Category archives: Social Conservative Review

Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

February 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

The other day, I walked into an Asian stir-fry eatery and was met with a row of touchscreens lined up in front of the kitchen area where employees were preparing the food. The normal conversation one would usually hear between customers and the person behind the counter was strangely absent. Instead, I found myself and two or three millennial-types silently staring down at the touchscreens and ordering our food with a series of finger taps. We even swiped our own credit cards on a little console that also printed out our receipts. Similarly, instead of going to the bank with a check to deposit and having a friendly interaction with the bank teller, we can now deposit our checks ourselves with the cameras on our phones.

All of this technology has certainly made our lives more convenient in certain ways, but it also has a weird way of making everyday life seem robotic. We aren’t being “old-fashioned” when we feel that something vital is missing from our lives when the opportunities for friendly chit-chat are systematically removed from commonplace societal activities.

The desire for genuine human contact isn’t merely a “nicety” that some of us choose to do from time to time. This desire was placed in all human hearts by our Creator. Think of how Jesus interacted with those around him. He didn’t sit on pedestal and heal people from afar—rather, he did not hesitate in holding children in his lap, touching lepers, and even spitting on a blind man’s eyes to heal them. This is the kind of God we have, one whose deepest desire is to reach out and touch us. We in turn desire to give and receive genuine touch. Never underestimate the power that a warm handshake or a friendly pat on the back can have. A sincere embrace of someone who is struggling can have an enormous impact. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a smile and a friendly “hello” has the power to immediately lift our spirits.

It’s particularly important to not miss an opportunity to be both verbally and physically affectionate with our spouses and children, which strengthens the bond of our family units. 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

New Brochure: How to Respond to the LGBT Movement – Peter Sprigg

The SPLC’s Incursion into Education

With vote against Brownback, Democrats abandon religious freedom – Travis Weber

President is keeping his promises – Tony Perkins

Fact-Checking Jimmy Kimmel on Christian Bakers: Two Big Errors, But Props for Trying – Travis Weber

Generation Z – Seeking Answers to Good and Evil – Travis Weber

An Ode to the Lincoln Memorial – Brynne Krispin

Pain-Capable Senate Vote: The One Percenters’ Club – Jay Sappington

4 Unforgettable Thoughts On Marriage – Dan Hart

With Cecile Richards’ Resignation, It’s Time for Planned Parenthood to Come Clean – Jay Sappington

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Judge Rules Bakeshop Owner Doesn’t Have to Bake Wedding Cake for Gay Couple – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal

North Carolina Settles With Magistrate It Forced Out for Not Doing Gay Marriages – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

Michigan Pastor Facing Death Threats for Offering Workshops to Teens Struggling with Homosexuality – Charlene Aaron, CBN News

Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Banning State Agencies From Doing Business With Companies That Promote, Tolerate Discrimination – LongIsland.com

California Moves To Force Public Universities To Administer Abortion Pills – Kristan Hawkins, The Federalist

Maryland city to church: Stop worship services or leave – Alliance Defending Freedom

Ohio high school rallies around prayer after outside group tries to ban it at events – Caleb Parke and Michelle Chavez, Fox News

International Religious Freedom

16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years: Report Reveals Extent of Violence in Nigeria – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Impressions of persecution – June Cheng, WORLD

Sudan government demolishes church just hours after service – J-P Mauro, Aleteia

Religious Discrimination in Canada – Derek Ross, Public Discourse

US Pastor Andrew Brunson Writes Heartbreaking Message to Wife From Turkish Prison – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Open Doors Rebuilds Nearly 700 Christian Homes Destroyed by ISIS in Nineveh Plains – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Beyond Roe: A Global Roadmap for the Pro-Life Movement – Stefano Gennarini, Public Discourse

Brother of woman who died from abortion at Planned Parenthood: Abortion is not a safe procedure – Live Action

Only Pro-Lifers Address Abortion’s Core Moral Question – Mene Ukueberuwa, National Review

The Emerging Pro-Life Majority – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Fetal heartbeat’ abortion bill advances in Iowa Senate after contentious hearing – William Petroski, Des Moines Register

Missouri House Passes Pro-Life Bill Requiring Parental Notification Before a Teen’s Abortion – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Adoption

Five Reasons Adoption Shouldn’t be a Backup Plan – John Prather, The Stream

Pro-Life Advocates Celebrate: Lawmakers Pass Funding for Florida Pregnancy Support Network – Leon Aprile, Orlando Political Observer

Bioethics

Euthanizing The Mentally Ill Just Lets Their Illness WinA.D.P. Efferson, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

Tax Revenues Up Big After GOP Tax Cut – James Barrett, The Daily Wire

Sorry, NYT: For Child Poverty, Family Structure Still Matters – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

The Left Is Conditioning College Students To Hate Free Speech – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

Campus Madness: Amid Uproar, Princeton’s Class on Free Speech Issues Has Been Canceled – Guy Benson, Townhall

Marriage

The Profound Spiritual Truth of Marriage – Dorothy Greco, Relevant

How To Prepare For Marriage And Make It Good Once You Get There – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The Federalist

She Was Repulsed by Her Husband – Lisa Lakey, Family Life

Jordan Peterson’s Radical Take on Marriage – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

The Eschatological Hope of Bearing Children – Ian Caveny, First Things

The Lost Decade – Mary May Larmoyeux, Family Life

The Long-Term Benefits of Marriage: Evidence from the UK – Harry Benson, Family Studies

No Matter How Anyone Tries To Glam It Up Or Brush It Off, Divorce Is Never ‘Over Easy’The Federalist

We Lost Our Baby, but We Didn’t Want to Lose Our Marriage – Tanisha Garnier, Christianity Today

How to Restore a Marriage Norm – Lawrence M. Mead, Family Studies

Rankin finally pulls the plug on gay marriage – Jonathan Bell, The Royal Gazette

Faith/Character/Culture

Raising Gentlemen in a #MeToo World: Advice for Fathers – Patrick Fagan, Family Studies

Why ‘Progressives’ Cannot Abide Dissent – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

The Burdensome Myth of Romantic Love – David C. Dollahite and Betsy VanDenBerghe, First Things

Is Life Ultimately Pointless? – Matt Nelson, Word On Fire

Human Sexuality

Is America Running Out of Patience with LGBT Activism? – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

Nine Decades of Promiscuity – Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family Studies

Walgreens now allows bathroom use corresponding with gender identity – Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

Staggering Statistic Reveals How Many High Schoolers Now Identify as Transgender – Jason Hopkins, The Western Journal

Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Part I – Mary Eberstadt, The Catholic Thing

Dirty Dozen’ List Sheds Light on Sexualized Corporate CultureCBN News

Human Trafficking

510 Arrested in Sex Trafficking Sting; 56 Victims Rescued – Donald Kaufman, truthdig

Pornography

Let’s Ban Porn – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn – Dieudonné Tamfu, Desiring God

5 Ways Intimacy Will Suffer if You Watch Porn Together – Mary Rose Somarriba, Verily

How One Family Is Taking A Stand Against Pornography and Sexual Exploitation in America’s Schools – Robin Paterson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Social Conservative Review - February 2, 2018

by Daniel Hart

February 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

Americans are ready for meaningful limits on abortion – Tony Perkins

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

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

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

Can the LGBT Movement Own a Phrase? – Travis Weber

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

Religious Freedom Day: A Call to Action

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption

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

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

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

Bioethics

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

Obamacare

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

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

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

Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

Most of Life Is Waiting – Jani Ortlund, Desiring God

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

Prisoners Are Not Animals – Alexi Sargeant, First Things

Human Sexuality

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

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

The Medical Monsters Among Us – Austin Ruse, Crisis

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

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

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

Pornography

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

Social Conservative Review - January 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

January 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

Every Vote Really Does Count – Ken Blackwell

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

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

What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking – Dan Hart

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

How the New Tax Bill Helps Families – Andrew Guernsey

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

The Rich History of Christmas Traditions – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free to Believe”

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

Christians in Egypt Celebrate Christmas Amid Tight SecurityThe Christian Post

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

 

Life

Abortion

The new pro-life generation – Leigh Jones, WORLD

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

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

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

Ohio passes Down syndrome abortion ban – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

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

Court strikes down Baltimore law on pregnancy centers – Associated Press

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

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

Adoption

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

Bioethics

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

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

Health Care

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

Taxes and Parental Educational Autonomy – John Grondelski, Ethika Politika

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

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

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

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

Marriage

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

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

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

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

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

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

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

The Fatal Flaw of Going It AloneRelevant

Be True to Yourself – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

6 Ways to practice being kinder – Cynthia Dermody, Aleteia

Modesty and Charity – Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing

Human Sexuality

Manhood Is Not Natural – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

In Defense of Prudery – David Sandifer, Touchstone

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

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

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

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

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

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

Pornography

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

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

Social Conservative Review - December 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

December 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

The ‘War on Christmas’ Is Real – Travis Weber

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

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

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

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

Kicking Jesus Off the Bus? – Travis Weber

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

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

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

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

Can American Higher Education Be Salvaged?

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

Remembering Mike Penner – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

Canada’s Free Speech Wars – Scott Ventureyra, Crisis

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption

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

Bioethics

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

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

Power to the parents – Leigh Jones, WORLD

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

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

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

Marriage

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

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

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

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

Podcast: Failure of Fatherhood – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

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

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

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

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

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

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

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

Pornography

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

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

Social Conservative Review - December 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

December 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

ACLU: Forcing Faith Out of Adoption – Travis Weber

Love to Give: An Adoption Story – Alison Contreras

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

The Unexpected Blessing of Adoption – Harold Harper

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

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

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

Stop Misrepresenting Masterpiece Cakeshop – David French, National Review

Designated haters – Juliana Chan Erikson, WORLD

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

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

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

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

Canada rejects Christian couple for adoption – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

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

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

Adoption

Let Foster Children Wait No MoreNational Review

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

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

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

Bioethics

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

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

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

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

The state of marriage as an institutionThe Economist

Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

Pornography

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

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

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

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

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

Social Conservative Review - November 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

November 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conservative Group Claims YouTube Is Censoring Its Videos – Tony Perkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

Free to Believe”

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

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

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

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

Adoption

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

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

Adoption Videos & Documentaries – BraveLove.org

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

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

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

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

Bioethics

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

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

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

Down Syndrome and Eugenics – Roberto Rivera, BreakPoint

Obamacare

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

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

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

Marriage

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

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

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

Cheap sex and tumbling marriage rates – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

Pornography

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

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

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

Social Conservative Review - November 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

November 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

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

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

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

All Hat, No Decency – Ken Blackwell

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

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

Georgetown University’s Identity Crisis – Kelly Marcum

We Need To Rethink Our Sexual Culture – Dan Hart

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

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

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Uses and Abuses of Hate – Robert Knight, Townhall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free to Believe”

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

KY Judge Who Objects to Homosexual Adoptions Faces Charges – FACT

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption

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

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

Video: Foster Care and Adoption: The Keberlein Story

A Theology Of Adoption – Lauren Rae Konkol, First Things

Bioethics

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

What Tax Reform Owes Families – Josh McCabe, Family Studies

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

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

Marriage

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

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

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

Video: The Biggest Misconception About MarriageThe Gospel Coalition

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

Faith/Character/Culture

The Crisis of Masculinity – Tony Reinke, Desiring God

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

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

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

Life Is Still Beautiful – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

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

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

Video: How to Resist the Allure of GossipThe Gospel Coalition

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pornography

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

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

Social Conservative Review - October 16, 2017

by Daniel Hart

October 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

In the face of chaotic and often disturbing events that dominate headlines and news feeds these days, I am often tempted (and sometimes succumb) to feelings of frustration and anger. I sometimes imagine that if only I were in charge, things would be so much better. If only I could have more control and worldly power, I could wield it in order to make everyone’s lives better, and I would feel better too.

When we examine the lives of those who do have influence, however—the rich, famous, and powerful—the results are often not pretty. In our increasingly godless society, money, fame, and power are often sought as ends in themselves because they are so alluring. As believers, it’s easy to delude ourselves into thinking, “Well, it’s true that money, fame, and power have a tendency to cause corruption in people, but that would never happen to me because I know that God is most important. I would use these things to better the world.” It’s easy to use this kind of reasoning to justify wasting money on lottery tickets, wasting time on Facebook curating our profiles just so, and wasting our talents on frivolous pursuits in order to gain societal status.

The reality for most of us is that we will never be in positions of great influence, and we will never be rich, famous, and powerful. And that’s perfectly okay. Why? Because one of life’s great paradoxes is that the less control we possess over our lives, the freer we are. When we let go of the vice grip we have around our life goals and life plans, God gives us a multitude of opportunities for us to do His will, not ours. Living in this way is truly freeing, because it gives us the roomy flexibility to respond to a friend or stranger in need who inconveniently disrupts our lives. Having less money, fame, and power also frees us from being distracted from what truly matters: nurturing love within our families and those closest to us.

As Mother Teresa once said: “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”

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

P.S. Don’t miss out on all of the amazing talks that happened at the Values Voter Summit this past weekend!

 

FRC Articles

Planned Parenthood Is Targeting Baby Girls in the Womb – Cathy Ruse

The New Religious Exemptions from the HHS Contraceptive Mandate Are a Victory for Personal Freedom (and Responsibility) Over State Coercion – Peter Sprigg

20 Principles of Religious Liberty – Peter Sprigg

Media Gets Brazil Ruling on Sexual Orientation Therapy All Wrong – Peter Sprigg

The Kingdom of Bahrain Declaration: What It Got Right and What It Got Wrong – Travis Weber and Natalie Pugh

The Judicial Assault on Public School Privacy Policies

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

White House Rebuts Attacks by Democrats, New York Times on Catholic Court Nominee – Fred Lucas, The Stream

Trump administration ends rule requiring nuns to fund contraception – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Federal court strikes down tax benefit for faith leaders – Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times

California Can Now Jail People for Misusing Gender Pronouns – Anders Hagstrom, The Daily Signal

Environmentalist Lobby Goes After Another Trump Nominee For Being A Christian – E. Calvin Beisner, The Federalist

NFL Athletes Can Take a Knee, But Universities are Denying Pro-Life Students Free Speech – Kristan Hawkins, LifeNews

Apple removes pro-life prayer app – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Free to Believe”

Southwest Flight Attendant Says She Was Fired For Being Pro-Life – Grace Carr, The Stream

Reporter Tries to Get Tucson Police Officer in Trouble — for Exercising His First Amendment Right – Rachel Alexander, The Stream

International Religious Freedom

Beijing’s heavy hand – June Cheng & Erica Kwong, WORLD

Cameroon’s Bishops Warn of Genocide – Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

 

Life

Abortion

House Passes Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Are We Too Comfortable with Abortion? – Lori Hadacek Chaplin, National Catholic Register

In the Middle of the Abortion Killing Her Baby She Changed Her Mind. Miraculously Her Son Survived – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

What Big Abortion Doesn’t Understand about Pro-Lifers – Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register

Adoption

Forcing Faith-Based Organizations Out of Foster Care and Adoption Hurts Children – Elizabeth Kirk, Public Discourse

Janesville family receives national honors for efforts in adoption – Ashley McCallum, GazetteXtra

Bioethics

Assisted Suicide is No Peaceful Death. Some Patients Regurgitate, Have Seizures, or Wake Up Days Later – Michael Cook, LifeNews

An Absurd Fate: What Happens to Abandoned Embryos? – Jennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

The Resurgence and Rebranding of Population Control – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Obamacare

Universal Coverage? My Fourth Health Care Plan Just Died Thanks to Obamacare – Michelle Malkin, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Thanks To Testing Backlash, Virginia Drops U.S. History Tests Despite Horrific Public Ignorance – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Betraying Liberal Education: A Response to President Paxson of Brown UniversityR.J. Snell, Public Discourse

These Two Colorado Counties Are Ground Zero For School Choice Across The Country – Helen Raleigh, The Federalist

The Washington Post Gets Retirement Wrong – Andrew G. Biggs, National Review

Marriage

Facebook and Your Marriage – Tricia Goyer, Focus on the Family

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Your Marriage Happier – Jill Sieracki, Brides

Faith/Character/Culture

How To Talk To Your Kids About Death, Shootings, Natural Disasters, And Other Scary Things – Libby Emmons, The Federalist

The Man and His Song: Tom Petty (1950–2017) – David Mathis, Desiring God

The power of good – Ben Shapiro, Conservative Review

Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? – Fredric Heidemann, Word On Fire

After a Long Summer of Heartrending Tragedies, We Could All Use This – Megan Madden, Verily

Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

Is It Wrong to Try to Persuade Others to Change Their Beliefs? – Rebecca McLaughlin, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

A no-tolerance policy for sexual harassment – Josh Wester, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission  

University Refuses Research On Growing Numbers Of Trans People Who Want To Go Back – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

Responding to the Transgender Revolution – Rob Smith, The Gospel Coalition

Sex change regret silenced – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

The Price of the Campus Hookup Culture is High – Carolyn Moynihan, Intellectual Takeout

UConn Cancels Comedian Over Remarks on Transgender Children – Rachel Alexander, The Stream

What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies – Taylor Fogarty, The Federalist

The Transgender Matrix: It’s Time to Choose the Red Pill – Walt Heyer, Public Discourse

It’s Past Time to Rethink Modern Sexual Morality – David French, National Review

Human Trafficking

Impact on Capitol Hill, Standing for Online Sex Trafficking Victims – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. – Helen Taylor and Laila Mickelwait, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Pornography

Porn Is Not Harmless. It’s Cruel. – Justin Holcomb, The Gospel Coalition

He was exposed to pornography at age 11, on his school laptop – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The Porn Gap: Gender Differences in Pornography Use in Couple Relationships – Jason S. Carroll and Brian J. Willoughby, Family Studies

Pornography and Sex Trafficking Are Linked: Take It From the FBI – Dawn Hawkins, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Everyone At My All-Boy High School Openly Watches & Talks About Porn – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - October 2, 2017

by Daniel Hart

October 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

Once upon a time in America, a person who held strong religious beliefs, adhered to religious doctrines, and acted accordingly in good faith to their fellow man was seen as a person of strength and good character, and was respected in the public sphere.

It appears that this era is now past. In a confirmation hearing last month for 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Barrett, Senator Dianne Feinstein infamously voiced her disapproval of Barrett based on her Catholic beliefs: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.” This incident followed another unfortunate one in June, when Senator Bernie Sanders castigated Office of Management and Budget nominee Russell Vought for his Christian faith by saying that Vought is “not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

In a very public way (that also happens to be a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of using “religious tests”), Feinstein and Sanders are merely echoing what many Americans believe about religion—that in order to tolerate all religions, religious people must not let “dogma live loudly within” them.

If we examine this way of thinking, however, it fails to make sense. Religion is something that is so central to the human understanding of existence that our Founding Fathers enshrined it in the First Amendment of our Constitution. They knew what all people know deep down to be true—that every person, in the face of such profound mysteries like suffering and death, must have the freedom to not only believe what they want, but to exercise that freedom. In other words, not only must one have the freedom to believe, one must also have the freedom to live out those dearly-held beliefs in everyday life, especially if they reach to the core of who that person is.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bernie Sanders obviously have some very passionate political views that seem to reach to the core of who they are. If it is permissible to have such passionate views and beliefs in the realm of politics, how is it not equally permissible to have passionate religious views?

Even this most basic view of fairness is not adequate in understanding the true nature of religious conviction, however. All believers know that without faith and its “dogmas,” which give us the Ten Commandments, the nature of societal life will have no basis for moral behavior, and will eventually degenerate into chaos. Instead of denigrating Barrett and Vought for their strong convictions, Feinstein and Sanders should be praising them for their principled character and hoping that more nominees like them will step forward to serve the public interest.

May an increasing number of the American people and our elected political leaders better understand this truth, that religious conviction is not something to be tamped down as “intolerant,” but rather something to be celebrated as the anchor of moral goodness. 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

Supreme Court must take on heartbreaking surrogacy case – Arina Grossu

It’s Not About the Color. It’s About the Cross – Patrina Mosley

The Sexual Revolution, Sexual Freedom, and Hugh Hefner – Jourdan Stuart

Pence: Human Rights Council “Doesn’t Deserve its Name” – Travis Weber

40 Days for Life: Offering Hope and Life One Vigil at a Time – Arina Grossu

How Can Public School Students Exercise Their Religious Liberty Rights?

Why Are College Students Afraid of Free Speech? – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Southern Poverty Law Center put me on its hate list. It’s a smear and I don’t belong there – Hannah Scherlacher, Fox News

Southern Poverty Law Center attempts to undermine America – Rebecca Hagelin, The Washington Times

California Legislature Passes Bill To Punish Elder-Care Workers Who Don’t Use Trans Pronouns – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech – Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post

In Response To Attacks, New Florida Law Aims To Protect Religious Expression In Public Schools – Ashley Bateman, The Federalist

Live Action: Twitter’s ban on pro-life ads is discriminatory and wrong – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Judge Rules in Favor of Atheist Group, Says Cross on Penn. County Seal Must Be Removed – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Free to Believe”

I’m a T-Shirt Maker With Gay Customers and Gay Employees. I Still Was Sued. – Blaine Adamson, The Daily Signal

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

International Religious Freedom

Coming home – June Cheng, WORLD

Australia: Documenting the tide of bigotry and hatred – Margaret Colwell, Mercatornet

The Senate must act now to save Christianity in Iraq – Carl Anderson, The Hill

Genocide in Burma: Why a Persecuted Muslim Minority Should Matter to Christians – John Stonestreet, The Christian Post

I Had No Fear of Death,’ Says Indian Priest Held Captive by Terrorists as He Returns to India – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Video: Pro-abortion politicians mislead women about Planned Parenthood – Live Action

A Path to Détente in the War over Abortion – Julia D. Hejduk, Public Discourse

Hawaii law forces pro-life pregnancy help centers to promote abortion – Rachel del Guidice, LifeSiteNews

Americans Confused About Abortion – American Culture & Faith Institute

Children’s Minister Aggressively Pushes to Legalize Abortions Killing Children – Micaiah Bilger, Life News

Rep. Trent Franks Hopes Pain-Capable Bill Shows ‘Inhumanity’ of Abortion – Katie Yoder, NewsBusters

Adoption

Gift-Motherhood, the Prius, and the Peace Corps: Reducing Abortion by Incentivizing Adoption – Julia D. Hejduk, Public Discourse

Bioethics

Surrogacy Reaches the Supreme Court – Kathleen Sloan, Public Discourse

U.S. doctors take official stance against euthanasia – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Women and Bioethics: an ethics of care – Caterina Milo, C-Fam

Basic Bioethics: Forty ways to make a baby – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

New York Courts Rule Against “Aid in Dying” and Warn of Its Dangers – Richard M. Doerflinger, Public Discourse

Obamacare

GOP already eyeing next chance to revive Obamacare repeal – Seung Min Kim, Jennifer Haberkorn and Burgess Everett, Politico

 

Family

Economics/Education

Married Couples With Children and Jobs Cause Income Inequality – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

The Marriage Divide: How and Why Working-Class Families Are More Fragile Today – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege? – Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times

Ban the Laptops, Yes – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

Betsy DeVos vs. the Mindless Mob at Harvard – Frederick M. Hess and Grant Addison, National Review

Marriage

Couples weather bickering with a little help from their friends – Science Daily

Cheap Sex Is Making Men Give Up On Marriage – Larry Getlen, American Culture & Faith Institute

6 Secrets to a Healthy Marriage (From Old Couples) – Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout

What Nicole Kidman’s Emmy’s Kiss Says About Marriage and Infidelity – Chelsea Samelson, Acculturated

Faith/Character/Culture

Video: How To Have A Religious Argument (Facebook HQ) – Bishop Robert Barron, Word On Fire

Camille Paglia’s Teaching – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

If It Feels Like People Are Meaner Than Ever Now, Here’s What to Do About It – Julia Hogan, Verily

Many Atheists Aren’t So Sure: The Doubts of Doubters – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

The Unchanging Lordship of Christ in a World of Crises – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Why You Should Keep Taking Your Kids To Church Even When It Feels Pointless – Emily Carrington, The Federalist

Human Sexuality

Rocklin charter schools OK transgender books in elementary school – Diana Lambert, The Sacramento Bee

No Long-Term Harm? The New Scientific Silence on Child-Adult Sex and the Age of Consent – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Sex diseases in US surge to record high – AFP

Podcast: God’s Work in the Midst of an Unplanned Pregnancy – Amy Ford, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Myth of “Sex Work” Named and Shamed – Marianna Orlandi, C-Fam

Why our willingness to offend can be the loving choice – Mike Goeke, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Trafficking

Child Exploitation: Solutions for Stemming the Growing Demand – Patrick A. Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Pornography Is Worse Than Feminism – Samuel D. James, First Things

Hugh Hefner, Mourning, and Legacies: Beyond the Pipe and the Robe – Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today

How Hugh Hefner Hijacked Men’s Brains – Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

One Man’s Dream Destroyed Millions – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Hugh Hefner Leaves Behind a Legacy of Sexual Exploitation, and a Public Health Crisis – Patrick Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography, Addiction, and Human Happiness – Zac Alstin, Intellectual Takeout

Social Conservative Review - September 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

September 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

In discussing the “problem of pain,” author Joe Heschmeyer recently wrote that “…the whole story of the Fall is that things aren’t how they ought to be, how they aren’t how they were intended to be, and how we’re the ones who screwed them up. You can read that story in Genesis, or watch it on the nightly news.” Bishop Robert Barron summed up this state of affairs concisely: “The human race is best characterized as a dysfunctional spiritual family, all of us having been marked from birth by the effects of sin. Sin has found its way into every aspect of human life, personally and institutionally. We would be hopelessly naïve to think otherwise.”

Atheists often argue that it is absurd to believe in God when there is so much “dysfunction,” suffering, and pain in the world. But as Heschmeyer points out, if there is no God, what can possibly account for all of the beauty in the world? He illustrates this by quoting the musician Joanna Newsom as she discussed what she was going through while recording an album:

The thing that I was experiencing and dwelling on the entire time is that there are so many things that are not OK and that will never be OK again,” says Newsom. “But there’s also so many things that are OK and good that sometimes it makes you crumple over with being alive. We are allowed such an insane depth of beauty and enjoyment in this lifetime. It’s what my dad talks about sometimes. He says the only way that he knows there’s a God is that there’s so much gratuitous joy in this life. And that’s his only proof. There’s so many joys that do not assist in the propagation of the race or self-preservation. There’s no point whatsoever. They are so excessively, mind-bogglingly joy-producing that they distract from the very functions that are supposed to promote human life. They can leave you stupefied, monastic, not productive in any way, shape or form. And those joys are there and they are unflagging and they are ever-growing…”

This is part of what makes our Creator so amazing. Not only did He give us “a Savior, someone who can break into our dysfunction from the outside and heal us” (Bishop Barron’s words), He also gives us moments of “gratuitous joy” as we make our way through this earthly life. May we be forever thankful for this gift freely given to us, and may we freely give of ourselves in return.

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

Can a Christian Serve as a Judge Anymore? – Travis Weber

How the Left Uses Fake Science to Advance Its Agenda

Will FEMA Treat Churches Fairly? – Travis Weber

The Rights that Students and Parents Have to Challenge Transgender Policies

Advice for Parents On Challenging Transgender Policies in Public Schools

Masterpiece Cakeshop Attorneys File Merits Brief with the Supreme Court – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Why religious liberty matters for creativity – Jason Thacker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Faith groups provide the bulk of disaster recovery, in coordination with FEMA – Paul Singer, USA Today

What It’s Like to Be Smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center – Carol M. Swain, The Wall Street Journal

Senate Democrats show off their anti-religious bigotry – Michael Gerson, The Washington Post

Media should not embrace far-left ‘poverty’ law firmColorado Springs Gazette

Will the IRS investigate the SPLC on taxes? – Judson Phillips, The Washington Times

Non-Profit Leaders Call on Media to Stop Citing Southern Poverty Law Center – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

California bill seeks to punish ‘misgendering’ with jail time – Mary Rezac, Crux

3 Texas Churches Sue FEMA Over Policy Banning Churches From Receiving Harvey Disaster Relief – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Democratic Congressman Says He’s Introducing A Bill To Punish Campus ‘Hate Speech’ – Emily Zanotti, The Daily Wire

UK Speaker: Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Be ‘Proper’ Until Churches Can’t Opt Out – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

U.S. Senators Revive Anti-Catholic Bigotry To Intimidate Religious People – Paul C. Binotto, The Federalist

Attacks on Religious Liberty’ in US Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years: Report – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Free to Believe”

Judge Suspends City’s Ban of Farmers Over Their Marriage Views – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

4 Key Arguments We Are Making to Defend Jack Phillips at the Supreme Court – Sarah Kramer, Alliance Defending Freedom

They Serve Gay Clients All The Time. So Why Won’t They Cater A Same-Sex Wedding? – Josh Shepherd, The Federalist

Your Beliefs Are No Longer Allowed – Taylor Lewis, American Thinker

Professors told to report students who make campus ‘less inclusive’ to Behavior Assessment Team – Andrew Johnson, The College Fix

International Religious Freedom

What’s changed in Britain since same-sex marriage? – David Sergeant, The Spectator Australia

Catholic Priest Released After 18 Months’ Captivity – Elise Harris, National Catholic Register

Fulani herdsmen kill 20 Christians in Nigeria – Onize Ohikere, WORLD

 

Life

Abortion

When Planned Parenthood closes, women find real health care at hundreds of other clinics – Rebecca Downs, Live Action

Podcast: Pro-life apologetics; Arguments from reason that align with scripture – Scott Klusendorf, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Red State-Blue State Abortion Divide Deepens – Brian Fraga, National Catholic Register

5 new scientific discoveries that show what’s happening to the child in the womb – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Can We Stop an International Roe v. Wade? – Stefano Gennarini, Public Discourse

U.S. Blasts UNFPA Support for China’s Birth Control Policy – Susan Yoshihara, C-Fam

Why the pro-choice side is afraid of giving women the choice of abortion pill reversal – Marcie Little, Live Action

One last chance to defund Planned Parenthood may lie in the Senate’s hands – Susan Michelle-Hanson, Live Action

Adoption

Podcast: Are you mentally healthy enough? Preparing for adoption’s hardships – Sharen Ford, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Bioethics

The American Medical Association vs. Human Nature – Philip Hawley, Jr., Public Discourse

Doctor wants D.C.’s assisted suicide law repealed: A ‘right to die’ soon creates a ‘duty to die’ – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion – Arthur Goldberg and Shimon Cowen, Public Discourse

Obamacare

After Experiencing British And U.S. Health Care, This Family Says Single-Payer Is Abominable – Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

As Workers Expect Less, Job Satisfaction Rises – Lauren Weber, The Wall Street Journal

This is why a growing number of teachers want more lessons on religion in school – Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News

How a Democratic New York City Councilwoman Became a Crusader for School Choice – Eva Moskowitz, National Review

A Debt Crisis Is Coming, and We’re All to Blame – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Five Facts About Families and Poverty – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Marriage

New research says this kind of daily prayer can change your marriage – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

How to Align Your Dreams as a Couple – Greg Smalley and Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

Are You ‘Not Yet Married’? – Marshall Segal, Desiring God

The Infectious Effects of Divorce and Marriage – Luma Simms, Family Studies

As U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens – Kim Parker and Renee Stepler, Pew Research Center

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Our Obsession With TV Antiheroes Is Destroying Our Souls – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

The Secret Power of Family Work – Jenet Erickson, Family Studies

Does The Immaterial Exist? – Joe Heschmeyer, Word On Fire

Why religion is not going away and science will not destroy it – Peter Harrison, Aeon

Overcoming Our Smartphone Addiction – Christopher O. Blum and Joshua P. Hochschild, Crisis

If You Want to Live Truly, Learn to Die Daily – Liz Wann, Desiring God

Human Sexuality

Oversexed ed – Emily Belz, WORLD

Parents pull children from prestigious school after transgender ‘indoctrination’ in kindergarten – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

How The Transgender Crusade Made Me Rethink My Support For Gay Marriage – Bethany Mandel, The Federalist

Mislabeled sex ed – Emily Belz, WORLD

Why I Don’t Use Female Pronouns For My Transgender Brother – Michael Booker, The Federalist

Sex, Sanity and Beliefs That ‘Live Loudly’ Within Us – Archbishop Charles Chaput, National Catholic Register

What science really has to say about sexuality and gender – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Trafficking

Human-Trafficking Fighters Hope for Lift From Proposed New Legislation – Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic Register

Google and Sex Traffickers Like Backpage.com – Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

A Pivotal New Goal: Shedding Light on the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Men – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

What I told my 7-year-old when he asked what porn was – Matt Fradd, Aleteia

Dr. Sharon Cooper, MD Discusses How Pornography Harms Children – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Why Watching Porn Leaves You Feeling Lonelier Than Before – Fight the New Drug

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