Category archives: Social Conservative Review

The Social Conservative Review - April 28, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

Modern culture is overloaded with news, social media, electronic images, technological advances, advertisements and so forth. The limits of our time and attention are pressed to new boundaries every day by the flood of external data hitting us from every angle.

There is so much happening in our society and our world that keeping up with it all is impossible. So, with respect to issues of concern to social conservatives and Christians who care deeply about the future of our country, the dignity of all people, and the persecuted around the world, FRC brings you The Social Conservative Review. It’s a unique, one-stop-shop for news and commentary about the critical moral and cultural issues of our time.

This is a content-heavy edition of SoCon. That’s because there’s much to report in the key areas where FRC works to advance religious liberty, human dignity, the health of the family, and the sanctity of life. But that’s also why we send out these editions every two weeks, to give you a chance to read the best of the Web on the issues you care about.

Thanks for your heart for the good things for which FRC stands. Pray we’ll keep standing, and moving forward, with the grace and truth Jesus embodied.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

International Religious freedom

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Obamacare

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (homosexuality/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Social Conservative Review - April 14, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

News about the persecution of Christians around the world has become more frequent and more vivid. We are jarred by the growing stream of photos showing bloodied corpses and crying children, by reports of gruesome slaughter and indiscriminate massacres. In many places, professing faith in Jesus is requiring the ultimate sacrifice.

FRC is calling on Christians throughout America to “Stand with the Persecuted” this coming Sunday, April 17th. With our friends at Open Doors USA, The Voice of the Martyrs, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, In Defense of Christians, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-USA, International Christian Concern, and the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, we’re issuing a call for churches nationwide to show a brief, two-minute video, distribute a special bulletin insert, and spend time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters internationally.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body,” we read in Hebrews 13:3 (ESV). This coming Sunday, let’s do just that.

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council


Lectures

April 11 - Warren Cole Smith: “Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World Through Everyday People”

How can Christians tell our story in a culture that is increasingly hostile toward our message? Warren Cole Smith, V.P of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and former Associate Editor at WORLD Magazine, answered this question in an FRC lecture concerning his new book, Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World through Everyday People. Co-authored with another longtime friend of FRC, the Colson Center’s John Stonestreet, the book shares “inspiring real-life stories of justice, mercy, love, and forgiveness in our communities and neighborhoods, (through which) you’ll encounter a God who is intimately involved in His creation and using His church to work out the redemption of this world.”

April 6 - Religious Liberty Around the World: Where We Stand as of Spring 2016

Religious believers around the world experience violence, repression, and exile of various forms and degrees. It deserves our attention and America’s action.

This lecture featured remarks by former Congressman Frank Wolf of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative; Dr. Thomas Farr, Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Tina Ramirez, Founder and Executive Director of Hardwired Global, an organization focused on training and promoting religious freedom around the world.; and Pervez Rafique, President of Bleeding for Belief, an organization working to stop religious persecution in Pakistan and former Member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly in Pakistan.

March 30 - ISIS, Sharia, & the Islamic State Phenomenon: The Caliphate in Light of Sharia

There is perhaps no better authority on radical Islam than someone who at one point espoused that very system of belief. Al Fadi, a former Wahhabi Muslim who has come to trust in Jesus Christ, now works to educate and equip others about Islam for the purpose of reaching Muslims for Christ. In this fascinating lecture, Al explains how sharia and the caliphate drive ISIS and other radical groups in the ideological conflict into which we and many others have been drawn.

Al Fadi is the founder and director of CIRA International, a ministry focused on training and equipping Christian leaders and laypersons on reaching out to our Muslim neighbors, for the purpose of effectively sharing Christ and His message of salvation and hope with them.

Op-ed and Blogs

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance

Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies

Tony Perkins, President, FRC

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President for Policy

Travis Weber, Director, Center for Religious Liberty

Publications

The Value of Religious Organizations and Businesses to Society,” by Travis Weber. This significant study of how Christian-based companies benefit our culture and economy makes the case the faith should not be divorced from professional life. As Travis notes, “profit making should not exclude a business from having ethical standards and a conscience, whether for large corporations or family owned businesses.”

Investigating Planned Parenthood and Research Using Aborted Babies,” by Arina Grossu, Director, Center for Human Dignity. An update of Arina’s earlier work on this disturbing issue, “This paper synthesizes what we know of Planned Parenthood, its aborted baby parts harvesting, the operations of biotech companies involved in this industry, and its end-consumers, including NIH and FDA taxpayer-funded programs. Planned Parenthood performs about 30 percent of all abortions in the U.S.”

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 31, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 31, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Ten states in the US now ban some of the most inhumane forms of animal confinement, several including rules on the treatment of egg-laying hens,” writes Humane Society Vice-President Paul Shapiro in Quartz.  “The more Americans learned about how eggs are produced, the greater their concerns over animal cruelty became. The changing tides pushed both lawmakers and corporations to act.”

No decent person should rejoice over cruelty to any animal.  But how about unborn children?

On Monday of this week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure “requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation … The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will ‘eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child’.”

A growing body of science reveals (that) unborn babies can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization,” writes the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, in her study of fetal pain.  Yet for taking this thoughtful, commonsense, and simply humane step, Gov. Herbert has been castigated by abortion advocates and their allies in the media. 

The legislation is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” writes the New York Times.  The online magazine Slate accuses the governor of “defying medical ethics.”  And the Leftist Think Progress site shouts that the Utah bill “Could Literally Kill Women.”

Why are these proponents of abortion-on-demand so upset?  Because the Utah bill operates from the premise that the unborn child should not be dismembered without at least some numbing of its excruciating pain, which itself implies that the unborn child must have some value. 

This they cannot admit: If the unborn child has any value independent of her mother, she must be – what, a person?  And that would mean that maybe we should revisit the whole elective-abortion-at-any-time regime imposed by Roe v. Wade, the sacred text of radical sexual autonomy and a culture that dehumanizes life within the womb.

Yes, let’s treat chickens with consideration. But those who see legalized and unrestricted access to abortion as among the highest priorities in our national life should consider the words of Jesus to His disciples: “You” — people made in the image and likeness of God, from fertilization onward (Psalm 139:13-16) — “are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).  And many chickens, too.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. At noon on April 6, be sure to watch FRC’s panel discussion, “Religious Liberty Around the World: Where We Stand as of Spring 2016,” hosted by the Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, international human rights attorney Travis Weber, and featuring national leaders in the effort to protect the persecuted in all countries.


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

Obamacare

Life

Abortion

Abstinence Education

Adoption

Fetal Pain

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 17, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 17, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


At last: The Obama State Department has finally and formally acknowledged that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.  This follows a unanimous vote (383-0) in the House of Representatives on March 14 to “(declare) the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.”

FRC has spoken about this issue for months, even years.  FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC Senior Fellow and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Right Ken Blackwell, the Director of our Center for Religious Liberty, international human rights law expert Travis Weber, J.D., and this author have all called for official U.S. recognition of the fact that ISIS, or “Daesh” as it calls itself, is committing genocide against Christians and other religious groups in the areas where it inflicts itself upon their historic residents.

Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control,” said Secretary of State John Kerry today, “including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology, and by actions – in what it says, what it believes, and what it does. Daesh is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some cases also against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities.”

Genocide is defined as “a crime of intentional destruction of a national, ethnic, racial and religious group, in whole or in part” in the 1948 U.N. Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  That genocide is occurring is undeniable, especially in light of a new, authoritative, 300-page report issued by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians  that documents “over a thousand instances of ISIS’s deliberately massacring, killing, torturing, enslaving, kidnapping, or raping Christians.”

In addition to the atrocities ISIS commits as a matter of routine, earlier this week “Chaldean Catholic bishop Antoine Audo said there were about 1.5 million Christians in the country before the start of the conflict in March 2011. ‘I think now there are maybe 500,000. Two-thirds have left mainly due to the insecurity,’ he told reporters in Geneva. In the embattled northern city of Aleppo, the exodus was even greater, he said, with only around 40,000 of its once 160,000-strong Christian community remaining.”

As Tony Perkins said upon the Administration’s long-overdue recognition of ISIS’s genocidal cruelty, “Now words need to be backed up with actions so that the international community not only speaks with one voice but works to isolate ISIS and those facilitating their reign of terror. Additionally, we call upon Christians to support those non-governmental organizations that are working to provide sanctuary and relief to our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as other religious minorities.”

Tragically, ISIS is a metastasizing entity.  In addition to controlling large swaths of Syria and Iraq, ISIS also occupies areas in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Libya.  ISIS’s plans are audacious, nothing less than world conquest.

What steps the Obama Administration now takes will be critical to the defeat of ISIS and the protection of those it has targeted for annihilation.  Christians should pray that our President and his national security team act wisely, decisively, and boldly to eradicate ISIS, not just “degrade” it.  For the suffering Christians and other religious minorities, time is running out.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to join us at noon on April 6th for our forum, “Religious Liberty Around the World: Where Do We Stand as of Spring 2016?”  The event will feature remarks by some of the country’s leading advocates for international religious freedom, including former Congressman Frank Wolf (21st Century Wilberforce Initiative), Dr. Thomas Farr (Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University), Tina Ramirez (the Founder and Executive Director of Hardwired Global), and Pervez Rafique (President of Bleeding for Belief, an organization working to stop religious persecution in Pakistan).  Join us in person or register, at no charge, to watch online.


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

 

Life

Abortion

Fetal Pain

Adoption

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 3, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 3, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Texas’s abortion clinic regulations. This was the Court’s most important hearing on abortion in many years, perhaps decades.

The Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Arina Grossu, and our Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Cathy Ruse, J.D.(formerly chief counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution), were in the Court during the hearing to gain first-hand insight into the justices’ thinking. Their presence was especially important as, with our friends at the American Center for Law and Justice, FRC has filed an amicus brief in the case (Women’s Whole Health v. Hellerstadt) documenting that abortion is anything but a safe procedure for women; Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller cited from our brief in his arguments supporting his state’s commonsense abortion clinic rules.

As Arina explained recently, “The Texas law proposes that fundamental health and safety standards be applied to abortion facilities, standards that are currently applied to ambulatory surgical centers. These regulations are designed to safeguard against unsanitary conditions, inferior equipment, and the employment of unsuitable and untrained personnel in abortion facilities. Second, it requires that abortionists have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility when something goes wrong with the abortion and the woman needs to be hospitalized (as is often the case).”

We don’t know whether or not the Court will rule in favor of women’s health. Much will hinge on the unpredictable Justice Anthony Kennedy. As Cathy said after listening to Justice Kennedy’s exchanges with the attorneys arguing the case, “No one hearing arguments today could come away with a clear idea of how Justice Kennedy is likely to vote. Even when he is very vocal, Kennedy’s comments and questions serve as poor predictors of his votes.”

We can be encouraged that we have allies in people like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), who made a surprise and very welcome appearance at a pro-life rally in front of the Court during Wednesday’s hearing. “We are the pro-life generation and we are here to stand for life,” he said. FRC is grateful for his leadership.

Political leaders, especially those running for President, should take note of the new survey conducted for FRC by the respected WPA Opinion Research firm, which found, “For possibly the first time, large majorities of Democrats and Republicans say that the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court will be a ‘very important’ determining factor in how they vote for president in the fall, according to a new poll (which) found that 71 percent of Republican voters believe the future of the court will be somewhat or very important to their vote. And 63 percent of Democrats agree.”

Commenting on the poll, FRC President Tony Perkins noted that “Justice Scalia’s replacement may very well be the deciding vote on major cases involving religious liberty, state abortion laws, gun control, and immigration. With so much at stake, the American people should be allowed to decide in November who picks the next Supreme Court justice.”

Finally, yesterday the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives held its first hearing on the horrific organ harvesting of the corpses of aborted unborn children conducted by Planned Parenthood and its contractors. As U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), chairwoman of the Panel, said in her opening remarks, “Last summer’s videos revealed that something very troubling that is going on related to fetal tissue and research. The weak, the vulnerable, those with no voice — harvested and sold — there is something going on, something that deserves investigating and that demands our best moral and ethical thinking.”

The unborn child is a person, a baby, a being made in the image and likeness of God. She and her mother deserve better than the predation of the abortion industry. That’s why FRC works so hard to protect the unborn in law and supports policies that affirm and support their mothers. Thank you, as ever, for standing with us.   

Sincerely,
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. To learn more about the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle, read the new paper by FRC’s Senior Fellow Chris Gacek, J.D., Ph.D., “A Supreme Decision: Filling Scalia’s Seat.”


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

 

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

 

Life

Abortion

Abstinence Education

Adoption

Bioethics

 

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Welfare Reform

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News January 21, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 21, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


As Washington, DC braces for an onslaught of winter weather, hundreds of thousands of people are coming here from around the country for the annual March for Life.  The March’s president, Jeanne Mancini, previously led FRC’s Center for Human Dignity.  We are deeply grateful for her life’s dedication to the little ones and their mothers.

Those coming will be here to celebrate the beauty of life and mourn for the loss of so many millions of unborn children over the past 43 years.

Along with unborn children, millions of women have been victimized by a predatory abortion industry.  Many others have believed one of the great lies of our time, one that deceives men and women of every age and station: Professional attainment and personal satisfaction outweigh in value not just all other priorities, but other people.

That’s why there are so many broken marriages, casual intimacies, addictions, pathologies, and wounded young people and children. Avarice and greed are rampant. Radical autonomy is the god of the age.

The good news is that the true and living God offers new life to everyone.  Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 

That gracious invitation is extended to all.  Have you accepted it yet?

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure not to miss FRC’s “ProLifeCon 2016,” the premier conference for the online pro-life community. Hosted by the Director of our Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, activists, policy experts, and legislators will be on hand to discuss the issues impacting the pro-life movement, and to share practical ways to make a difference for life on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your online platform of choice.  Register online or join us here at FRC headquarters.


Religious Liberty

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square –

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Healthcare conscience

 Obamacare

 

Family

Family Economics

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News January 7, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 8, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


The new year opens with big events here at Family Research Council:

For the Nation: “State of the Family” address by FRC President Tony Perkins - webcast January 11

While the state of the union waxes and wanes with changes in government leadership, the American family has always been the backbone that makes this country strong. Strong families make a strong America. Family Research Council is in a unique position to examine the state of the family in our nation. From the group’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., FRC President Tony Perkins will deliver a 30-minute State of the Family address on January 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM EST. Perkins will examine how the family is doing in the areas of religious freedom, life, and marriage. In attendance at the event will be families and individuals who have been uniquely affected by the erosion of religious liberty. Register to watch here.

For Churches: “Free to Believe” - webcast January 16

In a world where two out of every three people live in regions lacking religious liberty, America is still one of the brightest lights on freedom’s shore. But that light has dimmed of late, as the current administration continues to diminish religious liberty. On January 16, 2016 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST, FRC is helping to reignite the flame on National Religious Freedom Day during a special Saturday broadcast event. This is an excellent opportunity to gather a group of leaders interested in joining or forming a Culture Impact Team in your church. Saturday’s broadcast will be an inspiring, practical, hands on event that will give you the tools need you to impact the culture in your community and beyond. Register to watch here.

For Pro-Life Advocates: “ProLifeCon” – webcast January 22

On January 22, 2016, pro-life internet activists will gather at Family Research Council headquarters for ProLifeCon, the premier conference for the online pro-life community. As Americans grow increasingly aware of the abortion industry’s agenda, we believe 2016 is a Year for Hope. At our 11th annual event we will be joined by such friends as U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation, Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Alison Howard, and the Center for Medical Progress’s David Daleiden. Activists, policy experts, and legislators will be on hand to discuss the issues impacting the pro-life movement, and to share practical ways to make a difference for life on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your online platform of choice. Register to watch here.

All of these events can be viewed at no charge. We hope you will join us as we begin 2016 strong for faith, family, and freedom.

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Don’t miss the Marriage and Religion Research Institute’s “Family Findings,” a unique weekly summary of research on marriage, the family, and human sexuality.  Subscription – just like the SoCon Review – is free!


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square –

 

Life

Abortion

 

Adoption

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

FRC Publications

Op-eds

Policy publications (booklets, Issue Analyses, Issue Briefs)

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News December 3, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 3, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Over the past few days, we’ve learned the story of a newborn baby left in a Nativity scene at the Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York.  The babe was found lying in a manger, wrapped in towels.  Sound familiar?

Thankfully, the baby was found within an hour of being left in the crèche, discovered by a custodian.  It’s good to know that “under NY safe haven law, which permits a parent to leave a child in a safe place (such as a hospital or church) with hope of their being taken care of, (the baby’s mother) will not be charged with child abandonment. And as it turns out, there are parents in the parish who have already asked to adopt the baby.”

A baby rescued in the representation of a manger.  Of course, another Baby came to a manger, but the difference in the stories is that Jesus came to rescue us.  As Paul the apostle wrote the church in Galatia, Jesus “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (1:4).  Born in a stable, laid in a feeding trough, the Lord of the universe came to us as a baby.  Fragile, vulnerable, tiny.  No words can capture the dimensions of this miracle.

Last week, we were reminded that the fragility of human life is not limited to the little ones among us.  A maddened shooter murdered three people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.  Ironically, one of them was police officer Garrett Swasey.  In addition to his service protecting and defending his community, Officer Swasey also served, part-time, as a pastor (take a few moments to listen to his compelling, Gospel-rich last sermon). 

Those murdered in Colorado were as precious as the baby found in Holy Child Jesus Church.  So were those aborted in the clinic in which the victims were killed.  So are their mothers.  So is every life, within the womb and outside it.  As FRC President Tony Perkins said last week, “Only through peaceful means –not violence— can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn.”

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch Dr. David Prentice’s presentation this week at FRC, “Malevolence or Benevolence? Fetal Tissue Research, Planned Parenthood’s abortions, and Embryonic Stem Cells.”


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom- 

Religious Liberty in the public square –

Note: U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has given a number of thoughtful speeches on the centrality of religious liberty to our country.  His most recent, delivered in the Senate on December 1, is titled, “Hatch Affirms that Religion is Indispensable to Democracy.”

Tax Exempt Status

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Federal funding of abortion

Fetal Pain

 

Family 

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

FRC Events and Publications

Blogs

Op-eds

 

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News November 12, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 12, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


This week at the National Press Club here in Washington, D.C., Baylor University’s Institute for Religion Studies held a fascinating seminar titled, “The End of Religion? An Essential Correction to the Secularization Myth.”

Led by Dr. Byron Johnson, who gave an outstanding lecture at FRC several years ago on how religious faith diminishes crime, the scholars who presented debunked the notion that religious faith is on the wane in the US or the world generally. They noted that more than 80 percent of the world’s population identifies with an organized religion. And in the US, the rise of the so-called “nones”— younger Americans with no professed faith — is a much more complex matter than is often present.

As Baylor professor J. Gordon Melton observed, “Are ‘nones’ to be equated with irreligious? That’s not the case. We have a large segment of the ‘nones’ who are atheists and irreligious, but we have a large segment that fall into (the) spiritual but not religious category. … The largest group are ones who say Christianity is not a religion.”

People long for the vitality of a rigorous faith, not simply some undemanding, self-created religion-of-choice.  As William Voegli, writing in the Claremont Review of Books, says, “If and when people who turned to moralistic therapeutic deism for spiritual nourishment come to regard that creed as a starvation diet, they are likely to seek out, or return to, more fortifying alternatives. In that sense, the serious problem of replenishing moral and religious capital may prove to be self-correcting.”

Christianity is the one true “fortifying alternative.”  It’s the only one that endures and fulfills, since it is grounded in the historic Person Jesus of Nazareth, Who claimed to be God in the flesh and the only way to the Father.  That’s good news, especially since His claim possesses the advantage of being true. 

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Many of the results of last week’s election were encouraging to conservatives. As FRC President Tony Perkins’ “Washington Watch” newsletter reported on Nov. 4, “If social issues are dead, you could have fooled U.S. voters … the enormous impact of issues like marriage and religious liberty” echoed throughout the nation.  That’s why Molly Ball asserts in The Atlantic that “Liberals Are Losing the Culture Wars.”  One thing is certain: Social conservatives are here to stay.  Regardless of next year’s election outcomes, we’re going to keep both defending and advancing faith, family, and freedom in the public square.


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square –

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Fetal Pain

Federal funding of abortion

Healthcare conscience

 

Family 

Marriage

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Pornography

 

FRC Events and Publications

Lectures

Blogs

Op-eds

 

Publications (booklets, Issue Analyses, Issue Briefs)

 The Government Nondiscrimination Act is focused on preventing government discrimination at the state level.  Like the First Amendment Defense Act at the federal level, states need to pass legislation now to protect individuals and entities from state discrimination on the basis of their beliefs in natural marriage.

As Millennials become more prominent in the workforce, companies are spending small fortunes researching their interests, from specific jobs to new products. Social science studies reveal that the Millennial generation is drifting away from traditional family values towards acceptance of all views as equally valuable. Even so, the strong sense of justice that most Millennials possess provides a glimmer of hope.

 The purpose of the “Inequality Act” is to give special privileges to people based on homosexual behavior or based on gender identity dysphoria by adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into a number of federal laws. These changes affect “any” provider of goods, services, and programs. This is sweeping legislation that does not provide any protections based on religion, even stripping individuals of a Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (“RFRA”) claim.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News October 1, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 1, 2015

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The First World War began a little more than 101 years ago.  It shattered a generation and its cost in lives and treasure remains stunning to contemplate.

Yet out of the war came C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two of the 20th century’s greatest proponents of the importance of Christian virtue for all of culture.  Unlike a generation of young writers who lost faith in the God of the Bible, Tolkien and Lewis produced epic stories infused with the themes of guilt and grace, sorrow and consolation. Giving an unabashedly Christian vision of hope in a world tortured by doubt and disillusionment, the two writers created works that changed the course of literature and shaped the faith of millions. Dr. Joe Loconte’s new book, A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 is the first book to explore Tolkien and Lewis’ work in light of the spiritual crisis sparked by the conflict.

One of the things these men came to value was a core Christian commitment to the dignity of every person.  As image-bearers of God, each of us has a primary duty to Him – which is the very foundation of the religious liberty which undergirds all of our other freedoms.  As Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, “Every Government consists of mere men … if it adds to its commands ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ it lies, and lies dangerously.”

At noon on Thursday, October 8th, join us at FRC or watch online as Dr. Loconte shares the circumstances which bound together and inspired these two dearly loved authors.

Joe Loconte (Ph.D., King’s College, University of London) teaches history at The King’s College in the heart of New York City.  He has written thoughtfully on many of today’s most pressing issues, and his commentary on religion and democracy, human rights, and international religious freedom appears in the nation’s leading media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New Republic, the Weekly Standard, and National Public Radio. He is also a regular contributor to the London-based Standpoint Magazine and Italy’s La Stampa.

To register for this important lecture (either to attend or watch online), go to http://www.frc.org/events/book-event-with-joseph-loconte-phd.  We hope you can join us. 

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch the speeches of leading presidential contenders and other compelling panels and events at this year’s Values Voter Summit. The stakes for the 2016 election are high, and VVS helps us understand what they are and how each of us can make a difference.


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