Author archives: Daniel Hart

The Social Conservative Review: July 15, 2016

by Daniel Hart

July 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

People are not problems to be solved, they are souls to be loved. In our times, in which deadly mass violence seems to occur on almost a weekly basis, this powerful Christian principle is something that desperately needs to be lived out and spread to others.

In today’s society, huge swaths of people live insular lives fed by non-stop media exposure, materialism, and a host of false ideologies, hoping that these things will somehow fill the God-sized hole in their hearts. Believers know that it is only in giving all the glory to our Creator and living out a life of love as Christ did that brings us true happiness.

This means that as Christians, we will have to get out of our comfort zones and reach out as never before to those in need, whether they be in our schools, in our workplaces, in the grocery store, and even those we may encounter on the streets. As Christ said in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Don’t be afraid to be a laborer for the Lord and witness to the truth in love.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

International Religious freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

Life

Abortion

Adoption/Bioethics

Obamacare

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Question of the Week - June 28, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 28, 2016

Question: I don’t understand how [The Supreme Court’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision] is an attack on women or children. It seems this ruling was intended to remove burdensome obstacles for women needing a safe and legal medical procedure. There seems to be a disconnect between what you find safe and legal and what the Supreme Court deemed safe and legal. Could someone tell me why admission rights make this procedure more safe? Thank you.

FRC: The law in question [Texas’ H.B. 2] that was struck down would have required abortion facilities to have the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (such as trained staff, corridors that could accommodate a stretcher in case of an emergency, up-to-date fire, sanitation, and safety codes) and for abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital not further than thirty miles from the abortion facility. This law would have helped to provide women protection from substandard medical care and in many cases criminal activity of abortion facilities. Over the last six years, “more than 150 abortion providers in at least 30 states and the District of Columbia have faced criminal charges, investigations, administrative complaints, and/or civil lawsuits” related to substandard practices or substandard operation of these abortion facilities. When abortion facilities are not held to the same standards as other facilities, women’s lives are endangered. For example:

  • In 2011 alone, 26,500 women experienced abortion-related complications, and close to 3,200 women required post-abortion hospitalization. 
  • As Federal Judge Edith Jones noted in her opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on this case: “Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion.”

Further, abortionists with admitting privileges in hospitals could seamlessly assist their patients to a hospital in case of an emergency and no precious time would be lost that could cost the woman her life. Twenty-nine year old Jennifer Morbelli died at the hands of abortionist LeRoy Carhart following complications. After the abortion, Carhart released her to return to her hotel and he left town. Morbelli’s condition deteriorated, but Carhart could not be reached by family members or by hospital emergency room staff.

These are just a few of the reasons why the Supreme Court’s decision is so tragic for women. The pro-life movement is pro-woman and pro-child. We will continue our efforts to protect them both.

We will be releasing more information on this topic in the coming days.

Social Conservative Review - June 16, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 16, 2016

Dear Friends,

In the wake of the atrocity that occurred in Orlando this past Sunday, there have been many words spoken and much written on who is to blame, which has only deepened ideological divisions and intensified an already toxic political climate in America.

It is yet the latest reminder that there is only one answer to evil, suffering, and brokenness in this world: Jesus Christ. It is only in Him that America will be able to find healing, forgiveness, and unity. That is why it is so critical for all believers to turn to Him in prayer during this dark time in our country and in the world. Family Research Council is encouraging Christians across America to participate in our 8th annual Call2Fall National Prayer Movement. We are asking pastors and churches to consider setting aside time during worship on Sunday, July 3rd to call their people to get on their knees before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to restore and renew our country.

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

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Punching Down – Charlotte Allen, First Things

An Open Letter for Preserving the First Freedom of Religious Liberty – Jason Duesing, Canon & Culture

Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Student Group Against NC State’s “Speech Permit” – Faith Vander Voort, The Daily Signal

 

International Religious freedom

Christians Harassed in German Refugee CampsThe Catholic Thing

French and Belgian Catholics Under AttackThe Catholic Thing

Remembering Those Who Suffer – Ian Speir, Ethika Politika

How A 10-Year-Old Refugee Forgave ISIS – Nikolas Grosfield, The Federalist

UZBEKISTAN: Fines for “Illegal” Religious Literature – Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18

In Secretly Written Book, Christian Chinese Lawyer Describes Resisting Communist Torture – Isolda Morillo, The Stream

 

Military Religious Freedom

Drafting Women is Not Only Immoral, it is Disruptive – Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

Conservatives Have a Plan to Block Women in the Draft – Philip Wegmann, The Daily Signal

Boykin bounced: Fort Riley cancels Delta Force hero’s prayer breakfast speech – Todd Starnes, FOX News

 

Religious Liberty in the public square

LGBT Bill Threatens California’s Religious Schools – Andrew Egger, The Daily Signal

Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Student Group Against NC State’s ‘Speech Permit’ – Faith Vander Voort, The Daily Signal

The Benefits of Religious Liberty – Rick Plasterer, Juicy Ecumenism

Religious Liberty in the Eyes of Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, & MuslimsJuicy Ecumenism

School Sends Sheriff to Order Child to Stop Sharing Bible Verses – Todd Starnes, FOX News

Compelling Reasons to retain Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions – Michael J. DeBoer, Canon & Culture

 

Life

Abortion

Judge Dismisses Bogus Charge Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

A Baby’s Kick Changes Everything About Abortion – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

What Happens When People Share Their Abortion Stories – Cullen Herout, The Federalist

New Evidence Indicates Planned Parenthood’s Organ Harvesting Scheme Broke the Law – Bre Payton, The Federalist

Can Feminists Really Be Pro-Life? Meet Two Women Who Are – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Amnesty International Pushes Abortion in Ireland – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Her Doctor Told Her to Abort Her Baby With Down Syndrome – Ericka Andersen, National Review

More Americans Call Abortion “Morally Wrong” Than “Morally Acceptable” – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

Christian College offers Certificate in Pro Life Activism, Pregnancy Center Management – Samantha Watkins, The College Fix

Does Carrying Signs Really Save Babies? – Sean DeMars, Desiring God

That Place Where Babies are Aborted? Don’t Call It a ‘Clinic,’ Because It’s Not – David Mills, The Stream

A Mother’s Open Letter to a Doctor Who Told Her to Abort Her Unborn Child – Nancy Flory, The Stream

 

Adoption

Getting Involved in Foster Care by Serving Families – Chelsea Patterson, ERLC

Why Being a Pro-Life Church is Messier Than You Think – Daniel Darling, Christianity Today

Generosity Is … Taking Six Children Into Your Family – Carolyn Moynihan, The Stream

 

Bioethics

Next Station Stop: The Embryo Farm? – Gene Tarne, Lozier Institute

Who May Die? California Patients and Doctors Wrestle With Assisted Suicide – Jennifer Medina, The New York Times

The New Hobbesians – Jeffrey Collins and Douglas Farrow, First Things

Would Hollywood Want the Disabled Dead? – John Knight, Desiring God

 

Obamacare

California Could Become the First State to Expand Coverage to Illegal Immigrants Under Obamacare – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Obamacare’s 13th Co-Op Is Closing. Why More Could Follow – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

How the Insurance Market Is Responding to Obamacare – Gregg Keller, The Daily Signal

The Less Affordable Care Act? – Vann Newkirk, The Atlantic

Obamacare Is Forcing People into Part-Time Work – Chris Pandolfo, Conservative Review

 

Family

Family Economics

Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Agenda is Disappointing – Oren Cass, National Review

Hurting the Poor is No Way to Help Them: Payday Lending Rules Edition – Veronique de Rugy, National Review

Church of England: Maybe Margaret Thatcher Wasn’t So Unchristian After All – Joe Carter, Acton Power Blog

The Key to Understanding Christian Advocacy of Free Markets – Joe Carter, Acton Power Blog

For Love or Money? – Jason Carroll, The Family in America

Socialism Attacks the Family, Just as Its Inventors Intended – Paul Kengor, The Stream

 

Marriage

Report: To Divorce-Proof Yourself, Don’t Have Pre-marital Sex – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Aristotle, True Friendship, and the “Soulmate” View of Marriage – Angela McKay Knobel, Public Discourse

Would Your Kids Recognize an Ideological Kidnapper? – Anna Mussmann, The Federalist

A Dangerous Fairytale for Future Wives – Liz Wann, Desiring God

10 Top Reasons You Should Have Kids Before 30 – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Latest Out-of-Wedlock Birthrates – Roger Clegg, National Review

Couple Vows to Stay Together After Husband is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 29FOX News Health

Parents’ Marital Status Boosts Children’s Self Esteem – John Bingham, Telegraph UK

 

Human Sexuality

A Christian Message to LGBT Americans in the Wake of the Orlando Shooting – Michael Brown, The Stream

Born This Way – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

ACLU leader quits over daughters’ safety in bathrooms – Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel

Trans Theory Is A War Against Reality – David Sorrell, The Federalist

Why You Should Stop Using The Word ‘Gender’ – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Ohio school district sues feds for demanding that students have access to opposite-sex locker roomsAlliance Defending Freedom

I Wish I Had Been Told About These Risks Before I Had Gender Surgery – Walt Heyer, The Daily Signal

Reality Check: Gender Diversity is Driven by a Top-Down Ideological Movement – Mary Rice Hasson, MercatorNet

Being a Stanford Athlete is No Excuse for Rape – Holly Scheer, The Federalist

 

Human Trafficking

Exposed: Planned Parenthood’s Disturbingly Common Practice of Covering Up Child Sex Abuse – Cassy Fiano, LifeSiteNews

Petition Against Amnesty International’s Prostitution Policy Breaks 35,000 Signatures – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Fighting for the Protection of Young Kenyan Girls at the United Nations – Palmer Williams, ACLJ

Meet the Man Saving Yazidi Slaves From ISIS – Arwa Damon, CNN

 

Pornography

John Paul II, Porn, and the Stanford Rapist – Matthew Sewell, Crisis Magazine

Comcast Refuses to Remove Racist and Exploitive PornographyNational Center on Sexual Exploitation

Why is Amazon.com Hosting Pornographic Websites? National Center on Sexual Exploitation

A Woman Won’t Fix Your Porn Habit – Joshua Rogers, Boundless

Question of the Week - June 7, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 7, 2016

Question: I tried calling the Fort Riley base to tell them about my feelings regarding the fact that they would cancel the prayer breakfast and disinvite Gen. Boykin, but their lines are completely full and it won’t let you leave a message. Are there any other numbers to contact the base? 

FRC: Thank you for trying to call Fort Riley. Many others have told us they could not get through on the phones as well. You can try calling the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division, Maj. Grisby, at (785) 239-3516.

You can also send a message through Fort Riley’s contact form on their website at http://www.riley.army.mil/Contact-Us/.

In addition, you can write to Fort Riley in the Visitor Posts section of their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortRiley/.

Thank you for all that you’re doing to help us stand for faith, family, and freedom in the public square!

Question of the Week - June 1, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 1, 2016

Question: Where can I find a suggested letter to send to my local school board about my outrage over Obama’s transgender bathroom agenda?

FRC: We are unaware of a suggested letter to send to your school board. However, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom have legal resources that your school can use to fight this policy. They are also willing to legally represent local school districts for free. Thank you for standing up for children’s safety and religious freedom.

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Send us your questions about how you can better live out your faith beyond the four walls of your church, or about any specific value that FRC continues to stand for, whether it be life, marriage and family, or religious liberty. Go to frc.org/contact-frc and enter “Question of the Week” in the Subject line. Thank you for standing with us!

Question of the Week - May 16, 2016

by Daniel Hart

May 16, 2016

Question: I want to effectively protest the killing/genocide of Christians around the world. How do you suggest I do that? Thank you.

FRC: Thank you for asking how you can protest the genocide of Christians around the world. While believers face growing hostility in America, we have experienced nothing like the mistreatment, displacement, violence, rape, crucifixions, and beheadings experienced by followers of Jesus in Iraq, Syria, Libya, other parts of the Middle East and beyond. The most tangible form of helping persecuted Christians is to participate in practical ministries. If possible, you might consider following the example of a church in Indiana who sent a group of church members to Iraq along with donated medical supplies and additional money to purchase much needed food and bedding. Obviously, most churches would not be capable of this kind of direct aid, so we primarily recommend donating to the organizations listed on World Magazine’s “Aid for Iraqis” site. These organizations have provided aid to those in need ever since the beginning of the conflict, and through this lasting presence in the region have intimately gotten to know the communities they are involved with. It is also very important to promote policies that protect the persecuted. You can help do this by supporting the ministries that we have partnered with like Open Doors USA, Institute on Religion and Democracy, and others listed here. Finally, please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world. Thank you for standing with us!

Question of the Week

by Daniel Hart

May 9, 2016

With every passing day, it seems, Christian values are increasingly being pushed out of the public square and out of public policy. What can ordinary Christian citizens do to make their voices heard in their day to day lives and in Washington? FRC is here to help. Every Monday starting today here on the FRC Blog, we will publish a Question of the Week that we receive, along with our answer.

Feel free to send us a question you may have about how you can better live out your faith beyond the four walls of your church, or about any specific value that FRC continues to stand for, whether it be life, marriage and family, or religious liberty. Go to frc.org/contact-frc and enter “Question of the Week” in the Subject line. Thank you for standing with us!

 

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Question: FRC seems to be good at getting information out. This is great, but I feel helpless in the grand scheme of things. There is so much discussion and it does not seem to get us anywhere. How can we stand up for ourselves together as a Christian family, in a respectable Christian manner? It’s the first time in my life that I am sometimes afraid to wear my cross. I do it anyway, because I am very strong in my faith and I love Jesus, but I do feel a bit uneasy at times. Thank you for your time.

FRC: We’re encouraged by your desire to glorify God in the public square. As God’s stewards on earth whose entire purpose for living is to give all glory, honor, and praise to Him in every sphere of life, God has called many of us to work for Him in the public square—some of us in Washington, D.C., others at the state level, and still others at the local level. Thank you for realizing the importance of Christians being active members of society who are willing to promote biblical family values to our government officials. First, do your civic duty by voting according to your Christian conscience. In addition, you can write emails or make calls to public officials at the local, state, and federal levels, and encourage neighbors, friends, and co-workers to do the same. (You can do this by signing up for our Alerts here.) For more information on how you can get involved in the public square, please go to the volunteer page on our website at frc.org/volunteer. Please also ask your pastor if he would like to join our pastors network at watchmenpastors.org, and consider creating a Culture Impact Team at your church: cultureimpact.org. Please continue to pray for our nation and its leaders. This is the most influential action we can take: may God’s will be done. God’s Word is a source of great comfort and hope. Proverbs 21:30-31 says, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Thanks again for your desire to help us transform our culture for God’s glory. May He bless you.

The Left’s (Papal) Selective Hearing

by Daniel Hart

April 15, 2016

In yet the latest example of cognitive hypocrisy by the Left, Sen. Barbara Boxer berated a Catholic priest during a hearing on Wednesday for not explicitly agreeing with Pope Francis’s views on the causes of climate change.

It’s at once a maddening yet unsurprising phenomenon: to trumpet the Pope’s stature as a moral authority whenever it is most convenient by belittling those who disagree with him on a scientific issue like climate change, while at the same time remaining entirely silent and apparently having complete disregard for anything he says about matters of faith and morals, like abortion, cohabitation, same-sex marriage, etc.

As the priest pointed out during the hearing, Pope Francis does not and would never claim to be “infallible” or even have any sort of professional expertise in matters of science. It is only “when he speaks on moral issues, such as abortion and contraception and the like, then he speaks on magisterial authority.”

In his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) released on April 8, Pope Francis wrote these eloquent words in regard to the weakening of marriage and the family:

No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole. The contrary is true: it poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries. There is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life. We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society. But nowadays who is making an effort to strengthen marriages, to help married couples overcome their problems, to assist them in the work of raising children and, in general, to encourage the stability of the marriage bond?

Some societies still maintain the practice of polygamy; in other places, arranged marriages are an enduring practice… In many places, not only in the West, the practice of living together before marriage is widespread, as well as a type of cohabitation which totally excludes any intention to marry.” In various countries, legislation facilitates a growing variety of alternatives to marriage, with the result that marriage, with its characteristics of exclusivity, indissolubility and openness to life, comes to appear as an old-fashioned and outdated option. Many countries are witnessing a legal deconstruction of the family, tending to adopt models based almost exclusively on the autonomy of the individual will. Surely it is legitimate and right to reject older forms of the traditional family marked by authoritarianism and even violence, yet this should not lead to a disparagement of marriage itself, but rather to the rediscovery of its authentic meaning and its renewal. The strength of the family “lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love. For all a family’s problems, it can always grow, beginning with love.”

On the one hand, it’s great that the Left is so eager to revere the Pope’s words (Sen. Boxer emphasized several times in the hearing that she wasn’t just citing anyone, but “the Pope”). Maybe someday they will find the time to actually engage and wrestle in their souls with what Francis says in the area of faith and morals, not just in the cherry-picked topics that happen to align with their agenda.

What Are We Made For?

by Daniel Hart

December 17, 2015

The great celebration of the birth of Christ is quickly approaching. In the spirit of the season, it seems appropriate to reflect on our humanness and what it all means. After all, God created us in His own image, as the Book of Genesis tells us. He then proceeded to come to us in the form of a newborn baby in Bethlehem. We can infer from this that being human is something incomparably unique and of the utmost importance in all of creation. What, then, is our purpose for existing? Much of this question can be deduced by what’s inherent in our very physicality, in the bodies that we’ve been given.

What seems most obvious is that we are not animals. We have fingers with soft, rounded tips, not claws. We have teeth with smoothed edges, not sharp-pointed fangs. Our delicate feet must be protected by artificial soles against the thorns and rocks of the ground, unlike hoofs or paws. Our bodies are swathed in sensitive, malleable skin, not a hardened shell or thick fur—we must wrap ourselves in manufactured protective layers against the elements. This inherent vulnerability in all of us makes it clear that we’re not meant to prey upon each other in a survival-of-the-fittest free-for-all as the animals do. So what are we meant for?

Let’s dig a little deeper. We’ve been given brains that are far more powerful than any computer, capable of both grounded logic and abstract reasoning. To express what we process there, we’ve been given a voice box unique among all living things, capable of articulating language at a level of sophistication and nuance that is unmatched. What is most immediately expressive, however, are our eyes, which convey emotions and feelings with such clarity and depth that by the observation of them alone, a window into the soul of another is opened.

Perhaps, then, we are made for the other, for love. Why? Because everything we think, say and do loses all meaning if there is not another to receive it, and our bodies are thus designed to give and receive in love. Our hands are for tender caresses and firm support; when we swing and hit with clenched fists, the result is fractured knuckles. Our voices are for strong proclamation and kind encouragement; when we shout angrily, our throats become hoarse. Furthermore, even the most intimate parts of us, our male and female sexual faculties, must be given and received in complementary mutual love to have any meaning. Indeed, even our most intimate prayers and longings of the heart are directed to another person—God the Son.

What does all this reveal? At the most fundamental level, this tells us that our lives are not ours. In cooperation with God the Father, our mother and father brought us into existence in an act of love. We did not choose to come into existence—it is a gift freely given to us. Therefore, we are called to be grateful and satisfied with the body and the life that we are given, and to resist the temptation to grasp at what we think we deserve. Since our lives are a gift freely given, we must in turn freely give it away, as Christ did. As Christians throughout history can attest, the greatest freedom and joy can be found in this.

A Common-Sense Strategy in the Battle Against Pornography

by Daniel Hart

November 19, 2015

NOTE: Those who are grappling with a serious pornography addiction will most likely need help beyond the advice given here. Being part of a support group, having accountability partners and cultivating a robust prayer life anchored in God’s Word are all crucial to overcoming an addiction to pornography. Click here for more resources on combatting addiction.

National White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week has come and gone, but the battle for hearts and minds must continue. Important, common-sense strategies in the fight against pornography consumption often seem overlooked in regard to addressing the porn epidemic in our society. Therefore, this post will focus on the simple reality that natural sexual desires and energy can be redirected, and that this is something that is healthy and necessary for human beings to flourish. If more people applied this practice in their daily lives, it would stem the demand for porn that is fueling its production and dissemination.

First, it’s important to remember that even in today’s hyper-sexualized culture, most people still think that watching porn is morally wrong. And yet, studies show that two-thirds of men and over one-third of women in the United States use porn on a monthly basis, and half of all Internet traffic is related to sex. Clearly, there is a disconnect between what people know in their hearts to be true, and what they actually do despite what their conscience tells them.

How does this happen? Justifying immoral behavior to oneself is easy, especially when our culture literally encourages it. In a society where contraception, premarital sex, and one-click-away Internet porn are the norm, satisfying sexual urges is seen as akin to eating or sleeping, as if it must be done in order to function normally. Implicit in this assumption is the belief that we are merely animals who must masturbate or copulate on impulse like baboons. The problem with this view is that it does not reflect the actual experience of those who attempt to placate these urges through porn consumption and masturbation—instead of feeling satisfied, the overwhelming feeling is one of guilt, disgust, and shame (even cursory searches of online discussion forums about pornography reveal this).

At the heart of this problem is the reality of sexual desire, which is something intrinsically good in nature, but is also uniquely powerful and instinctual, which means it is highly susceptible to being warped and abused. Here at FRC, we strongly believe in the inherent goodness of sex as expressed in the marital bonds of one man and one woman. Having said that, any honest discussion of sexual desire cannot stop there for the simple reason that every one of us, whether young or old, single or married, must deal with our natural desires and urges on a daily basis. Certain demographics, particularly teenagers (and men in general) experience keener surges in sexual energy. In a world of instant gratification where one can carry around the entire Internet in one’s pocket, is it any wonder why the web is saturated with pornography? Technology has put society in an unprecedented position: Even the slightest sexual urge can be indulged instantly, with one or two typed words and a couple of clicks in Google—without the trouble of having any real human interaction.

This is why it is so critical to deal with this problem at its root: What is one to do with the energy that is felt in a sexual urge or desire? As touched upon earlier, it must be made clear that there is a crucial difference between perceived sexual “needs” and the need for food or sleep. One can’t redirect their hunger or tiredness toward something else—these needs will only become worse until they are satisfied. This is simply not the case with a sexual urge. With effort, one’s sexual thoughts can be redirected toward something else, and the urge will often simply pass. The key to succeeding in this is through forming the habit of not extending a sexual thought into a prolonged fantasy, which a well-formed conscience will react to with shame. Once one recognizes the nature of the temptation at its onset, it can more easily be purified.

This is easier said than done, of course. When a stronger sexual energy does come, as it inevitably will from time to time, experience tells us that it can be redirected toward a creative activity such as playing music or dancing, or it could simply be a physical activity like going for a run, playing sports, building a bookshelf, working in your garden, landscaping, cleaning, etc. These activities combine our physical and creative capacities and provide a therapeutic outlet for our energy, whether it be sexual or otherwise.

The law of supply and demand makes it clear that as long as pornography is in demand, there will always be a supply. Through self-discipline and redirecting our sexual energy, the temptation to consume pornography can be avoided, and thus the possibility of an addiction can be stopped before it starts. This will in turn decrease the demand for porn, and eventually lead to a decrease in its production and dissemination. Some may say that this is an idealistic pipe dream, but if more people in the majority of those who believe that pornography is wrong stopped using it, the tide could begin to turn.

This mission can only be fulfilled if we not only commit to undertaking it ourselves, but also commit to instilling it in our children. Make no mistake, this is an extremely difficult battle to fight, because it must be fought not only with the prevailing culture, but also with ourselves. Nevertheless, it is a noble battle for the human heart, and therefore worth fighting for with all our might.

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