Month Archives: April 2019

Defending Family Values Across the Globe

by Travis Weber, J.D., LL.M.

April 10, 2019

This past weekend I was in Bogota, Colombia, to attend the 2019 Transatlantic Summit of the Political Network for Values—a conference where socially conservative legislators and activists gather from around the world to discuss the pressing concerns of life, family, and religious liberty. Many of the members of this network—which has asked me to serve on its committee of experts—come from primarily Catholic areas in Latin America and Europe, but share the concern of evangelicals in the United States that the historic Christian positions on these issues are being threatened. Meeting inside of the magnificent Congress of the Republic of Colombia, it became clear that there is much we can—and should—work on together.

In addition to remarks by pro-life and pro-family political leaders, the conference featured impassioned speeches like that of Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian pro-life activist living in the UK. Obianuju rose to prominence after penning an open letter against Melinda Gates for pushing population control on Africa, and in addition to her day job as a scientist, she heads the pro-life organization Culture of Life Africa.

One of the most promising aspects of this gathering was the number of young people, not only in attendance, but who are seeking to serve their countries through political leadership. The young Colombian leader Angela Hernandez, who I met several years ago in Belgium at the same conference, again gave a fiery defense of the family this year.

Near the end of the conference, I spoke about FRC’s efforts to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and end birth day abortion here in the U.S., in light of the increasing radicalism of the Democrat Party on this issue. When we have our own elected leaders openly defending infanticide, we know the time has come for action—and prayer.

We in the United States must remember that there are many fellow believers around the world who share our commitment to life, family, and religious liberty. This year’s Political Network for Values Conference was an encouraging reminder of that. May we continue to work together with all allies—foreign and domestic—to advance faith, family, and freedom.

Social Conservative Review - April 3, 2019

by Daniel Hart

April 3, 2019

Dear Friends,

G.K. Chesterton once said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

This concise and amusing quote is a wonderful reminder of the state we find ourselves in when we wake up every morning: another chance at a do-over—an opportunity to do more good than we were able to do the day before. It’s also a great theme to begin this new season of spring, a time when God is renewing his Creation with fresh growth.

It’s a time when God seems to be asking us: Will you try to make the same effort I am making when I give you a new day and a new season? Even though My Way is difficult, will you show Me your love by trying Christianity anew?

For believers, God’s invitation to Himself never grows old, and it’s always beautifully refreshing, just like the budding of a spring flower. We know that every time we go to Him through prayer and good deeds, the thirst in our souls is quenched once again, just as it always is when we are feeling spiritually parched.

As Chesterton observed, though, this is difficult to put into practice. Our fallen human natures gnash their teeth against the pleading of our consciences. The darkness we see in our culture and the world today paints a stark portrait of a collective disregard and dismissal of the challenge of Christianity. The easiness of short-term pleasures and self-centered tendencies rule the day, leaving in its wake a noxious mix of rising anxiety, depression, and suicide.

In this new season, let us once again take up the difficult task of trying our Faith. For we know that by entering through the narrow gate instead of the wide one (Matthew 7:13), we will find true peace, consolation, and forgiveness from the one true Source of all Goodness, and the courage to spread this Truth to a world in desperate need of it.

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

Issue Analysis: Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation Can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability” – Peter Sprigg

Speaker Series: The Natural Law: What it is and Why it Still Matters to Policymaking – Professor R.J. Snell

Fight Over Infanticide Is Just Beginning – Tony Perkins

The Church in a Culture of Conflict – Tony Perkins

Shall we finally end birth day abortions? – Patrina Mosley

Gender X’ wages war on reality – Pete Sprigg

Let’s Celebrate the ‘Love Chromosome’ On World Down Syndrome Day – Patrina Mosley

Can a New Establishment Clause Jurisprudence Succeed in Protecting Religious Minorities Where Lemon Has Failed? – Alexandra McPhee

Crosses in Need of a Lucky Clover (or a Good Supreme Court Decision) – Alexandra McPhee

Biden, Pence and the Left’s ‘Decency’ Standard – David Closson

Consumers Beware: PayPal has weaponized financial system with its ties to SPLC – Tony Perkins

Should the Peace Cross even be before the Supreme Court? – Alexandra McPhee

Are walls ‘an immorality?’ Not according to the Bible – Chris Gacek

Book Review: Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination – David Closson

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: Just the Facts – Patrina Mosley and Connor Semelsberger

Half of Americans Don’t Fully Know What Their First Amendment Freedoms Are – Alexandra McPhee

FDA Orders Abortions by Mail to Cease – Patrina Mosley

Basic Human Decency Starts with Protecting Babies on Their Birthday – Caleb Seals

Women Naturally Embrace Motherhood, And That’s Just Fine – Alyson Gritter

What the Rise of the “Anti-Hero” in Entertainment Says About Our Culture – Kim Lilienthal

Women: Achieving Balance from the One Who Gives Us Worth – Patrina Mosley

The Art of Disagreement – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Equality Act Accelerates Anti-Christian Bias – Andrew T. Walker, The Gospel Coalition

Judeo-Christian Group Sues Michigan for ‘Orwellian’ Witch Hunt Based on SPLC Labels – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Confessions of a Hater – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Feds side with church in lawsuit against St. Ignace – Melissa Nann Burke, USA Today

Black Christian Disinvited from Cornell Debate Because She Believes in Traditional Marriage – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Yale Law School Yanks Stipends From Students Who Work For Christian Firms – Aaron Haviland, The Federalist

International Religious Freedom

11 Christians Killed Every Day for Their Decision To Follow Jesus – Lindy Lowry, Open Doors USA

India: Evangelical network reports increase of Christian persecution in 2019 – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Christchurch shootings: 49 dead in New Zealand mosque attacks – BBC

Christians in Kazakhstan Fined for Praying Without Permission – Steve Warren, CBN News

Taiwan to donate US$1 million to U.S. Religious Freedom Fund – Focus Taiwan

This Chinese Christian Was Charged With Trying to Subvert the State – Ian Johnson, The New York Times

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty Law Firm to New Hampshire VA Hospital: You’re Right, the Bible Donated by WWII Vet/POW Can Stay – First Liberty Institute

 

Life

Abortion

Why your church needs to welcome post-abortive women – Joane Wrenn with Mamie Edmonston, Care Net

Alabama judge allows teen to sue on behalf of aborted fetus – Caleb Parke, Fox News

The Reason Democrats Voted Against Care For Babies Who Survive Abortion Is Worse Than You Think – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

New Mexico Defeats Radical Bill to Legalize Abortions Up to Birth – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

CA Democrat Pushes Plan that Could Put Planned Parenthood’s Number on Every Student ID – Christian Ellis, CBN News

How The Obama Presidency Normalized Abortion Extremism – David Harsanyi, The Federalist

NBC’s This is Us Airs Incredible Pro-Life Episode – Heather Creekmore, Care Net

Adoption

Adoption perspectives: A birth mom, adoptive mom, and daughter share their story – Lindsay Nicolet and Brittany Salmon, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Bioethics

Alzheimer’s, human dignity, and church that’s truly pro-life – Todd E. Brady, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Experts gather in Rome to fight ‘barbaric’ use of aborted babies in vaccines – Diane Montagna, LifeSiteNews

How Assisted Suicide Creates A Cascade Of Death After It Becomes Legal – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: ‘I Look Forward to Signing’ Assisted Suicide Bill – Susan Berry, Breitbart

 

Family

Marriage

How to Overcome In-Law Problems – Deb DeArmond, Focus on the Family

When Religious Couples Pray – Mark H. Butler and Hannah R. Herring, Family Studies

Parenting

Maintaining Your Marriage During the Parenting Years – Arlene Pellicane, Focus on the Family

We Were Parents – Nathanael Blake, Public Discourse

Economics/Education

Podcast: Why nonworking men are unhappiest in America – Carol Graham and Fred Dews, Brookings Institution

Girls Have Always Been Better at School. Now It Matters More. – Justin Fox, Bloomberg

New Moms Don’t Need Day Care, They Need Flexible Employers – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

Toddlers and Seniors Together: The Benefits of Intergenerational Care – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

Ivy-League Schools Wither – Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

There’s Rampant Academic Fraud – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Trump set to sign executive order on campus free speech – Michael Stratford, Politico

Faith/Character/Culture

What Makes for a Spiritually Vibrant Household? – Barna

Dear David Frum: U.S. Population Growth Is Not A Problem, It’s A Solution – Lyman Stone, The Federalist

YouTube Revolution – John Waters, First Things

The Mental Health Crisis Among America’s Youth is Real—and Staggering – Jean Twenge, Family Studies

Female Athletes Fear Criticizing Trans Women in Sports Because ‘It’s Not PC,’ Olympian Says – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Christians Need to Recover Fasting – Dcn. David Stavarz, Word on Fire

The Meaning of Meaninglessness – Scott Beauchamp, Public Discourse

An MIT Professor Meets the Author of All Knowledge – Rosalind Picard, Christianity Today

Human Sexuality

I Was America’s First ‘Nonbinary’ Person. It Was All a Sham. – Jamie Shupe, The Daily Signal

Trans Men Erase Women – Charlotte Allen, First Things

Equality Act’ would turn back the clock for women – Kristen Waggoner, The Hill

Trans Through A Teacher’s Eyes – Rod Dreyer, The American Conservative

Teachers’ Union President, Transgender Advocate Push LGBTQ Agenda on Kindergartners – Susan Berry, Breitbart

Hispanic Parents Face Condescension, Spite As They Fight California’s New Sex Ed Curriculum – Kira Davis, Townhall

Human Trafficking

How Sex Traffickers Use Social Media To Contact, Recruit, And Sell Children For Sex – Fight the New Drug

Pornography

Humanly Speaking: Aristotle, the First Amendment, and the Jurisprudence of Pornography – Adam M. Carrington, Public Discourse

It’s What He Does Online That Matters Most: Gaming, Porn, and Relationship Quality – Jeffrey Dew, Family Studies

What Can Drug-Addicted Doctors Teach Porn-Addicted Pastors? – John Doyel, Christianity Today

All Policy is Family Policy

by Alyson Gritter

April 2, 2019

Recently, FRC hosted Professor R.J. Snell for a Speaker Series event to discuss the relationship between natural law and public policy. He explored the crucial question of what natural law is and what its role should be in making policy.

Professor Snell defined natural law as a “universal objective moral normativity.” Translation? Basic human rights are not defined by what is relative based on the cultural trends, or “whims” of today. Instead, much like other great thinkers including Plato, Edmund Burke, John Locke, and Martin Luther King Jr., Snell agrees that natural law is based on an absolute Truth. He stated that “all human reason participates in the natural law of God.”

But what role should natural law play in the making of policy?

Policy should not be about winning for winning’s sake, or power grabbing. It should be about what we value as a society. According to Professor Snell, policy secures the blessings of natural law within our society by ultimately serving the person. Policy teaches society by showing what we value—what we actually seek and why. It is “non-theoretical teaching.”

Snell explained this importance by addressing the audience: “You, policy types, teach just as much as I as a professor do, albeit differently. Now I, as father and husband and citizen, need you to teach well because I need our policy to support my family [and] to support my friend’s family. “

As he observed, many students today have been taught that natural law doesn’t exist and instead are taught that public policy is the highest law: “I as a professor and teacher need you to teach well because by the time I get to students [at] age 18 or 19, they have 18 or 19 years of relentless policy education.” If bad policy is enacted based on relative cultural circumstances, then students learn merely conditional views of what is right and what is wrong.

He emphasized, “You [policymakers] are teachers.”

For example, students in America today are growing up in a society where pro-abortion policies have been enacted and are therefore deemed acceptable by many. This causes these policies to act as a kind of teacher about how society views humanity. So, by the time students get to college, many of them have come to understand the dignity of the unborn child as a flexible concept depending on the circumstances of that child’s conception. They are valued either as “wanted” humans or they are otherwise aborted. Natural law standards instead view both born and unborn life as equally valuable, regardless of the situation surrounding conception.

Professor Snell emphasized that policies based on natural law need to be encouraged in order to have a more stable society. Otherwise, anything can be deemed relative, including life itself. Many students today lack a basic understanding of natural law because they lack a basic understanding of a natural family. In many ways, a person’s family is the natural image of the natural law. Everyone has a family in some form. When the family structure that a child is brought up in does not reflect the natural structure we were created for, it can have a lifelong impact on that child’s life. It distorts a healthy view of marriage, human sexuality, and society.

That’s why the family structure is so incredibly important to teaching children values. It is, according to Snell, “the main bearer of tradition [sacred order].” In other words, it is the way that natural law is most made known and the means to which a person’s morals and norms are formed.

However, many of today’s policies are aimed at dissolving family values that reflect natural law. This leads us, as citizens, to an essential question: What is our public policy teaching our children? Is it aligned with natural law, or is it relative to the “whims” of today’s society? As Snell stated, “All policy is family policy.” Therefore, we must advocate for policies that support natural family values and continue teaching those principles in our homes.

Be sure to view the entirety of Professor Snell’s important lecture.

Alyson Gritter is an intern at Family Research Council.

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