Author archives: Daniel Hart

Social Conservative Review - March 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

March 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

A man who lives alone and completely off the grid in the British Columbian woods is the subject of a short documentary I happened upon recently. Dag Aabye is 76 years old and spends his days clearing and building trails to run on so that he can train for 80-mile ultramarathon races. “I’m perfectly imperfect,” he says. “If you’re perfectly imperfect, you always have to work on yourself … tomorrow, I want to be a better person than today.” These are sage words for us all. But then Aabye says something interesting: “And if you work on yourself, you don’t have time to talk about other people or worry about other people … I don’t try to understand people. They do their thing, and I leave them alone. The only person you want to understand, really, is yourself.”

In our modern lives that seem built around being “plugged in” —to the internet, our phones, TV, etc. —it can sometimes be tempting to make a radical break from “the rat race” and “break free” so that we can live a life like Aabye’s, one of complete separation from worldly concerns so that we can constantly search for ultimate meaning in which we only have ourselves to worry about. There are indeed important lessons to be learned from a life like Aabye’s—instead of gossiping about others, improve yourself; instead of wasting time surfing Facebook or cable TV, live with purpose and creativity to accomplish meaningful goals.

But underneath the surface of words like “I don’t try to understand people” and “They do their thing, and I leave them alone” is a sense of loss. In a way, it’s an admission of defeat, of not attempting the difficult task of empathy and sacrifice for our fellow man. Ultimately, it’s an indirect dismissal of the greatest act of love we can ever perform in life: to lay down our lives for another (John 15:13). As tempting as it is to think of a life like Dag Aabye’s as one of ultimate “freedom,” Christ showed us that true freedom lies in self-sacrifice for the other. As Nathanael Blake has written recently, even something as seemingly ordinary as a man and a woman staying true to their marriage vows “is an act of defiance against all of the difficulties of life, from the catastrophic to the mundane. In marriage, men and women promise themselves to one another, and tell fate to go to hell. The traditional promises that solemnize a marriage are some of the greatest assertions of human agency, and therefore of human dignity, possible. Our freedom is not realized in the possibility that we might do anything, but in doing what we have said we will do.”

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

What an Idaho Federal Judge Should Have Said About Transgender Birth Certificates – Peter Sprigg

Sixth Circuit Shows Why SOGIs Are a Threat to Religious Freedom – Travis Weber

Women Speak: A Panel Discussion on Real Issues that Women Face Today

She Persisted: Star Parker’s Mission to End Abortion

Gentle Strength: Why I’m Not a Feminist – Cassidy Rich

Remarks by Tony Perkins at the 2018 NRB Convention


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Christian Bakers Appeal Fine for Refusing to Make Cake for Same-Sex Wedding – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Fourth Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Bladensburg Veterans Memorial Case – First Liberty

Report: Southern Poverty Law Center ignores anti-Semitic hate crimes on campus – Caleb Parke, Fox News

Condo Bans Senior Citizen’s Bible Study, Christian Music –

Christian group sues Michigan university after it is kicked off campus – Caleb Parke, Fox News

School District Bans Baptist Chaplain From Praying with Football Team –

College student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders – Rick Lessard, Fox61

61% of College Students Says Campus Climate Deters Conservative Speech – Tom Ciccotta, Breitbart

Pa. County Continues Fight Against Atheists’ Lawsuit Demanding Cross Be Removed From Seal – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Mike Pompeo’s Nomination is ‘Very Positive for the Cause of International Religious Freedom’ – George Thomas, CBN News

Remains of 40 Iraqi Christians With Their Crosses Found in Mass Grave – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Christian Parents Praying for Son on Death Row in Pakistan for ‘Blasphemy’ – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Military Religious Freedom

Should a ‘secular humanist’ serve as Navy chaplain? Absolutely not – Sen. Roger Wicker, Fox News




Discriminating against people like my son, with Down syndrome, must end – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Abortion Clinics Have Lost 3 Million Customers to This Pro-Life Helpline – Jay Hobbs, LifeNews

To Call Abortion ‘Health Care’ Defies Logic – Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, National Catholic Register

A Miracle Story: Baby Saved After Mother Had Already Started Abortion – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Abortion worker pressured by other workers to abort her wanted baby – Sarah Terzo, Live Action

Michigan pro-lifers now saving babies from within a former Planned Parenthood – Katie Franklin, LifeSiteNews

Kentucky House OKs bill to ban abortion procedure after 11 weeks – Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

Human Rights Groups Thank U.S. for Rolling Back Abortion in Impending Report – Austin Ruse, C-Fam

Why Is the Abortion Industry Run by Women? – Rebekah Merkle, Desiring God


Video: Family Adopts an Abandoned Newborn Baby – Sarah Zagorski, LifeNews

A ‘perfect’ ending for four Kansas siblings seeking adoption brings judge to tears – Rick Montgomery, Chicago Tribune


The real Down syndrome problem: Accepting genocide – George F. Will, The Washington Post

Euthanasia is Now Being Performed … on Prisoners – Michael Cook, Intellectual Takeout

Appeals court: Hospital can yank baby Alfie Evans’ life support against parents’ wishes – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

VSED: A New Form of Assisted Suicide – Richard Becker, Crisis

Netherlands Euthanized 252 Mentally Ill People in 2017 – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Basic Bioethics: What Christians should know about abortifacients – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission




Tax Cuts Already Have America’s Small Businesses Moving Again – Chris Stansbury, The Daily Signal

Saving men in the heartland: The case for place-based employment policies – The Brookings Institution


The Romance of Ordinary Marriage – Nathanael Blake, Public Discourse

Don’t Miss the Joy of Family Life – Justin Coulson, Family Studies

7 Questions Every Husband Should Be Asking Himself – Christopher Greco, Relevant

God, Why Won’t You Fulfill Our Desire for Children? – Michael McAfee, The Gospel Coalition

How to Increase Participation in Marriage and Relationship Education – Stephen F. Duncan, Family Studies


3 Things A Father Must Teach His Son So That His Son Doesn’t End Up Dead Or In Prison – Matt Walsh, The Daily Wire

You Must Fight Hard for Peace – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

What Your Kids Need from YouJ. D. Greear, The Gospel Coalition

What Jordan Peterson Has to Say About Motherhood Might Surprise You – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

9 ways to establish sexual norms for your children before the world doesJ.D. Thorne, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Lost Art of Intentionality – Tod Worner, Word On Fire

The Christian’s Hammer – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Guttmacher Report Misleads on Abstinence-Only Education – Michael J. New, National Review

Sex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Bisexual Confessions, Ex-Gay Testimonies Receive Scorn – Dan Delzell, The Christian Post

Why He Doesn’t Call Himself Gay – Rachel Gilson, The Gospel Coalition

Historic Stand? Kansas GOP Affirms ‘God’s Design for Gender’ – Heather Sells, CBN News

New Resource Lovingly Presents the Truth About Homosexuality – Kathy Schiffer, National Catholic Register

Human Trafficking

Survivors of Human Trafficking, in Their Own Words – Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic

The House acts to fight against sex trafficking – Josh Wester, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Does #MeToo Have the Power to Bring Down Corporatized Sex Trafficking? – Lisa L. Thompson, National Center On Sexual Exploitation


What to do when you can’t “unsee” pornography – Kathleen N. Hattrup, Aleteia

Restricting Online Porn Is Focus of Rhode Island BillNational Catholic Register

10 Things To Avoid Saying To Someone Struggling To Give Up Porn – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - March 1, 2018

by Daniel Hart

March 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

FRC recently published a pivotal brochure, “How to Respond to the LGBT Movement” by Peter Sprigg. In this timely publication, Peter lays out the empirical evidence that refutes seven common claims made by homosexual activists and eight common claims made by transgender activists. As he notes, the claims that LGBT activists make have become a paradigm of assumptions that declare “that for someone to believe that heterosexuality is preferable to homosexuality is equivalent to believing that one race is superior to another, and therefore represents a form of bigotry and even ‘hate’ toward individuals who identify as homosexual.”

The problem with making this claim is that it is based on the assumption that sexual orientation is in fact “inborn.” As this brochure makes clear, this assumption is empirically false based on observable human behavior and scientific evidence. Therefore, it is fundamentally dishonest and counterproductive to label social conservatives as “bigots” based on this assumption because social conservatives do not accept the faulty premises of this argument.

Perhaps the most important idea that this publication conveys is this: in the cultural battles that continue to be fought around LGBT issues, social conservatives “ha[ve] consistently said that they love their neighbor; and ha[ve] consistently pursued policies which they sincerely believe will preserve the life and health and improve the well-being of those involved.”

The brochure concludes with this stirring thought: “If anything should be clear from the information shared here, it is that there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of both homosexuality and gender dysphoria. Let all people of goodwill—regardless of their politics, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity—agree that the debate should continue, with a respect for honest research and for the freedom of thought, speech, and religion.”

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Billy Graham — faithful to the end and still leading us behind him – Tony Perkins

Billy Graham’s Legacy — Faith Looming Large in Public Life – Travis Weber

Despite Leftist Outcry, Americans Don’t Want Federally Funded Pornographic Sex Ed – Kelly Marcum

Democrats have moved far to the nation’s left on abortion – Ken Blackwell

Receiving the Love That We Need: How to Find Healing from Past Wounds

Andrew Sullivan on Opioids: Pointing Us Toward God – Travis Weber

Thank you, Billy Graham – Patrina Mosley

Billy Graham’s Stand on Religious Liberty, Life, and Marriage and Family

How Billy Graham’s Invitation Forever Changed My Life – Peter Sprigg

#MeToo Ignores an Obvious Source of Sexual Aggression: Porn – David Krayden


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

New HHS office that enforces health workers’ religious rights received 300 complaints in a month – Jessie Hellmann, The Hill

Parents Battle Court to Stop Transgender Teen’s Hormone Treatment – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal

Forced To Resign For Her Faith, This Magistrate Sued The State And Won – Bre Payton, The Federalist

Illinois nurse fights firing over pro-life views – Bonnie Pritchett, WORLD

YouTube Secretly Using SPLC To Police Videos – Peter Hasson, The Daily Caller

Wheaton’s Win Over The Contraceptive Mandate Is A Huge Step Forward For Religious Freedom – Nicole Fisher, The Federalist

University Re-Invites Christian Speaker Who Triggered LGBT Students –

When a University Group Rescinds Freedom of Speech – Ken Ham, The Christian Post

Florida House bill requires schools to display ‘In God We Trust‘ – Kevin Tampone,

Religious Liberty Is a Powerful Anti-Gang Weapon – Noel Sterett, Alliance Defending Freedom

International Religious Freedom

A suspicious and sudden death in China – Mindy Belz, WORLD

Why Don’t We Care About the Slaughter of Nigerian Christians? – Michael Brown, The Stream

Abandoned by the U.S., Syrian Christians and Kurds Seek Help from Pro-Iran Militias – John Zmirak, The Stream

ERLC religious freedom advocacy encouraged by major court decision in Malaysia – Palmer Williams, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Attacks Against India’s Christians Doubled in 2017 – National Catholic Register

Praying for the persecuted church: Jordan – Chase Stevens, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission




Good luck explaining your abortion vote high-fives to your constituents, senators – Ashley McGuire, USA Today

Incredible Surgery in the Womb Corrects Baby’s Spina Bifida After Her Parents Reject Abortion – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Why an unwanted pregnancy is about the baby and the father, too – Garrett Kell, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Dishonoring the Dead: Moral and Constitutional Considerations on Fetal Disposition – Deirdre Cooper and Kody W. Cooper, Public Discourse

The Ostrich Defense of Abortion – Christopher Kaczor, Public Discourse

California Students Are Fighting to Keep Abortion Pills Off Their Campus – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal

Vice President Mike Pence: ‘Abortion Will End in Our Time’ – Amy Furr, Townhall


Bipartisan effort to fix Kentucky’s troubled adoption and foster care system moves forward – Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal


Pro-lifers dismayed over Oregon starvation bill’s return – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

How would you counsel someone interested in assisted suicide? – Matthew Arbo, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Scientists Make Human-Animal Hybrids That are Part Animal and Part Human Being – Wesley Smith, LifeNews

British Judge Allows Toddler’s Life Support Switched Off, Despite Parents’ WishesNational Catholic Register




Does God Care Where You Go to College? – D. Michael Lindsay, The Gospel Coalition

Research Keeps Showing This Kind Of Teaching Is Very Effective. So Why Won’t Schools Use It? – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

How to Raise Devoted Catholic Kids When They Attend Public School – Sabrina Arena Ferrisi, National Catholic Register


Billy Graham’s Incredible Ministry … and His Incredible Marriage – Dave Boehi, Family Life

A Man’s Place Is in the Home – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

Build Your Marriage on the Beatitudes – Austin Bonds, Relevant

A Photographer Asked 20 Couples For The Secret To A Long Marriage – Brittany Wong, HuffPost

CDC: U.S. Fertility Rate Below Replacement for 9th Straight Year – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News


How Do I Know If I Really Love Jesus? – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

The desperate cry of America’s boys – Suzanne Venker, Fox News

The Death of an Evangelical Titan – Bishop Robert Barron, Word On Fire

A Better Mom Is a Broken Mom – Kristen Wetherell, Desiring God

The Joy of an Unaccomplished Life – Chad Bird, The Gospel Coalition

It takes a village’: 3 P.E.I. grandmothers help exhausted mom care for triplets – Pat Martel, CBC News

Villains and Heroes Among So Much Tragedy – Jared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

The Hard Truth About Mr. Right – Joy Beth Smith, Christianity Today

Longing for likes: How to capture the hearts of Gen Z with a greater love – Jared Kennedy, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Sexuality

Why Transgenderism Threatens Parental Rights – Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Too Much Netflix, Not Enough Chill: Why Young Americans Are Having Less Sex – W. Bradford Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon, Politico

Sexual Exploitation in the Sports Industry: An Abuse of Power – Mary Urie, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pressing Pause on the “Transgender Moment”: Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally – Matthew J. Franck, Public Discourse

Transgender Activists Conduct ‘Giant Experiment’ on Children, Author Says – Kyle Perisic, The Daily Signal

Human Trafficking

House passes anti-sex trafficking bill in defeat for tech industry – Steven Overly and Ashley Gold, Politico

The Combined Crisis of Online Sex Trafficking and Pornography – Patrick A. Trueman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Shining A Light On Slavery: Who Are Sex Traffickers, And Why Do They Exploit Other Humans? – Fight the New Drug


Pornography Addicts Might Be Avoiding True Intimacy – Michelle Habel, Focus on the Family

In the massive global scourge that is pornography, men are not the only addicts – Jamie Dean, WORLD

Florida declares pornography a ‘public health risk’ – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews

Is Reading Erotica As Harmful As Watching Porn? – Fight the New Drug

Porn’s “Butterfly Effect”: A New Podcast Exposes Porn’s Unexpected Consequences – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies

Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

February 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

The other day, I walked into an Asian stir-fry eatery and was met with a row of touchscreens lined up in front of the kitchen area where employees were preparing the food. The normal conversation one would usually hear between customers and the person behind the counter was strangely absent. Instead, I found myself and two or three millennial-types silently staring down at the touchscreens and ordering our food with a series of finger taps. We even swiped our own credit cards on a little console that also printed out our receipts. Similarly, instead of going to the bank with a check to deposit and having a friendly interaction with the bank teller, we can now deposit our checks ourselves with the cameras on our phones.

All of this technology has certainly made our lives more convenient in certain ways, but it also has a weird way of making everyday life seem robotic. We aren’t being “old-fashioned” when we feel that something vital is missing from our lives when the opportunities for friendly chit-chat are systematically removed from commonplace societal activities.

The desire for genuine human contact isn’t merely a “nicety” that some of us choose to do from time to time. This desire was placed in all human hearts by our Creator. Think of how Jesus interacted with those around him. He didn’t sit on pedestal and heal people from afar—rather, he did not hesitate in holding children in his lap, touching lepers, and even spitting on a blind man’s eyes to heal them. This is the kind of God we have, one whose deepest desire is to reach out and touch us. We in turn desire to give and receive genuine touch. Never underestimate the power that a warm handshake or a friendly pat on the back can have. A sincere embrace of someone who is struggling can have an enormous impact. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a smile and a friendly “hello” has the power to immediately lift our spirits.

It’s particularly important to not miss an opportunity to be both verbally and physically affectionate with our spouses and children, which strengthens the bond of our family units. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

New Brochure: How to Respond to the LGBT Movement – Peter Sprigg

The SPLC’s Incursion into Education

With vote against Brownback, Democrats abandon religious freedom – Travis Weber

President is keeping his promises – Tony Perkins

Fact-Checking Jimmy Kimmel on Christian Bakers: Two Big Errors, But Props for Trying – Travis Weber

Generation Z – Seeking Answers to Good and Evil – Travis Weber

An Ode to the Lincoln Memorial – Brynne Krispin

Pain-Capable Senate Vote: The One Percenters’ Club – Jay Sappington

4 Unforgettable Thoughts On Marriage – Dan Hart

With Cecile Richards’ Resignation, It’s Time for Planned Parenthood to Come Clean – Jay Sappington


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Judge Rules Bakeshop Owner Doesn’t Have to Bake Wedding Cake for Gay Couple – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal

North Carolina Settles With Magistrate It Forced Out for Not Doing Gay Marriages – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal

Michigan Pastor Facing Death Threats for Offering Workshops to Teens Struggling with Homosexuality – Charlene Aaron, CBN News

Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Banning State Agencies From Doing Business With Companies That Promote, Tolerate Discrimination –

California Moves To Force Public Universities To Administer Abortion Pills – Kristan Hawkins, The Federalist

Maryland city to church: Stop worship services or leave – Alliance Defending Freedom

Ohio high school rallies around prayer after outside group tries to ban it at events – Caleb Parke and Michelle Chavez, Fox News

International Religious Freedom

16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years: Report Reveals Extent of Violence in Nigeria – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Impressions of persecution – June Cheng, WORLD

Sudan government demolishes church just hours after service – J-P Mauro, Aleteia

Religious Discrimination in Canada – Derek Ross, Public Discourse

US Pastor Andrew Brunson Writes Heartbreaking Message to Wife From Turkish Prison – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Open Doors Rebuilds Nearly 700 Christian Homes Destroyed by ISIS in Nineveh Plains – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post




Beyond Roe: A Global Roadmap for the Pro-Life Movement – Stefano Gennarini, Public Discourse

Brother of woman who died from abortion at Planned Parenthood: Abortion is not a safe procedure – Live Action

Only Pro-Lifers Address Abortion’s Core Moral Question – Mene Ukueberuwa, National Review

The Emerging Pro-Life Majority – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Fetal heartbeat’ abortion bill advances in Iowa Senate after contentious hearing – William Petroski, Des Moines Register

Missouri House Passes Pro-Life Bill Requiring Parental Notification Before a Teen’s Abortion – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews


Five Reasons Adoption Shouldn’t be a Backup Plan – John Prather, The Stream

Pro-Life Advocates Celebrate: Lawmakers Pass Funding for Florida Pregnancy Support Network – Leon Aprile, Orlando Political Observer


Euthanizing The Mentally Ill Just Lets Their Illness WinA.D.P. Efferson, The Federalist




Tax Revenues Up Big After GOP Tax Cut – James Barrett, The Daily Wire

Sorry, NYT: For Child Poverty, Family Structure Still Matters – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

The Left Is Conditioning College Students To Hate Free Speech – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

Campus Madness: Amid Uproar, Princeton’s Class on Free Speech Issues Has Been Canceled – Guy Benson, Townhall


The Profound Spiritual Truth of Marriage – Dorothy Greco, Relevant

How To Prepare For Marriage And Make It Good Once You Get There – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The Federalist

She Was Repulsed by Her Husband – Lisa Lakey, Family Life

Jordan Peterson’s Radical Take on Marriage – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

The Eschatological Hope of Bearing Children – Ian Caveny, First Things

The Lost Decade – Mary May Larmoyeux, Family Life

The Long-Term Benefits of Marriage: Evidence from the UK – Harry Benson, Family Studies

No Matter How Anyone Tries To Glam It Up Or Brush It Off, Divorce Is Never ‘Over Easy’The Federalist

We Lost Our Baby, but We Didn’t Want to Lose Our Marriage – Tanisha Garnier, Christianity Today

How to Restore a Marriage Norm – Lawrence M. Mead, Family Studies

Rankin finally pulls the plug on gay marriage – Jonathan Bell, The Royal Gazette


Raising Gentlemen in a #MeToo World: Advice for Fathers – Patrick Fagan, Family Studies

Why ‘Progressives’ Cannot Abide Dissent – Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

The Burdensome Myth of Romantic Love – David C. Dollahite and Betsy VanDenBerghe, First Things

Is Life Ultimately Pointless? – Matt Nelson, Word On Fire

Human Sexuality

Is America Running Out of Patience with LGBT Activism? – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

Nine Decades of Promiscuity – Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family Studies

Walgreens now allows bathroom use corresponding with gender identity – Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

Staggering Statistic Reveals How Many High Schoolers Now Identify as Transgender – Jason Hopkins, The Western Journal

Five Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Part I – Mary Eberstadt, The Catholic Thing

Dirty Dozen’ List Sheds Light on Sexualized Corporate CultureCBN News

Human Trafficking

510 Arrested in Sex Trafficking Sting; 56 Victims Rescued – Donald Kaufman, truthdig


Let’s Ban Porn – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn – Dieudonné Tamfu, Desiring God

5 Ways Intimacy Will Suffer if You Watch Porn Together – Mary Rose Somarriba, Verily

How One Family Is Taking A Stand Against Pornography and Sexual Exploitation in America’s Schools – Robin Paterson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

4 Unforgettable Thoughts On Marriage

by Daniel Hart

February 7, 2018

Anyone who has spent any time perusing the blogosphere knows that there are thousands upon thousands of articles out there giving advice on marriage. I’ve certainly read my fair share, so I thought it would be helpful to distill the reflections that I thought were most insightful into one place. In honor of National Marriage Week, here are my four favorite musings on the beauty of marriage.

1.  Take Your Vows Seriously So That You Will Always Have Someone to Tell the Truth To

One of the primary blessings of marriage is that it gives us a lifelong partner to confide in, no matter how unbearable life may become. The freedom that comes with the ability to be completely open and honest with our spouses is a wonderful thing. Jordan Peterson put it this way:

What do you do when you get married? You take someone who’s just as useless and horrible as you are, and then you shackle yourself to them. And then you say, we’re not running away no matter what happens…If you can run away, you can’t tell each other the truth…If you don’t have someone around that can’t run away, then you can’t tell them the truth. If you can leave, then you don’t have to tell each other the truth. It’s as simple as that, because you can just leave. And then you don’t have anyone to tell the truth to.

2. Use Your Spouse’s Criticism as an Opportunity to Deepen Your Love

Best-selling author Dr. Warren Farrell speaks of the critical importance of how we handle criticism from our spouse:

Making marriages better serves everyone. Many couples with children who are legally married are psychologically divorced. Divorces are due less to problems with money, sex or children, and more to each partner feeling that her or his perspectives on money, sex, or children are rarely heard. When our partner airs her or his perspective, we often take it as criticism, and the Achilles’ heel of human beings is our inability to handle personal criticism from a loved one without becoming defensive.

I introduce in The Boy Crisis my “Altered Mindsets Method of Non-defensive Communication,” which has allowed couples to emotionally associate their partner’s criticism as an opportunity to deepen their love. It’s a method I have honed over two decades via couples’ communication workshops… [E]mpathy communication skills need to be part of every elementary school’s core curriculum… This is the most important single global change for love in our families and peace in the world.

3. Sustaining Love Does Not Come Naturally

Dr. Farrell further explains how sustaining love within a marriage does not come naturally, but yet this is an absolute must not only for the couple themselves, but for their children: “…[W]e have a ‘love dilemma’: while ‘falling in love’ is biologically natural, sustaining love is biologically unnatural. For our children to not fear marriage, then, they need to see that their parents have learned how to do what does not come naturally: sustain love.”

So how can couples sustain love? Here is a great compilation of ways to do this in everyday life.

4. ‘Thank you for choosing me.’

This is from “Marriage According to 10 Couples”:

‘Thank you for choosing me.’ We often spontaneously use this line, communicating how grateful or undeserving we feel to be given such a genuine love. We’ve quickly learned that it is a choice that comes with each new sunrise in marriage, and it’s the deep confidence found in the other’s daily commitment that has moved mountains internally in our first year as newlyweds. ‘Thank you for choosing me …’ They are words we’ll whisper in each other’s ear well into old age; I’m certain of it.”—Angela Hoyer

Social Conservative Review - February 2, 2018

by Daniel Hart

February 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

Did you know that there is a genocide happening as you read this?

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a country to the south of China, in between Bangladesh and Thailand. The country is predominantly Buddhist—almost 90 percent. There is a small ethnic minority group of people there called the Rohingya, who are mostly Muslim, with a minority practicing Hinduism. The Rohingya people have been systematically denied citizenship, education, and jobs in Myanmar despite tracing their history there to the eighth century. This has led to them facing persecution by the Myanmar military over the last 40 years.

In late 2016, the persecution became much worse as the military began a campaign of extermination, which has included infanticide, gang rape, and arson. This has caused a massive refugee crisis, with over 700,000 fleeing west to Bangladesh. Now, new reports are surfacing that mass graves are being uncovered, which shows that the crisis is devolving into a genocide.

It can be hard as American Christians to feel much of a connection with a crisis that is happening on the other side of the world between those of different faiths. But it’s important to remember to pray specifically for an end to such inhumane atrocities like genocide no matter where it is happening, especially for a tragedy like this that is not getting much media attention. When we prioritize our prayer for those who are undergoing the most acute suffering, grace will abound all the more.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Planned Parenthood’s annual report is out: Another unhappy tale – Cathy Ruse

Americans are ready for meaningful limits on abortion – Tony Perkins

Christians in the Middle East are suffering. When will aid promised by Team Trump arrive? – Tony Perkins

Public School Assembly Tells Kids That Sex Changes Are Perfectly Normal – Cathy Ruse

New York Times Spreads Fake News About Sexual Orientation Therapy – Peter Sprigg

Can the LGBT Movement Own a Phrase? – Travis Weber

A Woman’s Right to Not Be Pressured to Abort – Dan Hart

Religious Freedom Day: A Call to Action


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Court tells University of Iowa to stop discriminating against religious student groups – Nicole Russell, Washington Examiner

Justice Dept backs archdiocese in Christmas transit ad fight – Fox News

New Harvard Research Says U.S. Christianity Is Not Shrinking, But Growing Stronger – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Fire Captain Fired for Sending Christian Emails Victorious at State Supreme Court – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

New Bill Would Allow Public High School Coaches to Pray With Students in Georgia – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

What the New York Times Gets Wrong about Conscience – David French, National Review

The War On The Hippocratic Oath – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

International Religious Freedom

Praying for the persecuted church: Eritrea – Zachary Jones, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

AP Investigation Details Shocking Massacre, Mass Graves Of Myanmar Rohingya – Scott Neuman, NPR

Military Religious Freedom

Atheists Urge Defense Secretary to End Religious Favoritism in the Military – Hemant Mehta, Patheos




Love is and always will be the basis of the pro-life movement – Jeanne Mancini, The Hill

Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost – Emma Green, The Atlantic

Why the Pro-Life Movement Will Live Long, and Prosper – Mary Eberstadt, First Things

Millennials have a surprising view on later-term abortions – Eugene Scott, The Washington Post

Three in Four Americans Favor Substantial Abortion Restrictions – Brendan Kirby, LifeZette


Why orphan prevention is an important part of the pro-life ethic – Christy Britton, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Georgia House Passes Sweeping Changes to Adoption Code – Ben Nadler, AP

Sweet Home couple hope to fund adoption with new book – Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald


They’ve cloned monkeys. Here’s why we should be very afraid of what’s next – John Burger, Aleteia


Obamacare Continues to Crush Small Business Owners in 2018 – Whitney Jones, The Daily Signal

Senator Questions CBO’s Political Neutrality Over Obamacare Numbers – Kyle Perisic, The Daily Signal




Homeschooling Is Not a Crime – Michelle Malkin, The Daily Signal

Can We Stop Fighting Over Schools? – Charles L. Glenn, Public Discourse


Are millennials putting a little too much effort into parenting? – Chloe Langr, Aleteia

When Bad Marriages Happen to Good People – Patti Armstrong, National Catholic Register

This odd phrase may be the best thing you can say to newlyweds – Marcin Gomólka, Aleteia

Number of Married Couples With Kids Hits 56-Year Low – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

The Unexpected Ways a Baby Tested Our Marriage Vows – Elizabeth Nogan Ranieri, Verily


Does Trump Get a Moral Mulligan? – Michael Brown, The Stream

The Last Gasps of Outrage Culture? – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

Most of Life Is Waiting – Jani Ortlund, Desiring God

Video: William Lane Craig and Bishop Robert Barron discuss evangelism, faith and science, secularism, and more

Prisoners Are Not Animals – Alexi Sargeant, First Things

Human Sexuality

Powerless to Say No? Study Looks at Teenage Girls and Sexting – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex in a Sex-Obsessed Culture – Marcia Segelstein, National Catholic Register

The Medical Monsters Among Us – Austin Ruse, Crisis

Transgenderism: A State-Sponsored Religion? – Andre Van Mol, Public Discourse

Same-Sex Attraction and the Wait for Change – Nick Roen, Desiring God

The Philosophical Contradictions of the Transgender Worldview – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Human Trafficking

The Super Bowl is for Football, Not Buying Sex – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Understanding The Heartbreaking Sex Trafficking Industry In The Philippines – Fight the New Drug

Sex Trafficking: 4 Things You Can Do to Help Sexually Exploited Victims in America – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post


Pornography: It’s Not Really About Sex, And Here’s Why – Fight the New Drug

A Woman’s Right to Not Be Pressured to Abort

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2018

A new study of women who have undergone abortions reveals what many in the pro-life movement have known for years: that “a woman’s right to choose” is more often than not no choice at all.

The study was recently published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by Bowling Green State University professor Priscilla K. Coleman. Of the 987 post-abortive women who were surveyed, 58 percent said that they had their abortions in order to “make others happy,” with over 28 percent saying they had the abortion because “they feared their partner would leave them” if they did not. In addition, almost half of the women believed that their unborn baby was indeed a “human being at the time of the abortion.” In perhaps the most heartbreaking statistic, fully 66 percent of women “said they knew in their hearts that they were making a mistake when they underwent the abortion.”

This study explodes a number of myths perpetuated by abortion activists. Chief among them is that abortion must be available on demand in order to preserve women’s “reproductive freedom” and “choice.” But what is painfully clear from this most recent study is that just the opposite is true. Instead of empowering women to make their own reproductive choices, abortion on demand more often empowers men to use abortion as a kind of cudgel to hold over their wife or girlfriend’s heads and demand that they make an appointment down at the local Planned Parenthood to get rid of the unwanted baby for a quick and easy $300. In other words, abortion provides an easy way for men to avoid the responsibility that is inherent in the sexual relationship that they share with their wife or girlfriend.

Meanwhile, the woman is left to pick up the pieces. As the study reveals, a majority of these women are completely unprepared for the emotional devastation that abortion causes. Only 13 percent visited a mental health professional before their abortions, but after the procedure, the percentage skyrocketed to 67.5 percent. Similarly, only 6.6 percent of women reported using prescription drugs before their abortions; afterwards, 51 percent reported prescription drug use.

There are so many devastating lessons that can be drawn from these findings—the failure of men to own up to their responsibilities and show true love for their wives and girlfriends; the failure of the abortion industry to properly warn women of the psychological effects of abortion; the failure of our culture to see sex as a sacred act that should be treated with respect due to its inherent power of human procreation.

One positive that can come out of this study is just the fact that it exists at all. This is precisely the kind of information that the abortion industry is desperate to cover up, because it so clearly and directly contradicts their “woman’s right to choose” mantra that they have been espousing for decades. This study is the latest example of a light of truth illuminating the darkness of abortion, and when it is shared on social media and blogged about by thousands of people (hint, hint), the darkness cannot overcome it (see John 1:5).

Studies like these should strengthen the resolve of all of us in the pro-life movement, and give us an extra spring in our step as we join the March for Life tomorrow in Washington, D.C., not only to speak up for millions of tiny innocent lives, but to speak up for millions of mothers who are forced to carry the excruciating yet invisible weight of their offspring’s death on their shoulders, a weight that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Social Conservative Review - January 15, 2018

by Daniel Hart

January 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

Over and over, the New Testament gives us a “simple” commandment: love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 3:11, Romans 13:8, Ephesians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, etc.). It sounds simple, but we all know that putting this commandment into practice is anything but.

When we are reminded to love one another, it’s easy to get discouraged by thinking of all the times we have failed to show love to our neighbor. C.S. Lewis provides an insightful way to think about how we can develop a habit of love by using the metaphor of mathematics. When we study math, we don’t begin by trying to understand calculus—we start with basic addition. In the same way, we learn to love by first loving our family—the basic unit of society from which we come from. This plays out in small, everyday acts of love, like forgiving your spouse for leaving the sink piled high with dirty dishes, or forgiving your child for blurting out an insult.

Once we gain this habit of love in our families, we can more easily transfer the habit to everyone we meet in our everyday lives. But it is still quite difficult, as we all know, because unloving feelings seem to naturally bubble up within us out of nowhere, and they are often difficult to shake. One example is when we are driving on a highway, and we are abruptly cut off by another driver who changes lanes right in front of us, forcing us to slow down. The immediate reaction is one of resentment, and we are often tempted to react in equal measure, perhaps by speeding up to tailgate them. But this is a failure to love one another. As C.S. Lewis has written, “The feeling of resentment, the desire for payback, must be simply killed. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible.”

When we feel the inklings of resentment building up within us, we must stop them before they become worse. Instead of letting your anger rise, take a deep breath and ask Jesus for the grace to forgive the person who has wronged you. Say a prayer for the person, asking the Lord to help them see the truth. When we begin to form this kind of habit of forgiveness and practice it over and over again, it will with time blossom into a way of life. When God sees our attempts at love, however small they may be, He pours His grace into our lives, giving us continued strength to persevere in love.

On this Martin Luther King Day, let us be especially mindful of the importance of loving one another in order to bring about increased harmony between those of different ethnicities and cultures.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Voices From The Grave Cry Out For Justice In Iran – Ken Blackwell

Every Vote Really Does Count – Ken Blackwell

Will Republicans Finish The Job for Seniors And Small Businesses? – Ken Blackwell

Chai Feldblum Should Not Be Reappointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Peter Spring

What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking – Dan Hart

Oregon State Appeals Court Rules Against Aaron and Melissa Klein – Travis Weber

How the New Tax Bill Helps Families – Andrew Guernsey

A Pastor’s Take on the Sex Abuse Scandals of 2017 – Andrew Hebert

The Rich History of Christmas Traditions – Dan Hart


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Is Your Church Prepared to Handle a Challenge to its Religious Liberty? – Erik Stanley, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

What the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover – Michael Berry, The Daily Signal

Christian school fights Michigan Township for right to operate out of a church – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

FEMA to Allow Churches to Receive Disaster Relief After Key Policy Change – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Calif. County Allows Christian Group to Display Nativity Scene on Public Property for Epiphany – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Top 5 religious liberty stories of 2017 – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Atheist Group Forces Louisiana Sheriff’s Office to Remove Christian Facebook Posts – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Free to Believe”

Judge Gives Partial Victory to Fired Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Christian Couple Who Lost Bakery After Heavy Fine for Not Making Lesbian Wedding Cake Loses Appeal – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

NJ Gives Christian Teacher 3-Year Suspension After Facebook Post on Homosexuality – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Italy Faces ‘Dark Future’ After Passing New End-of-Life Law – Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

Under Justin Trudeau, Canada marches towards totalitarianism – Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNews

Christians in Egypt Celebrate Christmas Amid Tight SecurityThe Christian Post

China church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians – Benjamin Haas, The Guardian




The new pro-life generation – Leigh Jones, WORLD

From Ireland to Africa: What Happened in the Pro-Life Movement in 2017 – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

Planned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News

Path to pro-life: Overcoming pro-abortion peer pressure with facts – Marvin Olasky, WORLD

Ohio passes Down syndrome abortion ban – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Unsafe: Ambulance calls to abortion facilities doubled in 2017 – Rebecca Downs, Live Action

Court strikes down Baltimore law on pregnancy centers – Associated Press

Women Describe Trauma of Abortion in Survey; Nearly 3 in 5 Abortions Done ‘To Make Others Happy’ – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

How Abortion Pills Upend the Politics and Practice of Abortion – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam


Mother records heartfelt message for her son before he’s placed for adoption – KOAT


Six Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide – Nancy Valko, Public Discourse

Physicians Cannot Serve Both Death and Life – Gerard T. Mundy, Public Discourse

Health Care

Trump Rule Aims to Extend Health Care Option to 11 Million Uninsured – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal




Taxes and Parental Educational Autonomy – John Grondelski, Ethika Politika

4 Of The Biggest Myths About The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act – Justin Haskins, The Federalist

A Good Guide: A Winsome Argument for Virtue in Business – John Yoest, The Stream

How Common Core Taught Me Bureaucrats Will Always Win Unless We Slash Big Government – Jenni White, The Federalist

Communicating Key Truths About Marriage and Family in the University Classroom – D. Scott Sibley, Family Studies


What’s the Secret to Great Marriage in the New Year? – Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

If Women Want A Family, They Need To Prioritize Marriage Above Their Careers – Suzanne Venker, The Federalist

7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Marriage in 2018 – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

How to Live Out the Gospel in Your Marriage – Kaitlin Curtice, Relevant


Why MLK’s Vision of Love as a Moral Imperative Still Matters – Joshua F.J. Inwood, Intellectual Takeout

The Anomaly of Being an Anti-Drifter – Jared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

Creation waits: Incarnation and resurrection are the pulse of the world – Janie B. Cheaney, WORLD

A Modest Suggestion: Perhaps Things Aren’t That Bad – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

The Supernatural Foundation of Charity – Gary A. Anderson, Principles

The Fatal Flaw of Going It AloneRelevant

Be True to Yourself – Jon Bloom, Desiring God

6 Ways to practice being kinder – Cynthia Dermody, Aleteia

Modesty and Charity – Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing

Human Sexuality

Manhood Is Not Natural – Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

In Defense of Prudery – David Sandifer, Touchstone

Military to begin accepting transgender recruits after Trump delays appeal – Julia Manchester, The Hill

The Cure for Toxic Masculinity is Real Masculinity – Robin Koerner, The Stream

Psychologist Says Teens Need to Stop Asking for Nude Texts – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

CDC study shows decline in teen sex during abstinence education period – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

How Their Refusal To Tolerate Dissent Is Creating A Global Backlash Against LGBT People – Stefano Gennarini, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Sex Trafficking In Your Daily Life – Fight the New Drug

How to Participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 2018 – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Harvey Weinstein Isn’t Unusual: Sexual Abuse and Trafficking in the United States – Mary Rose Somarriba, Public Discourse

Bill to Aid Victims of Child Pornography Passes Senate Judiciary CommitteeNational Catholic Register


Your Brain on Porn – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

16 Need-To-Know Facts About How Porn Is Impacting Our Society – Fight the New Drug

What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking

by Daniel Hart

January 9, 2018

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. There are an estimated 20 to 30 million human trafficking victims in the world today, with an estimated 4.5 million of those forcibly involved in sex trafficking. In the U.S., an estimated 640,000 are being trafficked for sex.

These numbers are profoundly disturbing, and it can be tempting to feel discouraged that ordinary citizens like us are powerless to help these victims and to help stop the demand for paid sex. In reality, there are a number of ways that all of us can help in the fight. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Fight the New Drug have both published a list of practical ways we can all join the cause. Here is a brief summary of what you can do:

1. Do Not View or Pay for Porn

As we have written about previously, porn and sex trafficking are inseparably linked. Each click of pornography creates a demand for more pornography and brings in a profit to the industry. The demand causes traffickers, pimps, and those involved in the sex industry to abuse their victims by filming them in sex acts.

2. Learn How to Identify Potential Victims and Report Suspicious Activity

If you think you see suspicious activity happening wherever you are, be sure you have learned about what to look for. The Department of Homeland Security has published Indicators of Human Trafficking—be sure to look for these warning signs particularly in airports, gas stations, rest stops, and hotels. If you think you see something suspicious, call local law enforcement, or you can contact the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

3. Use a New App to Take Pictures of Your Hotel Room

Hotel rooms are a hotspot for sex trafficking. Victims are often advertised online through pictures taken of them in hotel rooms. As Fight the New Drug has written on, there is a new app called TraffickCam that catalogues details of different hotel rooms like wallpaper and furniture to help create a database of identifiers, which can then be used by TraffickCam’s algorithm to match images of sex trafficking victims that will help law enforcement identify the possible locations of victims.

4. Participate in Online Activism

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has organized a number of ways that you can participate in online activism. Here are two:

  • Joining NCSE’s #TACKLEDEMAND social media campaign before the Super Bowl is a way to bring awareness about the problem of large commercial sporting events being used by sex traffickers and buyers for sexual exploitation.
  • Netflix is producing a show called “Baby” that normalizes the sexual exploitation of young teenagers by portraying it as a kind of “edgy” coming of age story. You can protest this repulsive show by sending an email or Facebook message to Netflix executives demanding that they stop producing it.

The Rich History of Christmas Traditions

by Daniel Hart

December 18, 2017

Have you ever wondered why it became such a common tradition for Christians to bring a tree into their homes for Christmas? Or why certain plants like holly and mistletoe are often used as Christmas decorations? As it turns out, there is a rich history behind many of the Christmas traditions that seem so common to us now.

Christmas trees

St. Boniface traveled to Germany from England in the eighth century to try and convert the pagans that lived there. He discovered that many of the people there were open to his message of Christ’s salvation, but still insisted on worshipping their pagan gods, including an oak tree that they considered to be sacred. Boniface was uncertain about how he could convince the people that the tree was not a god; finally, he decided to cut the tree down. The people were angered by this, so he gave them a young evergreen tree instead. Unlike the oak tree which lost its leaves each year, the evergreen tree kept its green needles all year around. Therefore, the evergreen tree is richly symbolic of the everlasting life that Christ offers us.

Christmas plants

Holly, ivy, and mistletoe are often used as decorative ornaments for Christmas. So how did these traditions originate? Holly has been used for hundreds of years for making wreaths and for decorating tables and mantelpieces. The sharp, thorny edges of holly leaves are a reminder of the crown of thorns that was placed on Christ’s head, and the red berries symbolize drops of his blood. Ivy was once used by pagan religions to form crowns that were placed on the statues of pagan gods, but has since been adopted by Christians for use in wreaths and ornaments, with the white berries of some varieties of ivy representing purity and innocence. Before Christianity arrived in Ireland, mistletoe was once used by Celtic Druids (pagan priests) in their ceremonies. It was eventually adopted by Christians to decorate their homes and to act as a symbol of marriage. This is how the custom of kissing a person standing under the mistletoe began.

Christmas cards

The earliest forms of Christmas cards date back to the fifteenth century, when sheets of paper were used to print the Christmas story on. The first Christmas cards to appear as we know them today were made by Henry Cole in England in 1843. The cards featured scenes of Christians doing acts of charity, and said “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you.” In the U.S., Louis Prang of Boston was one of the first to produce Christmas cards in 1875, and they proved to be very successful. Today, over two billion Christmas cards are mailed in the U.S. each year.

Christmas Day

The exact date of Christ’s birth was not known by the early church, but one of its earliest traditions is that the Annunciation of Mary (when the Archangel Gabriel appears to her with the news of her motherhood of God) happened on March 25th. It is believed that since December 25th is exactly nine months later, the church decided that this would be the appropriate date of Christ’s birth. Another possible reason why this date was chosen was that in Rome during this time, the pagans celebrated December 25th as the birth of the sun (the winter solstice) with a large feast. As a way to persuade the pagans to become Christian, the Christians decided to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th as well. This was also very appropriate since Christ was prophesied in Malachi 4:2 as the “sun of righteousness”: “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.”

The Christmas traditions that we often take for granted do indeed have a rich history grounded in the traditions of many different peoples and cultures. As the Lord of history and the Savior of all mankind, Christ has and continues to transcend, enrich, and fulfil our earthly traditions and lives with his salvific grace.

Sources: Celebrating Christmas by Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.; “Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December?”; “Christmas

Social Conservative Review - December 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

December 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

For many Americans, the time off from work and school that Christmas allows is a wonderful opportunity to reunite with family and friends. It can be a joyous time of catching up on new developments and accomplishments that have transpired over the last year, exchanging gifts, and partaking in delicious Christmas hams and cookies.

As we enjoy this delightful time of year with our loved ones, let us not forget the true reason for why we gather and make merry: the coming of God into our lives. Since many of us have family and loved ones that do not share our faith, Christmas provides us with an invaluable opportunity to witness to the faith that God has gifted to us through the person of his Son Jesus. This doesn’t mean that we need to try and proselytize, which can easily cause tension and conflict and distract away from the spirit of the season. Witnessing to our faith should instead take the form of invitation. For example, simply invite a non-practicing loved one to come with you to your Christmas Eve church service without any expectations or obligation. Another option could be to invite them to join in singing Christmas carols with a group in the local neighborhood, or you could simply make it a fun family activity and sing carols as you sip hot chocolate and munch on cookies.

It can be easy to slip into the habit of thinking that we have to organize an elaborate intellectual argument in order to witness to our Christian faith. But that’s not how God invites us into His divine life. Think of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew—when he comes upon Peter and Andrew casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, he doesn’t launch into a philosophical discourse about the reasons why the two men should follow him. Instead, he offers them a simple invitation: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). Let us imitate Christ by inviting our loved ones to join us in a joyful spirit of love, free from expectation and obligation. For it is only in true freedom and joy that hearts are truly and joyfully converted.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

The ‘War on Christmas’ Is Real – Travis Weber

Sessions’ First Year: A Breath of Fresh Air After Years of Obama Scandals – Ken Blackwell

In Masterpiece, the Supreme Court Grapples With a Problem of Its Own Making – Travis Weber

Supreme Court Justices Grill ACLU and Colorado in Christian Baker’s Case – Travis Weber

Franken’s Senate Replacement is a Former Planned Parenthood VP – Kelly Marcum

Kicking Jesus Off the Bus? – Travis Weber

A Three-Dimensional Case for Masterpiece Cakeshop — from Justice Kagan, No Less – Peter Sprigg

5 Great Resources That Help Kids Keep Christ in Christmas – Peter Witkowski

5 Great Resources that Help Keep Christ in Christmas – Peter Witkowski

Planned Parenthood’s Tacit Support of Physical Assault – Kelly Marcum

Can American Higher Education Be Salvaged?

Will the Supreme Court Recognize Consumable Beauty in Wedding Cake Case? – Peter Sprigg

Remembering Mike Penner – Peter Sprigg


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Here’s why I can’t custom-design cakes for same-sex weddings – Jack Phillips, USA Today

Religious Exemptions Aren’t Special Privileges – Stephanie Barclay, Public Discourse

Judge Denies FEMA Relief For Three Texas Churches – Brien Straw, Houston Public Media

DC buses can ban ‘religious’ Christmas ads, judge rules – Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNews

Liberals attack doughnut shop’s good deed – Todd Starnes, Fox News

Religious Freedom in 2018: What to Watch – Nancy Flory, The Stream

International Religious Freedom

Canada’s Free Speech Wars – Scott Ventureyra, Crisis

Nations Speak Out for Life and the Family in UN Human Rights Mechanism – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Over 77,000 Sign Petitions Supporting Air Force Colonel Punished for Opposing Gay Marriage – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post




Fighting taxpayer-funded abortion in Illinois – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Abortion is Traumatic, Not Empowering – Marcia Segelstein, National Catholic Register

First trimester babies aren’t blobs of tissue — they’re amazingly complex – Live Action

7 Shocking Facts Americans Learned About Planned Parenthood in 2017 – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

About That New York Editor Who Would End Lives Like My Children’s – Kristan Hawkins, National Review

Ohio Legislature votes to ban abortions on babies with Down syndrome – Becky Yeh, Live Action


Police officer adopts homeless heroin addict’s baby – Ashley Jonkman, Aleteia


Assisted Suicide Is No Choice At All – Lawrence Carter-Long, RealClear Policy

Self-Sacrificial Love in the Bioethics-Sphere – Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Basic Bioethics: What Christians should know about embryo destructive research – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Inalienable Right to Life: An Update on Assisted Suicide in the United States and Canada – Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

Suicide prevention organization: Assisted suicide is not suicide – Cassy Fiano, Live Action


Eight Insurance Companies in 5 States Fail to Disclose If Their Obamacare Plans Fund Abortions – Mallory Quigley, LifeNews




Half the World’s Population is Reaching Below Replacement Fertility – Tomas Frejka, Family Studies

Power to the parents – Leigh Jones, WORLD

It’s Time to Fully Repeal the Unjust and Immoral Death Tax – Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal

Why the Humanities Must Remain Human (Or Die) – Joshua Mayo, First Things

How Affirmative Action Hurts Asian-Americans in College Admissions – Helaina Hirsch and Mike Gonzalez, The Daily Signal


The one thing you need to do to make sure your child marries well – Luz Ivonne Ream, Aleteia

For a Happy Marriage: Speak With Kindness — Especially When You Want to “Tell It Like It Is” – Shaunti Feldhahn, Focus on the Family

When You and Your Spouse Can’t Agree – Teri Reisser, Focus on the Family

Cohabitation Agreements: Better Than Nothing? – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies

Podcast: Failure of Fatherhood – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

11 Rules on Marriage You Won’t Learn in School – Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife


Sin, Happiness, and Breaking Out of Spiritual Boredom – Chris Hazell, Word On Fire

If You’re Feeling Too Frantic, Genuine Leisure Can Restore Your Soul – Aphrodite Kishi, The Federalist

In the Age of Amazon Sundays Can’t be Sacred – Mattias A. Caro, Ethika Politika

The Danger of Talking Over Others – David Stavarz, Word On Fire

We are desperately in need of boredom – Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Loneliness: An old way to solve this modern problem – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

What Made ‘Fixer Upper’ a Hit? – Dean Abbott, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

Thank Separating Sex From Morality For The Great American Sexual Meltdown – Curt Anderson, The Federalist

New Study Finds Hormonal Birth Control Triples Women’s Risk Of Suicide – Kelsey Harkness, The Federalist

Lauer, and Franken, and Louis CK: The crisis within them, and in us – Tom Hoopes, Aleteia

Will the Trump Administration Push Back Against Transgender Ideology in Schools? – Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty, Public Discourse

A great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLD

God is not silent: What the Bible teaches about sexual assault – Katie McCoy, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Figuring Out Faithfulness with Same-Sex Attraction – Ed Shaw and Rachel Gilson, The Gospel Coalition

This Formerly Trans 14-Year-Old Has A Message For Questioning Kids – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

The Truth about Men, Women, and Sex – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Human Trafficking

Mom Posts Viral Warning After Sex Traffickers Try Kidnapping 2-Yr-Old in Grocery Store – Kelsey Straeter, Faithit

Man Sentenced To Longest Human Sex Trafficking Sentence In US History – Fight the New Drug

Care about Cyntoia Brown? Stop normalizing “teenage prostitution.” – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation


Video: Neurosurgeon Dr. Donald Hilton Reveals Shocking Scientific Truths About Porn – Fight the New Drug

40 Reasons To Start Off The New Year By Ditching Porn – Fight the New Drug