FRC Blog

Millennials and the Future of Marriage

by Caleb Sutherlin

October 8, 2018

Millennials are bringing down the divorce rate in America. Research by University of Maryland professor Philip Cohen indicates that the divorce rate has fallen by eight percent from 2008 to 2016. According to Cohen, “the overall drop has been driven entirely by younger women.” While older generations are still getting remarried and divorced, millennials are staying together longer.

But there’s a downside. Few millennials are actually getting married—about 59 percent are unmarried/never married. This is significantly higher than the historical averages for the same age group. Citing the U.S. Census Bureau, Gallup found that at the same age, about “36% of Generation Xers, 48% of baby boomers and 65% of traditionalists were married when they were the age that millennials are now.”

Cohen suggests one reason for this is that millennials are being more selective about who they marry and when. Many are waiting to marry until after they have a stable career and have completed their education. These are good indicators of marriages that will last. For now, divorce rates are likely to continue to fall.

Despite these hopeful signs, we are living in an era marked by a drastic decrease in marriages. The National Center for Family & Marriage Research has found that “the peak marriage rate of 92.3, observed in 1920, is nearly three times the rate in 2016.” The institution of marriage is now a leaning pillar in our society.

With so many unmarried young adults (myself included), the number of single parent households is also rising. Socially, being a single parent or having children out of wedlock is now widely accepted: “The rates of acceptance currently stand at 68 percent amongst millennials.” Having compassion and understanding for single parents is vital, but we must at the same time acknowledge and have compassion for the children who are born out of wedlock and who must bear the consequences of their parents’ choices.

What could this mean for the future? What kind of lives are we encouraging for our children? Let’s look at the numbers. Children from single parent households are more likely to struggle with poverty, have an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse, are twice as likely to commit suicide, are less likely to finish school, are more likely to commit crimes, and are more likely to become pregnant as a teen than their traditional family counterparts. The fact remains that families do best when they have a married father and mother. Again, saying this is not to denigrate single parents who are doing their utmost to provide for their kids. But there are profound societal consequences as the normalcy of single parenthood increases.

Most importantly, these statistics show a distressing outlook for the future. Millennials no longer find comfort in marriage that has been a staple in generations past. As single parent households rise, the future is foreboding.

Pew Research has found that “Fewer than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage.” This shift in culture is compounded by the fact that “34% of children today are living with an unmarried parent—up from just 9% in 1960, and 19% in 1980.”

As less marriages take place, there will be fewer examples of healthy marriages for children to emulate. Fortunately, we have the example from the Bible. We know that husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). This kind of love requires dying to one’s self for the sake of the other—a lesson that is of the utmost importance in today’s society.

Trends and statistics can give us an idea of what is to come, but the future is never set in stone. The importance of marriage is not and should never be a partisan issue. Everyone should stand to protect and promote the family for the betterment of society.

Caleb Sutherlin is an intern at Family Research Council.

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Reversing Roe—Or Ignoring Her?

by Alexandra McPhee

October 5, 2018

This past weekend, I microwaved some popcorn, took to Netflix, and streamed Reversing Roe, a documentary on “the state of abortion and women’s rights in America.”

The film aims to track the historical movement of the abortion debate into the political sphere, and it does so with a pro-abortion slant. It at least tries to give voice to leaders in the pro-life movement, however, with speakers that include our own Tony Perkins.

Among the documentary’s slew of pro-abortion advocates is Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade. Remarkably, it makes no mention of the story of perhaps her most well-known client, Norma McCorvey (pictured). McCorvey is the eponymous “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade. What you don’t learn is that McCorvey eventually gave birth to the child she sought to abort and later became a pro-life advocate because of her Christian faith. 

It’s a disappointing omission in a documentary that otherwise makes an effort to fairly represent the pro-life stance. (Even if it fails to fully represent the idea that pro-lifers are advocating for the unborn—not government control over women’s bodies or back-alley abortions. Or the idea that demographics other than old, white men can be pro-life.)

Arguably, the film doesn’t have the time to explore the integrity of or the moral basis for the views of all the major players in the abortion debate. But it does find screen time for a Protestant minister who supports legal abortion, a doctor who believes that his abortion practice is an act of compassion, and shrewd politicos who used Roe v. Wade to channel the passion of conservative evangelicals into votes for Ronald Reagan. 

What about the young woman who wanted an abortion and then changed her mind?

As a result, the absence of McCorvey and her story paints an incomplete picture of key figures in the abortion debate, the role of faith, and advocates for the sanctity of life. In a documentary with her assumed name in the title, Norma McCorvey and her story could have and should have been given a voice.

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The Unity of Body and Soul: Why It Matters

by Caleb Sutherlin

October 4, 2018

Many of the most pressing issues in our society come from a lack of love for the body. On October 3rd, Nancy Pearcey visited Family Research Council to discuss her new book, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality. In her talk, Pearcey tackled difficult aspects of human sexuality that seem independent but are really part of the same ideology.

In Old Testament Hebrew, the word for the “soul” is nephesh, and the New Testament uses the Greek word psyche (pronounced “sue-kay”). These words are used to encompass the whole person. That includes the emotions, the spirit, and the physical being. These elements are immutable and can never be reduced or separated from each other. Today’s liberal ideology seeks to do just that. Pearcey, a renowned apologist, explores the attempt by many on the Left to rewrite the person by ignoring biology and logic.    

While researching her book, she recalled an article in which a pro-choice woman became pregnant. The woman said that she considered the life inside her a baby because she wanted it, but if she didn’t want it, she and those who share her worldview considered it a clump of cells. Seeing the contradiction, the woman decided that life begins at conception, but still questioned the personhood of that life.

The current cultural movement that seeks to redefine personhood is the topic of Love Thy Body. Pearcey observes that this movement is attempting to argue that a human life is separate from being a person. Therefore, a human can be killed, but a person cannot. Pearcey aptly notes that according to this philosophy, the fetus must earn the right to life by being chosen to live by the mother. Furthermore, the body is relegated to being disposable. Simply being human is not enough to justify having human rights. (Therefore, unborn children who are aborted can have their body parts harvested, and Terri Schiavo can be starved to death, according to this philosophy.)

Even bioethicists cannot decide on what constitutes a person. When biology is removed from humanity, anything is possible. Love Thy Body gives several examples of what can happen as a result. Some bioethicists even argue in favor of infanticide, saying that a certain level of cognitive function is needed to be a person. In that light, the elderly, or even those who are mentally handicapped might not qualify for life. As disgusting as that is, legitimate voices are arguing for it.

This disregard for the body is also present in the hookup culture. As Pearcey noted, many young women in college have given in to the dehumanizing campus sexual culture that encourages them to separate their natural desire for emotional intimacy and commitment from their physical sexuality.

Disrespecting the body puts the mind and body in conflict. That conflict can be seen in the fact that 80 percent of people that identify as homosexual will change their self-identification at least once in their lives. Love Thy Body takes a holistic view of the human person and points out the natural unity between the soul and the body. Instead of thinking of the body as a patchwork of contradictory pieces, the body and soul should be thought of as whole.

Perhaps most distressing in this ideology is the removal of pre-political rights. When the government embraces the discontinuity of the body, our human rights become a gift of the government instead of what we innately possess. Today, the government has claimed the right to decide when a person has the right to live by legalizing abortion and euthanasia.

Interestingly, a number of feminist groups are turning away from the idea that the body is meaningless. One cannot be an advocate of women’s rights and simultaneously believe that everyone can be a woman.

As Nancy Pearcey so eloquently reminds us, the only way to keep the rights of personhood fully intact is to base personhood in biology and Scripture. Be sure to view her entire talk for more on this critically consequential topic.

Caleb Sutherlin is an intern at Family Research Council.

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Americans Can “Afford to Not Care” About Voting. Yet We Should Still Care.

by Travis Weber

October 3, 2018

Some of us may think of ourselves as non-political. We perhaps appreciate when leaders stand for things we believe in, but think “that’s just not for me.” We may vote if someone pesters us about it, but aren’t too excited about the opportunity.

Speaking at the 2018 Values Voter Summit, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin had some words for those who think this way (start watching at the 12:00 minute mark):

It’s interesting, I was asked some time ago by an interviewer on a radio program what I thought the greatest threat to America was. I don’t know what they thought I was going to say, but I will share with you what I did say and what I truly believe. The greatest threat, I believe, to America is apathy, because I’ll tell you we are blessed to such a degree – and think about the irony of this. We are blessed to such a degree that we can afford to not care and our lives will continue to be better than 99 percent of those who have ever lived would experience. How blessed we are that we can literally afford to not care.

This is a great reminder for all of us who enjoy more freedom than most of the world has known or ever will know. We have the freedom to vote for leaders who represent our values—to vote freely; not coerced, not pressured, and not in physical danger because we vote a certain way. Let us exercise this freedom next month.

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Social Conservative Review - October 2, 2018

by Daniel Hart

October 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

Do you ever have moments in your life when your mind wanders far into the future, prompting feelings of anxiety about all of your responsibilities and inevitable hardships you will have to endure in the months and years ahead? I know I do. If unchecked, this kind of thought pattern can lead to a nervous churn in the pit of my stomach as I begin to feel overwhelmed with the weight of the future and what might happen.

Our Lord knows unhealthy human tendencies like these very intimately. He loves us so much, in fact, that He has given us specific spiritual direction numerous times throughout Scripture to remind us of how we are called to live in the moment and not to worry about the future. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus entreats us to “not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Even the Lord’s Prayer includes a very specific entreaty: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Notice that Christ does not instruct us to ask for our “monthly” or “yearly” bread. In teaching us to pray for our “daily bread,” Jesus is reminding us that our primary focus should be on doing what He is asking of us in our present moment, in this one day that we have been blessed with in His Creation.

This teaching from our Lord goes to the very heart of Creation itself. In the beginning of the book of Genesis, we read that “God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Our Lord designed Creation so that we only have to worry about one day at a time. When the day is over, the night comes so that we can rest and recharge for the next day. In other words, God is trying to tell us something with how He has designed the earth to operate: live for today, for the present moment. Existence itself is pure gift; the present moment is all we will ever have. Let us use it for the greater glory of God.

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

Is this cross too Christian? Only the Supreme Court can save these war monuments – Alexandra McPhee

Planned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman – Patrina Mosley

Trump: Expected to Advance Religious Liberty at the UN – Ken Blackwell

An Answer to This Generation’s Identity Crisis: “Love Thy Body.” – Patrina Mosley

California’s Campus Abortion Legislation Has Been Vetoed – Here’s What It Had Wrong – Patrina Mosley

The Image of God and the Pursuit of Truth in the Kavanaugh Hearing – David Closson

Hundreds of College Students Travel to DC In Support of Kavanaugh – John Wesley Reid

World Congress of Families Seeks to Strengthen the Family Unit

U.S. Courts of Appeals: No Vacancy – Alexandra McPhee

Another Attack on Kenyan Christians Brings Us Back to Watu Wote – Travis Weber

Five Myths About “Gender Identity” – Peter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Michigan school district pulls video of family circle after critics claimed it promoted prayer – Ryan Gaydos, Fox News

Black Pastor: I Get ‘Hate and Racism’ From the Left ‘For Being a Bible-Believing Christian – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Militant LGBT Group Wants to Run Texas Mega-Church Out of Town – ToddStarnes.com

Planned Parenthood Forces Hyatt Hotel to Cancel Screening of New Kermit “Gosnell” Movie – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

International Religious Freedom

Hopes Rise for Release of U.S. Pastor Being Held in Turkey – David Gauthier-Villars and Dion Nissenbaum, The Wall Street Journal

12 Churches Destroyed, Shut Down by Myanmar Rebels – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

More Chinese Pastors Sign Statement Affirming Religious Freedom as US Govt Holds Hearing on Persecution – Steve Warren, CBN News

Closure of Syrian Schools: Another Bleak Sign for Christians in Syria – Marlo Safi, National Review

Pakistani Christian Woman Thrown Off Roof for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Marry Muslim – Will Maule, FaithWire

 

Life

Abortion

Abortion On Trial – John Waters, First Things

Podcast: Be a voice for life: Developing a compelling pro-life message – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Here’s a List of Everything a Baby Can Do in the Womb – Grace Carr, The Stream

Governor Brown vetoes abortion pill bill – Pablo Kay, Angelus

Yes, Down Syndrome Is A Life Worth Living, And A Life Worth Saving – Dan Bartkowiak, The Federalist

U.S. Expected to Fight Back Against Abortion as a Humanitarian Right – Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam

Adoption

How Foster Care Became a Christian Priority—Just in Time – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, The Gospel Coalition

My Long, Messy, Beautifully Complicated Path to Adopting My Son – Claire Gibson, Marie Claire

Bioethics

Aussies Block Euthanasia – John Stonestreet & David Carlson, Breakpoint

Mass Human Cloning May Soon be Upon Us – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

Making Death Easier Makes Life Harder – Richard Stith, Public Discourse

Child Euthanasia without Parent Approval Pushed for Canada – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

HHS feels pressure, ends contract with fetal tissue harvester – Live Action

Obamacare

As Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Marriage

Millennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet – Ben Steverman, Bloomberg

Humility Matters in Marriage, Too – Rebecca Spohr, HerViewFromHome

Reducing Divorce Through Community-Level Marriage Initiatives – Alan J. Hawkins, Family Studies

U.S. Fertility Rate Drops to All Time Low, Cut in Half Since 1950s – John Binder, Breitbart

Coping With Financial Crisis and Maintaining Your Marriage – Cherie Lowe, Focus on the Family

When Grandparents Divorce, Everyone Hurts – D. Scott Sibley, Family Studies

The Wages of Infidelity – Hugo Schwyzer, Family Studies

Parenting

Raising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental Health: Study – Alice G. Walton, Forbes

Our Infertile Future – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family Studies

Making of a Mom: Birth as a Creative Act – Laura Khan, Verily

Modeling Grace and Courtesy – Mattias A. Caro, Ethika Politika

When Adult Children Don’t Share Your Values – Marci Seither, Focus on the Family

Why Friendships Are Important for Boys’ Health – Maryam Abdullah, Greater Good Magazine

7 Ways to Teach Children About the Conscience – Andy Naselli, The Gospel Coalition

Economics/Education

Do Schooling and City Living Equal Fewer Babies? – Lyman Stone, Family Studies

Is student debt keeping Americans away from marriage?Science Daily

Faith/Character/Culture

God Will Sustain You a Day at a Time – Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Desiring God

Eight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better – Summer Allen, Greater Good Magazine

9 People with Down syndrome who are changing the world – Cerith Gardiner, Aleteia

How Prison Fellowship helps prepare prisoners for release – Emily Greene, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

We Weren’t Made for Endless Work – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

Why churches matter in the fight against addiction – Ericka Andersen, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

How to Bring Your Whole Self to Work – Mike Robbins, Greater Good Magazine

Human Sexuality

Same sex relationships: Should we just agree to disagree? – Sam Allberry, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Changing Society’s View on “Hooking Up” – Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines support gender change for kids – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

$5.7 Million in Taxpayer Funds for Study to Justify Sterilizing Children Who Are Gender Confused – Susan Berry, Breitbart

Guttmacher Reports Conflicting Findings on Trends in Teen Sexual Activity – Michael J. New, National Review

Human Trafficking

What Happens To Sex Trafficking Survivors After They’re Rescued? – Fight the New Drug

By The Numbers: Can Porn Production Be Connected To Sex Trafficking? – Fight the New Drug

Hundreds of Sex Buyers Arrested as Part of Nationwide Initiative – Ben Miller, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Protections for Sex Traffickers Being Snuck into US-Canada Trade Negotiations – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

What you should know about women and pornography – Mikayla Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Study Links Porn Consumption To Higher Levels Of Objectification And Tricking Partners Into Sex – Fight the New Drug

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An Answer to This Generation’s Identity Crisis: “Love Thy Body.”

by Patrina Mosley

October 2, 2018

At our annual Values Voter Summit last week, we hosted a student mixer that discussed the topic of gender identity and sexual orientation in this generation.

Tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to hear more on this subject from author Nancy Pearcey as she speaks at Family Research Council headquarters (register here to attend).

This topic comes in an age of transgenderism, LGBT discrimination laws, and national outcry over who gets to use which restroom—a time when gender is given to self-determination and may change daily. The nature of the sexual identity debate is often laced with animus and confusion and has profound implications for people as well as policies that will affect every citizen.

The Economist recently reported a flood of adolescent girls seeking treatment for gender dysphoria over the last eight years. In 2009, 41 percent of teens going to gender clinics in the U.K. were female. By 2017, that number jumped to nearly 70 percent.

Today, we are seeing gender confusion and gender dysphoria become more common among this generation, especially as many young people have taken up androgynous identities to be hip, cool, or in fashion. They have embraced the exploration of their sexuality to the point of denying truth. While the political Left exploits our youth to gain political points, the real heart of the matter is the philosophical attempt to erase God’s fingerprint on the design of mankind. One of the unique fingerprints of God our Creator is science. Our biological makeup speaks a truth louder than words—down to our XX and XY chromosomes. Researchers have identified over six thousand genes that are expressed differently in men and women.

In Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality, she says:

The implication is that the physical structure of our bodies reveals clues to our personal identity. The way our bodies function provides rational grounds for our moral decisions. That’s why, as we will see, a Christian ethic always takes into account the facts of biology, whether addressing abortion (the scientific facts about when life begins) or sexuality (the facts about sexual differentiation and reproduction). A Christian ethic respects the teleology of nature in the body.

This is called a teleological view of nature, based on the Greek word telos, which means “purpose” or “goal.” It is evident that living things are structured for a purpose. Romans 1:20 says, “[f]or since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and the divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … .”

If any of this interests you, please join us tomorrow and listen to Nancy Pearcey as she answers hard questions on life and sexuality from her new book, Love Thy Body.

To attend tomorrow’s event, register here!

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California’s Campus Abortion Legislation Has Been Vetoed - Here’s What It Had Wrong

by Patrina Mosley

October 1, 2018

The California bill SB 320—also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act”—would have required the state’s 34 public universities with student health centers to provide abortion pills on campus to more than 400,000 female students by January 1, 2022. California would have been the first state to require access to chemical abortions on campus, which would have made SB 320—which shows reckless disregard for young women—model legislation for the rest of the country. This bill was sponsored by state Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) in conjunction with The Women’s Foundation of California, a publicly-funded liberal feminist organization that has succeeded in getting 32 of their sponsored bills signed by the governor.

Though SB 320 passed the senate and state assembly, Governor Jerry Brown thankfully vetoed this disastrous legislation just yesterday. In explaining his veto, Governor Brown observed that having to commute a few miles off-campus for an abortion is not an inconvenience for students.

SB 320’s title deceptively includes “right to access” language despite the fact that there is no proof that female students do not have access to abortion in California. In fact, California has more than 500 abortion providers, and abortion is covered by student health insurance plans and the state’s medical assistance program, Medi-Cal. Under Obamacare, students can remain on their parent’s health plans—all of which in California cover abortions.

Here are five serious flaws with SB 320 we should be aware of when this issue comes up again:

  • University student health center are not equipped to handle the liability involved in providing on-campus abortions. SB 320 does little to resolve the liability concerns for universities, who will be forced to be directly involved in providing abortions. Potential complications that can arise from taking the abortion pill range from excessive bleeding and infection to an incomplete abortion requiring surgery and even death. Also not addressed in the bill are admitting privileges to nearby hospitals or emergency assistance in case the young women experience a complication.
  • No verification of the unborn baby’s gestational age is required. These college health centers do not have ultrasound equipment, which are vitally important to determine the unborn baby’s gestational age and in order to diagnose the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. This poses the very real danger of young women self-administering the abortion pill too late in the pregnancy, thereby increasing their chance of experiencing physically hazardous complications.
  • No pre-abortion counseling is offered. It is disturbingly common for a young woman who is pregnant to feel pressure from the father of her child as well as her family to abort, especially in abusive situations. Will college health centers be able to determine if women are being pressured or forced to have an abortion? A study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that over 73 percent of women who have had abortions admitted that they experienced at least subtle forms of pressure to abort their babies.
  • There is no requirement to inform women of the health risks of taking the abortion pill. College health centers that dispense the abortion pill are not required to inform the young women of all the risks and complications that can result from ingesting the drug, unlike abortion clinics in a number of states that are required to. This begs the question: will there be counseling provided for a woman who may undergo shock and trauma in her dorm room at the sight of her abortion?
  • The bill’s funding mechanism is purposefully vague. SB 320 claims that it will rely on private funding until 2021, but this ignores the fact that a school clinic’s overhead is paid by taxpayers, and the language of the bill leaves open the possibility of taxpayer-funded abortion after 2021 by providing no safeguard to prohibit state funds or student fees from paying for the ongoing support of this program. Public funding of abortion is something that a majority of Americans strongly oppose. According to a recent Marist poll, 60 percent of Americans strongly oppose the use of their tax dollars to pay for abortions. With already-skyrocketing college tuition costs, students and parents will be less than enthusiastic about student fees being raised, especially if those fees go towards abortion-inducing pills.

While California schools are going out of their way to provide abortions to female students who may be pregnant, the bill does nothing to fortify access to knowing their rights under Title IX, if they choose to keep their baby. All public and private schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any federal funds must comply with Title IX which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—including pregnancy and parental status in educational programs and activities. A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights if they believe their school has violated this federal law. To learn more about how Title IX protects you from discrimination at school if you are pregnant or parenting, go here.

Stay tuned for more on this topic from Family Research Council.

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The Image of God and the Pursuit of Truth in the Kavanaugh Hearing

by David Closson

October 1, 2018

On September 27, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding allegations of sexual assault from their time in high school.

During her testimony, Dr. Ford told senators that she feared for her life as an assailant she identified as Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her. Although she confessed to not knowing exactly when or where the incident took place, she said she was convinced Kavanagh was the perpetrator. Many viewers around the country found Ford’s story compelling and credible.

Hours later, Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied any wrongdoing, and described the allegations against him as “vicious and false.” He vowed that “any kind of investigation, Senate, FBI, Montgomery County Police, whatever, will clear me.” Just as with Dr. Ford’s words, millions were moved by Kavanaugh’s powerful and heart-wrenching testimony.

At the end of the all-day hearing, the consensus from pundits across the political spectrum was that although both Ford and Kavanaugh gave strong testimonies, the facts surrounding the case are unchanged and the allegations remain uncorroborated.

Although Republicans preferred to move ahead Friday toward a confirmation vote, last minute discussions involving Senator Jeff Flake resulted in Republicans joining Democrats in postponing the vote for an additional week to allow for a supplemental FBI investigation concerning the claims raised by Dr. Ford. The investigation was approved by President Trump on Friday afternoon. 

While the political calculations surrounding Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing are complex, there are two important truths that Christian observers cannot afford to forget as they consider these latest developments: man’s creation in God’s image and the objective nature of truth.

1. Everyone is made in the image of God

Whoever you find more credible—whether Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh—it is important to remember what the Bible teaches about human dignity. Although theologians debate the exact meaning of what it means to be made in the image of God, at the very least it means that man represents God to the rest of creation in a unique way. Consequently, every human being is an image bearer of God and maintains inherent dignity.

Therefore, it is impermissible for Christians to dismiss, demean, or degrade another person. This is true even when strong political disagreements exist. Our common human nature provides a basis for recognizing the value and dignity of everyone, including our political opponents. Further, Christians should rank first in showing empathy and concern for vulnerable women (James 1:27). Thus, disparaging comments directed toward Dr. Ford are inappropriate and morally repugnant. As was evident from her testimony, she is still affected by a traumatic event from her past. Christian observers should follow the lead of Republican and Democrat Senators who treated Dr. Ford with great dignity and respect.

In short, reclaiming a biblical understanding of the imago dei would go a long way in reclaiming the current disheartening state of the nation’s civil discourse. Christians should lead the way in restoring civility by recognizing and honoring everyone’s dignity.

2. Truth is an objective reality

Another truth Christians must reclaim is the notion of objective truth.

While questioning Judge Kavanaugh, Senator Cory Booker used a phrase that likely escaped the notice of many observers. Booker referred to Dr. Ford’s allegation of sexual assault as “her truth” three separate times. 

Although Senator Booker likely did not intend for anyone to read too deeply into his words, it is nonetheless important to note that there is no such thing as “her truth” or “his truth;” ultimately, there is only the truth.

Regardless of political affiliation, the discovery of truth—the exact nature of what happened thirty-six years ago with Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford—ought to be everyone’s goal, especially Christians who believe in the reality of objective truth.

Therefore, although many Kavanaugh supporters are frustrated that President Trump and GOP leadership agreed to a week’s delay in the confirmation process for an FBI investigation, if Democrats are operating in good faith—a reasonable question given the process in which the allegations were held and subsequently leaked— then the accumulation of more evidence and testimony will vindicate Judge Kavanaugh rather than sink his nomination.

Christians should pray for a quick and thorough investigation with the result that the truth comes to light.

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Hundreds of College Students Travel to DC In Support of Kavanaugh

by John Wesley Reid

September 27, 2018

If your purpose is God then neither the criticism nor the praise of people is going to affect you.”

Today, September 27, hundreds of students from Liberty University and the D.C. metropolitan area gathered in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Organized by Concerned Women for America, conservative advocates voiced the importance of due process regardless of gender or political loyalty.

Among the cultural influencers in attendance, Allie Stuckey, known as “The Conservative Millennial,” talked to FRC about what it means to be a Christian while standing for truths that may be less than popular in today’s culture.

We know from the Bible that Christians are going to be persecuted and that we will be pushed to the margins of society for holding biblical views. Sometimes it’s challenging to voice our views because it becomes intimidating when you have a mob of people who call you a bigot and call you hateful and call you intolerant for just believing what the Bible says. It is intimidating but it’s worth it.”

Stuckey then had a challenge for young adults who wish to pursue a position that may present notoriety while maintaining their faith:

It’s impossible without the strength of Christ. Be involved in a gospel-centered church and a gospel-centered community, and stand on the Word of God. But beyond that you have to continue thinking about your purpose. If your purpose is God, then neither the criticism nor the praise of people is going to affect you.”

On the issue of Kavanaugh, Chief Council and Policy Director Carrie Severino of Judicial Crisis Network told Family Research Council, “It’s not ‘women always win’ or ‘men always win.’ Let’s have due process and fairness for all.”

Severino went on to criticize the weight of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

Look, these allegations are uncorroborated, they have since been discredited because the very eyewitnesses that Dr. Ford pointed to said the events didn’t happen.”

From the stage, Severino gave a powerful speech to attendees.

As a mother of daughters, the experience she described does sound absolutely awful and there are women who suffer those kind of experiences all the time and it’s wrong. However, as a mother also of sons I want speaks for the fact that men need to have due process as well.”

President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, explained the purpose of the rally to FRC.

The purpose of this rally was to give conservative women to take a moment and share our perspective and to share our thoughts in the middle of this process. We feel as if we’ve been pushed aside, but this is our moment, this is our time.”

We believe in the rule of law, we believe in due process, and we certainly believe in a presumption of innocence. What we’re seeing is a political weaponization of the #MeToo movement and it makes us sick.”

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World Congress of Families Seeks to Strengthen the Family Unit

by Family Research Council

September 26, 2018

Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council, was a speaker at the latest meeting of the World Congress of Families (WCF), held September 14-16 in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Moldova is located between Romania and Ukraine. Peter’s talk described “Five Myths About ‘Gender Identity’” as part of a panel discussion on “Gender Ideology—The Latest Attack on the Family and the Legal Challenges It Poses.”

The “Gender Ideology” panel was moderated by Patrick Byrne, President of the National Civil Council in Australia, who is also author of a new book, Transgender: One Shade of Grey. The panel included Stephen Baskerville, a professor at Patrick Henry College who is the author of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Governmental Power. Former FRC Fellows Pat Fagan and Allan Carlson (founder of the World Congress of Families) were also among the speakers in Moldova.

FRC renewed its formal partnership with the WCF this year, and Peter has attended all but one of the World Congress events since 2004, speaking in Mexico City (2004) and Salt Lake City (2015).

The event had the active support of the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon (pictured), and Moldovan First Lady Galina Dodon’s charitable foundation “Din Suflet” (From the Soul). President Dodon spoke at the opening and closing ceremonies (despite having survived a rollover car accident just days earlier, after a truck swerved into his motorcade). Dodon declared at the opening session:

[T]he philosophy aimed at strengthening the institution of the family and based on the priority of traditional family values should become an alternative to the actively propagated anti-family ideology. Our motto is: “Every child should be brought up only in a family”. A family should only be regarded as an alliance between a man and a woman, a father and a mother.

Moldova’s Constitution includes reference to the family, with Article 48 stating:

The family shall be founded on a freely consented marriage between a husband and wife, on their full equality in rights and the parents’ right and obligation to ensure their children’s upbringing, education and training.

Dodon also expressed concern over demographic trends in his country, noting, “Over the past 27 years – the years of independence – we have lost up to one third of our population for various reasons.” He warned that if current trends continue, Moldova may lose another third of its population within the next 20 years. For this reason, he has supported policies such as paying subsidies to families that have four or more children. Dodon also officially declared 2019 to be “The Year of the Family” in Moldova.

The theme of the Congress was “The Natural Family: Uniting East and West.” Most of the residents of the former Soviet bloc hold conservative views on social issues, and the last three WCF gatherings have been held in Eastern Europe: in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2016; Budapest, Hungary in 2017; and in Moldova this year.

The World Congress of Families is also significant in bringing together the three main branches of Christianity: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. An elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) also spoke at the event. Moldova is predominantly Orthodox, and representatives of both the Moldovan Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church participated in the event. Many participants, including Peter, attended worship Sunday morning at the Central Orthodox Cathedral in Chisinau, along with President Dodon.

At the closing ceremonies for this year’s Congress, Brian Brown, President of the International Organization for the Family (IOF), which organizes the WCF, announced that the next World Congress of Families will be held in Verona, Italy from March 29-31, 2019.

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