Category archives: Social Conservative Review

The Social Conservative Review: July 15, 2016

by Daniel Hart

July 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

International Religious freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square

Life

Abortion

Adoption/Bioethics

Obamacare

Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Human Sexuality

Human Trafficking

Pornography

Social Conservative Review - June 16, 2016

by Daniel Hart

June 16, 2016

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Punching Down – Charlotte Allen, First Things

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

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

 

International Religious freedom

Christians Harassed in German Refugee CampsThe Catholic Thing

French and Belgian Catholics Under AttackThe Catholic Thing

Remembering Those Who Suffer – Ian Speir, Ethika Politika

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

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

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

 

Military Religious Freedom

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

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

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

 

Religious Liberty in the public square

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

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

The Benefits of Religious Liberty – Rick Plasterer, Juicy Ecumenism

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

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

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

Amnesty International Pushes Abortion in Ireland – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Adoption

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

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

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

 

Bioethics

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

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

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

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

 

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

 

Family

Family Economics

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Human Sexuality

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

Born This Way – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Human Trafficking

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

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

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

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

 

Pornography

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

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

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

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

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

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 3, 2016

It was about six years ago that FRC launched The Social Conservative Review. We began publishing the SoCon to provide serious social conservatives with articles about the issues critical to FRC’s agenda of advancing and defending human dignity.

We have grown from a small audience to about 15,000 subscribers, including people affiliated in some way with nearly 300 colleges and universities. We feature stories not only by Evangelical and Catholic writers but leading secular journalists. My colleagues in FRC’s Policy Department and I have sought to offer timely, informative, and motivating coverage of such things as the defense of the unborn and their mothers, the social and political redefinition of human sexuality, the trafficking of persons at home and abroad, and domestic and international religious liberty.

This is the last SoCon Review I will be editing and publishing, as at the end of this month I will be leaving FRC to take a full-time teaching post at Regent University, a wonderful school that is becoming one of the premier institutions of Christian higher education in the world. I am honored to be joining this select band of scholars and students.

I know that as editing duties for the SoCon fall into the very capable hands of my colleague Dan Hart, the Managing Editor for FRC Publications, you will continue to profit from the articles and commentary our colleagues and he will be collating every two weeks.

All the blessings of our country—liberty and security, peace and opportunity, prosperity and community—exist for us because of the benevolent and wise guidance of a loving and just God, One Who has bestowed upon this unique nation gifts unknown to all but a handful of people in the long history of life on earth. Thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives to ensure the well-being of ours, and every day brave Americans put themselves at grave risk for our sakes. We owe them an inestimable debt.

America’s imperfections, historic and present, are real and apparent. We grieve for them. Yet with God’s direction and strength, may we always work to create a more perfect Union for ourselves and our posterity.

I would be remiss not to close with this: Jesus Christ is real. He is not some imaginary friend whose existence and meaning are obscured in the fog of antiquity. The biblical accounts of eternal deity, His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, and justifying resurrection are true. Jesus calls all of us to trust in the forgiveness He offers as a free gift to all who will receive it.

My prayer for SoCon’s readers is that you will accept this gift without delay. There is no greater or more joyous decision any of us can ever make.

With great appreciation,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Phoenix Artists Threatened With Jail Time If They Don’t Serve Gay Weddings – Leah JessenThe Daily Signal

Judge Faces Removal, $40K Fine Because of Her Beliefs About Marriage – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

Obama Threatens Hospitals: Perform ‘Sex Changes’ or Lose Federal Funding – Bre PaytonThe Federalist

The Left is Now Targeting Christian Schools in its Potty Crusades – Holly Scheer, The Federalist

Dispense Contraception or Pay U.S.$1000 – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

Christian Student Groups In America Require A Permit To Speak To Other Students? – Vinay Patel, University Herald

 

International Religious freedom

The Chinese Christian Crackdown – The American Interest

Four Reasons Why We Leave – Andrew Knight, Desiring God

Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

US official warns ‘door for Christians in Iraq is closing’ – Ines San Martin, Crux

 

Military Religious Freedom

Memorials Under Assault: The Left’s Depraved War on America’s Heroes – Nate Madden,Conservative Review    

Why military chaplains need the Russell Amendment – Mike Berry,The Hill

Making Memorial Day About More Than Grills – Daniel Briggs, Alliance Defending Freedom

 

Religious Liberty in the public square

A new evangelical political alignment: The Liberty Party – D.C. InnesWorld Magazine

Atheist Relents; Enters Legal Agreement to Cease Filing Lawsuits Over Free Exercise of Religion – First Liberty Institute

Group of Atheists, Humanists Sues to Remove National Motto “In God We Trust” from U.S. Currency – First Liberty Institute

 

 

Life

Abortion

Fetuses Are People, Hillary Said; Let’s Make Sure Our Laws Agree – Debby Efurd, The Christian Post

Evangelicals Cheer Pro-Life Vote at Methodist Conference – Kate ShellnuttChristianity Today

Sex-Selection Abortion: The Real War on Women – Anna Higgins, Charlotte Lozier Institute

New Report Wildly Inflates Global Abortion Numbers – Arina O. Grossu & Thomas Jacobson, The Federalist

Why Abortion Supporters Try to Silence Men – Kira NelsonThe Federalist

Humanizing Aborted Fetuses Through Burial – Wesley J. SmithNational Review

 

Adoption

Abortion and the Problem of Personhood – Jonathan Leeman and Matthew Arbo, Canon and Culture

Lawmaker: Adoption Doesn’t Have to Be This Expensive – Diane Black, Christianity Today

Why It Can Be So Hard to Choose Adoption Over Abortion – Emily CarringtonThe Federalist

How to Address America’s Foster Care Crisis? It Takes a Village – Kelly Rosati, Christianity Today

 

Bioethics

Scientists Creating Human-Animal Embryos Raises Ethical Concerns – Anugrah KumarThe Christian Post

Millions of Chinese Parents Turn to In Vitro Fertilization as One-Child Policy Relaxed – Louise Watt, The Stream

When Doctors Kill Patients to Harvest Their Organs – William M. Briggs, The Stream

Democrats Demand GOP Stop Investigating Fetal Harvesting Industry – Dustin Siggins, The Stream

 

Obamacare

Little Sisters of the Poor Win Big in Obamacare Case – Roger Severino, The Daily Signal

Explainer: What you should know about the Little Sisters religious liberty case – Joe Carter, ERLC

Congress Receiving Unconstitutional Obamacare Subsidies – Robert E. Moffit, Heritage Foundation

 

 

Family

Family Economics

Obama’s Overtime Rule Tried at IBM, and It Didn’t Work – James Sherk, The Daily Signal    

Ticketing Children for Selling Lemonade Highlights Overcriminalization Problem – John-Michael Seibler, The Daily Signal

Empty nests are an endangered cultural phenomenon – Ashley Bloemhof, World Magazine

 

Marriage

Sins of their fathers & mothers – Mary Jackson, WORLD Magazine

The Divorce Revolution has Bred an Army of Woman Haters – W. Bradford Wilcox, The Federalist

We All Make This Marriage Mistake—But Here’s How I Overcame It – Kathleen O’Beirne, Verily Magazine

Healthy Individuals Create Healthy Marriages – Jill Savage, Focus on the Family

 

Human Sexuality (homosexuality/ gender issues)

Our Constitutional Right to Privacy Is Missing From Bathroom Debate – Matt SharpThe Daily Signal

Out of Lesbianism, Into Complementarianism – Jackie Hill-Perry, Council On Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

Why You Should Stop Using The Word “Gender” – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

A Former Transgender Person’s Take on Obama’s Bathroom Directive – Walt Heyer, The Daily Signal

Women fight for a safe space in their restrooms – Leslie Loftis, The Conservative Woman

Beware of ‘trans movement’ as patriarchy in disguise – Pia de SolenniCrux

Give Elsa a girlfriend? No, give the kids a break – Carolyn Moynihan, Mercatornet

A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society – Stella Morabito, The Public Discourse

 

Human Trafficking

45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today– GlobalSlaveryIndex.org

Daughters for Sale: How Young American Girls Are Being Sold Online – Gloria Riviera, Jackie Jesko, and Sally Hawkins, ABC News

 

Pornography

The anti-porn movement is growing. The public is just catching up – Haley Halverson, The Washington Post

The case for banning pornography – Matthew Schmitz, The Washington Post

Why Can’t I Quit Porn? – Eddie Capparucci, The Christian Post

This Research Reveals the Real Side Effects of Our Sexualized Culture – Mary Rose Somarriba, Verily Magazine

The Social Conservative Review: May 12, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 12, 2016

Dear Friends,

Writing last year in The Public Discourse, attorney Jeff Ventrella of the Alliance Defending Freedom described what he termed “the prevailing orthodoxy that bans dissent from or disapproval of total sexual autonomy.”

We are witnessing that essentially fascistic approach to law and policy — the banning of dissent — in our time, even this week, as the Obama Administration seeks to crush the government of North Carolina’s efforts to preserve privacy and security in public bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers.

FRC is standing with Governor Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, and the leaders of North Carolina’s legislature as they refuse to surrender to President Obama’s vision of a redefined human sexuality. As FRC President Tony Perkins has said, “If the White House can dictate the bathroom policies of America, what could possibly be beyond their reach?”

The federal government is a servant, not a master. Americans are citizens, not subjects. The Tenth Amendment, reserving to the states those things not specifically assigned by the Constitution to the federal government, remains in force.

Those are the principles upon which conscientious men and women have always stood in our country. To abandon them is to abandon liberty. And to abandon liberty is to abandon America.

May God give us the grace and strength never to accede to such a sordid, tragic betrayal of our historic commitment to and movement toward liberty and justice for all.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. This is an “FRC-only” version of the SoCon Review. Watch for the next full edition the week of May 23rd.


Lectures and Events

The Genocide Resolution: Responding to ISIS and Threats to International Religious LibertyU.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), April 28. Before Secretary of State John Kerry designated ISIS’ ongoing brutality against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East as genocide, a resolution calling for that action passed the House 393-0. The rare bipartisan support for this move reflects the universal desire in Congress to see the Obama administration act to end ISIS’ atrocities. This historic effort was spearheaded by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East.

They Say We Are Infidels: On the run from ISIS with persecuted Christians in the Middle East— Mindy Belz, Editor, WORLD Magazine, May 3. For the past decade, journalist Mindy Belz has returned again and again to the Middle East, following Iraqi Christians fleeing from rape, murder, kidnapping, and suicide bombing. Belz brings the stark reality of this escalating genocide to light, sharing the stories of real-life Christians who refuse to abandon their faith — together with the hope that still lives, even in the face of terror. The title of her lecture is also the title of a new book she has written on the topic.

National Day of Prayer Webcast, May 5. Dr. Tony Evans and other leaders from the National Day of Prayer Task Force spoke about the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer, “Wake Up America,” based upon Isaiah 58:1A NIV: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” Dr. Evans, Honorary Chairman for the 2016 National Day of Prayer, is the long-time pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas and his timely, biblical messages can be heard daily on “The Urban Alternative” radio program.

Op-eds and Blogs

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a GenerationCatholic Online

Persecuting Believers Doesn’t Protect Anyone’s Civil RightsInvestor’s Business Daily (co-authored by Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation and former Attorney General of the United States

Using the Garland nomination to ‘transform’ AmericaWashington Times

Dan Hart, Managing Editor for Publications

The Left’s (Papal) Selective HearingFRC Blog

Arina Grossu, Director, Center for Human Dignity

The investigation into the sale of aborted baby body parts must go onThe Hill

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Big business will never appease the LeftThe Hill

Will we stand with persecuted Christians? — Religion News Service (co-authored by Frank Wolf, for Member of Congress and Senior Fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President

Faith’s Influence on Politics: Why it Will Not be Going AwayChristian Headlines

What’s Next in a Blurry CultureFRC Blog

Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies

Transgender activists put ideology above safetyQuad-City (Iowa) Times

Travis Weber, Director, Center for Religious Liberty, and Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies

Is the High Court Starting to Take the Little Sisters Seriously?The Stream

Reflections on Oral Argument in United States v. SterlingFRC Blog

Publications

Christopher M. Gacek, J.D., Ph.D., Senior Fellow for Regulatory Affairs and Arina Grossu

The FDA Adopts the Abortion Industry Standards for the Mifeprex (RU-486) Abortion Regimen

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.


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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.


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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.”


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

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 21, 2016

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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.


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