Dear Friends,

Once upon a time in America, a person who held strong religious beliefs, adhered to religious doctrines, and acted accordingly in good faith to their fellow man was seen as a person of strength and good character, and was respected in the public sphere.

It appears that this era is now past. In a confirmation hearing last month for 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Barrett, Senator Dianne Feinstein infamously voiced her disapproval of Barrett based on her Catholic beliefs: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.” This incident followed another unfortunate one in June, when Senator Bernie Sanders castigated Office of Management and Budget nominee Russell Vought for his Christian faith by saying that Vought is “not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

In a very public way (that also happens to be a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of using “religious tests”), Feinstein and Sanders are merely echoing what many Americans believe about religion—that in order to tolerate all religions, religious people must not let “dogma live loudly within” them.

If we examine this way of thinking, however, it fails to make sense. Religion is something that is so central to the human understanding of existence that our Founding Fathers enshrined it in the First Amendment of our Constitution. They knew what all people know deep down to be true—that every person, in the face of such profound mysteries like suffering and death, must have the freedom to not only believe what they want, but to exercise that freedom. In other words, not only must one have the freedom to believe, one must also have the freedom to live out those dearly-held beliefs in everyday life, especially if they reach to the core of who that person is.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bernie Sanders obviously have some very passionate political views that seem to reach to the core of who they are. If it is permissible to have such passionate views and beliefs in the realm of politics, how is it not equally permissible to have passionate religious views?

Even this most basic view of fairness is not adequate in understanding the true nature of religious conviction, however. All believers know that without faith and its “dogmas,” which give us the Ten Commandments, the nature of societal life will have no basis for moral behavior, and will eventually degenerate into chaos. Instead of denigrating Barrett and Vought for their strong convictions, Feinstein and Sanders should be praising them for their principled character and hoping that more nominees like them will step forward to serve the public interest.

May an increasing number of the American people and our elected political leaders better understand this truth, that religious conviction is not something to be tamped down as “intolerant,” but rather something to be celebrated as the anchor of moral goodness. 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

Supreme Court must take on heartbreaking surrogacy case – Arina Grossu

It’s Not About the Color. It’s About the Cross – Patrina Mosley

The Sexual Revolution, Sexual Freedom, and Hugh Hefner – Jourdan Stuart

Pence: Human Rights Council “Doesn’t Deserve its Name” – Travis Weber

40 Days for Life: Offering Hope and Life One Vigil at a Time – Arina Grossu

How Can Public School Students Exercise Their Religious Liberty Rights?

Why Are College Students Afraid of Free Speech? – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

The Southern Poverty Law Center put me on its hate list. It’s a smear and I don’t belong there – Hannah Scherlacher, Fox News

Southern Poverty Law Center attempts to undermine America – Rebecca Hagelin, The Washington Times

California Legislature Passes Bill To Punish Elder-Care Workers Who Don’t Use Trans Pronouns – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech – Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post

In Response To Attacks, New Florida Law Aims To Protect Religious Expression In Public Schools – Ashley Bateman, The Federalist

Live Action: Twitter’s ban on pro-life ads is discriminatory and wrong – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Judge Rules in Favor of Atheist Group, Says Cross on Penn. County Seal Must Be Removed – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

"Free to Believe"

I’m a T-Shirt Maker With Gay Customers and Gay Employees. I Still Was Sued. – Blaine Adamson, The Daily Signal

Minnesota officials attempt to control the message of Christian filmmakers – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

International Religious Freedom

Coming home – June Cheng, WORLD

Australia: Documenting the tide of bigotry and hatred – Margaret Colwell, Mercatornet

The Senate must act now to save Christianity in Iraq – Carl Anderson, The Hill

Genocide in Burma: Why a Persecuted Muslim Minority Should Matter to Christians – John Stonestreet, The Christian Post

'I Had No Fear of Death,' Says Indian Priest Held Captive by Terrorists as He Returns to India – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Video: Pro-abortion politicians mislead women about Planned Parenthood – Live Action

A Path to Détente in the War over Abortion – Julia D. Hejduk, Public Discourse

Hawaii law forces pro-life pregnancy help centers to promote abortion – Rachel del Guidice, LifeSiteNews

Americans Confused About Abortion – American Culture & Faith Institute

Children’s Minister Aggressively Pushes to Legalize Abortions Killing Children – Micaiah Bilger, Life News

Rep. Trent Franks Hopes Pain-Capable Bill Shows ‘Inhumanity’ of Abortion – Katie Yoder, NewsBusters

Adoption

Gift-Motherhood, the Prius, and the Peace Corps: Reducing Abortion by Incentivizing Adoption – Julia D. Hejduk, Public Discourse

Bioethics

Surrogacy Reaches the Supreme Court – Kathleen Sloan, Public Discourse

U.S. doctors take official stance against euthanasia – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Women and Bioethics: an ethics of care – Caterina Milo, C-Fam

Basic Bioethics: Forty ways to make a baby – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

New York Courts Rule Against "Aid in Dying" and Warn of Its Dangers – Richard M. Doerflinger, Public Discourse

Obamacare

GOP already eyeing next chance to revive Obamacare repeal – Seung Min Kim, Jennifer Haberkorn and Burgess Everett, Politico

 

Family

Economics/Education

Married Couples With Children and Jobs Cause Income Inequality – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

The Marriage Divide: How and Why Working-Class Families Are More Fragile Today – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege? – Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times

Ban the Laptops, Yes – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

Betsy DeVos vs. the Mindless Mob at Harvard – Frederick M. Hess and Grant Addison, National Review

Marriage

Couples weather bickering with a little help from their friends – Science Daily

Cheap Sex Is Making Men Give Up On Marriage – Larry Getlen, American Culture & Faith Institute

6 Secrets to a Healthy Marriage (From Old Couples) – Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout

What Nicole Kidman’s Emmy’s Kiss Says About Marriage and Infidelity – Chelsea Samelson, Acculturated

Faith/Character/Culture

Video: How To Have A Religious Argument (Facebook HQ) – Bishop Robert Barron, Word On Fire

Camille Paglia’s Teaching – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

If It Feels Like People Are Meaner Than Ever Now, Here’s What to Do About It – Julia Hogan, Verily

Many Atheists Aren't So Sure: The Doubts of Doubters – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

The Unchanging Lordship of Christ in a World of Crises – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Why You Should Keep Taking Your Kids To Church Even When It Feels Pointless – Emily Carrington, The Federalist

Human Sexuality

Rocklin charter schools OK transgender books in elementary school – Diana Lambert, The Sacramento Bee

No Long-Term Harm? The New Scientific Silence on Child-Adult Sex and the Age of Consent – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Sex diseases in US surge to record high – AFP

Podcast: God’s Work in the Midst of an Unplanned Pregnancy – Amy Ford, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Myth of “Sex Work” Named and Shamed – Marianna Orlandi, C-Fam

Why our willingness to offend can be the loving choice – Mike Goeke, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Trafficking

Child Exploitation: Solutions for Stemming the Growing Demand – Patrick A. Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Pornography Is Worse Than Feminism – Samuel D. James, First Things

Hugh Hefner, Mourning, and Legacies: Beyond the Pipe and the Robe – Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today

How Hugh Hefner Hijacked Men’s Brains – Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

One Man’s Dream Destroyed Millions – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Hugh Hefner Leaves Behind a Legacy of Sexual Exploitation, and a Public Health Crisis – Patrick Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography, Addiction, and Human Happiness – Zac Alstin, Intellectual Takeout