Dear Friends,

In a culture that is increasingly losing sight of the foundational importance of man and woman as distinct yet complimentary, of natural marriage as the basic unit of society, and of unborn children as a gift from God, it is tempting to think that the only way to turn things around is to hammer home the truth of these fundamental realities with a tunnel vision-like single-mindedness whenever and however possible.

There is, however, a deeper way to think about cultural renewal, as John Cuddeback writes in a bracing recent essay “A Father’s Presence in the Home.” He states:

Now is the time to redouble our efforts to discover and implement the fullness of marriage and family life. One man and one woman permanently committed to each other and open to new life—this is a great thing. But it is not enough. Or in any case, there is yet a whole art, a virtue of how to do this well. Living family life well means unlocking the potential that marriage has to be a powerhouse of joy and blessing, even far beyond its own borders.

How can this be accomplished? Cuddeback argues that the father’s role in this endeavor is absolutely essential. He makes this radical suggestion: “At the center of this model will be a husband and father whose very success in life is fundamentally, though not solely, seen and judged in terms of what he does in the home.” As the author points out, this understanding of manhood is quite different from a typical archetype of fathers from the 1950’s who spent most of the week away at work and most of their time at home acting mainly as disciplinarian. Cuddeback points out that this disconnection from genuine relationships in family life is still very much a problem—it has merely taken on new forms in the decades since.

The author further argues that “a central measure of [a father’s] manhood will be the quality of his presence in the home.” He elaborates that “a central way a man loves and is present to his children, is by loving and being present to his wife. That is the natural order of the fabric of family life.” This presence can be manifested in creative ways by sharing activities with family members such as gardening, cooking, carpentry, landscaping, etc. The temptation to wile away free time by staring at a screen can instead be dedicated to “being together in richer ways” by reading, playing music, hiking, praying, etc.

It’s such simple advice, and yet so desperately needed in our age of distraction. Fathers will need to step up and take leadership roles in these areas for this art of genuine presence to be most effective. Cuddeback concludes: “At the heart of the renewal will be husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, united in the intensity of their intention to focus on relationships in the household and to embody that intention in daily life.”

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 and Publications

We Need to Amend the Johnson Amendment So the IRS Will Allow Free SpeechTony Perkins

The Hyde Amendment Has Saved 2 Million Lives. Democrats Want To Kill ItArina Grossu

Twenty-one states file suit against Obama to stop another end run around CongressKen Blackwell

A Parent's Guide to the Transgender Movement in EducationPeter Sprigg

Tim Kaine’s Dangerous LiaisonsKen Blackwell

Celebrating 40 Years of the Hyde Amendment and Rep. Henry Hyde, A Pro-Life HeroArina Grossu and Andrew Guernsey

New York Times: All the Opinions (about North Carolina’s Bathroom Law) That Are Unfit, They PrintPeter Sprigg

Testimony on the Need for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection ActArina Grossu

 

Religious Liberty

“Free to Believe”

Christian school goes to court to defend a 30-second pregame prayerTodd Starnes, Fox News

Kansas Police: You Can't Pray in Your Own HomeBob Eschliman, Charisma News

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

SOGI Laws: A Subversive Response to a Nonexistent Problem – James Gottry, Public Discourse

Why Christian Colleges Will Thrive Amid Liberal Attacks – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

IRS Accused of Operating ‘Behind a Veil of Secrecy’ in Probe of 99 Churches – Penny Starr, CNSNews.com

The Government’s Civil Rights BulliesRichard A. Epstein, Defining Ideas

International Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom: The Basis for Human Rights . . . and the Survival of Christians in the Middle EastIgnatius Joseph III Younan, Public Discourse

French gvmt announces plan to criminalize websites opposing abortion – Jeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

India Is Quietly Shining a Light on the Refugee CrisisJoseph D’Souza, The Christian Post

Organizations raise (false) alarm over “global contraceptive crisis”Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Eglin removes Bible from clinic following retiree’s complaintWendy Victora, Northwest Florida Daily News

 

Life

Abortion

The 54-million-person hole in America – Christian Schneider, USA Today

I was pregnant and in an abusive marriage, but I chose lifeLive Action

The insidious way Team Obama is funneling money to Planned ParenthoodRep. Diane Black, Fox News

A GOP Congress Should Not Give Planned Parenthood Another Dime of Taxpayer MoneyRoger Severino, The Daily Signal

Bioethicists Sign “Consensus Statement” to Force Pro-Life Doctors to Promote AbortionsWesley Smith, Life News

Bioethics

“Death Control” and the Bioethics PerilWesley J. Smith, First Things

All Death is Death Without DignityAaron Rothstein, Public Discourse

The Late, Great Stem Cell Debate: Why Pro-Lifers Were Right All AlongJohn Stonestreet, The Christian Post

The Precarious Future of Assisted SuicideJohn G. Stackhouse Jr., Christianity Today

Three Parent Babies? Our Macabre New WorldGeorge Neumayr, The American Spectator

Obamacare

Health Insurance Premiums Have Continued To Rise Faster Than Worker Wages Under Obamacare – Chris Conover, Forbes

Conservative Groups Put Spotlight on Obamacare ‘Bailouts’ for Insurers – Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Yet Another Health Insurer Scales Back Its Participation in Obamacare – Peter Suderman, Reason.com

3 Simple Ways to Win the Debate on Obamacare – Beverly Hallberg, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics

Brokering the American Dream – Adrienne Green, The Atlantic

Democrats Debate Preschool: Should It Be Fascist Or Socialist? – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Fear of a College-Educated Barista – Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

The So-Called ‘Wage Gap’ Is Going Down. And the Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story. – Rachel Greszler, The Daily Signal

Marriage

A single phrase helped save this marriageElizabeth Scalia, Aleteia

Same-Sex Marriage vs. the Real Thing: A Gay Man’s View of the Big PictureDoug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

How ‘soul mate’ nonsense is destroying Christian marriagesEric Metaxas, LifeSiteNews

The Benefits of Monthly Date Nights for Married CouplesHarry Benson, Family Studies

Should We Really Marry Our Best Friend? Yes, and Here’s WhyMonica Gabriel Marshall, Verily

How decades of divorce helped erode religionJulie Zauzmer, The Washington Post

Faith/Character/Culture

Tell the truth when it might hurt youDavid Mills, Aleteia

Delight in the GoodKaren Swallow Prior, First Things

Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come BackPRRI

In Miami, a Monday Night MiracleTom Sileo, The Stream

2016 State of American Theology StudyLifeWay Research

Human Sexuality

We did the sexual revolution once before. It didn’t go well.Eric Metaxas, LifeSiteNews

Pushing Kids Into Transgenderism Is Medical MalpracticeWalt Heyer, The Federalist

The Media Won’t Pressure Charlotte To Solve The Trans Bathrooms Squabble, But You CanRichard Nelson, The Federalist

Transgender Identities Are Not Always PermanentWalt Heyer, Public Discourse

Pornography

Pornography: the destruction of women’s bodies & souls – Lisa Thompson, Aleteia

‘American Idol’ star confesses his porn addiction - and how he broke free – Ben Johnson, LifeSiteNews

9 Reasons Men Should Stay Away From Porn – Tyler Ward, The Christian Post

Why No One Actually “Needs” Porn in Their Life – Fight the New Drug