Author archives: Daniel Hart

D.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be Repealed

by Daniel Hart

February 22, 2017

With barely a murmur from the major news media, Washington, D.C. became just the sixth jurisdiction in America to legalize assisted suicide this past Saturday.

As discussed previously, assisted suicide is an abhorrent illustration of how far we have fallen as a culture, where death can now be chosen as if it were a legitimate choice among a variety of medical options.

It is therefore extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Congress did not use its Constitutional authority to block the D.C. assisted suicide legislation from becoming law through a joint resolution of disapproval.

Congress can and must exert its constitutional authority to nullify this harmful and deeply flawed D.C. legislation, which undermines the dignity of human life, lacks commonsense safeguards against abuse, and endangers poor, sick, disabled, and elderly people.

Although the D.C. law has already taken effect, doctors will not be able to prescribe lethal drugs for several months, possibly not until October, while D.C. creates the administrative forms, oversight, and studies for assisted suicide under their law.

Congress’ latest spending bill funds the government until April 28 of this year. This gives Congress another chance to act to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide law by attaching a repeal provision to must-pass spending legislation, before patients begin to end their lives in our nation’s capital. We support Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD)’s efforts to that end.

Assisted suicide is an inhuman act, pure and simple. It short-circuits the universal experience of death that every human being deserves at the natural end of their life. Further, anyone who has sat at the bedside of a dying person will tell you that death gives new meaning and insight into our humanity.

One of the most beautiful recent illustrations of this was written for The New Yorker, of all places (a publication whose editorial board is almost certainly in favor of assisted suicide). Kathryn Schulz’s piece is a stunningly poetic and perceptive account of her experience of witnessing her father’s death. Here is an excerpt:

Even so, for a while longer, he endured—I mean his him-ness, his Isaac-ness, that inexplicable, assertive bit of self in each of us. A few days before his death, having ignored every request made of him by a constant stream of medical professionals (“Mr. Schulz, can you wiggle your toes?” “Mr. Schulz, can you squeeze my hand?”), my father chose to respond to one final command: Mr. Schulz, we learned, could still stick out his tongue. His last voluntary movement, which he retained almost until the end, was the ability to kiss my mother. Whenever she leaned in close to brush his lips, he puckered up and returned the same brief, adoring gesture that I had seen all my days. In front of my sister and me, at least, it was my parents’ hello and goodbye, their “Sweet dreams” and “I’m only teasing,” their “I’m sorry” and “You’re beautiful” and “I love you”—the basic punctuation mark of their common language, the sign and seal of fifty years of happiness.

One night, while that essence still persisted, we gathered around, my father’s loved ones, and filled his silence with talk. I had always regarded my family as close, so it was startling to realize how much closer we could get, how near we drew around his dying flame. The room we were in was a cube of white, lit up like the aisle of a grocery store, yet in my memory that night is as dark and vibrant as a Rembrandt painting. We talked only of love; there was nothing else to say. My father, mute but alert, looked from one face to the next as we spoke, eyes shining with tears. I had always dreaded seeing him cry, and rarely did, but for once I was grateful. It told me what I needed to know: for what may have been the last time in his life, and perhaps the most important, he understood.

It is easy for those who have never experienced the death of a loved one to say that people should have a “right to die.” When real-life accounts of death come to light, assisted suicide quickly becomes unthinkable. Here is one final excerpt:

Eventually, we decided that my father would not recover, and so, instead of continuing to try to stave off death, we unbarred the door and began to wait. To my surprise, I found it comforting to be with him during that time, to sit by his side and hold his hand and watch his chest rise and fall with a familiar little riffle of snore. It was not, as they say, unbearably sad; on the contrary, it was bearably sad—a tranquil, contemplative, lapping kind of sorrow. I thought, as it turns out mistakenly, that what I was doing during those days was making my peace with his death. I have learned since then that even one’s unresponsive and dying father is, in some extremely salient way, still alive.

Social Conservative Review - February 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

February 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

Before his beautiful treatise of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

In the current political and cultural climate, these words pose a particular challenge for believers. Marco Rubio recently characterized our times this way: “We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody.” While there are many reasons why we have gotten to this place in our culture, I think an underlying cause can be traced back to what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians: when people with good intentions fail to act with love, whether it be in speech or in action, their efforts backfire. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of news stories and commentary these days seem to be primarily concerned with scoring points against perceived enemies rather than to charitably inform, engage, and persuade. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of this.

This is a failure to love. For believers, the temptation here can be to beat the opposition over the head with the Truth, and when that fails, to fight fire with more fire. After all, many argue, what else can be done when the other side refuses to even engage in a debate and instead resorts to name calling and straw man tantrums? This may be true, but believers must not succumb to tactics that society has deemed acceptable. Rather, we must present the Truth in charity and love. Hearts and minds are changed through patient forbearance, genuine empathy, and truthful proposals, as difficult and frustrating as this is to do.

With the knowledge that Christ, who is Truth Incarnate, will ultimately triumph, let us always argue and debate in charity and love. This will often mean that we will “lose” in the court of public opinion, and our pride will be humbled. But Christ experienced no less. Let us pray that everyone, believers and non-believers alike, whether they be in public office, public policy, or the media, will come to know this truth.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

Free pastors from the Johnson AmendmentTony Perkins

Shulkin Poised to Address Concerns at the VALt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin

Everything The Women’s March Movement Wants You To Believe About It Is A LieSarah Perry

Judge Gorsuch Is A Mainstream ConstitutionalistKen Blackwell

Marriage: The Abundant LifeDan Hart

UN: Religious Persecution of Rohingyas Reaches Horrific LevelsTravis Weber

What You May Not Know President Trump Said at the National Prayer BreakfastTravis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

How to Think About Discrimination: Race, Sex, and SOGIRyan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

Homeschool Family Sues NYC After Being Subjected to 60-Day InvestigationSamuel Smith, The Christian Post

Tony Perkins Hails ‘Victory’ in $225K Settlement for Fired Pastor; Georgia Says He Wasn’t Fired for FaithLeonardo Blair, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

New UN LGBT Expert Doubles Down Against Religious FreedomStefano Gennarini, C-Fam

U.K.: Preacher jailed for sharing Bible teaching with homosexual teenClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Asia Bibi: Putting Seven Years Imprisonment Into PerspectiveDavid Curry, The Christian Post

Rubio urges Trump to uphold religious freedom and human rights in China – China Aid

Military Religious Freedom

Navy’s ‘diversity road map’ lays foundation for multiethnic force protected against discrimination – Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times

 

Life

Abortion

How Women Can Help Abortion-Proof Their CommunitiesKat Talalas, The Federalist

More Pregnant Women Choose Life Over Abortion Than Ever Before – Macaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Abortion Widens the Gender Gap and Exploits WomenBrian E. Fisher, Public Discourse

Planned Parenthood offered incentives, ‘pizza parties’ for meeting quotasKate Scanlon, TheBlaze

Post-abortive woman: Seeing my aborted baby was “the worst moment of my life”Nancy Flanders, Live Action News

Fact Check: Abortion Is Not ‘The Most Safest Medical Procedure In America’ – Jay Hobbs, The Federalist

Adoption

Foster Care as the Way of ChristDarren Carlson, Desiring God

Firefighter adopts baby he delivered on emergency callZoe Romanowsky, Aleteia

Bioethics

Oregon bill would let doctors starve, dehydrate mentally ill patientsClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

House Committee Votes to Strike Down D.C. Law Legalizing Assisted Suicide Steve Ertelt, LifeNews

D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill Could Cut Costs — and CompassionBrad Wenstrup and Phil Roe, National Review

New Mexico Assisted Suicide Bill Moves Toward Death on Demand – Wesley Smith, LifeNews

Obamacare

Why Delaying Obamacare Repeal Is Hurting the American PeopleSondra Clark, The Daily Signal

We Hear You: From Obamacare to Affordability and Choice for Consumers – Ken McIntyre, The Daily Signal


Family

Economics/Education

Workplace Flexibility for Moms and the Gender Gap – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

These Small Business Owners Fret Over ‘Devastating’ Import Tax Pitched by House GOP Leaders – Josh Siegel, The Stream

Today’s Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System – Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Good Money – Samuel Gregg, Public Discourse

State Lawmakers Need To Dramatically Increase School Choice Now Or America Is Over – Inez Feltscher, The Federalist

Identity Studies in Service of a Classical Education – Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Public Discourse

Marriage

Debunking the Ball and Chain Myth of Marriage for MenBradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Family Studies

How Should a Christian View Marriage and Divorce?Amy Desai, Focus on the Family

6 Habits that will destroy your marriage, and how to avoid themAleteia

Faith/Character/Culture

When the One You Love Is WaywardDave Harvey & Paul Gilbert, The Gospel Coalition

Hero In Blue – William Doino, Jr., First Things

Human Sexuality

Cohabitation Contributes to Family Instability Across the GlobeLaurie DeRose, Family Studies

Six Essential Facts About Senate Bill 6 (Texas Privacy Act)Texas Values

The Data Suggests Unisex Bathrooms Are A Bonanza To Male PervertsPaul Dirks, The Federalist

Other Reasons to Wait Until MarriageBoundless

Transforming Hookup Culture: A Review of American HookupAmber Lapp, Family Studies

Human Trafficking

Sex Trafficking Spikes Around the Super Bowl, But It’s a Year-Round ScourgeMary Rose Somarriba, Verily

Human Trafficking and Slavery: How Flight Attendants are Saving Lives Miles in the AirNancy Flory, The Stream

Pornography

Why We All Need Millennials To Start Trying To Have More Sex – Hans Fiene, The Federalist

Marriage: The Abundant Life

by Daniel Hart

February 10, 2017

It’s National Marriage Week, so it’s a good time to put in a good word for marriage: I got married last April, and my previously miserable life has been perfect ever since.

I’m kidding, of course, but what is true is that the nature of day to day life does change as a married man. When I was single, day to day decisions about life were usually about me: “What do I feel like eating?” “What do I want to do this weekend?” “What do I want to watch tonight?”

What’s different about marriage is that my day to day decisions are now primarily based on the question “What does my wife need?” rather than “What do I need?” In a sense, being married is a shift away from one’s self and toward another person. What I have found, paradoxically, is that this can be very freeing. Instead of constantly agonizing about what my true purpose in life is and what I should really be doing with my life (which I did incessantly when I was single), it is now very clear to me what I need to do every day: I need to love my wife. Everything that I now do (going to work, doing chores, going on errands, or even playing the guitar) is a means by which I can accomplish that goal.

In this sense, the married life is a full life. I don’t mean to say that those who are single are somehow living inferior, less fulfilled lives. I just mean that marriage, in essence, is a total and complete gift of self.  Within the vow of “forever”/ “unto death do us part” lies the freedom of giving one’s whole self, whole life, and whole future to another person. Indeed, my life feels more full than it did when I was single. I don’t think this is an accident. As Christ said in Mark 10: “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” In a sense, then, marriage is a way of becoming more fully human because we are supernaturally joined to another person.

When I was single, I would often try to imagine what it would be like to be married. I would often try to imagine myself as a husband and think “How could I ever do that? I know nothing about how to be a good husband or father.” I would often think that in order to be married, I would need to change my personality and natural temperament in order to fit in to what an acceptable “husband” should be, otherwise I would completely fail at it. What I have found is that we can never really change who we are. Once you become a husband, you naturally make this new role your own. In other words, marriage isn’t about attaining a status, it’s about growing into a more loving human being. God has given us marriage as a means by which we can become more holy.

I say this in order to encourage anyone out there (men especially) to not be afraid of marriage. You don’t have to worry about being a perfect husband, there will never be a perfect time in your life to get married, and you will never find a woman who is perfect. If you think you have found the right woman (which should be prayerfully discerned), don’t be afraid to propose!

Social Conservative Review - February 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

February 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

For over thirty years, FRC has worked tirelessly to end legal abortion in American public policy. Our commitment to this cause is rooted in the belief that no nation that legally allows the God-given gift of future generations to be killed in the womb can last.

But the pro-life movement to end abortion can and should be fought on all fronts, not just the legal and political side. Efforts to stem the demand for abortion in the first place are equally important. A recent article in Family Studies astutely explores this issue by pointing out that “three-fourths of all abortions are performed on women living at or below the poverty line,” and most of these women are single. What researchers have found is that “rarely do[es] a young woman and her community find abortion justifiable … It is often the pressure of the father that introduces abortion.”

This clearly points to the fact that a cultural change must occur in America in order to help reduce the number of abortions. That is why FRC has funded the compilation of empirical evidence to point out the value of marriage and why it is so important for the flourishing of families, which are the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. As the evidence shows, when men do not marry, they earn less money. One reason for this is obvious: single men have less incentive to work toward getting higher-paying jobs because they don’t have a wife and child to support. In today’s self-centered culture, many single men still want the sexual benefits of marriage in a relationship without the perceived “restrictions” on their bachelor lifestyle that marriage would cause. So when a single man’s girlfriend becomes pregnant, it’s cheaper for him to pay for an abortion than it is to support the mother of his child and the child for the rest of their lives. As the Family Studies article illustrates, this scenario plays out mostly in low-income unmarried relationships.

A goal for believers should now become crystal clear: In order to help reduce abortion, we must do all we can to help low-income men and women in particular see the value of God’s design for marriage and sexuality. Our modern culture scoffs at such “antiquated morality,” but God’s design for sexuality is beautifully simple because He knows it will bring about our happiness. When one saves sex for marriage and then marries, a vow is taken to love and stay true to the spouse until death. This means that adequate means of financial support must be worked hard for to accomplish this goal. This will most likely lead not only to a stable financial setting for any future children to be born into, but also a loving relationship that fosters virtue in the child, who then pass this tradition on to their children, and so on. When we follow God’s plan for marriage and sexuality, abortion not only becomes morally unthinkable, it becomes culturally and economically irrelevant.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Donald Trump Won the Respect VoteKen Blackwell

What Americans Want In Their Next Supreme Court JusticeFRC Action

The Condescension of the Establishment Media Regarding LifeChris Gacek

The Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and UnbornDan Hart

Pro-Life Bills You Should Know About in 2017

Was Manning’s Sentence Too Long - Or Too Short?Peter Sprigg

Women’s March is Out of Touch with Today’s FeministsBrynne Krispin

Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape RealityDan Hart

Obama’s Farewell Praised “Democracy” — But His Support for Judicial Tyranny On Marriage Shows He Doesn’t Mean ItPeter Sprigg

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

NFL columnist believes faith in God is biggest under-covered story in footballPhilip Kosloski, Aleteia

Atheist Group Sues West Virginia School District Over ‘Bible in the Schools’ ClassesMichael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Religious freedom fight returns to Colorado; opponents line upBrian Eason, The Denver Post

Fake News on Religion: Pew Continues to ConfuseTom Trinko, American Thinker

International Religious Freedom

Christians Not Welcome in India – Eric Metaxas, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

In the Debate Over Abortion, Let’s Talk to the Poor – Meg T. McDonnell, Family Studies

We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us KnowJohn Piper, Desiring God

3 Ways the Pro-Life Movement Can Help End Abortion – Scott Klusendorf, The Gospel Coalition

Trump bans foreign aid to groups that provide abortionsRobert King and Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Examiner

I Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family ValuesRosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Coalition

Greatest genocide in history’: Groundbreaking report finds 1 billion abortions in past 100 years – Pete Baklinski, LifeSiteNews

New Poll: Majority of Americans Want Bans on Late-Term Abortions and Abortion Funding –  Casey Fiano, LifeSiteNews

Adoption

She’s One of the Rare Pregnant Moms to Go Into Planned Parenthood and Come Out With a Baby. Here’s How – Jay Hobbs, LifeNews

Meet 4 Pro-Life Lawmakers Who Chose to AdoptPhilip Wegmann, The Daily Signal

Bioethics

Awful Study Says Euthanizing More Patients Will Save the Government MoneyAlex Schadenberg, LifeNews

Panel clears Dutch doctor who asked family to hold patient down as she carried out euthanasia procedureThe Telegraph

Disabled Lawmaker: “People Like Me Are Facing Extinction From Abortion” – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Congressmen introduce bill to block DC assisted suicide – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Psychiatrist Euthanized Six Mentally Ill Patients Who Had Dementia – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Obamacare

How We Can Repeal the ACA and Still Insure the Uninsured – John C. Goodman, Pete Sessions, Bill Cassidy, Independent Institute

Republicans roll out their Obamacare replacements – Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Examiner

Covered California Misery Still Getting Worse – K. Lloyd Billingsley, Independent Institute

New Data Show Obamacare Insures Less Than 20 Million, Most on Medicaid – Alyene Senger, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Could a Renewal of Thrift Education Help Young Americans Save More? – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

The Unintended Consequences of Minimum Wage Hikes – Abigail R. Hall Blanco, Independent Institute

Our Economy Is Barely Growing. Here’s 4 Steps We Can Take to Change That. – Timothy Doescher, The Daily Signal

America’s Great Divergence – Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Women, We’re Co-Workers, Not Competitors – Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

Marriage

The art of patience in a marriageZyta Rudzka, Aleteia

Marital Fidelity and God’s FidelityFr. Timothy Vaverek, The Catholic Thing

Making the Case for Married Parenthood to Millennials – Jennifer Murff, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

Families, Schools, and Churches: The Building Blocks of a Healthy Social EcologyErika Bachiochi, Public Discourse

How a hungry boy taught me the ugly truth about myselfSimone Lorenzo, Aleteia

Affirming Life and Family in Hollywood – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

Human Sexuality

Time For Parents To Resist Transgender ActivismEmily Zinos, First Things

Is There an ‘Unmet Need’ for Family Planning? – Rebecca Oas, The New Atlantis

Human Trafficking

In-N-Out Burger Matches Donations To Fight Human Sex Trafficking – Fight the New Drug

Pornography

South Dakota’s Senate Just Declared Pornography a Public Health Crisis – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation

How Shame Made My Struggle With Porn Worse, Not Better – Fight the New Drug

The Pro-Life Movement Cares About All Babies, Born and Unborn

by Daniel Hart

January 26, 2017

With the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past Sunday and the youthful energy of the March for Life that will happen today, we as a nation are rightly confronted once again with what many would prefer not to think about: In America, one’s unborn offspring can legally be killed.

With abortion front and center this week, it seems like the perfect time to once and for all quash a lie that has been continually regurgitated year after year by those who are in favor of abortion. The falsehood goes something like this: “Pro-lifers only care about the baby when it’s in the womb. Once it’s born, you no longer care about it, even when that child is born into poverty” yada, yada, yada.

Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International recently gave a succinct rebuttal of this falsehood at an FRC Policy Lecture:

 “My wife runs one of the 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers [there are actually over 4,000] all around the country. She and her volunteer counselors do everything, including driv[ing] them [women with unplanned pregnancies] to ultrasound appointments, finding them clothes, finding them jobs, finding them housing, and all the rest. No pro-abortion group does that. So I like to ask people, go ahead and pretend that you’re pregnant outside of marriage and can’t deal with this child; call up a pro-abortion group, any pro-abortion group, and say ‘I need help with baby food, with formula, I need help finding a job,’ and they’ll either laugh at you or refer you to a social service agency. Then try any pro-life CPC (crisis pregnancy center) and look at the contrast there. Who really cares about the women?”

To illustrate this point, Live Action recently released a video detailing how abortion groups like Planned Parenthood are the ones that don’t provide care for women if they choose to give birth to their babies—not only do they not provide services for women after birth, the vast majority don’t even provide basic prenatal care.

So next time you run into the baseless “pro-lifers only care about unborn babies” line, be sure to set the record straight: the pro-life movement cares about women and their babies, period—whether born or unborn. The facts speak for themselves.

Planned Parenthood Goes Hollywood, But Can’t Escape Reality

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2017

A video celebrating the legacy of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion purveyor, and its founder Margaret Sanger was released yesterday featuring a slew of voice-overs by Hollywood stars, with none other than Star Wars Director J.J. Abrams serving as Executive Producer. It’s unfortunate that so many cultural elites don’t seem to care that the organization they care about so passionately just happens to sell the body parts of discarded unborn babies for profit, as well as aid and abet child sex traffickers.

The dark legacy of Margaret Sanger’s group has been well-catalogued by FRC and many other organizations, including her eugenicist and racist views. Surprisingly, the new Planned Parenthood video actually acknowledges that she “aligned herself with eugenicists.” It then conveniently justifies this unfortunate fact by concluding: “While there’s no question that Margaret left behind a conflicting legacy, it’s also true that she was a champion of progress.” So according to Planned Parenthood, the ends of committing abortions and distributing abortifacient drugs justifies the means of promoting eugenics and racism (back when it was popular) in order to gain legitimacy. In other words, you have to crack a few eggs in order to make an omelet. 

The video also laments the passage of the Hyde Amendment, highlighting the tragedy of Rosie Jimenez’s death at the hands of an illegal abortionist as “the first woman to die because of the Hyde Amendment.” To claim that a woman’s tragic decision to let an illegal abortionist kill her unborn child, and in the process kill her, was a direct result of a piece of legislation is a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly. What isn’t a stretch is that the Hyde Amendment has helped save the lives of an estimated 2 million babies who resulted from unplanned pregnancies.

While Planned Parenthood tries desperately to gain positive PR with the help of the Hollywood left, it can’t change reality. The abortion giant is staring directly at an ongoing congressional investigation and a federal defund. No amount of celebrity appeal can cover up decades of abortion profiteering at the expense of poor minority women and girls, its eugenicist founder, its baby body parts trade, and its sex trafficker sympathies.

Social Conservative Review - January 17, 2017

by Daniel Hart

January 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

When we accept Jesus as Lord, our lives must change. As Bishop Robert Barron points out, this is truly good news for some, but for others, it is a threat to their way of life. Why? “If Jesus is Lord, my ego can’t be Lord. My religion can’t be Lord. My country, my convictions, and my culture cannot be Lord.”

Bishop Barron elaborates: “The resurrection is the clearest indication of the Lordship of Jesus. This is why the message of the resurrection is attacked, belittled, or explained away … This reveals a great mystery: we are called to announce the good news to everyone, but not everyone will listen. Once we’ve done our work, we should move on and not obsess about those who won’t listen. Why do some respond and some don’t? We don’t know, but that’s ultimately up to God.”

It is clear that when we fight for the values of Jesus, especially in the public square, we will most likely meet strong resistance, if not outright derision. It can be discouraging, but the important thing is that we do the work and not worry about the results, as Bishop Barron says. So let’s make a resolution in this new year to do all we can to make Jesus the Lord of all that we say and do, and in so doing, to open the door to Christ for others.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

What President-elect Trump can do about religious freedomTony Perkins

Religious Freedom Under President-Elect TrumpTravis Weber

Trump Will Have His Hands Full Fixing Social Extremism in the State DepartmentTony Perkins

Christian Persecution, Religious Freedom Explored in ‘Silence’ (Movie Review)Peter Sprigg

A media noose for Jeff SessionsKen Blackwell

Why True Feminism Means Skipping the Women’s March on WashingtonBrynne Krispin

Why We Can’t Wait: A Call for MLK-like Leadership  Patrina Mosley

Navy Begins Transgender IndoctrinationPeter Sprigg

Loudoun Schools Say No to Sex ExperimentCathy Ruse

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Chip Gaines: “Fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree”Jake Roberson, Focus on the Family

International Religious Freedom

Top 50 Most Dangerous Countries for Christians Ranked in New ReportStoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

UN’s New Top Bureaucrat Raises HopesLisa Correnti and Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam

Killing Africa: Stop Taxpayer Funding of Illegal Abortions in AfricaStephen Herreid, The Stream

Prominent pastor sentenced to two-and-a-half years after a year in detentionChina Aid

 

Life

Abortion

Abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy put on fast track in Kentucky SenateJack Brammer, Lexington Herald Leader

6 Alarming Findings in House Panel’s Planned Parenthood ProbeKelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Finley’s Parents are Grateful Abortion Pill Reversal Saved Their Little GirlNancy Flanders, LifeNews

Adoption

Nicole Kidman on Lion and adoption: ‘It’s about the simplicity of love’Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian

Letter from a 21-year-old orphan may make you consider being a foster parentAshley Jonkman, Aleteia

Parents Keep Twins With Down Syndrome After Adoptive Parents Back OutNancy Flanders, LifeNews

Bioethics

Finland Set to Debate Legislation That Would Legalize EuthanasiaPaul Russell, LifeNews

81-year-old grandmother gets “Don’t euthanize me” tattooPatty Knap, Aleteia

Bioethics in 2017Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Obamacare

Senate takes first step toward repealing ObamaCareJordain Carney, The Hill

New Numbers Show Strong Support for Repealing ObamacareElizabeth Fender, The Daily Signal

For Me, Obamacare Means Paying All Your Own Bills And Never Getting The Doctor You NeedM.G. Oprea, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

Privilege’ Is Just Another Word For Family, And We Need More Of It – Josh Sabey, The Federalist

Men’s Breadwinning Still Matters for Marriage – Christos Makridis, Family Studies

Report: Schools Are Teaching Kids To Hate America Under The Guise Of ‘Civics’ – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Marriage

The Heart of ParadiseDiane Woerner, Touchstone

The Treachery of DivorceLuma Simms, Family Studies

Three Reasons Not to Make This January Your Divorce MonthBradford Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon, National Review

Millennials and cohabitation: Understanding motivations and ministering wellBrian Owen, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Does The World Exist?Matthew Becklo, Word On Fire

The Problem of Evil Is a Problem for EveryoneGavin Ortlund, The Gospel Coalition

Faith on the HillAleksandra Sandstrom, Pew Research Center

An MLK Day Pledge: No More Hyphenated AmericansE.W. Jackson, The Stream

MLK reminds us of the power of — and the need for — great oratoryElizabeth Scalia, Aleteia

Human Sexuality

National Geographic‘s “Gender Revolution”: Bad Argument and Biased IdeologyAndrew T. Walker and Denny Burk, Public Discourse

Court strikes down harmful transgender mandateBecket Fund

How The Trump Administration Can Truly Help Gender-Struggling AmericansWalt Heyer, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

Backpage.Com Officially Shuts Down Adult Ad Section Filled With Prostitution/Child TraffickingFight the New Drug

Pornography

Porn ruins lives, so families should be able to sue for damages: Utah legislator – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

Netflix Is 40x More Popular Than Porn In Hotel Room Entertainment – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - December 15, 2016

by Daniel Hart

December 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

This Christmas, let’s not only recommit to genuinely encountering Christ, but also our families. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

Atone Deaf: Liberals Demand Apology from Religious Trump BaseTony Perkins

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

A transgender military is a weaker, compromised militaryPeter Sprigg

On Elections and the Easy Evil of HatredSarah Perry

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

France Reminds United States of Importance of First AmendmentTravis Weber

CDC: Abortion at Lowest Level in YearsArina Grossu

The ACC’s Bullying of North Carolina is UnacceptableChris Gacek

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

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

The Persecution of Professor EsolenGeorge Weigel, First Things

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

International Religious Freedom

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

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

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

Sam Alone Stands Against the LeviathanJohn Paul Meenan, Crisis

The Sensitivity Police Strike AgainGeorge Will, National Review

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

UK Anti-Discrimination Laws Used as a ‘Weapon’ against ChristiansCBN News

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

Military Religious Freedom

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

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption

Foster Children Need the ChurchBrittany Lind, The Gospel Coalition

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

Advocates: Revamp Texas adoption care after mistreated teensFox News

Bioethics

Chaplains of DeathR.R. Reno, First Things

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

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

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

Assisted Suicide MendacityWesley J. Smith, National Right to Life

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

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

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

Marriage

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

The Three Love DietMARRI

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

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Christmas Should Bother EverybodyBishop Robert Barron, Word On Fire

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

Are Atheists Addled?Regis Martin, Crisis

Church Should Feel UncomfortableBrett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

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

Human Sexuality

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

The Transgender Movement Targets Autistic ChildrenElise Ehrhard, Crisis

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

Pornography

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

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

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

Social Conservative Review - December 1, 2016

by Daniel Hart

December 1, 2016

Dear Friends,

There are undoubtedly a dizzying array of “top priorities” that are and will be pushed on the incoming presidential administration from all sides. But there is one priority that our culture is losing and that the new administration must make central to its agenda: marriage. FRC has repeatedly made this clear over the last three decades, but it must continually be emphasized: marriage is not merely the means by which we are raised in a materially stable environment, it is the seedbed of virtue and spiritual growth.

As Alysse ElHage writes, both candidates in the presidential race did little to address how they would promote the foundational building block of society. “[W]e’ve heard far too little … about the central role that family structure—and in particular marriage—plays in boosting the social and economic well-being of Americans.” Study after study shows that children raised by a married mother and father are less likely to grow up in poverty, more likely to succeed academically, less likely to experience abuse of any kind, less likely to engage in sexual activity as a minor, more likely to have a higher than average income as an adult, and more likely to marry and raise their own children within marriage.

The author points out numerous pro-marriage policy initiatives that the incoming administration would do well to prioritize, including eliminating marriage penalties, increasing vocational training opportunities for those not pursuing college degrees, expanding the child tax credit, reforming divorce laws so that there are at least moderate waiting periods for couples intending to divorce, and educational campaigns for young people that promote a healthy outlook for school, work, marriage, and parenthood.

While it is important to promote marriage for its social and economic benefits, the central importance of marriage is not because of its potential for material gain, but for spiritual flourishing. Marriage has a mysterious way of forming the souls of human beings for the better, of compelling us toward virtue. Being united in a sacramental bond with another person for life is by nature a self-sacrificial act, one that opens us to new epiphanies of what real patience, understanding, and love truly are. That is why God gave marriage to the human race, so that we might have a more human way of becoming more like Him.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

What a Trump Court Would Mean for Abortion – Cathy Ruse

Buzzfeed to Christians: No Freedom for You! – Travis Weber

Marine Corps: Spiritual Fitness Is a Necessary Component of Effective Military Service – Travis Weber

Assisted Suicide: Senseless Death in the Name of “Compassion”Dan Hart

Corporations Can Push Back Against Anti-Religious Freedom ActivistsTravis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Server Company Pulls The Plug On Conservative Website In The Name Of ‘Diversity’ – Dustin Siggins, The Federalist

Town Renames “Good Friday” for the sake of “Cultural Sensitivity” – ToddStarnes.com

Checking the Court: What Can Be Done to Rein in the Supreme Court?Tim Bradley, Public Discourse

This Is Why Trump WonKatrina Trinko, The Daily Signal

The Politics of Hate CrimesBill Donohue, The Catholic League

International Religious Freedom

Pakistan Bans All 11 Christian TV Stations, Arrests Cable Operators in CrackdownAnugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Ireland Moves to Regulate Crisis Pregnancy Center Counselors – Austin Roscoe, The Stream

Indonesia: Over 10,000 Rally to Support Jakarta’s Christian Gov. Accused of Blasphemy – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Military Religious Freedom

Army Says Band Can’t Perform in Religious Christmas ShowTodd Starnes, The Stream

 

Life

Abortion

CDC reports abortion rate at all-time low – Samantha Gobba, World Magazine

UN’s New York Declaration pushes abortion for refugee, migrant womenJosh Denton, Live Action News

This State Now Requires Abortion Clinics to Bury Aborted Babies Instead of Selling Their PartsMicaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Double Standards on Abortion and Animal Rights – Ligia De Jesus Castaldi, Public Discourse

Black Lives Matter? 35% of Aborted Babies are Black Even Though Blacks are 13% of the Population – Steven Ertelt and Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews 

Abortionist flees the room in horror after seeing a second trimester abortion procedure – Sarah Terzo, Live Action News

Adoption

From Foster Care to Olympic Gold: Simone Biles’ JourneyJade Scipioni, Fox Business

Is Adoption on the Cusp of a Political Boost? – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

Bioethics

Hollywood’s Outrageous Embrace of EuthanasiaTimothy Willard, Acculturated

Rick Warren, Father Robert Barron Decry California’s Assisted Suicide Law, Culture of Death – Brandon Showalter, The Christian Post

Bioethicists Want To Purge Christian DoctorsWilliam Briggs, The Stream

Professor Warns IVF is Producing a Generation of Infertile Children Prone to Cancer – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Euthanasia spirals out of control as Netherlands allows euthanasia for alcoholics – Cassy Fiano, Live Action News

Obamacare

Obamacare Takes Care From Disabled People To Subsidize Able-Bodied, Working-Age MenChristopher Jacobs, The Federalist

Electing to ‘Opt Out’ of ObamacareAna Ibarra, The Daily Signal

Republicans Begin to Unite Around Obamacare Repeal PlanMelissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics

An Unrecovered Economy and the Growth We Need – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

American Marriage in the Time of the Recession – Alexia Fernandez Campbell, The Atlantic

Marriage

Mr. President: A Healthy Marriage Culture is Vital to America’s SuccessAlysse ElHage, Family Studies

Go Ahead, Congratulate the Newly Engaged! – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family Studies

Do women really have it better in Sweden? – Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail

Religious Service Attendance, Marriage, and Health – Tyler VanderWeele, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Kids Need RecessAlia Wong, The Atlantic

Remembering Castro’s CrimesWilliam Doino Jr., First Things

Our sons are losing the essence of true manhood: the handshakeCerith Gardiner, Aleteia

Technology and The Language of Bodily PresenceMary Stanford, Principles

Human Sexuality

CDC Study Says Teen Virgins Are Healthier – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Tinder Now Offers 37 Genders Claiming ‘Gender Is a Complex Conversation’Elizabeth Harrington, The Washington Free Beacon

Pornography

This Simple Action Is How One Person Got Cosmo Magazine Out Of Their Wal-Mart Checkout Aisle – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Debunking The Popular Myth That Porn Can Be Healthy – Fight the New Drug

Jessica searched for help for her porn addiction. What she found disturbed her. – Jonathon Van Muren, LifeSiteNews

Assisted Suicide: Senseless Death in the Name of “Compassion”

by Daniel Hart

November 21, 2016

 

The Washington, D.C. City Council has voted to legalize assisted suicide. According to reports, it will not be vetoed by the mayor. In order for it to become law, it will need to be approved by Congress.

Assisted suicide is profoundly immoral, stridently unethical, and deeply disturbing on a whole host of levels. For starters, it’s not hard to imagine scenarios where doctors and family members will pressure a mentally fragile patient into making a “compassionate” decision to end their lives. After all, the world’s utilitarian logic would argue, assisted suicide would keep medical costs down and make the lives of the patient’s family members easier.

But these kinds of selfish considerations only scratch the surface of the evil of assisted suicide. What makes assisted suicide genuinely sinister is that it strips away all sacredness from the gift of life, a gift that we have been freely given. Who are we to treat life and death with such irreverence and ingratitude? How can we possibly know the plans that God has for that person’s soul in the remaining months (or years—who’s to say?) of their life? Can anyone determine the value of the thoughts, prayers, and words of wisdom, guidance, and love that the patient could experience and share with others before their natural death? Who are we to cut this miracle of existence short?

This leads to one final point that I’ll make. One of the greatest joys that my wife and I have experienced over the last year has been the opportunity to visit with Louise, a 92-year-old woman residing in an assisted-living facility. Having met her through our church a few years ago, she has since become one of our best friends. Her wit, feistiness, and unique Italian sensibilities bring us and all those around her great joy. These days, Louise is getting weaker due to cancer in her lungs, but her plucky spirit won’t be deterred. She’s not shy about sharing her strongly-held opinions and teasing us with a friendly laugh, and her memories of growing up in New York City are a priceless peek into history. When our visits end, she can’t help but thank us over and over again, often with tears welling up in her eyes, imploring us to come again soon.

Would the merciful thing to do to those who appear to be close to death be to help kill themselves because they are suffering? Or could it be that God has a higher purpose for life in all its stages, made manifest whenever we take the time to visit and care for those who are in the twilight of their lives? As more and more states legalize assisted suicide, our country heads further down the road of cold, calculated callousness to human life. Let’s pray for an outpouring of mercy on those at the end of their lives, that they may be shown mercy by us and that we may be open to the blessings we receive from them. And let’s do all we can to fight these assisted suicide political initiatives in all of our home states. 

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