Author archives: Daniel Hart

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 It remained in effect until 1993 when President Clinton rescinded the Mexico City policy on January 22, 1993 for the entirety of his tenure in office.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 President Obama ignored such facts and rescinded the policies.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

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

by Daniel Hart

January 26, 2017

With the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past Sunday and the youthful energy of the March for Life that will happen today, we as a nation are rightly confronted once again with what many would prefer not to think about: In America, one’s unborn offspring can legally be killed.

With abortion front and center this week, it seems like the perfect time to once and for all quash a lie that has been continually regurgitated year after year by those who are in favor of abortion. The falsehood goes something like this: “Pro-lifers only care about the baby when it’s in the womb. Once it’s born, you no longer care about it, even when that child is born into poverty” yada, yada, yada.

Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International recently gave a succinct rebuttal of this falsehood at an FRC Policy Lecture:

 “My wife runs one of the 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers [there are actually over 4,000] all around the country. She and her volunteer counselors do everything, including driv[ing] them [women with unplanned pregnancies] to ultrasound appointments, finding them clothes, finding them jobs, finding them housing, and all the rest. No pro-abortion group does that. So I like to ask people, go ahead and pretend that you’re pregnant outside of marriage and can’t deal with this child; call up a pro-abortion group, any pro-abortion group, and say ‘I need help with baby food, with formula, I need help finding a job,’ and they’ll either laugh at you or refer you to a social service agency. Then try any pro-life CPC (crisis pregnancy center) and look at the contrast there. Who really cares about the women?”

To illustrate this point, Live Action recently released a video detailing how abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are the ones that don’t provide care for women if they choose to give birth to their babies—not only do they not provide services for women after birth, the vast majority don’t even provide basic prenatal care.

So next time you run into the baseless “pro-lifers only care about unborn babies” line, be sure to set the record straight: the pro-life movement cares about women and their babies, period—whether born or unborn. The facts speak for themselves.

Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape Reality

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2017

A video celebrating the legacy of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion purveyor, and its founder Margaret Sanger was released yesterday featuring a slew of voice-overs by Hollywood stars, with none other than Star Wars Director J.J. Abrams serving as Executive Producer. It’s unfortunate that so many cultural elites don’t seem to care that the organization they care about so passionately just happens to sell the body parts of discarded unborn babies for profit, as well as aid and abet child sex traffickers.

The dark legacy of Margaret Sanger’s group has been well-catalogued by FRC and many other organizations, including her eugenicist and racist views. Surprisingly, the new Planned Parenthood video actually acknowledges that she “aligned herself with eugenicists.” It then conveniently justifies this unfortunate fact by concluding: “While there’s no question that Margaret left behind a conflicting legacy, it’s also true that she was a champion of progress.” So according to Planned Parenthood, the ends of committing abortions and distributing abortifacient drugs justifies the means of promoting eugenics and racism (back when it was popular) in order to gain legitimacy. In other words, you have to crack a few eggs in order to make an omelet. 

The video also laments the passage of the Hyde Amendment, highlighting the tragedy of Rosie Jimenez’s death at the hands of an illegal abortionist as “the first woman to die because of the Hyde Amendment.” To claim that a woman’s tragic decision to let an illegal abortionist kill her unborn child, and in the process kill her, was a direct result of a piece of legislation is a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly. What isn’t a stretch is that the Hyde Amendment has helped save the lives of an estimated 2 million babies who resulted from unplanned pregnancies.

While Planned Parenthood tries desperately to gain positive PR with the help of the Hollywood left, it can’t change reality. The abortion giant is staring directly at an ongoing congressional investigation and a federal defund. No amount of celebrity appeal can cover up decades of abortion profiteering at the expense of poor minority women and girls, its eugenicist founder, its baby body parts trade, and its sex trafficker sympathies.

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