Tag archives: MARRI

Which Empowers The Most?

by Pat Fagan

August 5, 2014

At MARRI we are preparing a major synthesis paper on the effects of contraception, which has caused much discussion and  has also led to thinking a lot about natural family planning (NFP). Most folk don’t realize that both methods of birth spacing stem from the same science, the biochemistry of how the body works.   But there the similarities end.  The differences between the two are multiple but the most telling is the effect they have on the communication patterns between the spouses.

Despite many women thinking that contraception empowers them,  in contrast to natural family planning it may disempower them, most powerfully so in the realm of communication with their husbands.  NFP couples stay in constant touch on the wife’s fertility cycle and over time the husband learns a lot about his wife and the effect of her femaleness on her personality, her moods, her difficulties with her body or the peculiar burdens her body places on her at times.  Most normal men become more knowledgeable and sensitive to their wives as a result.

NFP couples are also always aware of their potency and their capacity to make children, that awesome power they carry within and between them.   Couples who use NFP will likely be much more sensitive on matters sexual with their children (after years of practice) when the time comes for introducing their children to these mysteries of life and the fundamentals of their sexual powers and responsibilities.  A very big difference exists between parents who use NFP and those who do not as they rate themselves on their success in raising their children (their success in the fullness of their sexuality).  Users of NFP far outstrip all others in their sense of success in raising their children.  (In the chart below, blue = NFP, red = general population, green = ever married Catholic population.  Source GSS plus survey of NFP users.)

The same data looked at differently yields the following depiction of the differences:

Melinda Gates has been to the forefront in pushing  UN family planning programs but it seems, is also doing some small funding of  NFP research and application as well.  However I bet she is totally unaware of the difference in parenting and  in the satisfaction between  couples with the different methods.  If she were I bet her money would be distributed differently.  She hopes to empower women but is backing the wrong horse for that race.

It would be very good to have a nationally representative sample survey that measures all the differences between the two methods of birth spacing.  The federal government has never done this research despite the billions of dollars it spends on matters sexual.  Is it not strange that there is no clamor for such knowledge?

Our French Connection

by Robert Morrison

October 19, 2012

Ever since I marched in the Yorktown Victory Day Parade (October 19th) years ago, I have had a strong appreciation of the fact that the French provided the essential aid to America that enabled us to become an independent nation. Helping the French whenever I can therefore seems only right to this American.

Following last summer’s visits with the Tocqueville Fellows at FRC, it was good to hear how one of our guests had gone home to France to take an enthusiastic part in the effort there to save marriage. Young Pierre Jovanovic is writing and speaking against plans to eliminate marriage in his country. The new Socialist government of President Francois Hollande is wasting no time in its drive to move France far to the Left. And abolishing marriage is part of their agenda. How gauche!

This week, we welcomed a small but distinguished delegation of French marriage advocates. Mme. Christine Boutin was a candidate for President of the Republic seven years ago. Today, she heads the Christian Democratic Party of France. Joining her were Franck Margain, a knowledgeable banker, and Mme. Beatrice Bourges, president of the Association for the Protection of Childhood.

Our FRC team led off with Dr. Patrick Fagan telling our visitors about the resources of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, which is one of Family Research Council’s most important mission areas. Irish-born Pat understands European culture better than most Americans and has deep wells of sympathy for the home of Christendom.

Pat showed the French how social science data supports the model of a married mother and father, preferably a couple that worships regularly, that unquestionably produces the best results for the health, education, and welfare of children.

Peter Sprigg directs FRC’s Center for Human Sexuality. He shared the research of reputable scholars that shows that the case for same-sex parenting has been much harder to demonstrate. That’s because, in part, that there are so few examples of children being raised by parents of the same sex, and because so many of the “studies” cited by our opponents in the marriage debate are flawed. Oftimes, these so-called studies are merely surveys of the gay parents themselves. They are hardly unbiased respondents. Or, they may suffer from volunteer bias, from the fact that the respondents answered ads in gay publications.

I spoke to our friends about my experiences on the Values Bus. This is a joint venture of Family Research Council and Heritage Foundation. Heritage is taking its case for reduced federal expenditures and lower taxes to the heartland. FRC speaks for hard-pressed families, for the right to life of the unborn, for the defense of marriage, and for our increasingly menaced religious freedom.

Faux-monnayeurs-counterfeiters. It’s a title I remembered vaguely from long-ago French literature classes, but it is the essence of my argument against counterfeiting marriage. (Ironically, the French novel of that name was one of the first gay-themed novels by Andre Gide. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t major in French.)

The key to understanding the fight over marriage is to understand that advocates for same-sex couplings being recognized as marriages do not seek merely to expand the numbers of happily married folks. They are seeking the end of marriage.

Peter Sprigg proved this by showing our guests the statement of a host of very influential left-wing scholars and activists titled: Beyond Same-Sex Marriage. Although the signatories don’t come right and say it, their goal is clear: polygamy, polyamory, polyandry. “Marriage” would be re-defined out of existence if these signers have their way.

Most menacingly, President Obama has named Chai Feldblum, Georgetown University Law Professor and lesbian activist, to the very powerful Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. From this strategic high position, Prof. Feldblum will be able to to assail marriage. What? You run a small business and you don’t want to give spousal benefits to a man, his wife, and his same-sex lover? You may find yourself in court.

I tell our French friends the good news: In every state where voters have been free to render their judgment, true marriage has been affirmed. This has been true in liberal, moderate, and conservative states.

It is especially significant here that black, Hispanic, and Asian voters usually provide the margin of victory in these state marriage referendums. I encourage the French to reach out to ethnic minorities in their country. Even with its large Muslim population-and the known approval that Islam gives to polygamy-it is doubtless the case that many of the women in these minority homes do not want polygamy brought to France. In fact, it is to escape many of these elements of sharia law that France’s immigrants first came to this European country.

Only half in jest, I suggest to our distinguished visitors that they might consider a Values Bus tour of the French countryside. It is well known that the provinces of France are more conservative than Paris is. Might it be possible to spark a resistance movement in French countryside for marriage? Let us pray.

My own time on the Values Bus is rapidly coming to a close. This weekend, we’re headed to Pennsylvania. After that, Virginia will be our next targeted state. What an honor it is to carry the FRC message to America’s heartland. And if—just if— there should be a Values Bus tour of France (“L’autobus de Valeurs?”), I would be the first to volunteer!

As I bade farewell to our distinguished visitors, I added one more argument:

We want there to be a France in a hundred years. Without true marriage, France herself will disappear. This fight is not for today alone, but for a vast future. Long live France-and long live the French.

Where Are the Dads? How Richmond, VA and FRC Are Working to Restore the Family

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 5, 2012

Christianity Todays This Is Our City site is devoted to showcasing how Christians are helping to transform the lives of their fellow citizens in several cities around the nation. As the site notes, This Is Our City … seeks to spotlight in reporting, essays, and documentary video how … Christians are responding to their cities’ particular challenges with excellence, biblical faith, and hope.

As the articles in This Is Our City demonstrate, many of our cultures needs derive from the breakdown of the family. Recently, in Where Are the Dads? Treating Richmond’s Fatherless Epidemic, Katelyn Beaty writes about how believers in Virginias capital are building human capital through public health—one man at a time.

According to Beaty, The Richmond Family and Fatherhood Initiative (RFFI) uses ad campaigns, legislation, and partnerships with Richmond’s sizable Christian community to reach its goal: Decrease the nonmarital birthrate, reconnect fathers to their children, and foster strong two-parent families—all for the future health of Richmond.

The article quotes Danny Avula, the citys deputy health director, as saying, “If you look at health, education, and poverty indicators, people in stable families with a married mother and father have higher high-school graduation rates and income. It’s not only about the theological basis for the design of a man and a woman. When you look at outcomes, it’s a no-brainer.”

Mr. Avula sounds like hes been reading reports on fatherhood, marriage, and children found on FRCs Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) website. As Dr. Pat Fagan, MARRIs esteemed director, has written, the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human and social positive outcomes and thus it is the core strength of the United States.

To learn more about the importance of fathers to children and of strong families to the economic, social, and moral well-being of our country go to the MARRI Web site and read some of the leading-edge research produced by Dr. Fagan and his team.

To Rebuild Society, We Should Rethink our Foundation


February 17, 2012

Social repair requires sociological thinking, says David Brooks, in his February 13th New York Times column. Sociological data consistently has revealed the significant role the intact family can have in reweaving the disintegrating social fabric. However, sociological thinking must be done within the correct paradigm. Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, states that Sociology done well cannot but reflect the way God made man. A correct anthropology in light of our state as fallen creatures must inform attempts at social repair. Sociology is reflective, but cannot be fundamentally reparative. Repair begins with grace from outside us that constrains our passions and reorders our will to what is good. The family is one means of such grace and the data cannot help but reflect the goodness of this first structure.

Click here to learn more.

Listen to FRC’s Henry Potrykus on Family Policy Matters

by FRC Media Office

September 9, 2011

Henry Potrykus, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at FRC was recently interviewed by North Carolina Family Policy Council President Bill Brooks on his radio show, “Family Policy Matters” this week. Henry discussed his new report, “Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, or Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage.”

Click below to listen to the interview:

Henry Potrykus on Family Policy Matters