Author archives: Rob Schwarzwalder

Christians and Public Life: Politics, Culture, and Bearing the Light of the Gospel

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 23, 2016

Since our first parents fell from a pristine garden head-long into the morass of sin so long ago, the inability of their heirs to extricate themselves from the moral swamp that is our nature has been the salient characteristic of human history.

Yet redeemed in Christ, His followers are called by Him to live in a manner worthy of His Name, of His character and His commission. Among the ways we’re called to do so:

  • Demonstrating in our own lives that His way is good, and that those who know and follow Jesus have found grace and truth;
  • Defending the weak, healing the broken, welcoming those fractured by the dissolution of their families, and upholding our God-given right and mandate to live-out, without repression, the implications of our faith in His Son;
  • Proclaiming that His standards are here for both individual and social well-being, and that when followed, we gain “a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”
  • Affirming that His self-revelation in creation, our consciences, and our reason is sufficiently clear for us all, Christians and non-, to understand what’s morally right and wrong for us personally, in families, in civic life, and in the professions;
  • Creating and celebrating “the good, the true, and the beautiful” such that all aspects of our lives reflect the loveliness of our Creator; and
  • Sharing the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose from the grave, and is Lord of all, and that He offers new and eternal life to all who will trust in Him alone for forgiveness.

To the second bullet, no one is weaker than an unborn child, and no one more vulnerable to predation than her mother at a time of crisis. No one is broken like the person who has departed from God’s plan for human sexuality. No one is needier than a child needing a father or a woman deserted by her husband. And no one can fully realize the nature of his humanity, that of being an image-bearer of God, without the freedom not only to worship Him privately but also to obey Him publically.

Yet we know that complete victory is impossible: As long as sin remains man’s inherent lot, God’s Kingdom, something Jesus warned us is “not of this world” (John 18:36), can never be built on earth. If we say we can usher-in Revelation’s promised “new earth” (Revelation 21:1) without Jesus, we would do well to reflect on a place called Babel.

On the other hand, if all we want is a place of political ease, one in which cultural comfort is the norm, we follow a false god. While the broad affirmation of Judeo-Christian values is, in any culture, welcome, it is insufficient. Social serenity in a world whose prince is darkness itself should never be the disciple’s chief end. We deceive ourselves if we think that those who disagree with us will just slink away if Christian values become more well-received in our culture and reflected more closely in our laws.

What, then, do Christians want? We cannot achieve comprehensive transformation. We are obligated to do justice and stand for righteousness. We will never be without opposition, at least if we’re living as God wants. And as the foundations of American cultural and political life crumble, that opposition will become increasingly savage and uncompromising.

We need to seek to do good to all men, in matters private and public. We need to take into our homes the abused and discarded. We need to advance legislation that affirms human dignity, opportunity, and hope. Private acts, public law. Both.

We need to be obedient to God. This means being winsome and gracious, bold and truthful. These qualities are not mutually exclusive, especially since Jesus embodied them (Matthew 21:12, Mark 10:13-16, John 1:14).

Toward some, we must be respectfully but firmly confrontational (Proverbs 28:1). Toward others, we must be gentle and aim to persuade (Proverbs 15:1). In doing both, depending on the people involved and the needs of the moment, we uphold the truth and proclaim grace.

Truth without grace is only severity. Grace without truth is mere sentiment.

Some argue that if only Evangelical believers were “nicer,” society would be less disposed to stereotype and dislike us. There is never any justification for being obnoxious or dehumanizing others. Yet however warm we are in the presentation of truth, there will be those who hate us; Jesus promised this (John 15:8). Christians are to be patient and persuasive, but we do well to remember that the most gracious Man Who ever lived was nailed to a cross. It’s not all about grace or all about truth. Both/and, now and forever.

We also need to focus on the things that matter most to God in the moment in which we live. Here in the United States, what are those things? I submit that the most salient issues are the destruction of 2,700 unborn children daily and the victimization of their mothers; the hydra of radical sexual autonomy as the highest good; the pending abolition of the family as grounded in one man and one woman in covenantal union, for life; and the pre-governmental duty of man to God and the consequent necessity of the state to safeguard our ability to live-out this duty as individuals conceive it (as long as such a conception does no violence to others).

This is not to suggest that a number of other issues, whether related to race, economic injustice, crime, and so forth are not important.

Yet nothing is more final than death, and death’s most cherished handmaiden in our time is unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

Nothing is more beautiful than sexual expression as intended by the One Who designed it, and nothing more debasing than sexual expression that deviates from that design.

Nothing is more foundational to human well-being and societal flourishing than the family, and as the family as we have known it starts fading like Alice’s Cheshire cat, children suffer and adults are wounded.

Nothing is more fundamental to our very beings than the fact that we bear the image and likeness of God. Thus, when Christians’ capacity to relate to Him as we believe He desires is curtailed by the state, the fullness of what it means to bear that image is diminished.

Prudence in judgment and persuasion in appeal must be the guardians of our witness. Principled compromise is sometimes achievable. As we exercise sound political and cultural judgment and seek to convince our fellow citizens of the goodness of our agenda, we can do much good and dissuade at least some of our countrymen from courses that will only hurt them and all of us.

However, some compromises are inherently unprincipled and must never be made. Whether that relegates believers to minority status or not is immaterial. We serve an eternal King, not temporal cultural approval.

Whatever the outcome of our endeavors, American Christians engaged in the public life of our nation (and to one degree or another, that should be all of us) must imitate their Savior in character and wisdom, courage and faithfulness, now and until He returns, regardless of political outcomes.

This is why we serve and contend as we do, for by so doing we herald the Gospel to a sin-besotted world, whether overtly or more subtly. Jesus is Lord, is real, and is the one true Light Who offers forgiveness and everlasting hope to all men.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News - June 3, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 3, 2016

It was about six years ago that FRC launched The Social Conservative Review. We began publishing the SoCon to provide serious social conservatives with articles about the issues critical to FRC’s agenda of advancing and defending human dignity.

We have grown from a small audience to about 15,000 subscribers, including people affiliated in some way with nearly 300 colleges and universities. We feature stories not only by Evangelical and Catholic writers but leading secular journalists. My colleagues in FRC’s Policy Department and I have sought to offer timely, informative, and motivating coverage of such things as the defense of the unborn and their mothers, the social and political redefinition of human sexuality, the trafficking of persons at home and abroad, and domestic and international religious liberty.

This is the last SoCon Review I will be editing and publishing, as at the end of this month I will be leaving FRC to take a full-time teaching post at Regent University, a wonderful school that is becoming one of the premier institutions of Christian higher education in the world. I am honored to be joining this select band of scholars and students.

I know that as editing duties for the SoCon fall into the very capable hands of my colleague Dan Hart, the Managing Editor for FRC Publications, you will continue to profit from the articles and commentary our colleagues and he will be collating every two weeks.

All the blessings of our country—liberty and security, peace and opportunity, prosperity and community—exist for us because of the benevolent and wise guidance of a loving and just God, One Who has bestowed upon this unique nation gifts unknown to all but a handful of people in the long history of life on earth. Thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives to ensure the well-being of ours, and every day brave Americans put themselves at grave risk for our sakes. We owe them an inestimable debt.

America’s imperfections, historic and present, are real and apparent. We grieve for them. Yet with God’s direction and strength, may we always work to create a more perfect Union for ourselves and our posterity.

I would be remiss not to close with this: Jesus Christ is real. He is not some imaginary friend whose existence and meaning are obscured in the fog of antiquity. The biblical accounts of eternal deity, His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, and justifying resurrection are true. Jesus calls all of us to trust in the forgiveness He offers as a free gift to all who will receive it.

My prayer for SoCon’s readers is that you will accept this gift without delay. There is no greater or more joyous decision any of us can ever make.

With great appreciation,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Phoenix Artists Threatened With Jail Time If They Don’t Serve Gay Weddings – Leah JessenThe Daily Signal

Judge Faces Removal, $40K Fine Because of Her Beliefs About Marriage – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

Obama Threatens Hospitals: Perform ‘Sex Changes’ or Lose Federal Funding – Bre PaytonThe Federalist

The Left is Now Targeting Christian Schools in its Potty Crusades – Holly Scheer, The Federalist

Dispense Contraception or Pay U.S.$1000 – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

Christian Student Groups In America Require A Permit To Speak To Other Students? – Vinay Patel, University Herald


International Religious freedom

The Chinese Christian Crackdown – The American Interest

Four Reasons Why We Leave – Andrew Knight, Desiring God

Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

US official warns ‘door for Christians in Iraq is closing’ – Ines San Martin, Crux


Military Religious Freedom

Memorials Under Assault: The Left’s Depraved War on America’s Heroes – Nate Madden,Conservative Review    

Why military chaplains need the Russell Amendment – Mike Berry,The Hill

Making Memorial Day About More Than Grills – Daniel Briggs, Alliance Defending Freedom


Religious Liberty in the public square

A new evangelical political alignment: The Liberty Party – D.C. InnesWorld Magazine

Atheist Relents; Enters Legal Agreement to Cease Filing Lawsuits Over Free Exercise of Religion – First Liberty Institute

Group of Atheists, Humanists Sues to Remove National Motto “In God We Trust” from U.S. Currency – First Liberty Institute





Fetuses Are People, Hillary Said; Let’s Make Sure Our Laws Agree – Debby Efurd, The Christian Post

Evangelicals Cheer Pro-Life Vote at Methodist Conference – Kate ShellnuttChristianity Today

Sex-Selection Abortion: The Real War on Women – Anna Higgins, Charlotte Lozier Institute

New Report Wildly Inflates Global Abortion Numbers – Arina O. Grossu & Thomas Jacobson, The Federalist

Why Abortion Supporters Try to Silence Men – Kira NelsonThe Federalist

Humanizing Aborted Fetuses Through Burial – Wesley J. SmithNational Review



Abortion and the Problem of Personhood – Jonathan Leeman and Matthew Arbo, Canon and Culture

Lawmaker: Adoption Doesn’t Have to Be This Expensive – Diane Black, Christianity Today

Why It Can Be So Hard to Choose Adoption Over Abortion – Emily CarringtonThe Federalist

How to Address America’s Foster Care Crisis? It Takes a Village – Kelly Rosati, Christianity Today



Scientists Creating Human-Animal Embryos Raises Ethical Concerns – Anugrah KumarThe Christian Post

Millions of Chinese Parents Turn to In Vitro Fertilization as One-Child Policy Relaxed – Louise Watt, The Stream

When Doctors Kill Patients to Harvest Their Organs – William M. Briggs, The Stream

Democrats Demand GOP Stop Investigating Fetal Harvesting Industry – Dustin Siggins, The Stream



Little Sisters of the Poor Win Big in Obamacare Case – Roger Severino, The Daily Signal

Explainer: What you should know about the Little Sisters religious liberty case – Joe Carter, ERLC

Congress Receiving Unconstitutional Obamacare Subsidies – Robert E. Moffit, Heritage Foundation




Family Economics

Obama’s Overtime Rule Tried at IBM, and It Didn’t Work – James Sherk, The Daily Signal    

Ticketing Children for Selling Lemonade Highlights Overcriminalization Problem – John-Michael Seibler, The Daily Signal

Empty nests are an endangered cultural phenomenon – Ashley Bloemhof, World Magazine



Sins of their fathers & mothers – Mary Jackson, WORLD Magazine

The Divorce Revolution has Bred an Army of Woman Haters – W. Bradford Wilcox, The Federalist

We All Make This Marriage Mistake—But Here’s How I Overcame It – Kathleen O’Beirne, Verily Magazine

Healthy Individuals Create Healthy Marriages – Jill Savage, Focus on the Family


Human Sexuality (homosexuality/ gender issues)

Our Constitutional Right to Privacy Is Missing From Bathroom Debate – Matt SharpThe Daily Signal

Out of Lesbianism, Into Complementarianism – Jackie Hill-Perry, Council On Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

Why You Should Stop Using The Word “Gender” – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

A Former Transgender Person’s Take on Obama’s Bathroom Directive – Walt Heyer, The Daily Signal

Women fight for a safe space in their restrooms – Leslie Loftis, The Conservative Woman

Beware of ‘trans movement’ as patriarchy in disguise – Pia de SolenniCrux

Give Elsa a girlfriend? No, give the kids a break – Carolyn Moynihan, Mercatornet

A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society – Stella Morabito, The Public Discourse


Human Trafficking

45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today–

Daughters for Sale: How Young American Girls Are Being Sold Online – Gloria Riviera, Jackie Jesko, and Sally Hawkins, ABC News



The anti-porn movement is growing. The public is just catching up – Haley Halverson, The Washington Post

The case for banning pornography – Matthew Schmitz, The Washington Post

Why Can’t I Quit Porn? – Eddie Capparucci, The Christian Post

This Research Reveals the Real Side Effects of Our Sexualized Culture – Mary Rose Somarriba, Verily Magazine

The Social Conservative Review: May 12, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 12, 2016

Dear Friends,

Writing last year in The Public Discourse, attorney Jeff Ventrella of the Alliance Defending Freedom described what he termed “the prevailing orthodoxy that bans dissent from or disapproval of total sexual autonomy.”

We are witnessing that essentially fascistic approach to law and policy — the banning of dissent — in our time, even this week, as the Obama Administration seeks to crush the government of North Carolina’s efforts to preserve privacy and security in public bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers.

FRC is standing with Governor Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, and the leaders of North Carolina’s legislature as they refuse to surrender to President Obama’s vision of a redefined human sexuality. As FRC President Tony Perkins has said, “If the White House can dictate the bathroom policies of America, what could possibly be beyond their reach?”

The federal government is a servant, not a master. Americans are citizens, not subjects. The Tenth Amendment, reserving to the states those things not specifically assigned by the Constitution to the federal government, remains in force.

Those are the principles upon which conscientious men and women have always stood in our country. To abandon them is to abandon liberty. And to abandon liberty is to abandon America.

May God give us the grace and strength never to accede to such a sordid, tragic betrayal of our historic commitment to and movement toward liberty and justice for all.


Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. This is an “FRC-only” version of the SoCon Review. Watch for the next full edition the week of May 23rd.

Lectures and Events

The Genocide Resolution: Responding to ISIS and Threats to International Religious LibertyU.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), April 28. Before Secretary of State John Kerry designated ISIS’ ongoing brutality against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East as genocide, a resolution calling for that action passed the House 393-0. The rare bipartisan support for this move reflects the universal desire in Congress to see the Obama administration act to end ISIS’ atrocities. This historic effort was spearheaded by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East.

They Say We Are Infidels: On the run from ISIS with persecuted Christians in the Middle East— Mindy Belz, Editor, WORLD Magazine, May 3. For the past decade, journalist Mindy Belz has returned again and again to the Middle East, following Iraqi Christians fleeing from rape, murder, kidnapping, and suicide bombing. Belz brings the stark reality of this escalating genocide to light, sharing the stories of real-life Christians who refuse to abandon their faith — together with the hope that still lives, even in the face of terror. The title of her lecture is also the title of a new book she has written on the topic.

National Day of Prayer Webcast, May 5. Dr. Tony Evans and other leaders from the National Day of Prayer Task Force spoke about the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer, “Wake Up America,” based upon Isaiah 58:1A NIV: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” Dr. Evans, Honorary Chairman for the 2016 National Day of Prayer, is the long-time pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas and his timely, biblical messages can be heard daily on “The Urban Alternative” radio program.

Op-eds and Blogs

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a GenerationCatholic Online

Persecuting Believers Doesn’t Protect Anyone’s Civil RightsInvestor’s Business Daily (co-authored by Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation and former Attorney General of the United States

Using the Garland nomination to ‘transform’ AmericaWashington Times

Dan Hart, Managing Editor for Publications

The Left’s (Papal) Selective HearingFRC Blog

Arina Grossu, Director, Center for Human Dignity

The investigation into the sale of aborted baby body parts must go onThe Hill

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Big business will never appease the LeftThe Hill

Will we stand with persecuted Christians? — Religion News Service (co-authored by Frank Wolf, for Member of Congress and Senior Fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President

Faith’s Influence on Politics: Why it Will Not be Going AwayChristian Headlines

What’s Next in a Blurry CultureFRC Blog

Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies

Transgender activists put ideology above safetyQuad-City (Iowa) Times

Travis Weber, Director, Center for Religious Liberty, and Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies

Is the High Court Starting to Take the Little Sisters Seriously?The Stream

Reflections on Oral Argument in United States v. SterlingFRC Blog


Christopher M. Gacek, J.D., Ph.D., Senior Fellow for Regulatory Affairs and Arina Grossu

The FDA Adopts the Abortion Industry Standards for the Mifeprex (RU-486) Abortion Regimen

The Social Conservative Review - April 28, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

Modern culture is overloaded with news, social media, electronic images, technological advances, advertisements and so forth. The limits of our time and attention are pressed to new boundaries every day by the flood of external data hitting us from every angle.

There is so much happening in our society and our world that keeping up with it all is impossible. So, with respect to issues of concern to social conservatives and Christians who care deeply about the future of our country, the dignity of all people, and the persecuted around the world, FRC brings you The Social Conservative Review. It’s a unique, one-stop-shop for news and commentary about the critical moral and cultural issues of our time.

This is a content-heavy edition of SoCon. That’s because there’s much to report in the key areas where FRC works to advance religious liberty, human dignity, the health of the family, and the sanctity of life. But that’s also why we send out these editions every two weeks, to give you a chance to read the best of the Web on the issues you care about.

Thanks for your heart for the good things for which FRC stands. Pray we’ll keep standing, and moving forward, with the grace and truth Jesus embodied.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

International Religious freedom

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square









Family Economics


Human Sexuality (homosexuality/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking


What’s Next in a Blurry Culture

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 21, 2016

Ideas have consequences, Richard Weaver reminded us years ago. What someone believes will affect his behavior. What society endorses will consummate in certain results.

We are living in a time when blurry is the new normal. As Christian rocker Randy Stonehill wrote years ago:

    Right is wrong and wrong is right
    White is black and black is white
    I think I just lost my appetite
    Stop the world I wanna get off

Well, his last plea cannot be fulfilled (and where would we go if it could?), but his larger point—moral confusion is one of the gods of the age—is more valid by the day. Here are some scenarios that are wholly possible at a time when gender is seen as “fluid,” petulant insistencies are seen as “rights,” and petty (and often fabricated) emotional duress is seen as “micro-aggressive.”

Transgender use of restrooms and showers: A man, clothed in attire traditionally identified as masculine and short, crisply-parted hair, walks into a women’s locker room at a gym. The women there are upset and demand he leave. His response: “I am a transgendered man who prefers wearing men’s clothing and cutting my hair in a manner consistent with accepted norms for professional male hairstyles. But I identify as a woman and have every right to be here.”

Marriage: Three men and two women insist upon the right to marry. They argue that the definition of marriage as the union of only two people is arbitrary and culturally-based. They assert that their affection for and commitment to one another, and their free volitional choice to unite in matrimony, entitle them to legal marriage. They cite Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s statement in his Obergefell opinion that “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” If two people become something greater than once they were, how much greater will five? Who is anyone to say that the five of them don’t mutually fill one another’s needs uniquely?

Legal accountability: “A Connecticut judge declined on (April 14) to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the maker of the assault-style rifle that a gunman used in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School to fatally shoot 26 people before killing himself,” reported the New York Times earlier this month.

How about this: A woman is hit by a drunk driver and experiences physical trauma. She sues the manufacturer of the vehicle’s tires for enabling the guy behind the wheel to automate his car and, in his drunken state, hit her.

Hate speech and coercive silence: Is it hateful to quote a Bible verse, express a controversial opinion, or hold an unpopular view? Fascism was supposed to have been America’s enemy in the Second World War; is it now our accepted modus vivendi?

The University of California, Los Angeles Graduate Student Association approved a resolution Wednesday calling those who do not support a pro-Palestine agenda ‘Islamophobic’,” according to reporter Peter Fricke. This is but one example of hundreds, even thousands, of how the Left is seeking to compel uniform cultural allegiance to its agenda and the silencing of those who resist it.

Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown Law Center professor and an Obama appointee to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, makes it very clear that religious liberty is subordinate to the special privileges of people who identify as lesbian or gay:

For all my sympathy for the evangelical Christian couple who may wish to run a bed-and-breakfast from which they can exclude unmarried, straight couples and all gay couples, this is a point where I believe the “zero-sum” nature of the game inevitably comes into play. And, in making that decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.

What’s next? How about these:

  • Teaching the eternal destruction of those who refuse to trust in Christ as their Savior and Lord is made illegal as it is “hateful.”
  • Telling one’s daughter she must dress as a girl is deemed “oppressive” and “genderist.”
  • Preventing people from eating certain foods because they are deemed inherently unhealthy, or in some way tracking the eating habits of ordinary citizens so as to restrict their intake of various kinds of foods.
  • The Supreme Court voiding all laws against full legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriages.

Oh, wait…

Social Conservative Review - April 14, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

News about the persecution of Christians around the world has become more frequent and more vivid. We are jarred by the growing stream of photos showing bloodied corpses and crying children, by reports of gruesome slaughter and indiscriminate massacres. In many places, professing faith in Jesus is requiring the ultimate sacrifice.

FRC is calling on Christians throughout America to “Stand with the Persecuted” this coming Sunday, April 17th. With our friends at Open Doors USA, The Voice of the Martyrs, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, In Defense of Christians, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-USA, International Christian Concern, and the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, we’re issuing a call for churches nationwide to show a brief, two-minute video, distribute a special bulletin insert, and spend time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters internationally.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body,” we read in Hebrews 13:3 (ESV). This coming Sunday, let’s do just that.

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council


April 11 - Warren Cole Smith: “Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World Through Everyday People”

How can Christians tell our story in a culture that is increasingly hostile toward our message? Warren Cole Smith, V.P of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and former Associate Editor at WORLD Magazine, answered this question in an FRC lecture concerning his new book, Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World through Everyday People. Co-authored with another longtime friend of FRC, the Colson Center’s John Stonestreet, the book shares “inspiring real-life stories of justice, mercy, love, and forgiveness in our communities and neighborhoods, (through which) you’ll encounter a God who is intimately involved in His creation and using His church to work out the redemption of this world.”

April 6 - Religious Liberty Around the World: Where We Stand as of Spring 2016

Religious believers around the world experience violence, repression, and exile of various forms and degrees. It deserves our attention and America’s action.

This lecture featured remarks by former Congressman Frank Wolf of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative; Dr. Thomas Farr, Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Tina Ramirez, Founder and Executive Director of Hardwired Global, an organization focused on training and promoting religious freedom around the world.; and Pervez Rafique, President of Bleeding for Belief, an organization working to stop religious persecution in Pakistan and former Member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly in Pakistan.

March 30 - ISIS, Sharia, & the Islamic State Phenomenon: The Caliphate in Light of Sharia

There is perhaps no better authority on radical Islam than someone who at one point espoused that very system of belief. Al Fadi, a former Wahhabi Muslim who has come to trust in Jesus Christ, now works to educate and equip others about Islam for the purpose of reaching Muslims for Christ. In this fascinating lecture, Al explains how sharia and the caliphate drive ISIS and other radical groups in the ideological conflict into which we and many others have been drawn.

Al Fadi is the founder and director of CIRA International, a ministry focused on training and equipping Christian leaders and laypersons on reaching out to our Muslim neighbors, for the purpose of effectively sharing Christ and His message of salvation and hope with them.

Op-ed and Blogs

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance

Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies

Tony Perkins, President, FRC

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President for Policy

Travis Weber, Director, Center for Religious Liberty


The Value of Religious Organizations and Businesses to Society,” by Travis Weber. This significant study of how Christian-based companies benefit our culture and economy makes the case the faith should not be divorced from professional life. As Travis notes, “profit making should not exclude a business from having ethical standards and a conscience, whether for large corporations or family owned businesses.”

Investigating Planned Parenthood and Research Using Aborted Babies,” by Arina Grossu, Director, Center for Human Dignity. An update of Arina’s earlier work on this disturbing issue, “This paper synthesizes what we know of Planned Parenthood, its aborted baby parts harvesting, the operations of biotech companies involved in this industry, and its end-consumers, including NIH and FDA taxpayer-funded programs. Planned Parenthood performs about 30 percent of all abortions in the U.S.”

Obeying God, Not Men

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 5, 2016

In a serious, probing article in Christianity Today, political scientist David Koyzis argues that American Christians are facing an increasingly hostile culture, one which may drive them to a position of respectful but undeniable defiance to a usurping state. 

As FRC has documented, there are far too many examples of believers in our country whose convictions concerning the Savior’s truth outweigh their willingness to accede to government’s demands.  Will this become more widespread?  Undoubtedly, if we refuse to use the political tools we possess to defend our God-given liberties.

Koyzis’s piece is cautious and thorough.  Not every reader of this blog will agree with all of his conclusions, but his efforts to be faithful to Scripture’s demands are admirable and there is much truth to be gleaned from his observations.  As we might be coming to a time when, as the Body of Christ, we will need to “obey God, rather than man,” as Peter put it (Acts 5:29), honest followers of Jesus should contemplate what might be required of them.

Below, I excerpt a few passages from the article I found particularly bracing. 

Among (American) believers, complaining about Caesar’s heavy yoke can look like an affront to victims of genuine persecution—the violent kind meted out by ISIS fighters. It all adds up to a strong presumption that unless there’s a clear family resemblance to the civil rights movement, civil disobedience is simply beyond the pale.

But given the trend lines of our culture, it’s time to rethink this presumption. Christians face intensifying pressure to compromise their convictions and conform to secular ideologies. Calculated lawbreaking won’t be the right response to every government provocation, and it should never be undertaken lightly—especially in democratic societies where offensive laws can be debated, protested, and changed. But no one who confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord can meekly submit to the proposition that man-made laws are sacred and inviolable. We need to restore a bold willingness to treat principled resistance as a live possibility, rather than a relic of a bygone era … (Emphasis mine)

Where we can change laws and constitutions, let’s make every effort to do so. But it’s no secret that Christian convictions run seriously afoul of the spirit of the age. Caesar’s edicts may create situations where living them out puts us on the wrong side of the law.

Civil disobedience is our very last resort, to be contemplated only with fear and trembling. But by no means can faithful believers rule it out of bounds.

Stand with the (Unstoppable) Persecuted” Church on Sunday, April 17th

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 31, 2016

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is unstoppable.  Consider what happened last year when 21 Christians were beheaded on a beach along the shores of the Mediterranean:

Undaunted by the slaughter of 21 Christians in Libya, the director of the Bible Society of Egypt saw a golden gospel opportunity. “We must have a Scripture tract ready to distribute to the nation as soon as possible,” Ramez Atallah told his staff the evening an ISIS-linked group released its gruesome propaganda video. Less than 36 hours later, “Two Rows by the Sea” (the story of the Libyan victims) was sent to the printer. One week later, 1.65 million copies (had) been distributed in the Bible Society’s largest campaign ever.

We weep with the families of those slain and pray for their killers.  But we also rejoice that what man planned for evil, God has used for good (Genesis 50:20).

Yet even as human evil can be employed by the Lord of all for His glory, He never excuses or countenances it, and He calls on His people to oppose it (see, as just one of many scriptural examples, Psalm 82:3-4).

That’s why FRC and our allies Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, In Defense of Christians, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy are hosting “Stand with the Persecuted Sunday” on April 17th.

We are calling on churches across America to “view a brief, two-minute video, distribute a special bulletin insert, and spend time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters internationally.”

To learn how your church can participate, go to  Stand with “the least of these, His brethren,” and thereby stand with the unstoppable Lord Jesus Himself.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News March 31, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 31, 2016

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review

Ten states in the US now ban some of the most inhumane forms of animal confinement, several including rules on the treatment of egg-laying hens,” writes Humane Society Vice-President Paul Shapiro in Quartz.  “The more Americans learned about how eggs are produced, the greater their concerns over animal cruelty became. The changing tides pushed both lawmakers and corporations to act.”

No decent person should rejoice over cruelty to any animal.  But how about unborn children?

On Monday of this week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure “requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation … The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will ‘eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child’.”

A growing body of science reveals (that) unborn babies can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization,” writes the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, in her study of fetal pain.  Yet for taking this thoughtful, commonsense, and simply humane step, Gov. Herbert has been castigated by abortion advocates and their allies in the media. 

The legislation is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point,” writes the New York Times.  The online magazine Slate accuses the governor of “defying medical ethics.”  And the Leftist Think Progress site shouts that the Utah bill “Could Literally Kill Women.”

Why are these proponents of abortion-on-demand so upset?  Because the Utah bill operates from the premise that the unborn child should not be dismembered without at least some numbing of its excruciating pain, which itself implies that the unborn child must have some value. 

This they cannot admit: If the unborn child has any value independent of her mother, she must be – what, a person?  And that would mean that maybe we should revisit the whole elective-abortion-at-any-time regime imposed by Roe v. Wade, the sacred text of radical sexual autonomy and a culture that dehumanizes life within the womb.

Yes, let’s treat chickens with consideration. But those who see legalized and unrestricted access to abortion as among the highest priorities in our national life should consider the words of Jesus to His disciples: “You” — people made in the image and likeness of God, from fertilization onward (Psalm 139:13-16) — “are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).  And many chickens, too.   

Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr.
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. At noon on April 6, be sure to watch FRC’s panel discussion, “Religious Liberty Around the World: Where We Stand as of Spring 2016,” hosted by the Director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, international human rights attorney Travis Weber, and featuring national leaders in the effort to protect the persecuted in all countries.

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square




Abstinence Education


Fetal Pain

Healthcare conscience



Family Economics


Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking


Welfare Reform


by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 28, 2016

Yesterday, “Jamaat-e-Ahrar, a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility” for a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan that killed at least 69 people and wounded about 300. Why? Jamaat-e-Ahrar makes its reason very clear: “Its spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in a statement that Christians were the target.”

The Taliban murders Christians on Easter Sunday: This is the essential headline of myriad news reports, at home and abroad. But you’d never know that Christians were in the killers’ bulls-eye from the U.S. State Department’s news release. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. This cowardly act, which targeted innocent civilians in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, has killed dozens and left scores injured,” says the statement. No mention of the Taliban. No mention of Islamism and it’s brutal aggression. And no mention of Christians.

What happened yesterday in Lahore was the mass murder of Christians by Muslim radicals. This is not a statement of bigotry or an overreaction to violence. It is not inflammatory or hostile or anti-Muslim. It is a statement of fact, based on the remarks of the killers’ official spokesman (a sickening thought — barbarians have a “spokesman”) and the indisputable carnage at a park where Christian children were playing after Sunday services.

Yet this administration cannot summon the moral courage to say what actually and obviously occurred. This is repulsive and a shame to our country, which proclaims itself “the home of the brave.”

Former federal prosecutor and expert on radical Islam Andy McCarthy, in a recent lecture at Hillsdale College, said, “In the real world, we must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism, because its jihadist legions have every intention of dealing with us. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.”

The Obama Administration lacks such resolve. Its fear of giving offense exceeds its willingness to defeat our enemies. Brussels, Lahore, San Bernardino, 9-11: the list goes on and on, as does the Islamists’ intention of destroying us.

It is hard to know how to destroy an ideology grounded in a fanatical faith. But at least we can destroy those of its adherents intent on spreading their faith through vicious brutality. We must do this, even if it necessitates a recognition that such destruction could be a multi-generational endeavor. The security of 320 million Americans and the dignity of human life worldwide demand it.

Listen to FRC’s Executive Vice-President, Lt. Gen. (ret) Jerry Boykin, talk with FRC President Tony Perkins about the threat of radical Islam in a March 21 broadcast of Tony’s “Washington Watch” radio program.