Tag archives: Real Compassion

Real Needs, Real Compassion

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 24, 2012

Recently, World Magazine founder Joel Belz asked readers these questions: “If you could identify just one issue that is terribly askew in our culture today, and then were granted as a gift from God the ability to set that one issue right, what would it be? What specific cultural victory, if we could win it, would provide the most leverage to produce a society that is closer to the cultural blueprint God has designed for us?”

Here is Joel’s analysis of the many comments sent to him, in order of the number of responses received:

1. The secularization of our society—led by the rejection of a Creator God and the dominance of evolutionary thinking.

2. Loss of the distinctive identities of men and women, leading to a loss of understanding of marriage and family.

3. Abortion.

4. Loss of the tools to educate and shape the rising generation.

5. Sense of entitlement, selfishness, and complacency.

6. Loss of a defined dominant culture, with attendant culture wars.

7. Loss of specific freedoms.

8. Loss of honest and civil public discourse.

9. Obsession with sex.

This list demonstrates the seriousness with which at least a part of the Evangelical community (which composes most of World‘s readership) takes the reality of cultural decay in our time. The good news is that many Evangelicals are involved in activities to bring the fragrance of Christ to our society and its politics. They know that pathologies and problems are more than statistics, lines on a chart or multi-colored graphs. They are composed of real people - men, women, and children with names and needs, hopes and hurts. From ultrasound vans to rescuing young people trapped in sexual slavery, Evangelicals are working - usually quietly, without fanfare or media attention - to show the love of their Savior with tangible compassion.

Evangelicals and Catholics are ministering in myriad ways to untold numbers of people throughout our society. FRC’s Real Compassion website provides links to both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Catholic Charities sites. In each of them, you can find creative and effective ministries - national, regional, and local - through which you can make a difference in combating the very things World’s readers rightly have discerned as crying needs.

Hope and Human Trafficking

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 25, 2012

American Christians, who understand the incomprehensible scandal and moral horror of sex trafficking must recognize that this is an issue of high moral priority.” So says Al Mohler in his latest op-ed, “The Ugly American - Sex Trafficking and Our National Humiliation.”

Aptly said: What Dr. Mohler rightly calls a scandal has become so widespread that, according to the Associated Press, Attorney General Eric Holder is “designating a coordinator to oversee the Justice Departments efforts to combat human trafficking, describing it as modern-day slavery that has reached ‘crisis’ proportions on a global scale.”

The millions of victims of human trafficking deserve the help and support of Christians, especially as this problem grows here at home. As Attorney General Holder noted: “As incomprehensible as it seems, trafficking in girls is an increasingly prevalent part of gang activity. These crimes are seen as ‘low risk and high reward.’ They bring in more profits and often result in less prison time than dealing drugs. As one journalist who was covering instances of human trafficking here in Arkansas explained it: ‘You can only sell a drug once, but you can sell a human being over, and over, and over.’ Today, these transactions can be executed quickly, conveniently, and anonymously over the Internet and many of them involve young children.”

Eric Holder is not the Attorney General many of us would like: His refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, his commitment to defending the constitutionally indefensible Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare), and his allegiance to an agenda that would erode religious liberty as our Constitution understands it make his tenure at Justice a dubious one. Yet on this issue, he’s getting it right - so much so, that in his speech he even praised pro-life, conservative Republican Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), whose longtime championship of the most vulnerable (born and unborn) elicits the praise even of his philosophical opponents (read more about his recent work here).

Earlier this month, just across the Potomac from FRC, “Two associates of a Fairfax County-based Crips gang pleaded guilty … to charges of running a prostitution ring that recruited and trafficked local high school girls, authorities said … At least 10 underage girls from Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia were lured into prostitution and were forced to continue working through threats and violence, including rape, court records say.”

This gruesome phenomenon is occurring nationwide: From New York City to Odessa, Texas, this moral cancer is widespread throughout our country.

Thankfully, a number of wonderful ministries have stepped up to help those trapped in this modern-day slavery. FRC’s RealCompassion.org features links to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s “Servant Match” site and to the Catholic Charities homepage. Visit these sites to learn about ministries that, both here at home and abroad, are rescuing women and girls from the grip of involuntary sexual servitude and helping them move forward with hope and dignity.

Religious Persecution on the Rise Internationally

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 9, 2011

[caption id=”attachment_6387” align=”alignright” width=”275” caption=”Source: Pew Forum, "Rising Restrictions on Religion"”][/caption]

An arresting new study, issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, demonstrates that “restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the worlds 198 countries (12%).” However, as the study notes, this 12% figure is misleading: “Because several countries with increasing restrictions on religion are very populous, however, the increases affect a much larger share of people than of states. More than 2.2 billion people nearly a third (32%) of the worlds total population of 6.9 billion live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially over the three-year period studied.”

The Pew report is well quantified; “The researchers involved in this process recorded only concrete reports about specific government laws, policies and actions, as well as incidents of religious violence or intolerance by social groups; they did not rely on the commentaries or opinions of the sources.” In other words, the researchers can back up what they claim with hard data, which makes their findings all the more disturbing. Family Research Council believes that religious liberty is a right bestowed by God, which is why we advocate for it here at home and stand with those persecuted for their faith around the world.

In comments to a group of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1789, George Washington noted that “The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreebly to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.” The right of religious liberty is endowed to all men, everywhere, as each of us is made in God’s image and likeness and merits the freedom conscientiously to follow Him. When government interferes with that right, it oversteps its God-given authority. Sadly, such overstepping is far too common in our time.

Christians can write or email the embassies of offending countries, respectfully calling on them to stop persecution of believers in their nations. Some can go to the regions affected to minister to those who are oppressed. Most can give to organizations that help fight persecution (see FRC’s Real Compassion to learn about ministries that work for international religious liberty). And all of us can pray. Let us.