Month Archives: March 2019

Why Communities, Not Courts, Should Resolve Longstanding Debates

by Family Research Council

March 5, 2019

The Peace Cross is a veterans memorial in Bladensburg, Md. dedicated to 49 servicemembers who sacrificed themselves in service to WWI. When a committee including Gold Star mothers and veterans of the American Legion got together to create a homage to that loss, they chose the shape of a cross. That was almost one hundred years ago, and now that memorial is the subject of a Supreme Court case in which the Court is being asked to decide whether the memorial can constitutionally appear on public property.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked of the secularist legal group that started the case, “What is the role of this Court in a case like this?”

It is a discerning question that gets to the heart of at least one issue—how to deal with a feathertrigger culture that is ready to file a lawsuit and use a court order at a moment’s notice to encamp judicial precedent around its preferred social issue, isolating it from the normal push and pull of the political process.

Across the country, crosses and other religious symbols or displays are threatened with or subject to lawsuits because the current state of constitutional law permits a heckler’s veto over the presence of religious imagery on public property. Not only does current law allow almost anyone offended by a religious display to sue, it allows courts to inject themselves into a discussion about whether a monument is too religious to stay on public property with very little guiding principles.

As a result, longstanding debates about how a community should represent itself—by its veterans, by the holidays commonly celebrated, or by its history—are essentially taken out of the hands of the local government and put into the hands of the courts. Instead of a townhall with numerous residents advocating for multiple sides to an issue, it is a courtroom where all but the attorneys and the judge are forced to watch in silence as only the interests of the parties—and not the general community—are decided upon by a court.

This is not the democratic process that the Founders envisioned. The judiciary was supposed to be “the weakest of the three departments of power.” But current law leaves plenty of room for a court to make the call, enabling it to be used to replace the state legislature or city council. Important questions for local communities about displays in Bladensburg, Md., Pensacola, Fla., and other towns are consequently funneled to Washington, D.C.

We hope that this case will be an opportunity for the Court to finally decide its role in a case like this, and perhaps it will restore democracy to at least one social question.

Religious Freedom: Enshrined in the Hearts of the American People

by Family Research Council

March 4, 2019

This past Friday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke before an audience at the annual CPAC Convention. He said:

You know, the freedom of religion is not just enshrined in our Constitution; it’s enshrined in the hearts of the American people.  But make no mistake about it: Freedom of religion is under attack in our country.  Lately, it’s actually become fashionable for media elites and Hollywood liberals to mock religious belief.

My own family recently came under attack just because my wife Karen went back to teach art to children at a Christian school….

But let me be clear on this point: This is not about us.  It’s about all of you.  It’s about the sincerely held belief of millions of Americans who cherish their Christian faith and Christian education.  And so I’ll make you a promise: Under this President and this administration, we will always stand with people of faith.  We will always defend the freedom of religion of every American of every faith, so help us God.

This administration has indeed taken the lead in religious liberty, an important step in a culture where it acceptable to mock and scorn religious beliefs. It’s not just media elites or Hollywood, either. Modern culture, CPAC panelist Matthew Spalding observed, “has tried to push religion into a smaller and smaller and smaller box. ‘You got to keep it at home or you got to keep it in the confessional.’”

Washington has jumped on the bandwagon, too, as FRC reports—senators have doggedly questioned nominees for public office about their religious beliefs in order to “unmask particular tenets of potential (nominees’) religious faith that the interrogators fear run counter to their own political stances on issues such as abortion and gay rights,” as a Washington Post opinion piece points out.

The same could be said of the vilification of Second Lady Karen Pence and many of the latest attacks against people of faith. As our VP of Policy Travis Weber wrote, this should be a wake-up call to all Christians.

But Pence is also right about another thing—freedom of conscience and the ability to live out one’s faith is enshrined in the hearts of the American people, put in place by God himself. That is why in 1786 Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia General Assembly said in the timeless Act for Religious Freedom, “we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind.” Any political or cultural effort to renege on those values “will be an infringement of natural right.”

We are eager to stand with the administration to keep fighting for the right to exercise our faith. Click here for the full text of Pence’s remarks.

Social Conservative Review - March 1, 2019

by Daniel Hart

March 1, 2019

Dear Friends,

Sometimes, in the course of our lives, we have to draw a line. For us here at FRC and for millions of people across the country, one of those times happens to be now.

As I’m sure you are aware, the U.S. Senate recently voted down a measure that would have introduced criminal penalties for letting a baby that has already been born after a botched abortion die. Yes, you read that right. There are currently no laws in our country that make it a criminal offense to commit infanticide after a botched abortion. Since 2002, the CDC has reported that a baby has been born after a failed abortion at least 143 times, and this number is almost certainly a vast underestimate because this data was only gathered from a handful of states that allowed the data to be gathered in the first place. 

Let’s contemplate this just for a moment: 143 baby boys and girls, squirming and crying for the tiniest bit of human compassion, left to die cold and alone in a storage closet.

As a country, we now find ourselves at a red line. Will we allow infanticide to continue unpunished, or will we make it a crime? For us here at FRC, we are drawing this red line. We will not let this issue slide. We are making it clear that we as a human race must, at the barest of minimums, care for a baby that has just been born. It’s almost unthinkable that we even have to take this stand, but we do.

So what are we going to do? First, we are going to make it clear to Congress what they are actually doing by not voting the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act into law. They are robbing brand-new babies of their very lives by not keeping them warm and feeding them. Therefore, we have started the End Birth Day Abortion campaign. With your help, we will send thousands and thousands of baby hats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to show her that all babies deserve to be given a hat to keep them warm and a life to live.

This campaign is just the beginning of FRC’s efforts to see that all infanticide is made illegal. Let us pray for and continue to work for a culture that sees every human life in the same way that our Creator does: intrinsically worthwhile, unique, irreplaceable, and infinitely lovable, from conception to natural death.

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 Media

FRC Speaker Series: How Members of Congress are Standing up to the Radical Abortion Agenda – Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)

Avoid the ‘Twinkie diet’ in your prayer life: Do THIS to help you deal with depressing news headlines – Tony Perkins

Northam’s Real Offense to African-Americans – Patrina Mosley

Of Crosses and Totem Poles – Alexandra McPhee

Boys Competing Against Girls Steal Another Win – Cathy Ruse

The Influence of Social Media on Politics – Peyton Holliday

Education Reform: 6 Ways to Help Students Flourish – Zachary Rogers

3 Arguments Pro-Lifers Must Make in Standing for Life in 2019 – Hugh Phillips

Fighting Religious Persecution with Mustard Seeds – Caleb Seals

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Why Religious Freedom Matters – Alan Sears, Townhall

Supreme Court to hear First Amendment case over cross memorial – Clyde Hughes, UPI

Covington High student’s legal team sues Washington Post – Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News

A Concentrated Effort’: GOP Rep Says Some Dems Trying to Strike ‘So Help Me God’ From Committee Oaths – Fox News

International Religious Freedom

Tiny Kaifeng Jewish Community Faces Orwellian Future – Lela Gilbert, The Jerusalem Post

Syrian Christians: Survivors in a great war – Mindy Belz, WORLD

No one is telling me when I can leave’, Asia Bibi speaks from protective custody – Alex Williams, Premier

In Cuba, Church Leaders Report Communist Intimidation Ahead of Vote on New Constitution – Patrick Goodenough, CNS News

Brownback says Pakistan willing to improve religious freedom record – Herald Malaysia

3 ways to pray for Haiti – Chelsea Patterson Sobolik, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Military Religious Freedom

Bible at center of dispute over display at Manchester VA Medical Center – Andy Hershberger, WMUR9

 

Life

Abortion

How Is Abortion After Birth Not News? – L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, CNS News

New poll finds “dramatic shift” on abortion attitudes – Alayna Treene, Axios

Planned Parenthood Operates Over Half of U.S. Abortion Clinics – Emily Ward, CNS News

Abortion: A Biblical, Biological, and Philosophical Refutation – Matt Dawson, Answers in Genesis

Leading Public-Health Groups Oppose Ban on Infanticide – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Most of the Planned Parenthood Officials Caught in CMP Videos have Since Resigned – Joshua Denton, California Family Council

Undercover Video of Abortion Clinic Destroys Claim That Late-Term Abortions Are Medically Necessary – Emily Jones, CBN News

Tim Kaine Suggests He’ll Oppose Ban on Infanticide – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Dems are so attached to abortion, they can’t see that voters don’t want what they’re selling – Laura Ingraham, Fox News

Adoption

Christian adoption agency fights New York’s ultimatum to accept LGBTQ doctrine or close its doors – Martin M. Barillas, LifeSiteNews

Kinston teen businessman selling t-shirts to support adoption – WITN

 

Family

Marriage

Millennial Couples Are Trending Away from This Thing That’s Good for Your Marriage – Kelsey T. Chun, Verily

What Advice Would You Give Newly Married John Piper? – John Piper, Desiring God

Dear Husband, Our Marriage Wins When We Face Our Life Together – Samantha Krieger, HerViewFromHome

Parenting

The Left’s Literal Nanny State – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

Are Sundays Good for Babies? – Megan Hill, The Gospel Coalition

How to teach your children to handle peer pressure – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Economics/Education

Future of homeschooling: Less religious, more regulated? – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

New Research: Women Earn Less Not Because Of Sexism, But Because They Prefer To Raise Their Own Kids – Lyman Stone, The Federalist

Elizabeth Warren’s Misguided Child-Care Plan – Carrie Lukas, National Review

Federal Early Childhood Education, Care Don’t Benefit Kids. Here Are the Facts. – Lindsey Burke, The Daily Signal

State lawmakers target homeschoolers for intrusive in-house visits without cause – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

Drug Use on College Campuses Today – Walter Keenan and David Cohen, InpatientDrugRehab.org

Harrison Ford’s Climate Horror Story – L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, CNS News

Faith/Character/Culture

Research Reveals ‘Belonging to a Church Is a Crucial Element’ for Longer and Happier Lives – Christian Ellis, CBN News

The Theme That Pervades Our Top 40 Hits – Alexandra Davis, Verily

Avoiding Difficult People Is Not Christlike Love – Maria Baer, The Gospel Coalition

Courteous but Cowardly: Today’s Tolerant Atheism – Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P., Public Discourse

Most U.S. Teens See Anxiety and Depression as a Major Problem Among Their Peers – Juliana Menasce Horowitz and Nikki Graf, Pew Research Center

Make ‘Christian’ Engagement with the Arts More … Christian – Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

Stephen Hawking’s Accidental Apologetic – Bill Brown, BreakPoint

Human Sexuality

Four Ways to Fight Sexual Sin – Sam Allberry, Desiring God

Are We All “Cat Persons” Now? How Modern Dating Destroys Intimacy – Nathan Schlueter and Elizabeth Schlueter, Public Discourse

Relentless mom overthrows LGBT agenda at her kids’ schoolLifeSiteNews

Female High Schooler Speaks Out After Losing Championship To Two Transgender Sprinters – Amanda Prestigiacomo, The Daily Wire

Pornography

How We Finally Won the Battle Against Pornography – Michelle Stumbo, Focus on the Family

Sex is not the problem, THIS is: How to avoid the dangerous road of addiction – Paul David Tripp, Fox News

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