, you can watch this film and say, ‘You know what? I need to do something about this. I need to get out there and put a stake in the ground.’”

Stuart Migdon’s wish for Voiceless is that it may inspire Christians to act on their pro-life beliefs: “Be passionate, know that we can make a difference … We can have a pro-life ministry in every church in America, and make a huge difference; so much so, I believe, that it won’t be about making abortion illegal, it will be about making abortion unthinkable.”

Resources For Churches

  • Care Net’s Making Life Disciples is a 6-part DVD curriculum that trains churches on ministering to folks in the church facing unplanned pregnancies (20% Off Promotion Code: FRC20). 
  • The Human Coalition’s Church Toolkit provides pastors and churches with resources to address the issue of abortion with grace and compassion, clear biblical understanding, and concrete steps for the congregation. 
  • Voiceless is coming out on DVD on March 7 and it will help any church and pro-life member jumpstart a pro-life ministry. It can be pre-ordered here.

Social Conservative Review - March 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

March 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

In a recent interview with The Rubin Report, Bp. Robert Barron gave a concise answer to the question of why Christians don’t lower their moral standards on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage so that they can retain more members:

We’re calling people to a radical sanctity. It’s a high bar on purpose. We don’t dial down the ideals because people find them difficult or they’ll walk away because of them. Apply that back to sexual matters—it’s a similar situation. The church is extreme in its demand … because it wants its people to be saints, not mediocrities.”

Keeping moral standards high is crucial in combatting current cultural trends that encourage mediocrity (or worse). As David French writes in National Review, leading a stress-free, problem-free life at any cost appears to be the goal of many in our culture instead of pursuing virtue. This “flight from pain” has become a disturbing pattern in American life. Stress and sadness are treated with prescription drugs. Marriage must have a trial run of cohabitation, and can be bailed on completely with divorce. Suicides have surged to a 30-year high, with drug overdoses increasing by 33 percent in the last five years. With the rise of assisted suicide, many apparently can’t even bear the thought of death itself happening without their permission.

French goes on to make this observation: “I can’t help wonder how much of this change is connected to the loss of faith, to the absence of the eternal perspective. Everything that matters is here, on this earth, and given the fragility of life is it not entirely rational to do all you reasonably can to make it as comfortable as it can be?”

Believers know that it is in the pursuit of virtue that human beings attain happiness. Leading a Christian life means setting the bar of moral behavior high. This means that our lives will be anything but stress-free; it will often mean a flight into pain rather than a flight from it. Christ made this quite clear in Matthew 7:14: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

May we always strive for that life that Christ has promised, and in so doing raise our culture out of mediocrity. 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

Trump Returns Authority Over School Transgender Policies to States and LocalitiesPeter Sprigg

Trump: Please Stop Gov’t Meat Inspectors’ Threats to Religious FreedomTony Perkins

Trump Reverses Federal Bathroom Folly, Will Fairfax Follow?Cathy Ruse

How the market can fix health careKen Blackwell

Neil Gorsuch’s Proven Track Record of Protecting Religious LibertyTravis Weber

40 Days for Life Speech in Front of D.C.’s Planned ParenthoodArina Grossu

Big Abortion” Wants the Dangerous Pregnancy-Destroying Drug Mifepristone (RU-486) Sold in Local PharmaciesChris Gacek

On School Bathrooms and BullyingDan Hart

D.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be RepealedDan Hart

How did the Washington State Supreme Court Get Barronelle Stutzman’s Case So Wrong?Travis Weber

Don’t Be Misled By National Geographic and Katie Couric: Three Things to Know About “Gender Identity”Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Liberal Protestors Lose It When Town Hall Chaplain Prays in Jesus’ NameCBN News

Religious intolerance at USDA latest example of need for religious freedom orderAlliance Defending Freedom

Washington floral artist to ask US Supreme Court to protect her freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

International Religious Freedom

France passes law imposing up to two years prison for running pro-life websitesJeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

Chinese Christians Sentenced to Up to 7 Years in Prison Over Christian DevotionalsStoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Egyptian Christians Warned to ‘Leave or Die’ as 40 Copts Killed in Last 3 MonthsSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Does Abortion Really Prevent Child Abuse?Mike Adams, Townhall

Planned Parenthood Kills 323,999 Babies in Abortions, Provides Only 17,419 Moms Prenatal CareRandall O’Bannon, LifeNews

Leading Physician Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During AbortionsLifeNews

Magazines Like Teen Vogue Hard-Sell Abortion To Fill The Pockets Of Big CompaniesSue Ellen Browder, The Federalist

Fact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’Machaiah Bilger, LifeNews

The Pro-Life Legacy of Norma McCorvey, the ‘Roe’ of Roe v. WadeKatrina Trinko, The Daily Signal

Oklahoma Lawmaker Tarred For Saying Abortion Choice Should Include FathersNicole Russell, The Federalist

Adoption

Adoption agency’s demise sheds light on troubled industryKate Gibson, CBS News

Mom’s inspiring adoption story of 3-year-old girl born without arms or legsJennifer Earl, CBS News

Bioethics

Washington, D.C., now seventh place in U.S. to officially legalize assisted suicideClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Should We Ban Donor Anonymity?Alana Newman, Family Studies

Oregon Assisted Suicide Deaths Hit Record High in 2016 as Abuses ContinueAlex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Assisted Suicide Deaths Can be Horrifyingly Slow and Painful – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Obamacare

Replacing Obamacare and Insuring the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent Institute

One Mom’s Fight for Her Special Needs Son in the Age of Obamacare – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Congress Should Fix Obamacare By Giving Health Care Back To States – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

How Arizona Is Using Licensure Laws to Punish Compassion – David Rosenthal, The Daily Signal

Protectionism and a Universal Basic Income Won’t Solve Our Economic Problems – Dylan Pahman, Public Discourse

How Trade With China Hurt Marriage Prospects for Low-Skilled Men – Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies

Marriage

Should Couples in Unhappy Marriages Stay Together?Harry Benson, Family Studies

How to Raise Changing Children in a Changing CultureMelissa Kruger, The Gospel Coalition

Secrets of Being a Happy WifeFawn Weaver, Focus on the Family

Faith/Character/Culture

It’s a Wonderful Time to Be ChristianGarrett Kell, Desiring God

What is Wrong with Us? How Should Christians Respond?Rachel Lu, Crisis

Evangelizing Through the GoodBp. Robert Barron, Word On Fire

You Can’t Win the Neighbor You FearCollin Hansen, The Gospel Coalition

When the Pursuit of Happiness Becomes the Flight from PainDavid French, National Review

Human Sexuality

Scarlett Johansson and the Great Adventure Of MonogamyJared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

Most Still Say Transgender Bathroom Policy Not A Federal IssueRasmussen Reports

How Far Should Government Go to Encourage Couples to Reproduce?Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

What Happens When Men Have Sex with Teenage BoysChad Felix Greene, The Huffington Post

If Child Sex Is More Common Among Gay Men, Are We Okay With That?Daniel Payne, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

Ashton Kutcher delivers emotional testimony in fight against sex-traffickingPhilip Kosloski, Aleteia

Authorities: Human traffickers using new tactics to capture victimsMelissa Howell, WSET

Pornography

2017 Dirty Dozen ListNational Center on Sexual Exploitation

My Big Sister, The Porn Star: How Her Career Damaged Her Life And Our FamilyFight the New Drug

Virginia, South Dakota vote overwhelmingly to recognize porn as ‘public health crisis’ – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

On School Bathrooms and Bullying

by Daniel Hart

February 27, 2017

In a White House press conference last Thursday, a reporter stated that “82 percent of transgender children report feeling unsafe at school.” She then asserted that by rolling back Obama’s May 2016 school transgender bathroom guidance, the Trump administration was leaving transgender children “open to being bullied at school.” She followed this up by saying: “Transgender children say that their experiences [of] not being able to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable using makes them vulnerable to bullying.”

Just to be clear: It is tragic to know that such a high percentage of students who identify as transgendered feel unsafe at school. It goes without saying that bullying must be fought by any and every reasonable means at educators’ disposal. Anti-bullying policies and laws that are currently in place in all 50 states play an important part in this. But even more important is the education of children at home, where parents need to instill in their kids Christ’s golden rule from Matthew 7:12: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” This underscores the Christian principle that every human being, no matter what sexual identity they present, is a precious creation of God that deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

With that being said, do single-sex bathroom policies contribute to an “unsafe” environment for students who identify as transgendered, as the reporter asserts? The Obama administration’s solution to this perceived problem was to require schools to implement the following policy for restrooms and locker rooms: “A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

It remains unclear how this policy would have achieved its goal of mitigating bullying. For example, if a biological male who identifies as a female felt uncomfortable going into the boy’s restroom because of the potential bullying he would receive from other boys, how could he reasonably expect to feel safer if he were instead to go into the girl’s restroom? In the latter situation, the girls already in the restroom may feel (at the very least) uncomfortable or possibly threatened, which would lead to a less safe situation for everyone involved. How is this in any way a desirable outcome?

A common-sense solution to this situation is for schools to provide a third gender-neutral bathroom option. This solution is endorsed by the National Association of School Psychologists in a study entitled “Safe School Environments for Transgender Students.” In the study, students at a school near Chicago who identified as transgendered gave positive feedback on gender-neutral facilities: “Students revealed that having more gender-neutral facilities eliminated tardiness and having to go to an opposite area of the building to use the bathroom during classes. Students also said that the private locker room felt safer than having to share it with nontransgender students…”

To be clear, all schools were free to implement the bathroom policies that they deemed appropriate for the needs of their students, including gender-neutral options, before the Obama bathroom directive was handed down last year. There was never a need for this kind of “top-down” approach that infringes on the effectiveness of solving problems at the local level. By rolling back this misguided policy, the Trump administration is leaving states and school districts free to craft the policies that best protect their particular students’ needs.

D.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be Repealed

by Daniel Hart

February 22, 2017

With barely a murmur from the major news media, Washington, D.C. became just the sixth jurisdiction in America to legalize assisted suicide this past Saturday.

As discussed previously, assisted suicide is an abhorrent illustration of how far we have fallen as a culture, where death can now be chosen as if it were a legitimate choice among a variety of medical options.

It is therefore extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Congress did not use its constitutional authority to block the D.C. assisted suicide legislation from becoming law through a joint resolution of disapproval.

Congress can and must exert its constitutional authority to nullify this harmful and deeply flawed D.C. legislation, which undermines the dignity of human life, lacks commonsense safeguards against abuse, and endangers poor, sick, disabled, and elderly people.

Although the D.C. law has already taken effect, doctors will not be able to prescribe lethal drugs for several months, possibly not until October, while D.C. creates the administrative forms, oversight, and studies for assisted suicide under their law.

Congress’ latest spending bill funds the government until April 28 of this year. This gives Congress another chance to act to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide law by attaching a repeal provision to must-pass spending legislation, before patients begin to end their lives in our nation’s capital. We support Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD)’s efforts to that end.

Assisted suicide is an inhuman act, pure and simple. It short-circuits the universal experience of death that every human being deserves at the natural end of their life. Further, anyone who has sat at the bedside of a dying person will tell you that death gives new meaning and insight into our humanity.

One of the most beautiful recent illustrations of this was written for The New Yorker, of all places (a publication whose editorial board is almost certainly in favor of assisted suicide). Kathryn Schulz’s piece is a stunningly poetic and perceptive account of her experience of witnessing her father’s death. Here is an excerpt:

Even so, for a while longer, he endured—I mean his him-ness, his Isaac-ness, that inexplicable, assertive bit of self in each of us. A few days before his death, having ignored every request made of him by a constant stream of medical professionals (“Mr. Schulz, can you wiggle your toes?” “Mr. Schulz, can you squeeze my hand?”), my father chose to respond to one final command: Mr. Schulz, we learned, could still stick out his tongue. His last voluntary movement, which he retained almost until the end, was the ability to kiss my mother. Whenever she leaned in close to brush his lips, he puckered up and returned the same brief, adoring gesture that I had seen all my days. In front of my sister and me, at least, it was my parents’ hello and goodbye, their “Sweet dreams” and “I’m only teasing,” their “I’m sorry” and “You’re beautiful” and “I love you”—the basic punctuation mark of their common language, the sign and seal of fifty years of happiness.

One night, while that essence still persisted, we gathered around, my father’s loved ones, and filled his silence with talk. I had always regarded my family as close, so it was startling to realize how much closer we could get, how near we drew around his dying flame. The room we were in was a cube of white, lit up like the aisle of a grocery store, yet in my memory that night is as dark and vibrant as a Rembrandt painting. We talked only of love; there was nothing else to say. My father, mute but alert, looked from one face to the next as we spoke, eyes shining with tears. I had always dreaded seeing him cry, and rarely did, but for once I was grateful. It told me what I needed to know: for what may have been the last time in his life, and perhaps the most important, he understood.

It is easy for those who have never experienced the death of a loved one to say that people should have a “right to die.” When real-life accounts of death come to light, assisted suicide quickly becomes unthinkable. Here is one final excerpt:

Eventually, we decided that my father would not recover, and so, instead of continuing to try to stave off death, we unbarred the door and began to wait. To my surprise, I found it comforting to be with him during that time, to sit by his side and hold his hand and watch his chest rise and fall with a familiar little riffle of snore. It was not, as they say, unbearably sad; on the contrary, it was bearably sad—a tranquil, contemplative, lapping kind of sorrow. I thought, as it turns out mistakenly, that what I was doing during those days was making my peace with his death. I have learned since then that even one’s unresponsive and dying father is, in some extremely salient way, still alive.

Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

February 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

Before his beautiful treatise of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

In the current political and cultural climate, these words pose a particular challenge for believers. Marco Rubio recently characterized our times this way: “We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.” While there are many reasons why we have gotten to this place in our culture, I think an underlying cause can be traced back to what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians: when people with good intentions fail to act with love, whether it be in speech or in action, their efforts backfire. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of news stories and commentary these days seem to be primarily concerned with scoring points against perceived enemies rather than to charitably inform, engage, and persuade. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of this.

This is a failure to love. For believers, the temptation here can be to beat the opposition over the head with the Truth, and when that fails, to fight fire with more fire. After all, many argue, what else can be done when the other side refuses to even engage in a debate and instead resorts to name calling and straw man tantrums? This may be true, but believers must not succumb to tactics that society has deemed acceptable. Rather, we must present the Truth in charity and love. Hearts and minds are changed through patient forbearance, genuine empathy, and truthful proposals, as difficult and frustrating as this is to do.

With the knowledge that Christ, who is Truth Incarnate, will ultimately triumph, let us always argue and debate in charity and love. This will often mean that we will “lose” in the court of public opinion, and our pride will be humbled. But Christ experienced no less. Let us pray that everyone, believers and non-believers alike, whether they be in public office, public policy, or the media, will come to know this truth.

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

Free pastors from the Johnson AmendmentTony Perkins

Shulkin Poised to Address Concerns at the VALt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin

Everything The Women’s March Movement Wants You To Believe About It Is A LieSarah Perry

Judge Gorsuch Is A Mainstream ConstitutionalistKen Blackwell

Marriage: The Abundant LifeDan Hart

UN: Religious Persecution of Rohingyas Reaches Horrific LevelsTravis Weber

What You May Not Know President Trump Said at the National Prayer BreakfastTravis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

How to Think About Discrimination: Race, Sex, and SOGIRyan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Homeschool Family Sues NYC After Being Subjected to 60-Day InvestigationSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

Tony Perkins Hails ‘Victory’ in $225K Settlement for Fired Pastor; Georgia Says He Wasn’t Fired for FaithLeonardo Blair, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

New UN LGBT Expert Doubles Down Against Religious FreedomStefano Gennarini, C-Fam

U.K.: Preacher jailed for sharing Bible teaching with homosexual teenClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Asia Bibi: Putting Seven Years Imprisonment Into PerspectiveDavid Curry, The Christian Post

Rubio urges Trump to uphold religious freedom and human rights in China – China Aid

Military Religious Freedom

Navy’s ‘diversity road map’ lays foundation for multiethnic force protected against discrimination – Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times

 

Life

Abortion

How Women Can Help Abortion-Proof Their CommunitiesKat Talalas, The Federalist

More Pregnant Women Choose Life Over Abortion Than Ever Before – Macaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Abortion Widens the Gender Gap and Exploits WomenBrian E. Fisher, Public Discourse

Planned Parenthood offered incentives, ‘pizza parties’ for meeting quotasKate Scanlon, TheBlaze

Post-abortive woman: Seeing my aborted baby was “the worst moment of my life”Nancy Flanders, Live Action News

Fact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’ – Jay Hobbs, The Federalist

Adoption

Foster Care as the Way of ChristDarren Carlson, Desiring God

Firefighter adopts baby he delivered on emergency callZoe Romanowsky, Aleteia

Bioethics

Oregon bill would let doctors starve, dehydrate mentally ill patientsClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

House Committee Votes to Strike Down D.C. Law Legalizing Assisted Suicide Steve Ertelt, LifeNews

D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill Could Cut Costs — and CompassionBrad Wenstrup and Phil Roe, National Review

New Mexico Assisted Suicide Bill Moves Toward Death on Demand – Wesley Smith, LifeNews

Obamacare

Why Delaying Obamacare Repeal Is Hurting the American PeopleSondra Clark, The Daily Signal

We Hear You: From Obamacare to Affordability and Choice for Consumers – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal


Family

Economics/Education

Workplace Flexibility for Moms and the Gender Gap – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

These Small Business Owners Fret Over ‘Devastating’ Import Tax Pitched by House GOP Leaders – Josh Siegel, The Stream

Today’s Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Good Money – Samuel Gregg, Public Discourse

State Lawmakers Need To Dramatically Increase School Choice Now Or America Is Over – Inez Feltscher, The Federalist

Identity Studies in Service of a Classical Education – Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Public Discourse

Marriage

Debunking the Ball and Chain Myth of Marriage for MenBradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family Studies

How Should a Christian View Marriage and Divorce?Amy Desai, Focus on the Family

6 Habits that will destroy your marriage, and how to avoid themAleteia

Faith/Character/Culture

When the One You Love Is WaywardDave Harvey & Paul Gilbert, The Gospel Coalition

Hero In Blue – William Doino, Jr., First Things

Human Sexuality

Cohabitation Contributes to Family Instability Across the GlobeLaurie DeRose, Family Studies

Six Essential Facts About Senate Bill 6 (Texas Privacy Act)Texas Values

The Data Suggests Unisex Bathrooms Are A Bonanza To Male PervertsPaul Dirks, The Federalist

Other Reasons to Wait Until MarriageBoundless

Transforming Hookup Culture: A Review of American HookupAmber Lapp, Family Studies

Human Trafficking

Sex Trafficking Spikes Around the Super Bowl, But It’s a Year-Round ScourgeMary Rose Somarriba, Verily

Human Trafficking and Slavery: How Flight Attendants are Saving Lives Miles in the AirNancy Flory, The Stream

Pornography

Why We All Need Millennials To Start Trying To Have More Sex – Hans Fiene, The Federalist

Marriage: The Abundant Life

by Daniel Hart

February 10, 2017

It’s National Marriage Week, so it’s a good time to put in a good word for marriage: I got married last April, and my previously miserable life has been perfect ever since.

I’m kidding, of course, but what is true is that the nature of day to day life does change as a married man. When I was single, day to day decisions about life were usually about me: “What do I feel like eating?” “What do I want to do this weekend?” “What do I want to watch tonight?”

What’s different about marriage is that my day to day decisions are now primarily based on the question “What does my wife need?” rather than “What do I need?” In a sense, being married is a shift away from one’s self and toward another person. What I have found, paradoxically, is that this can be very freeing. Instead of constantly agonizing about what my true purpose in life is and what I should really be doing with my life (which I did incessantly when I was single), it is now very clear to me what I need to do every day: I need to love my wife. Everything that I now do (going to work, doing chores, going on errands, or even playing the guitar) is a means by which I can accomplish that goal.

In this sense, the married life is a full life. I don’t mean to say that those who are single are somehow living inferior, less fulfilled lives. I just mean that marriage, in essence, is a total and complete gift of self.  Within the vow of “forever”/ “unto death do us part” lies the freedom of giving one’s whole self, whole life, and whole future to another person. Indeed, my life feels more full than it did when I was single. I don’t think this is an accident. As Christ said in Mark 10: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” In a sense, then, marriage is a way of becoming more fully human because we are supernaturally joined to another person.

When I was single, I would often try to imagine what it would be like to be married. I would often try to imagine myself as a husband and think “How could I ever do that? I know nothing about how to be a good husband or father.” I would often think that in order to be married, I would need to change my personality and natural temperament in order to fit in to what an acceptable “husband” should be, otherwise I would completely fail at it. What I have found is that we can never really change who we are. Once you become a husband, you naturally make this new role your own. In other words, marriage isn’t about attaining a status, it’s about growing into a more loving human being. God has given us marriage as a means by which we can become more holy.

I say this in order to encourage anyone out there (men especially) to not be afraid of marriage. You don’t have to worry about being a perfect husband, there will never be a perfect time in your life to get married, and you will never find a woman who is perfect. If you think you have found the right woman (which should be prayerfully discerned), don’t be afraid to propose!

Social Conservative Review - February 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

February 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

For over thirty years, FRC has worked tirelessly to end legal abortion in American public policy. Our commitment to this cause is rooted in the belief that no nation that legally allows the God-given gift of future generations to be killed in the womb can last.

But the pro-life movement to end abortion can and should be fought on all fronts, not just the legal and political side. Efforts to stem the demand for abortion in the first place are equally important. A recent article in Family Studies astutely explores this issue by pointing out that “three-fourths of all abortions are performed on women living at or below the poverty line,” and most of these women are single. What researchers have found is that “rarely do[es] a young woman and her community find abortion justifiable … It is often the pressure of the father that introduces abortion.”

This clearly points to the fact that a cultural change must occur in America in order to help reduce the number of abortions. That is why FRC has funded the compilation of empirical evidence to point out the value of marriage and why it is so important for the flourishing of families, which are the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. As the evidence shows, when men do not marry, they earn less money. One reason for this is obvious: single men have less incentive to work toward getting higher-paying jobs because they don’t have a wife and child to support. In today’s self-centered culture, many single men still want the sexual benefits of marriage in a relationship without the perceived “restrictions” on their bachelor lifestyle that marriage would cause. So when a single man’s girlfriend becomes pregnant, it’s cheaper for him to pay for an abortion than it is to support the mother of his child and the child for the rest of their lives. As the Family Studies article illustrates, this scenario plays out mostly in low-income unmarried relationships.

A goal for believers should now become crystal clear: In order to help reduce abortion, we must do all we can to help low-income men and women in particular see the value of God’s design for marriage and sexuality. Our modern culture scoffs at such “antiquated morality,” but God’s design for sexuality is beautifully simple because He knows it will bring about our happiness. When one saves sex for marriage and then marries, a vow is taken to love and stay true to the spouse until death. This means that adequate means of financial support must be worked hard for to accomplish this goal. This will most likely lead not only to a stable financial setting for any future children to be born into, but also a loving relationship that fosters virtue in the child, who then pass this tradition on to their children, and so on. When we follow God’s plan for marriage and sexuality, abortion not only becomes morally unthinkable, it becomes culturally and economically irrelevant.

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

Donald Trump Won the Respect VoteKen Blackwell

What Americans Want In Their Next Supreme Court JusticeFRC Action

The Condescension of the Establishment Media Regarding LifeChris Gacek

The Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and UnbornDan Hart

Pro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017

Was Manning’s Sentence Too Long - Or Too Short?Peter Sprigg

Women’s March is Out of Touch with Today’s FeministsBrynne Krispin

Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape RealityDan Hart

Obama’s Farewell Praised “Democracy” — But His Support for Judicial Tyranny On Marriage Shows He Doesn’t Mean ItPeter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

NFL columnist believes faith in God is biggest under-covered story in footballPhilip Kosloski, Aleteia

Atheist Group Sues West Virginia School District Over ‘Bible in the Schools’ ClassesMichael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Religious freedom fight returns to Colorado; opponents line upBrian Eason, The Denver Post

Fake News on Religion: Pew Continues to ConfuseTom Trinko, American Thinker

International Religious Freedom

Christians Not Welcome in India – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

In the Debate Over Abortion, Let’s Talk to the Poor – Meg T. McDonnell, Family Studies

We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us KnowJohn Piper, Desiring God

3 Ways the Pro-Life Movement Can Help End Abortion – Scott Klusendorf, The Gospel Coalition

Trump bans foreign aid to groups that provide abortionsRobert King and Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Examiner

I Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family ValuesRosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Coalition

Greatest genocide in history’: Groundbreaking report finds 1 billion abortions in past 100 years – Pete Baklinski, LifeSiteNews

New Poll: Majority of Americans Want Bans on Late-Term Abortions and Abortion Funding –  Casey Fiano, LifeSiteNews

Adoption

She’s One of the Rare Pregnant Moms to Go Into Planned Parenthood and Come Out With a Baby. Here’s How – Jay Hobbs, LifeNews

Meet 4 Pro-Life Lawmakers Who Chose to AdoptPhilip Wegmann, The Daily Signal

Bioethics

Awful Study Says Euthanizing More Patients Will Save the Government MoneyAlex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Panel clears Dutch doctor who asked family to hold patient down as she carried out euthanasia procedureThe Telegraph

Disabled Lawmaker: “People Like Me Are Facing Extinction From Abortion” – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Congressmen introduce bill to block DC assisted suicide – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Psychiatrist Euthanized Six Mentally Ill Patients Who Had Dementia – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Obamacare

How We Can Repeal the ACA and Still Insure the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent Institute

Republicans roll out their Obamacare replacements – Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Examiner

Covered California Misery Still Getting Worse – K. Lloyd Billingsley, Independent Institute

New Data Show Obamacare Insures Less Than 20 Million, Most on Medicaid – Alyene Senger, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Could a Renewal of Thrift Education Help Young Americans Save More? – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

The Unintended Consequences of Minimum Wage Hikes – Abigail R. Hall Blanco, Independent Institute

Our Economy Is Barely Growing. Here’s 4 Steps We Can Take to Change That. – Timothy Doescher, The Daily Signal

America’s Great Divergence – Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Women, We’re Co-Workers, Not Competitors – Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

Marriage

The art of patience in a marriageZyta Rudzka, Aleteia

Marital Fidelity and God’s FidelityFr. Timothy Vaverek, The Catholic Thing

Making the Case for Married Parenthood to Millennials – Jennifer Murff, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

Families, Schools, and Churches: The Building Blocks of a Healthy Social EcologyErika Bachiochi, Public Discourse

How a hungry boy taught me the ugly truth about myselfSimone Lorenzo, Aleteia

Affirming Life and Family in Hollywood – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

Human Sexuality

Time For Parents To Resist Transgender ActivismEmily Zinos, First Things

Is There an ‘Unmet Need’ for Family Planning? – Rebecca Oas, The New Atlantis

Human Trafficking

In-N-Out Burger Matches Donations To Fight Human Sex Trafficking – Fight the New Drug

Pornography

South Dakota’s Senate Just Declared Pornography a Public Health Crisis – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation

How Shame Made My Struggle With Porn Worse, Not Better – Fight the New Drug

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