Author archives: Daniel Hart

The Heart of a Father

by Daniel Hart

June 14, 2019

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

When my firstborn son was a few months old, it was clear that he was not gaining weight like he should be from breastfeeding due to an undiagnosed condition. My wife and I felt helpless and were wracked with constant worry. As a father, I felt desperate, and longed to do anything in my power to help my suffering child. By God’s grace, we were eventually able to find the professional help we needed through lactation consultation, and our baby began a healthy weight gain.

I am reminded of this time when reading of desperate fathers in the Gospels who, at their wits end, lay their suffering children at Christ’s feet, begging Him to help them. Although my own experience pales in comparison to the severity of the problems these biblical fathers faced, I can still identify with a father like Jairus frantically elbowing his way through the crowd and throwing himself before Jesus, beseeching Him to help his dying daughter (Mark 5:23-43). Or the father with the demon-possessed son, who kneels before Jesus and implores Him, “Lord, have mercy on my son…” (Matthew 17:15-18).

I can picture the sweat on the brows of these fathers as they strenuously assert themselves for the sake of their children. With all their options exhausted, they make one last ditch attempt—some would have said foolhardy attempt—to save their offspring at the feet of Jesus. How does He respond?

Jesus, in full union with His Father, reveals the true nature of God the Father’s heart in His response: mercy, compassion, and healing. We read that at the moment He speaks the word of healing, the afflicted are indeed healed: “…the boy was cured instantly” (Matthew 17:18); “And immediately the girl got up and walked” (Mark 5:42). What’s more, physical healing is just the beginning of God’s tender care for the welfare of His children.

Caring for Our Children’s Spiritual Welfare

Christ does not stop at mere physical healing; His mercy extends to great concern for our spiritual health as well. When the father of the possessed child pleads with Jesus to heal his son, Christ’s first response is to teach him the power of belief: “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). And for those who ask for the Spirit, Christ assures us that God cannot help but give more than merely “good” gifts: “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

In the same way, fathers who have a full understanding of love are just as concerned about their children’s spiritual welfare as for their physical health. As I try to teach my 2 ½-year-old son his prayers and speak to him about the love of God, I often find myself wondering about what kind of faith he will have by the time he leaves the house. Becoming a father has given me an expanded appreciation for all those fathers out there who worry about their sons and daughters losing their faith after they have struck out on their own or are in college. While I know it’s second nature for a parent to worry about their children, I also know that all God needs is an open soul, not a wise or mature one—He will fill that openness with His grace.

Indeed, a father’s longing for his children’s physical and spiritual health is an image of the purest longing that God has for us.

We Need a Renewed Emphasis on Fatherly Compassion

Having a father who passed the love of God on to me, and knowing that I will strive to do all I can to pass this faith on to my own children, my heart aches for those who have not had a father in their lives who has shown love to them. I have personally known those who have been deprived of the love of their fathers and have seen the spiritual wounds that this profound absence can cause.

Tragically, there are many in our society who have difficulty relating to God as the merciful and healing Father that He is because of the lack of a loving earthly father in their own lives, whether from outright absence or from emotional/physical neglect or abuse that they experienced from their fathers.

This lamentable state of affairs gives Christian fathers all the more motivation to exemplify and live out the true heart of our heavenly Father. Much has been said and written about how fathers must be strong leaders and firm maintainers of discipline in their families. This is certainly true, but it only tells half the story of the true heart of God the Father, and therefore the heart that all fathers must strive for.

The tender care that Christ manifested through His merciful and healing touch and through beautiful parables like the prodigal son (Luke 15) are stirring examples of what a truly loving father must be: a clear reflection of God the Father’s tenderness, mercy, and compassion—guiding and nurturing his children towards discipleship in God’s kingdom. This requires what may seem on the surface to be a paradox: Fathers must have the manly courage to be vulnerably compassionate with their children in order to more fully exemplify the compassionate love of our heavenly Father.

A Full Heart

One of the first instincts of a father is to provide for the physical needs of his children. This is natural and good—it clearly fits our nature as men. Vulnerability and tender care for the spiritual needs of our children may not come as naturally to us, but it is just as important. In order to impart the full heart of God to our children, we must be willing to stretch ourselves and exemplify both physical and spiritual nourishment to our children, just as our Heavenly Father gives abundantly to all who ask Him (Luke 11:11-13).

This Father’s Day, may we all find true rest and comfort in the healing and merciful embrace of our true Father in heaven, who unreservedly pours out His fatherly mercy, healing power, and grace to all His children each day.

The Christ-like Sacrifice of Motherhood

by Daniel Hart

May 10, 2019

There are many things we can thank our mothers for this Mother’s Day, but there is one aspect of motherhood that is unique and unrivaled in the human experience that deserves special recognition: the bodily sacrifice that mothers make on behalf of us, their children.

This act of self-sacrifice is so profound in its generosity that it mirrors the ultimate sacrifice that any human being can offer: to lay down their lives for another. Therefore, motherhood can be seen as a beautiful imitation of Christ’s bodily sacrifice for us. In Luke 22:19, He stated the nature of this sacrifice plainly: “This is my body, which is given for you.”

We see this play out naturally of its own accord when a woman becomes pregnant. From the moment of conception, her body literally becomes the home of another human being. In accepting this role, a woman gives her body over to make a series of awe-inspiring sacrifices for her child.

During pregnancy, our mothers increase their blood volume by up to 50 percent. They increase their own lifeblood to give us life, reflecting Christ pouring out His own blood to give us eternal life (1 John 1:7).

Our mothers grow an entirely new organ within themselves—the placenta—to provide our developing bodies with oxygen and nutrients to sustain our own growth. This mirrors how God gives us a new heart when we give ourselves to him (Ezekiel 36:26) and how our hearts are reborn in the Spirit through Christ (John 3:3-5).

Most sacrificially of all, our mother’s bodies are permanently changed in a number of ways as a result of gestating and birthing our own bodies. This reflects the permanency of the wounds that Christ suffered during His passion and death when He appeared to Thomas after His resurrection: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

In these physical ways during pregnancy and birth and in the countless ways that our mothers sacrifice themselves for our sake throughout our lives, motherhood truly is a divine and life-giving calling that reflects the very inner life and heart of God, made manifest through His Son Jesus.

On this Mother’s Day, let us reflect on and thank our mothers for the profound and generous sacrifices they have made for us and continue to make, from the moment of our conception to the present day.

9-Year-Old Reminds Us All of the Power of Prayer

by Daniel Hart

April 24, 2019

Love one another.” (John 13:34)

This pivotal verse from the 13th chapter of John’s gospel is the theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2nd. It is an especially fitting theme at this moment in time in our nation, when our political differences threaten to tear our country apart at the seams. It’s a theme that is the very heart of Christianity, the central commandment that Christ gave to his disciples and followers—to love.

But what is love? In these days of confusion, when many feel entitled to their own truths, it is critical to define our terms. The Christian definition of love is to will the good of the other. This often means that we uphold beliefs that are not only deeply unpopular, but are even considered “hateful” and “bigoted”. Nevertheless, we sincerely believe that true love requires that we uphold them for the ultimate good of everyone. Simply put, if we believe that our beliefs are the Truth, then they are not merely true just for Christians but for all people.

While Christians must be unwavering in our belief of the Truth, we also must be pragmatic and reasonable in our relationships with non-believers and our political opponents. How do we even begin to go about convincing the world of the Truth? The beautiful thing about Christianity is that convincing people through our words and actions is only one tool we have in our arsenal. In the faith life, it quickly becomes clear that successfully evangelizing others is far beyond our own power. In reality, the most effective tool of evangelization is prayer (1 John 5:14). But too often, we Christians de-emphasize prayer in favor of what seems like more direct action, like shouting from the rooftops of social media.

Sometimes it takes the wisdom of children to remind us of the fundamental importance of prayer. Take Jack, a 9-year-old boy from New York. After Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the most extreme state abortion expansion bill in the country in his home state, Jack decided he wanted to do something about it. With the help of his father, he started the website ConvertCuomo, which asks believers to commit to pray for Gov. Cuomo’s conversion by submitting a prayer pledge on the site.

For Jack, who comes from a strong Catholic upbringing, the “ConvertCuomo” project was an especially personal one. Gov. Cuomo, who is himself Catholic, went so far as to order One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit up in pink in order to celebrate his signing into law of the most radical state abortion expansion bill ever to be enacted in the U.S.“My mom and dad told me that he passed this bill and other things and it made me really upset,” Jack said. “So I wanted to think of something to do to stop abortion.”

As Jack recognizes, it is especially important to pray for those in authority like Gov. Cuomo who claim to be Catholic yet strongly support policies that his own faith teaches is a “grave offense” against moral law.

I pray two Our Fathers for Governor Cuomo every day,” Jack says, “sometimes three.”

Jack is keying in on an important truth for believers. If we want our political opponents and non-believers to have personal conversions of heart, praying for their conversion is the most loving thing we can do for them.

Let us join Jack’s prayer initiative and take up the vital task of loving one another through prayer.

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

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

Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2019

by Daniel Hart

February 15, 2019

Dear Friends,

In recent weeks, as the Democratic Party further entrenches itself in the support of late-term abortion to the point of infanticide, I have often found myself feeling angry and disgusted toward these elected officials who seem so lacking in basic human decency. (If these politicians were standing in the room where a late-term abortion was taking place or where a baby was literally born alive after a failed abortion, would they still hold the same view? One has to wonder…)

During such highly-charged emotional times in public life that we are currently in, I’ve found it very easy to demonize and dehumanize these pro-abortion elected officials in my own mind. We human beings have a tendency to condemn without a second thought, and condemnation can quickly become personal. You’ve probably heard it many times before, but it bears repeating: we must condemn actions, not people. But there’s something else we must do as pro-life Christians that goes beyond condemnation of actions, and it’s more important: prayer. Our Savior Himself commanded it: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45).

Are we praying every day for Andrew Cuomo, for Ralph Northam, for Nancy Pelosi, for Chuck Schumer, for all other elected officials who publicly support abortion, that they will have a change of heart? As Christians, prayer must be our very first impulse whenever we face any kind of challenge, or before we do anything at all, for that matter (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When we feel powerless to affect change for good, prayer gives us peace of mind to know that we are doing something. For we know that God listens to and answers our prayers (1 Peter 3:12).

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 Brief: Rebels Without a Clause: When Senators Run Roughshod Over the “No Religious Test” Clause of the U.S. Constitution – Alexandra McPhee

Issue Analysis: Department of Defense on Why Those with “Gender Dysphoria” Are Disqualified from Military Service – Peter Sprigg

A Christian War Memorial in No Way Violates the Establishment Clause – Alexandra McPhee

When Free Exercise Comes at a Price – Alexandra McPhee

What a Title IX Proposal Means for Religious Liberty – Alexandra McPhee

Democratic Congresswoman Condemns Religious Bigotry, Standing up to Her Party in a Rare Act of Courage – David Closson

Chris Pratt’s Bible-inspired diet highlights a discipline from a spiritual dimension – Tony Perkins

New York and Planned Parenthood, a eugenic match made in Heaven – Patrina Mosley

The Conscience of A Nation: Defeating Democrat Extremism – Ken Blackwell

Targeting of Karen Pence is wake-up call to all Christians – Travis Weber

FRC Speaker Series: Religious Freedom, Trade Talks, and China

FRC Speaker Series: Should We Pull Our Kids Out of Public School?

FRC Speaker Series: The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives – Jennifer Roback Morse

Party of “Tolerance” is Intolerant to American’s Views on Late-Term Abortion – Patrina Mosley

3 Things to Remember About the Importance of Marriage This Valentine’s Day – Hugh Phillips

Will Women’s Restrooms Be Ruled Obsolete? – Peter Sprigg

Contributors to Sexual Exploitation are Called Out – Patrina Mosley

Return to the Constitution: Judicial Activism or Originalism? – Zachary Rogers

The Cost of Sending Your Kids to Public School Just Might Be Their Souls – Cathy Ruse

10 Nominees Have Faced Unconstitutional Religious Tests in Less Than 2 Years – Alexandra McPhee

Marriage Gives Love a Canvas to Paint On – Dan Hart

President Trump’s Pro-Life Proclamation – David Closson

The Pro-Infanticide Party – David Closson

Hotel Trans: Check In Any Time, But Never Leave – Cathy Ruse

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Ever-Present Totalitarian Temptation – George Weigel, First Things

Vermont discriminates against students of religious high schools, lawsuit claims – Jess Aloe, Burlington Free Press

Jewish Therapist Sues New York City Over Law Banning Faith-Based LGBT Counseling – Joshua Nelson, The Daily Signal

Judge says Tampa ban on conversion therapy may violate therapists’ free speech rights – Avery Anapol, The Hill

International Religious Freedom

Pakistan’s Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Asia Bibi Blasphemy Acquittal – Hannah Brockhaus, National Catholic Register

Asia Bibi stuck in Pakistan, frustrated and afraid amid threats – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

Philippine Church Bombing Kills 20 After Vote for Muslim Governance – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

N. Korean Christians keep faith underground amid crackdowns – Hyung-Jin Kim, AP

Military Religious Freedom

Americans Tell Atheists: Keep Your Hands Off Our War Memorials – ToddStarnes.com

 

Life

Abortion

OB/GYNs, Nurses Speak Out Against NY Abortion Law: It Is Never Necessary to Kill Baby for Health, Life of Mother – Heather Clark, Christian News

Planned Parenthood Made $245 Million Last Year Killing Babies in Abortions – Lauretta Brown, LifeNews

Vermont Abortion Bill Goes Further than Virginia and New York’s – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

New York, Abortion, and a Short Route to Chaos – Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire

Bookstore Owner Makes Viral Statement About New York Abortion Law – Mary Margaret Olohan, The Daily Caller

Infanticide Becomes Justifiable – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Abortion’s Devastating Impact Upon Black Americans – Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

Adoption

Mothers Are Killing Babies Who Could Fill The Empty Arms Of Millions Of Loving Couples – Adam Mill, The Federalist

 

Family

Marriage

How Can Marriage Be Good for Mental Health? – David Levine, U.S. News & World Report

Giving Up Good Things for the Best Things in Marriage – Selena Frederick, Focus on the Family

Resources for Building a Marriage that Lasts – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

How We Saved Our Marriage in the Final HourHer View From Home

A Finance Guide for Married Couples – Phillip Holmes, The Gospel Coalition

Don’t Put Your Hope in Date Night – Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler, The Gospel Coalition

More Tips to Promote a Strong Marriage – Jim Graves, National Catholic Register

My Husband Isn’t Romantic, But He’s Still Mr. Right – Jenny Albers, Her View From Home

Parenting

Dad—A Girl’s First and Most Influential Love – Timothy Rarick, Family Studies

Parental Involvement: How Much Is Too Much? – Child Trends

What It’s Like When the Kids Grow Up: A Conversation Between Two Moms – Carolyn Lankford and Anna Meade Harris, rooted

Webinar: The Unique Contributions Of Fathers To Their Children’s Development – Institute for Research on Poverty

Economics/Education

Despite Government Shutdown, Job Growth Soars in January – Timothy Doescher, The Daily Signal

The “Green New Deal” Would Only Crush People’s Spirit – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Faith/Character/Culture

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence – Alex Berenson, Imprimis

The Internet and Satan’s Game – Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire

You Don’t Have to Have a Well-Formed Opinion on Everything – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

Psychology as Indoctrination: Girls Rule, Boys Drool? – Leonard Sax, Family Studies

Are Smartphones and Social Media Hurting Our Kids? – Charles Fain Lehman, Family Studies

A Different Kind of Love – Nancy Flory, The Stream

Human Sexuality

The Left is Shunning Liberals With Concerns About Transgender Agenda – Ryan Anderson, The Stream

Pressure to conform – Jamie Dean, WORLD

True love waits: Suggestions for a more holistic purity culture – Alex Ward, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Cohabitation Doesn’t Compare: Marriage, Cohabitation, and Relationship Quality – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

6 ways pastors can care for victims of sexual abuse – Trillia Newbell, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Trafficking

How to Spot Sex Trafficking; Super Bowl Sunday and Beyond – Tiffany Powell, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Nevada Has the Highest Rates of an Illegal Sex Trade in the Nation – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

What kids aren’t telling parents about porn on social media – Gail Dines, The Boston Globe

Seeing is (Not) Believing: How Viewing Pornography Shapes the Religious Lives of Young Americans – Samuel L. Perry and George M. Hayward, Social Forces

Want To Connect More Deeply With Other People? Consider Quitting Porn – Fight the New Drug

Marriage Gives Love a Canvas to Paint On

by Daniel Hart

February 8, 2019

This week is National Marriage Week, so it’s a great time to reflect on the beauty and fundamental importance of marriage.

Over the last few decades, a plethora of social science has come out about how marriage is highly beneficial for the health and well-being of men, women, children, and society in almost every way.

Whether our culture admits it or not, all of these studies merely confirm what we already know deep down to be true. All of us are born with an innate intuition that there is something primal and essential about marriage that goes to the core of who we are as human beings. Even liberal Hollywood stars have an instinctive sense that there is something distinctive and vital about marriage. Liam Hemsworth, who recently married Miley Cyrus after a 10-year on-and-off again relationship, observed: “We’ve been together for a long time and it felt like it was the right time to do it…Not much about the relationship changes [after marriage], but you kind of have… the husband and wife thing, it’s great. I’m loving it.”

Children do too. When a child grows up with a single parent, there will inevitably be a day when that child asks of their own accord, “Where is my Dad?” or “Where is my Mom?” This primordial question about our origins points directly toward what marriage is: the binding, natural, covenantal vow that our Creator designed to keep men and women, mothers and fathers—and therefore society itself—bonded together. When something is missing from this bond, we know it to our core, even as children.

Sadly, the influence of culture has caused many to ignore their intuition, and as a result, marriage is now widely seen as at worst constraining and at best optional. Many now ask, “Why should I bother to get married?” The cultural ubiquity and acceptance of cohabitation, contraception, and divorce has made marriage seem irrelevant in the minds of many.

There’s one simple answer to this question: love. We were created by Love itself (1 John 4:9), we came into the world through an act of love, and our purpose as human beings is to love. Simply put, marriage gives our capacity for love a canvas to paint on, a canvas that is formed by the vow that we make to our beloved. Day in and day out, that canvas is right there in front of us—our spouses and our children—waiting to be loved. And as the years stretch on and we recommit ourselves to our vow on a daily basis, God continually infuses us with His grace, stretching that canvas ever larger and our hearts ever wider, making all things new with each sunrise.

Social Conservative Review - January 16, 2019

by Daniel Hart

January 16, 2019

Dear Friends,

Today is Religious Freedom Day in America (see FRC’s resources below). In our great country, religious freedom has held a special place in our civic life ever since the days of Thomas Jefferson. But this freedom is increasingly coming under assault by activists on the Left here at home and by authoritarian regimes abroad. This is why we must never take the freedoms we have in this country for granted.

So what do we mean by “religious freedom”? In this day and age, it’s vitally important to define our terms in order to counter those who have a far too narrow view of this first freedom. FRC’s David Closson has written an excellent summation of the proper understanding of religious freedom:

Simply put, religious liberty is the freedom to live out one’s faith according to his or her deepest convictions. This means people have the right to believe what they want in terms of theology and doctrine and can live in a way that brings their life into conformity with these beliefs. Obviously, this does not mean people can do whatever they want under the guise of ‘religious liberty,’ but it does mean that as much latitude as possible should be extended to those with sincere religious convictions about how to order their lives.”

Our Founding Fathers understood that man’s deepest desire is to live out his most deeply held convictions, which most often come from religious foundations. The freedom of religion was therefore included in the First Amendment to the Constitution—our “first freedom.” May we never take this freedom for granted and always use it for the greater glory of God.

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 “Religious Freedom Day” Resources

Washington Watch” Special Report: Religious Freedom Day – 5-6 p.m. ET on Facebook Live

On Religious Freedom Day, consider life in countries without it – Travis Weber

Religious Freedom Day – David Closson

When Free Exercise Comes at a Price – Alexandra McPhee

 

FRC Articles

NEW Policy Publication: Top 10 Myths About Abortion – Ingrid Skop, M.D.

NEW Policy Publication: Why “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law – Peter Sprigg

All I want for Christmas is a Supreme Court victory for public Christmas displays, crosses – Alexandra McPhee

E-Verify — The Immigration Solution Congress is Looking For – Ken Blackwell

Seventeen Years Later, Controversy Emerges Over Painting of “Ground Zero Cross” – Alexandra McPhee

The APA is Crazy: “Traditional Masculinity is Psychologically Harmful” – Cathy Ruse

Family Research Council Opposes the “Equal Rights Amendment”

The ERA: A Bad, Old Idea – Cathy Ruse

The Postal Service Stamps Out the Christmas Spirit – Alexandra McPhee

Is Anyone Surprised that Planned Parenthood Treats its Pregnant Employees Terribly? – Patrina Mosley

Is Chai Feldblum Reconsidering Religious Freedom? – Peter Sprigg

Compassion Is Needed for Parents and Professors Dealing with “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria,” Too – Peter Sprigg

Parents Beware of Puberty-Blocker Propaganda – Cathy Ruse

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Democrats Question Judicial Nominee About Membership in Catholic Association – Kevin Daley, The Daily Signal

Apple removes Christian ministry app following complaints by LGBT activists – Teri Webster, The Blaze

Colorado loses bid to dismiss cake artist’s lawsuit – Alliance Defending Freedom

Washington state senior center bans religious Christmas expression – Alliance Defending Freedom

Early Christmas gift: City ends discrimination, Maryland church resumes worship – Alliance Defending Freedom

House Passes Bill to Free Pastors from IRS Muzzle and Shield Churches from Accidental New Tax – Benjamin Gill, CBN News

Family’s Christmas Stamps Rejected Because of “Religious” Content – ToddStarnes.com

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Put The Ten Commandments Back in Public Schools – Jeremiah Poff, ToddStarnes.com

Indiana school district bars coaches from participating in team prayers after atheist complaint – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Oxford students demand university fire famed philosophy prof for ‘homophobia’ – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

International Religious Freedom

Wise Men Still Bring Gifts: Our Extraordinary Christmas in Egypt – Rick Segal, Desiring God

The Coming ‘Turkish Jihadist Invasion’ Against Christians: A Christmas Plea from Syrians to US Christians – Chris Mitchell, CBN News

As China Cracks Down on Churches, Christians Declare ‘We Will Not Forfeit Our Faith’ – Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times

2 Christian brothers sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, charity warns – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

India: Shock as pastor arrested for ‘showing movie about Jesus’ – Athena Chrysanthou, Express

Chinese City Bans Christmas Celebrations to Maintain ‘Clean Environment’ – Frances Martel, Breitbart

Trump’s troop withdrawal ‘sacrifices’ Syrian Christians, gives ‘victory’ to jihadis: activist – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Christians ‘Standing in the Way’ of China’s Xi Jinping’s Totalitarian Rule – George Thomas, CBN News

During Christmas Week, Iran Arrests 9 Christians for ‘Zionism,’ Spreading ‘Corrupt’ Beliefs – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force Under Attack For Helping Salvation Army Provide Christmas to Needy Kids – ToddStarnes.com

 

Life

Abortion

Abortion Killed 42 Million People In 2018 – Paul Bois, The Daily Wire

Living pro-vida – Mary Jackson, WORLD

Democrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions – Jessie Hellmann, The Hill

The Supreme Court Should Protect Unborn Children with Down Syndrome – O. Carter Snead and Mary O’Callaghan, Public Discourse

Trump Contests “Sexual and Reproductive Health” at UN but Fails to Rollback Abortion Language – Austin Ruse, C-Fam

Indiana Health Department Refuses To License Abortion Clinic Over Undisclosed Records –  Grace Carr, The Daily Caller

Planned Parenthood, Other Feminist Organizations Accused Of Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers – Ashe Schow, The Daily Wire

Pro-choice activist tells kids: abortion is ‘part of God’s plan,’ ‘like dentist appointment’ – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Kansas judge rules telemedicine abortions can continue – John Hanna, ABC News

Like a giant what-if’: Siblings of aborted children mourn their loss – Skyler Lee, Live Action

Planned Parenthood’s President Admits Abortion Is Group’s ‘Core Mission’ – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Adoption

Texas couple: God ‘purposefully connected’ us to kids found chained in horrific abuse case – Caleb Parke, Fox News

Bioethics

Obama-Appointed NIH Director: Aborted Fetal Tissue Will ‘Continue to Be the Mainstay’ for Research – Susan Berry, Breitbart

 

Family

Marriage

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Your Marriage – Teri Reisser and Paul Reisser, Focus on the Family

The Cleansing of the Temple: Casting Pornography Out of Marriage – Michelle Curran and Luca Marelli, Humanum

Podcast: Holy longing: The struggle with infertility – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

State Efforts to Reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences Should Include Programs to Strengthen Marriage – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Parenting

Farewell, Judith Rich Harris – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

Gender-Neutral Parenting Isn’t for Me – Leigh Harper, Family Life

Faith/Character/Culture

How Tragedy Testifies To The Supreme, Glorious Value Of Human Life – Caroline D’Agati, The Federalist

What Do We Owe Our Parents? – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

Grown Men Are the Solution, Not the Problem – David French, National Review

It Is Good That You Exist – Rachel Bulman, Word on Fire

The Strongest Men Are Gentle – David Mathis, Desiring God

Watch This Dude Climb 3,200 Feet Of Granite With No Harness In ‘Free Solo’ – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Breaking the Fourth Wall on Social Media – Austin Ruse, Crisis

This New Year, Act More Leisurely – Bart Price, Ethika Politika

Should I Stay at a Christian Organization That Doesn’t Seem Christian? – Joshua Chatraw, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

When Sex Becomes Cheap – Paul Sullins, Humanum

Protecting Sex From Liberalism – Anthony McCarthy, Public Discourse

The Problem Isn’t Technological: Rebuilding Women’s Reproductive Health – Weronika Janczuk, Public Discourse

30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Comprehensive Sex Education Undermines Students’ Moral Development – Tapio Puolimatka, Public Discourse

Study: Infidelity, porn prevalent sex sins in church – Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Criminal Records Show Women Are Prudent To Not Want Men In Their Bathrooms – Jamie Shupe, The Federalist

Idaho ordered to provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate jailed for sexually abusing a child – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Human Trafficking

Who Are Sex Traffickers, And Why Do They Exploit Other Humans? – Fight the New Drug

Pornography

Two Developments That Changed Our Movement – Patrick Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

50 Heartbreaking Ways That Porn Harms Relationships And Society – Fight the New Drug

Filmmaker/Actor Josh Radnor On Why He’s Against Porn – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - December 17, 2018

by Daniel Hart

December 17, 2018

Dear Friends,

Do you ever find yourself exasperated at a friend or family member because they don’t share your beliefs, even though you’ve witnessed to them time and time again? Or maybe you harbor this frustration in a subtler way by privately hanging on to feelings of sadness or bitterness toward someone because of their lack of understanding and belief. This has been a common part of my own faith journey, and I’m sure it is for others as well.

It is at times like these that we should keep in mind that old familiar saying: “Patience is a virtue.” Yes, I know this phrase is dull and perhaps overused, but when we think about it in biblical terms, patience takes on a new dimension of meaning. For example, at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, we see the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17). This passage is a stark illustration of the fact that God used a lineage full of sinners to become man. In the words of one commentator: “Even in the midst of all this sin and unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. He continued to work patiently to bring his plan to fulfilment.”

By paying attention to the faithfulness and patience that God has shown His people throughout salvation history and up to today, we begin to see that God does not do His work on man’s schedule. In the words of a priest I heard recently, “We have to be patient with the growth of His grace. This should prompt us to be patient with others.” This is a great reminder for us to not fall into discouragement and frustration when it appears that our words and prayers seem to have little effect on those we encounter. The important thing is to stay faithful in thought, word, deed, and prayer, always mindful that God is continually doing His faithful work and answering our prayers in ways we both can and cannot see.

As the Advent season draws to a close and our Savior’s birth approaches, the virtue of patience takes centerstage in the Christian life. Let us patiently await the coming of the Savior, ever faithful in the promises He has kept and continues to keep every day of our lives.

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

Editor’s Note: The Social Conservative Review will be on hiatus through Christmas. It will resume again on January 15, 2019.

 

FRC Articles

NEW Policy Publication: Religious Liberty and the “Wedding Vendor” Cases – Alexandra McPhee

Congress Must Repeal Its Tax on Churches and Charities – Travis Weber and David Closson

On Sex, the Science Is Deafening – Tony Perkins

Avoiding anti-religious decision-making – William G. Boykin

Season for Giving to Religious Groups – David Closson

Obamacare 2019: Fewer options and more funding of abortion – Patrina Mosley and Chuck Donovan

Stats Show People Still Want Reason for the Season This Christmas – Alexandra McPhee

Fairness for Whom? – Peter Sprigg

Obamacare and Abortion: Tell Us Your Story – Patrina Mosley

What to Know About Indonesia’s New “Blasphemy Reporting App” – Travis Weber

Supreme Court Pass on Defunding Cases Reminds Us of the Horrors of Planned Parenthood – Patrina Mosley

Supreme Court Refuses to Rule on State Decisions to Defund Planned Parenthood – Travis Weber and Alexandra McPhee

Pronoun Police Get VA Teacher Fired – Cathy Ruse

Speaking the Truth in Love: Lauren Daigle and the Reality of Being a Christian in Modern America – David Closson

Will Asia Bibi Be Forgotten? – Arielle Del Turco

Starbucks for Coffee, Not Porn – Cathy Ruse

Christian Healthcare Alternatives to Obamacare – Patrina Mosley

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Ohio city removes Nativity, Ten Commandments display from public property after atheist complaint – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

YAF Wins Landmark Free Speech Lawsuit, UC Berkeley To Pay $70,000 And Rescind Unconstitutional Policies – Spencer Brown, Young America’s Foundation

In God We Trust’ Returning to Public Schools, Buildings in More States – Steve Warren, CBN News

Treasury Dep’t issues guidance softening parking tax burden on churches, nonprofits – Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post

Compromising religious freedom – Everett Piper, The Washington Times

Group protests Bible Clubs in Wood County Schools – Jess Mancini, The Marietta Times

Virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s new pronouns –  Graham Moomaw, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Principal Bans Santa, Christmas Carols, Candy Canes & Jesus – ToddStarnes.com

Wise men will remain atop Newaygo Elementary – News 8

International Religious Freedom

President Trump, Asia Bibi is a Christian under threat of death in Pakistan — please help her – Mike Huckabee, Fox News

USCIRF wants more sanctions to punish Myanmar’s abuse of Rohingyas, Christians and others – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

100 Christians snatched in overnight raids on underground Chinese church – Mimi Lau, South China Morning Post

US groups urge Modi to take necessary measures to curb rise of Hindutva extremismThe Times of India

Colombia: Pastors facing death threats, assassination attempts by extortionists, kidnappers – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Asia Bibi apparently still in Pakistan as nations deny, debate appeals for asylum – John Burger, Aleteia

China: Fury as students BANNED from discussing religion – Latifa Yedroudj, Express

Read Powerful Letter Detained Chinese Pastor Wang Yi Wrote, Anticipating Arrest – Tré Goins-Phillips, FaithWire

Trump signs bill to aid ISIS genocide victims; Iraqi Christians ‘beginning to see a difference’ – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Egypt’s Silent Epidemic of Kidnapped Christian Girls – Lela Gilbert, The Jerusalem Post

114 Christians Arrested in One Week in Iran – Lindy Lowry, Open Doors USA

 

Life

Abortion

California Democrats eye mandating that state schools stock abortion pills – Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner

Nashville Becomes Largest Abortion-Free City in U.S. After Planned Parenthood Stops Doing Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Holding the line’ Pro-lifers look ahead to new Congressional session – Christine Rousselle, CAN

Planned Parenthood Caught Selling Aborted Baby Parts Makes Over $100 Million Doing Abortions – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Abortion pill restrictions approved by Michigan House – Jonathan Oosting, The Detroit News

Adoption

New York: ‘Change your beliefs or stop serving children’ – Alliance Defending Freedom

Why I’m Still an Adoption Romantic—Just a Less Starry-Eyed One – Mitch Pearlstein, Family Studies

Worse than foster care? Why not imagine something better for maltreated children? – Ron Haskins and Jeremy Kohomban, The Brookings Institution

Bioethics

The Case Against CRISPR Babies – Nicanor Austriaco, First Things

Pro-life medical expert tells Congressional panel aborted baby tissue isn’t necessary for research – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Obamacare

Christian groups win Obamacare birth control battle – Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner

How Catholics Can Ensure Their Health Care Doesn’t Fund Abortion – Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register

 

Family

Marriage

The Partisan Divide in Marriage and Family Life: Four Takeaways from the 2018 American Family Survey – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Keeping Your Marriage Intact While Grieving the Loss of a Child – Mary Ann Vincent, Focus on the Family

Protecting your marriage during the holidaysMPR News

You Can Reduce Negative Reactions in Conflict – Milan Yerkovich and Kay Yerkovich, Focus on the Family

The Unlikely Marriage of Alexander Hamilton and His Wife, Eliza – Barbara Maranzani, Biography.com

Parenting

3 Things Your Teens Fear the Most – Kevin Leman, Focus on the Family

Why parents constantly get their kids’ names wrong – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

Economics/Education

Modeling Opportunity in America: The Success Sequence and Social Genome Model – Isabel Sawhill, Family Studies

Virginia county wants to nix law allowing homeschooling for religious reasons – Helaina Bock, LifeSiteNews

The New Farm Bill Is So Bad That Supporters Don’t Want Its Details Released – Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

How John Taylor Gatto Helped Parents And Children Regain Our Freedom To Think – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Faith/Character/Culture

Study: Half of All High School Students Don’t Trust the Media to Report Accurately and FairlyA.J. Katz, TVNewser

The Authenticity of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Gran Torino’ – Dwight Longenecker, Intellectual Takeout

America Was Always Diverse – Jim Geraghty, National Review

An Aging Society Needs Caregiving Superheroes – Amy Ziettlow, Family Studies

Human Sexuality

9 Transgender Patients Complain Of Mutilation, Botched Sex-Change Surgeries In Oregon – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

Parents protest Desert Sands Unified sex ed curriculum changes – Joseph Hong, Palm Springs Desert Sun

Yes, Evangelical ‘Abstinence Culture’ Is A Bust, But The Answer Isn’t A Sexual Free-For-All – Matthew Cochran, The Federalist

Does Cohabitation Still Matter for Children’s Family Stability When It Becomes Common? –  Laurie DeRose, Family Studies

Why Puberty Blockers Are A Clear Danger To Children’s Health – Jane Robbins, The Federalist

Pornography

Pornography and the Definition of Power – Scott Beauchamp, The American Conservative

Tumblr will delete all porn from its platform – Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

Federal Employee Downloaded 9,000 Pages of Porn, Infecting Network with Russian Malware – Craig Bannister, CNS News

Starbucks finally bans porn – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

More College Students Wanting Universities to Filter Porn – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Social Conservative Review - December 3, 2018

by Daniel Hart

December 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

At a retreat I attended some years ago, a priest said something that I will never forget. He said that whenever we are feeling spiritually dry and it seems like God is far away from us, or even when we begin to have doubts about our faith, there is one simple action we can take that can ground us again and stabilize our disillusionment. It is to simply remember those precious moments in our lives when God has shown Himself to us very clearly, filling us with unearthly gratitude and peace.

As it happens, I had one of these moments a few weeks ago. While I was reading Scripture before starting work one morning, I was struck by a passage from Luke 18, when a blind man calls out to Jesus to have pity on him, and what happened next: “Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He replied, ‘Lord, please let me see.’ Jesus told him, ‘Have sight; your faith has saved you’” (Luke 18:40-42). After reading those words, tears immediately filled my eyes, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of immense comfort and peace, as if Christ was holding my shoulders, gazing into my eyes, and speaking those words directly to me: “Your faith has saved you.” In that moment, I felt as though I was being given a brand-new understanding of the enormity of the gift of faith that God had given me—“I offered you salvation, and you accepted it. See now how you flourish because of this gift! Don’t ever forget that!”

For me, moments like these happen rarely and inexplicably, seemingly out of nowhere. I am truly grateful to God for them because I know what He is doing: He is giving me a taste of Heaven, a spiritual consolation and confirmation of His existence and His personal, fatherly care for my soul. When I am feeling spiritually listless, all I need to do is recall one of these moments when God broke through the earthly veil of tears and spoke directly to me. When I do this, I am reminded of the Hope that is always there, even amidst the worst crisis of faith I could ever conceivably experience.

As we enter the Advent season, it can be easy to get caught up in earthly preparations and worries, and we may even find ourselves feeling a bit lethargic about the real “reason for the season.” If we do, one way we can stay grounded is to simply remember. Remember the origin story of when we were first given the gift of faith or any of those extraordinary moments when God broke into our lives with supernatural clarity. By doing this, we can remind ourselves about and reflect upon the origin story of salvation, when the Christ-child broke into history and into the soul of every person who has ever or will ever live, calling us all by name to Himself.

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

Boy Erased’ film misrepresents sexual orientation counseling – Peter Sprigg

National Adoption Month Launches with Assault on Faith-based Adoption – Mary Beth Waddell

What Could Have Been, and the Hope of What Is to Come – Cassidy Rich

Times Op-Ed Admits Key Justifications for Gender Transition are False – Peter Sprigg

Let There Be (Christmas) Lights – Alexandra McPhee

In India, Twitter Gets a Taste of the True Danger of Viewpoint Suppression – Alexandra McPhee

Faith-based Adoption Providers Are Answering the Pro-Life Call and Must Be Protected – Madison Ferguson

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

California Professor Fired for Challenging Student’s Beliefs About Sexuality is Reinstated – Emily Jones, CBN News

Salvation Army Warns Officers to Stop Posting About Gay Marriage – Todd Starnes.com

Mom Says 6-Year-Old Son Is Transgender. Dad Disagrees. Now He Might Lose His Son. – Amanda Prestigiacomo, The Daily Wire

AG Paxton Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Take Up Religious Liberties Case – Ken Paxton, AG of Texas

SURVEY: Christian & Conservative Students Silenced, Intimidated into Keeping Views Private – Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

EWTN wins lawsuit over HHS contraception mandate – Ed Condon, CNA

DC church asks to intervene in atheists’ lawsuit that seeks to force churches to file tax returns – Alliance Defending Freedom

Public School Bans All Christmas Songs That Mention Jesus – Todd Starnes.com

Senators Urge IRS to Delay Taxes on Churches: ‘It’s Going to Cost the Non-Profit Community Up to a Billion Dollars’ – Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

City Of Pasadena Banned A Pro-Traditional Marriage Speaker, Federal Lawsuit Claims – Alex Parker, RedState

International Religious Freedom

The Lessons of the Asia Bibi Case – Nina Shea, National Review

Report: Half a Billion Christians Facing Global Persecution – Edwin Mora, Breitbart

China Demolishes Crosses, Mandates Surveillance in Churches as Religious Persecution Rises – Josh Shepherd, The Stream

Bishop, priest and more than 40 others killed at Central African Republic church and refugee camp – John Burger, Aleteia

A Scene From Hell’: Christians Talk Being Bloodied, Pelted With Stones, Metal by Muslim Mob in Kenya – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Woman describes torture, beatings in Chinese detention camp – Maria Danilova, AP

Christian Bridal Magazine Forced Out of Business for Not Featuring Same-Sex Couples – Virginia Hale, Breitbart

Freed British missionary forgives men who killed his best friend – Alex Williams, Premier

Family Forgives Tribal Members Who Allegedly Killed American ‘Missionary’ – Katherine Rodriguez, Breitbart

Young Girl Orphaned in Uganda After Father Converts to Christianity – International Christian Concern

Iraqi Christians who fled IS return to find properties seized – Eno Adeogun, Premier

 

Life

Abortion

Groups Ask SCOTUS To Hear Case That Could Overturn Roe – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Planned Parenthood’s Share of U.S. Abortions Increased in 2015 – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

President Trump Names Pro-Life Neurobiology Professor to National Science Board – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Trial over controversial Kentucky abortion law now in judge’s hands – Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal

How a ‘scheduling error’ saved a baby with Down syndrome from abortion – Sarah Terzo, Live Action

Kenya: Board orders Marie Stopes to stop offering abortion services – Angela Oketch and Soni Kanake, Daily Nation

Abortionist Defends Killing Babies: “A Fetus Needs Permission to Reside in a Uterus” – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Adoption

Countering the ‘Soft Stigma’ Against Adoption – Elizabeth Kirk, Family Studies

Instant Family Offers a Funny, Yet Honest Portrayal of Foster Care and Adoption – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

7 ways to support adoption – Ally Wall, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

When Families Un-Adopt a Child – Jenn Morson, The Atlantic

Bioethics

Why Tissue From Abortions Isn’t Needed to Save Other Lives – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

HHS official vows to pursue research ‘alternatives’ to aborted fetal tissue – Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn, Politico

Obamacare

650 Obamacare State Exchange Plans Cover Abortion on Demand in 2019Caffeinated Thoughts

 

Family

Marriage

A Simple Way to De-Escalate Couple Conflicts – The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Sex Recession?’ Blame Marriage Stagnation – Charles Fain Lehman, Family Studies

Modern Love. Cohabitation on Rise in U.S.: Demographic Trends – Alex Tanzi, Bloomberg Quint

No, Legislatures Cannot Abolish Marriage – Adam J. Macleod, Public Discourse

Parenting

No Man in Their Corner: Why Every Son Needs a Father – Greg Morse, Desiring God

4 practical ways to raise thankful kids – Chris Gaynor, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Measuring the Long-Term Effects of Early, Extensive Day Care – Jenet Erickson, Family Studies

Economics/Education

Watch out: Schools don’t like the prying eyes of parents in the classroom – Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

The Fruits of College Indoctrination – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Why Christians shouldn’t abandon universities – Alex Ward, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

How Economic Inequality Drives Family Formation and Dissolution – Andrew Cherlin, Family Studies

Regent University Launches the Center for Christian Thought & Action

Faith/Character/Culture

Where Americans Find Meaning in Life – Pew Research Center

Suicide rate up 33% in less than 20 years, yet funding lags behind other top killers – Anne Godlasky and Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY

The Tragedy of the European Family – Ted Malloch, Intellectual Takeout

Give Thanks for What Others Have That You Don’t – Megan Hill, Christianity Today

The Great American Heartache: Why Romantic Love Collapses on Us – Jonathan Leeman, Desiring God

The Ungrateful Nation – Ben Shapiro, Townhall

Twitter Banned Me For Literally No Reason, But In The End They’ll Lose – Jesse Kelly, The Federalist

Atheism as Bad Religion – Madeleine Kearns, National Review

Dutch court denies businessman’s request to legally identify as 20 years younger – Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News

Human Sexuality

When a Gay Activist Comes to Jesus – Andrew T. Walker, The Gospel Coalition

When Young People Aren’t Having Sex, Something’s Wrong – Josh Herring, Public Discourse

The New York Times Reveals Painful Truths about Transgender Lives – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

#MeToo reminds us that Christian ethics are timeless truths – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

My high school’s transgender bathroom policies violate the privacy of the rest of us – Alexis Lightcap, USA TODAY

School has SEVENTEEN children changing gender as teacher says vulnerable pupils are being ‘tricked’ into believing they are the wrong sex – Sanchez Manning, Daily Mail

Human Trafficking

The Midterm Battle Around Legalized Prostitution Nobody’s Talking About – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

How Early Porn Exposure Traumatizes Boys And Fuels Toxic Masculinity – Matt Morrissey, Fight the New Drug

New Documentary Shows Individual, Societal Threat of Pornography – Perry West, National Catholic Register

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