Dear Friends,

Christmas can be a busy time—between trying to find the right presents, to cooking giant meals, to traveling, to rushing from one “holiday” event to the next, it’s easy to let the great celebration of the miracle of Christ’s birth slip by without taking the time to just… be.

I was reminded of this after watching a short video about bowling, of all things. In it, a Milwaukee resident reflects on how our modern culture is spending less and less quality time in social recreation with one another, illustrated by the fact that more and more bowling alleys in the Milwaukee area, which were once the social hubs of the community, are now closing. “It’s that social aspect that we are getting away from,” the man says. “Because people don’t want to take time to relax for a couple hours, and enjoy the moment. Everybody’s so fragmented with their smartphones … that’s what really bothers me about where our society is going. We’re too focused on chasing the dollar and not enjoying life. It’s not about living.”

This is a great reminder to all of us. As we spend time with family and friends this Christmas, be sure to set aside modern distractions so that we can have genuine encounters with each other. As Mary Stanford writes, spending quality time with each other is vital to our own growth in virtue: “It truly is fascinating, even in everyday life, how we come to know ourselves more fully when we physically encounter others … When our lives “bump up” against one another in … intimate way[s], … we discover much about ourselves through our spouse’s or child’s responses, through his or her reactions to our own behavior. And what we discover about ourselves in this process isn’t always pretty. The fact remains, however, that without such moments of self-discovery, we cannot grow.”

Stanford further reflects on the effect that quality time has on a child’s sense of self-worth, but this could just as easily be applied to those of any age: “In a fruitful family life, sometimes true ‘quality time’ is in fact identical to ‘quantity time’—time marked less by activity than by availability, by an attentive presence that invites loved ones to approach each other face-to-face with their thoughts or feelings. Such moments of undivided attention for one another may be experienced as a waste to a busy adult, but are in fact critical to a child’s developing sense of identity and security. Looking away from a screen and into a child’s eyes is a physical sign that one is truly receiving and appreciating him.”

This Christmas, let’s not only recommit to genuinely encountering Christ, but also our families. 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

Atone Deaf: Liberals Demand Apology from Religious Trump BaseTony Perkins

Despite Left's Bullying of Christians, Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t SettledTony Perkins

A transgender military is a weaker, compromised militaryPeter Sprigg

On Elections and the Easy Evil of HatredSarah Perry

Truth Wins at Arkansas Supreme Court Regarding Parentage on Birth CertificatesPeter Sprigg

France Reminds United States of Importance of First AmendmentTravis Weber

CDC: Abortion at Lowest Level in YearsArina Grossu

The ACC’s Bullying of North Carolina is UnacceptableChris Gacek

 

Religious Liberty

"Free to Believe"

Christian artists face jail time for refusing to make same-sex wedding invitationsChris Enloe, The Blaze

The Persecution of Professor EsolenGeorge Weigel, First Things

This Small Business Owner Didn’t Want to Make Shirts for Gay Pride Festival. Now He’s in Court.Leah Jessen, The Daily Signal

International Religious Freedom

Canada’s Boldest Professor Defies the Gender PoliceScott Ventureyra, Crisis

French government votes to ban pro-life websitesPete Baklinski, LifeSiteNews

Following death, organ harvesting of prisoner, China Aid releases statementChina Aid

Sam Alone Stands Against the LeviathanJohn Paul Meenan, Crisis

The Sensitivity Police Strike AgainGeorge Will, National Review

Ransomed: The race to free 226 Christian hostages in SyriaLori Hinnant, Associated Press

UK Anti-Discrimination Laws Used as a 'Weapon' against Christians – CBN News

Coptic Church Bombing: 'Deadliest Attack' on Egyptian ChristiansTalia Wise, CBN News

Military Religious Freedom

Parallel Societies: How the American Military and Civilian Worlds Parted WaysScott Beauchamp, Public Discourse

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

National Motto “In God We Trust” Can Stay on U.S. CurrencyFirst Liberty

Anglican Pastor May End Up in Jail in California for Offering Prayers for Women Entering Abortion FacilityAndre Mitchell, Christian Today

School Orders Staffer to Remove “Charlie Brown” Christmas PosterToddStarnes.com

Religious Liberty Win: Mass. Backs Off Gender Identity Law That Could Have Jailed PastorsLiberty McArtor, The Stream

Massachusetts churches free to serve their communities without being forced to abandon beliefsAlliance Defending Freedom

 

Life

Abortion

Senate Judiciary Committee refers Planned Parenthood for FBI investigation – Susan Michelle-Hanson, LiveAction

Media Silence: NYC Abortion Rate Is 60% of Birth RateKatie Yoder, National Right to Life

My Dear Friend Chucky Puts To Shame France’s Ban On Talking About Down SyndromeMike Rapkoch, The Federalist

Another ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ at Macy’s2ndVote

Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Ban All Abortions After an Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat BeginsSteven Ertelt, LifeNews

Unconscionable: Threats to Religious Freedom and Rights of Conscience in the Abortion DebateTim Bradley, Public Discourse

Adoption

Foster Children Need the ChurchBrittany Lind, The Gospel Coalition

[Oklahoma] DHS starts new program to speed up adoption processLacey Lett, KFOR

Advocates: Revamp Texas adoption care after mistreated teensFox News

Bioethics

Chaplains of DeathR.R. Reno, First Things

Joni Eareckson Tada: Christians Are Giving Up, Enabling Culture to Be WorseSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

4 in 10 Evangelicals Think Physician Assisted Suicide is 'Morally Acceptable;' Joni Eareckson Tada RespondsSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

Death on Demand: Euthanasia Activist Admits Assisted Suicide Not Just for Terminally IllSteven Ertelt, LifeNews

Assisted Suicide MendacityWesley J. Smith, National Right to Life

Obamacare

Don’t Let Democrats Define The Obamacare Debate – David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: We’ll Repeal Obamacare on Day One – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

How To Repeal Obamacare: Repeal Obamacare – Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Obamacare May Soon Be Over. Here’s What Americans Have Thought of the Law Since 2010. – Elizabeth Fender, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Meet the congresswoman poised to tear up Obama's education legacy – Kimberly Hefling, Politico

Why Fewer Americans Outearn Their Parents – Alexia Fernández Campbell, The Atlantic

Feminists Should Fight the Department of Education’s Redefinition of Sex Discrimination – Christen Price, Public Discourse

Marriage

Conflict in Marriage Does Not Need to Be DestructiveJason Whiting, Family Studies

The Three Love DietMARRI

Married-Parent Families Boost Student Performance in OhioNicholas Zill and W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Christmas Should Bother EverybodyBishop Robert Barron, Word On Fire

Why You Shouldn’t Change Jobs Every Two YearsSamuel Tran, The Gospel Coalition

Are Atheists Addled?Regis Martin, Crisis

Church Should Feel UncomfortableBrett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

The Battle Belongs to the Grassroots: This Is Our MomentDoug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

Human Sexuality

State vs. Family: The Tyranny of the “Emerging Orthodoxy”Paul Diamond, Public Discourse

The Transgender Movement Targets Autistic ChildrenElise Ehrhard, Crisis

Sorry, Millennials. Monogamy is Not a “Spectrum”Andrew Stiles, Acculturated

Pornography

Seven Reasons You Should Not Indulge in Pornography – Andrew David Naselli, The Gospel Coalition

Uncovering The Massive Porn Problem In The U.S. Military – Fight the New Drug

7 Areas of Life That Pornography Destroys – Patrick Mabilog, Christian Today