Author archives: Daniel Hart

Social Conservative Review - October 16, 2017

by Daniel Hart

October 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

In the face of chaotic and often disturbing events that dominate headlines and news feeds these days, I am often tempted (and sometimes succumb) to feelings of frustration and anger. I sometimes imagine that if only I were in charge, things would be so much better. If only I could have more control and worldly power, I could wield it in order to make everyone’s lives better, and I would feel better too.

When we examine the lives of those who do have influence, however—the rich, famous, and powerful—the results are often not pretty. In our increasingly godless society, money, fame, and power are often sought as ends in themselves because they are so alluring. As believers, it’s easy to delude ourselves into thinking, “Well, it’s true that money, fame, and power have a tendency to cause corruption in people, but that would never happen to me because I know that God is most important. I would use these things to better the world.” It’s easy to use this kind of reasoning to justify wasting money on lottery tickets, wasting time on Facebook curating our profiles just so, and wasting our talents on frivolous pursuits in order to gain societal status.

The reality for most of us is that we will never be in positions of great influence, and we will never be rich, famous, and powerful. And that’s perfectly okay. Why? Because one of life’s great paradoxes is that the less control we possess over our lives, the freer we are. When we let go of the vice grip we have around our life goals and life plans, God gives us a multitude of opportunities for us to do His will, not ours. Living in this way is truly freeing, because it gives us the roomy flexibility to respond to a friend or stranger in need who inconveniently disrupts our lives. Having less money, fame, and power also frees us from being distracted from what truly matters: nurturing love within our families and those closest to us.

As Mother Teresa once said: “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”

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

P.S. Don’t miss out on all of the amazing talks that happened at the Values Voter Summit this past weekend!

 

FRC Articles

Planned Parenthood Is Targeting Baby Girls in the Womb – Cathy Ruse

The New Religious Exemptions from the HHS Contraceptive Mandate Are a Victory for Personal Freedom (and Responsibility) Over State Coercion – Peter Sprigg

20 Principles of Religious Liberty – Peter Sprigg

Media Gets Brazil Ruling on Sexual Orientation Therapy All Wrong – Peter Sprigg

The Kingdom of Bahrain Declaration: What It Got Right and What It Got Wrong – Travis Weber and Natalie Pugh

The Judicial Assault on Public School Privacy Policies

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

White House Rebuts Attacks by Democrats, New York Times on Catholic Court Nominee – Fred Lucas, The Stream

Trump administration ends rule requiring nuns to fund contraception – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Federal court strikes down tax benefit for faith leaders – Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times

California Can Now Jail People for Misusing Gender Pronouns – Anders Hagstrom, The Daily Signal

Environmentalist Lobby Goes After Another Trump Nominee For Being A Christian – E. Calvin Beisner, The Federalist

NFL Athletes Can Take a Knee, But Universities are Denying Pro-Life Students Free Speech – Kristan Hawkins, LifeNews

Apple removes pro-life prayer app – Samantha Gobba, WORLD

Free to Believe”

Southwest Flight Attendant Says She Was Fired For Being Pro-Life – Grace Carr, The Stream

Reporter Tries to Get Tucson Police Officer in Trouble — for Exercising His First Amendment Right – Rachel Alexander, The Stream

International Religious Freedom

Beijing’s heavy hand – June Cheng & Erica Kwong, WORLD

Cameroon’s Bishops Warn of Genocide – Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

 

Life

Abortion

House Passes Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Are We Too Comfortable with Abortion? – Lori Hadacek Chaplin, National Catholic Register

In the Middle of the Abortion Killing Her Baby She Changed Her Mind. Miraculously Her Son Survived – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

What Big Abortion Doesn’t Understand about Pro-Lifers – Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register

Adoption

Forcing Faith-Based Organizations Out of Foster Care and Adoption Hurts Children – Elizabeth Kirk, Public Discourse

Janesville family receives national honors for efforts in adoption – Ashley McCallum, GazetteXtra

Bioethics

Assisted Suicide is No Peaceful Death. Some Patients Regurgitate, Have Seizures, or Wake Up Days Later – Michael Cook, LifeNews

An Absurd Fate: What Happens to Abandoned Embryos? – Jennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

The Resurgence and Rebranding of Population Control – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Obamacare

Universal Coverage? My Fourth Health Care Plan Just Died Thanks to Obamacare – Michelle Malkin, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

Thanks To Testing Backlash, Virginia Drops U.S. History Tests Despite Horrific Public Ignorance – Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Betraying Liberal Education: A Response to President Paxson of Brown UniversityR.J. Snell, Public Discourse

These Two Colorado Counties Are Ground Zero For School Choice Across The Country – Helen Raleigh, The Federalist

The Washington Post Gets Retirement Wrong – Andrew G. Biggs, National Review

Marriage

Facebook and Your Marriage – Tricia Goyer, Focus on the Family

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Your Marriage Happier – Jill Sieracki, Brides

Faith/Character/Culture

How To Talk To Your Kids About Death, Shootings, Natural Disasters, And Other Scary Things – Libby Emmons, The Federalist

The Man and His Song: Tom Petty (1950–2017) – David Mathis, Desiring God

The power of good – Ben Shapiro, Conservative Review

Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? – Fredric Heidemann, Word On Fire

After a Long Summer of Heartrending Tragedies, We Could All Use This – Megan Madden, Verily

Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction – Heather Wilhelm, National Review

Is It Wrong to Try to Persuade Others to Change Their Beliefs? – Rebecca McLaughlin, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

A no-tolerance policy for sexual harassment – Josh Wester, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission  

University Refuses Research On Growing Numbers Of Trans People Who Want To Go Back – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

Responding to the Transgender Revolution – Rob Smith, The Gospel Coalition

Sex change regret silenced – Kiley Crossland, WORLD

The Price of the Campus Hookup Culture is High – Carolyn Moynihan, Intellectual Takeout

UConn Cancels Comedian Over Remarks on Transgender Children – Rachel Alexander, The Stream

What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies – Taylor Fogarty, The Federalist

The Transgender Matrix: It’s Time to Choose the Red Pill – Walt Heyer, Public Discourse

It’s Past Time to Rethink Modern Sexual Morality – David French, National Review

Human Trafficking

Impact on Capitol Hill, Standing for Online Sex Trafficking Victims – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. – Helen Taylor and Laila Mickelwait, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Pornography

Porn Is Not Harmless. It’s Cruel. – Justin Holcomb, The Gospel Coalition

He was exposed to pornography at age 11, on his school laptop – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

The Porn Gap: Gender Differences in Pornography Use in Couple Relationships – Jason S. Carroll and Brian J. Willoughby, Family Studies

Pornography and Sex Trafficking Are Linked: Take It From the FBI – Dawn Hawkins, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Everyone At My All-Boy High School Openly Watches & Talks About Porn – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - October 2, 2017

by Daniel Hart

October 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

Supreme Court must take on heartbreaking surrogacy case – Arina Grossu

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

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

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

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

How Can Public School Students Exercise Their Religious Liberty Rights?

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

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free to Believe”

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

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

International Religious Freedom

Coming home – June Cheng, WORLD

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

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

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

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

 

Life

Abortion

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

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

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

Americans Confused About Abortion – American Culture & Faith Institute

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

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

Adoption

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

Bioethics

Surrogacy Reaches the Supreme Court – Kathleen Sloan, Public Discourse

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

 

Family

Economics/Education

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

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

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

Ban the Laptops, Yes – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

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

Marriage

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

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

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

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

Faith/Character/Culture

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

Camille Paglia’s Teaching – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

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

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

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

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

Human Sexuality

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

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

Sex diseases in US surge to record high – AFP

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

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

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

Human Trafficking

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

Pornography

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Are College Students Afraid of Free Speech?

by Daniel Hart

September 19, 2017

In a startling new survey of college students conducted by the Brookings Institution, it was found that fully one in five students think that “using violence to disrupt a controversial speaker is acceptable.” There were “no statistically significant differences in response by political party affiliation.”

Other results from the survey indicate that 51 percent of students think that “shouting over controversial speakers so they can’t be heard” is acceptable. Sixty-two percent of Democrats agreed that this behavior was acceptable, compared to 39 percent of Republicans.

These disturbing findings have been born out in recent in events on college campuses across the country. This past March, students at Middlebury College in Vermont physically assaulted a professor who was accompanying guest speaker Charles Murray as he attempted to leave the campus, whose planned speech was interrupted to the point that he could not continue it. Just last week, The University of California Berkeley had to spend $600,000 on security to ensure that violent riots did not break out during Ben Shapiro’s speech there.

One has to wonder, what is it about free speech that many college students are so afraid of? What is the point of using violent and disruptive tactics to silence speakers who may have viewpoints that differ from these students? Wouldn’t engaging in respectful debate be more beneficial for everyone involved? If a certain viewpoint is seen as being so terrible as to be violently suppressed, why not simply demonstrate the terribleness of this viewpoint through rational discourse?

The protection of free speech is an issue that people of all political viewpoints must demand as a protected First Amendment right on college campuses. Thankfully, there are hopeful signs that more and more people from across the political spectrum are waking up to the urgency of this free speech crisis. Recently, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens spoke eloquently about this on Real Time with Bill Maher:

Too many campus administrators are basically cowed by small minorities of totalitarian-minded students who just don’t want to hear anything except what they’re disposed to agree with. The job of grownups is to behave like grownups and say, ‘no.’ Intellectually, a college is not a ‘safe space.’ Intellectually, a college is going to be a place where your ideas are harmed, and perhaps even destroyed, and that’s as it should be.”

Author and professor Salman Rushdie brought this point home superbly:

A college should be a ‘safe space’ for thought, not a ‘safe space’ from thought. And if you go to college and you never hear anything you haven’t thought before, then you may as well have stayed home. And people who think that they should never hear things that would upset them should go somewhere else and leave that space available to somebody who can benefit from what is called ‘education.’”

Social Conservative Review - September 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

September 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

In discussing the “problem of pain,” author Joe Heschmeyer recently wrote that “…the whole story of the Fall is that things aren’t how they ought to be, how they aren’t how they were intended to be, and how we’re the ones who screwed them up. You can read that story in Genesis, or watch it on the nightly news.” Bishop Robert Barron summed up this state of affairs concisely: “The human race is best characterized as a dysfunctional spiritual family, all of us having been marked from birth by the effects of sin. Sin has found its way into every aspect of human life, personally and institutionally. We would be hopelessly naïve to think otherwise.”

Atheists often argue that it is absurd to believe in God when there is so much “dysfunction,” suffering, and pain in the world. But as Heschmeyer points out, if there is no God, what can possibly account for all of the beauty in the world? He illustrates this by quoting the musician Joanna Newsom as she discussed what she was going through while recording an album:

The thing that I was experiencing and dwelling on the entire time is that there are so many things that are not OK and that will never be OK again,” says Newsom. “But there’s also so many things that are OK and good that sometimes it makes you crumple over with being alive. We are allowed such an insane depth of beauty and enjoyment in this lifetime. It’s what my dad talks about sometimes. He says the only way that he knows there’s a God is that there’s so much gratuitous joy in this life. And that’s his only proof. There’s so many joys that do not assist in the propagation of the race or self-preservation. There’s no point whatsoever. They are so excessively, mind-bogglingly joy-producing that they distract from the very functions that are supposed to promote human life. They can leave you stupefied, monastic, not productive in any way, shape or form. And those joys are there and they are unflagging and they are ever-growing…”

This is part of what makes our Creator so amazing. Not only did He give us “a Savior, someone who can break into our dysfunction from the outside and heal us” (Bishop Barron’s words), He also gives us moments of “gratuitous joy” as we make our way through this earthly life. May we be forever thankful for this gift freely given to us, and may we freely give of ourselves in return.

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

Can a Christian Serve as a Judge Anymore? – Travis Weber

How the Left Uses Fake Science to Advance Its Agenda

Will FEMA Treat Churches Fairly? – Travis Weber

The Rights that Students and Parents Have to Challenge Transgender Policies

Advice for Parents On Challenging Transgender Policies in Public Schools

Masterpiece Cakeshop Attorneys File Merits Brief with the Supreme Court – Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Why religious liberty matters for creativity – Jason Thacker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Faith groups provide the bulk of disaster recovery, in coordination with FEMA – Paul Singer, USA Today

What It’s Like to Be Smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center – Carol M. Swain, The Wall Street Journal

Senate Democrats show off their anti-religious bigotry – Michael Gerson, The Washington Post

Media should not embrace far-left ‘poverty’ law firmColorado Springs Gazette

Will the IRS investigate the SPLC on taxes? – Judson Phillips, The Washington Times

Non-Profit Leaders Call on Media to Stop Citing Southern Poverty Law Center – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

California bill seeks to punish ‘misgendering’ with jail time – Mary Rezac, Crux

3 Texas Churches Sue FEMA Over Policy Banning Churches From Receiving Harvey Disaster Relief – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Democratic Congressman Says He’s Introducing A Bill To Punish Campus ‘Hate Speech’ – Emily Zanotti, The Daily Wire

UK Speaker: Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Be ‘Proper’ Until Churches Can’t Opt Out – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

U.S. Senators Revive Anti-Catholic Bigotry To Intimidate Religious People – Paul C. Binotto, The Federalist

Attacks on Religious Liberty’ in US Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years: Report – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Free to Believe”

Judge Suspends City’s Ban of Farmers Over Their Marriage Views – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

4 Key Arguments We Are Making to Defend Jack Phillips at the Supreme Court – Sarah Kramer, Alliance Defending Freedom

They Serve Gay Clients All The Time. So Why Won’t They Cater A Same-Sex Wedding? – Josh Shepherd, The Federalist

Your Beliefs Are No Longer Allowed – Taylor Lewis, American Thinker

Professors told to report students who make campus ‘less inclusive’ to Behavior Assessment Team – Andrew Johnson, The College Fix

International Religious Freedom

What’s changed in Britain since same-sex marriage? – David Sergeant, The Spectator Australia

Catholic Priest Released After 18 Months’ Captivity – Elise Harris, National Catholic Register

Fulani herdsmen kill 20 Christians in Nigeria – Onize Ohikere, WORLD

 

Life

Abortion

When Planned Parenthood closes, women find real health care at hundreds of other clinics – Rebecca Downs, Live Action

Podcast: Pro-life apologetics; Arguments from reason that align with scripture – Scott Klusendorf, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Red State-Blue State Abortion Divide Deepens – Brian Fraga, National Catholic Register

5 new scientific discoveries that show what’s happening to the child in the womb – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Can We Stop an International Roe v. Wade? – Stefano Gennarini, Public Discourse

U.S. Blasts UNFPA Support for China’s Birth Control Policy – Susan Yoshihara, C-Fam

Why the pro-choice side is afraid of giving women the choice of abortion pill reversal – Marcie Little, Live Action

One last chance to defund Planned Parenthood may lie in the Senate’s hands – Susan Michelle-Hanson, Live Action

Adoption

Podcast: Are you mentally healthy enough? Preparing for adoption’s hardships – Sharen Ford, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Bioethics

The American Medical Association vs. Human Nature – Philip Hawley, Jr., Public Discourse

Doctor wants D.C.’s assisted suicide law repealed: A ‘right to die’ soon creates a ‘duty to die’ – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion – Arthur Goldberg and Shimon Cowen, Public Discourse

Obamacare

After Experiencing British And U.S. Health Care, This Family Says Single-Payer Is Abominable – Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

As Workers Expect Less, Job Satisfaction Rises – Lauren Weber, The Wall Street Journal

This is why a growing number of teachers want more lessons on religion in school – Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News

How a Democratic New York City Councilwoman Became a Crusader for School Choice – Eva Moskowitz, National Review

A Debt Crisis Is Coming, and We’re All to Blame – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Five Facts About Families and Poverty – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Marriage

New research says this kind of daily prayer can change your marriage – Calah Alexander, Aleteia

How to Align Your Dreams as a Couple – Greg Smalley and Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

Are You ‘Not Yet Married’? – Marshall Segal, Desiring God

The Infectious Effects of Divorce and Marriage – Luma Simms, Family Studies

As U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens – Kim Parker and Renee Stepler, Pew Research Center

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Our Obsession With TV Antiheroes Is Destroying Our Souls – Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

The Secret Power of Family Work – Jenet Erickson, Family Studies

Does The Immaterial Exist? – Joe Heschmeyer, Word On Fire

Why religion is not going away and science will not destroy it – Peter Harrison, Aeon

Overcoming Our Smartphone Addiction – Christopher O. Blum and Joshua P. Hochschild, Crisis

If You Want to Live Truly, Learn to Die Daily – Liz Wann, Desiring God

Human Sexuality

Oversexed ed – Emily Belz, WORLD

Parents pull children from prestigious school after transgender ‘indoctrination’ in kindergarten – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

How The Transgender Crusade Made Me Rethink My Support For Gay Marriage – Bethany Mandel, The Federalist

Mislabeled sex ed – Emily Belz, WORLD

Why I Don’t Use Female Pronouns For My Transgender Brother – Michael Booker, The Federalist

Sex, Sanity and Beliefs That ‘Live Loudly’ Within Us – Archbishop Charles Chaput, National Catholic Register

What science really has to say about sexuality and gender – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Human Trafficking

Human-Trafficking Fighters Hope for Lift From Proposed New Legislation – Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic Register

Google and Sex Traffickers Like Backpage.com – Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

A Pivotal New Goal: Shedding Light on the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Men – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

What I told my 7-year-old when he asked what porn was – Matt Fradd, Aleteia

Dr. Sharon Cooper, MD Discusses How Pornography Harms Children – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Why Watching Porn Leaves You Feeling Lonelier Than Before – Fight the New Drug

Social Conservative Review - September 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

September 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

In times of great crisis, it’s easy to feel like we are powerless, with no control over the direction of our lives. For the victims of the flooding in Houston and the surrounding region, feelings like these are certainly all too common right now. With the loss of family members, homes, and personal possessions, and with the surreal reality of not being able to recognize your own neighborhood and city because of flooding, I can only imagine the deep sense of loss and hopelessness that the flood victims must be going through, perhaps with no clear direction on how to move forward with life.

For those of us who are not directly affected by the flooding and are feeling powerless to help, there are indeed direct ways that we can make a difference, first by praying for the victims and their families, and secondly by charitable giving if we are able.

Strangely, great calamity can also bring with it a sense of serenity. How is this possible? Serenity can come when we realize that we are indeed powerless, and therefore are left with one option: simply to trust in God and do what we can, to move one foot in front of the other, to lend a helping hand wherever it is needed. Extenuating circumstances that are beyond our control have a way of forcing us to slow down, giving us a kind of tunnel vision to focus on the basics of life: food, clothing, shelter, helping those in need. This forced limitation of options and elimination of worldly distractions can bring with it a sense of peaceful resignation to accept whatever may come, because what other option is there? As we have seen in Houston, an amazing sense of solidarity can develop from these circumstances. A widespread disaster quickly makes it clear that despite people’s political and cultural differences, we are all ultimately in this thing called “life” together.

As the flooding in Texas and every other immense catastrophe has shown, good always comes out of even the direst situations. When we humbly accept what comes our way, God rewards our trust with His grace, mercy, and love.

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

Historical Revisionism – Ken Blackwell

The Battle for Truth and Love – Marcus Harris

Ways to Help Texas Flood Victims

Science vs. Science on USDA Nominee’s Views of “LGBT Behavior” and “Choice” – Peter Sprigg

International Religious Freedom in 2016: Still Work to Be Done – Travis Weber

Why Is Iceland “Eradicating” People With Down Syndrome? – Dan Hart

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

5-Year FRC Shooting Anniversary Offers A Study In Presidential Reactions To Hate Crimes – Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Why Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Targeting Liberals? – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The New York Times

Christian ministry sues after being listed as ‘hate’ group alongside KKK and neo-Nazis – Harry Farley, Christian Today

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities – Joe Schoffstall, The Washington Free Beacon

J.P. Morgan’s Hate List – Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal

Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘Our Aim In Life Is to Destroy These Groups, Completely’ – Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

SPLC ‘Hate Map’ Targets Christians, Pro-Family Groups – Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register

Liberal law center demonizes Christian foes of LGBTQ agenda as ‘hate groups’ – Peter LaBarbera, LifeSiteNews

Groups: Justice court filings defy Trump promises on religious freedom – John Solomon, The Hill

A Wisconsin Judge Builds the Case for Religious Freedom – Rod Anderson, The Christian Post

Political CEOs – Mark Baurlein, First Things

St. Louis’s Unholy War on Religious Liberty – Nathanael Blake, Public Discourse

As College Students Return to Campus, Let’s Allow Free Speech to Reign – Carson Holloway, The Daily Signal

Why a British Muslim Is Suing the Southern Poverty Law Center – Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart

Free to Believe”

Cake artist to Supreme Court: Affirm artistic freedom, free speech – Alliance Defending Freedom

Court rules high school football coach cannot pray on the field – Todd Starnes, Fox News

Masterpiece Cakeshop: Can the State Force Us to Agree with Its Views? – Jonathan Scruggs, National Review

Court solidifies victory for photographer, other Wisconsin creative professionals – Alliance Defending Freedom

Teacher: Dear Parents, Tell Your Kids to Stop Talking About God – ToddStarnes.com

First Grader Sent to Office, Investigated, for “Pronoun Mishap” – Todd Starnes, Townhall

International Religious Freedom

Christianity Could Vanish From Middle East by 2025 If Terrorism Continues, Believers Warn – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Egypt Closes Church Over Muslim Extremist Opposition, Blocks Worship at Another – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

State Dept. Releases Report on Status of Religious Freedom in 199 Countries – 21st Century Wilberforce

Sudan Arrests 7 Pastors Who Refused to Give Gov’t Control of Denomination – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Top 5 Worst Countries With Blasphemy Laws Ranked by USCIRF, One Christian Nation Listed at No. 7 – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

 

Life

Abortion

Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Good to be Pro-Life – Maria Gallagher, LifeNews

Pro-Choicers Should Explain Why They Think Eugenics Is Acceptable – David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Texas permanently bans taxpayer funding of abortion – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

Shunning The DisabledJ.D. Flynn, First Things

Oregon governor signs bill offering free abortions to citizens and undocumented immigrants – Becky Yeh, Live Action

Ten (Bad, But Popular) Arguments for Abortion – David Hershenov, Public Discourse

Abortion Groups Attack Religious Medical Providers, Right of Conscience for Health Workers – Rebecca Oas, C-Fam

Fighting for Life in the ‘Abortion Capital of the Western World’ – Jim Graves, National Catholic Register

Hidden Abuse of Women: Coerced Abortions – Colin LeCroy, National Review

Adoption

Group Works to Promote Adoption as Positive Parenting Option – Megan Reuther, WHOTV

Bioethics

It’s a Culture War, Stupid – George Weigel, First Things

How one man’s fight to save his dying wife allowed him to witness two miracles of life – Susan Michelle-Hanson, Live Action

The Charlie Gard Legacy: Forced Euthanasia – Chris Michalski, The Stream

Iceland Capital’s Only Baptist Pastor Doesn’t Want Down Syndrome Eliminated – Gunnar Ingi Gunnarsson, Christianity Today

Obamacare

America Already Has A Single-Payer System, And It’s Killing Veterans Like Me – Jonathan LaForce, The Federalist

Obamacare Insurer Lost $57.6 Million in First Half of 2017 – Robert Donachie, The Daily Signal

How House Conservatives Plan to Revive Obamacare Repeal, and Why It Could Work – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

The Crisis of the Christian Colleges – Stephen Baskerville, Crisis

The Need for Thick Schools: Classical Education Against Cynicism – Casey Shutt, Public Discourse

Podcast: Sen. Ben Sasse and Russell Moore discuss parenting, education, and vocation in an era of historic disruptions in the workforce – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

America, Home of the Transactional Marriage – Victor Tan Chen, The Atlantic

Marriage

Why you should brag about your husband – Jenna McDonald, Aleteia

This Is the Truth About Good Communication in Marriage – Laura Triggs, Verily

Has Marriage Become My Idol? – John Piper, Desiring God

How trials can make your marriage better – Sarah Walton, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Want a better marriage? Share a sport – Craig Swalboski, Post-Bulletin

Relationship Standard Bearing: When It’s Not Okay to Not Be Okay – Kelly M. Roberts, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

The iPhone and Us – Daniel Ross Goodman, Public Discourse

Michael Cromartie, R.I.P. – Ethics & Public Policy Center

After the Flood, All the Colors Come Out – Jared C. Wilson, The Gospel Coalition

Six Questions to Ask Before You Binge on Netflix – John Piper, Desiring God

Atheism and the Problem of Beauty – Joe Heschmeyer, Word On Fire

The Christian Understanding of the Human Person – Gerhard Cardinal Müller, Principles

Human Sexuality

Video: How do you teach your children about manhood and womanhood from a biblical perspective? – Daniel Akin, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Precious Clarity on Human Sexuality: Introducing the Nashville Statement – John Piper, Desiring God

Mapping the New Mating Market: A Review of Cheap Sex – Helen Alvaré, Family Studies

How Catholics Can Welcome LGBT Believers – Cardinal Robert Sarah, The Wall Street Journal

UNESCO Promotes Sex-Change and Abortion for Kids – Marianna Orlandi, C-Fam

Preventing sexual violence starts with what we teach our boys – Maryjo Oster, Child Trends

Human Trafficking

Video: Fighting Human Trafficking in America – Dallas Theological Seminary

Google Attempts to Block Bill to Hold Sex-Traffickers Accountable – Lisa Correnti, C-Fam

Comboni nun answers ‘scream of pain’ of human trafficking victims Inés – Inés San Martín, Crux

Pornography

Pastor fired for porn addiction offers help to fellow strugglers – Greg Garrison, Alabama Living

You Are Not Addicted: The Power to Resist Pornography – John Piper, Desiring God

I Was a Pastor Hooked on Porn – Garrett Kell, The Gospel Coalition

4 Signs Your Man Is Serious About Quitting Porn – Monica Gabriel Marshall, Verily

Why Is Iceland “Eradicating” People With Down Syndrome?

by Daniel Hart

August 16, 2017

Yesterday, an article appeared on CBS News stating that “few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.” It turns out that Iceland has made prenatal screening for Down syndrome an enormously commonplace occurrence for pregnant mothers, which has resulted in “close to 100 percent” of them choosing to abort their babies.

It’s telling that the authors of the article chose to phrase this situation by saying Iceland has come close to “eradicating Down syndrome births,” as if this were akin to the country eradicating a disease like malaria.

One has to wonder, who convinced Iceland that people with Down syndrome are such a big problem that they must be completely eliminated from the entire country? According to Helga Sol Olafsdottir, an Icelandic hospital worker, “[w]e ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family.”

As it turns out, just the opposite is true. A full 99 percent of people with Down syndrome say they are happy with their lives, while 97 percent “like who they are.” In addition, “[99] percent of parents said they loved their child with DS and 97 percent were proud of them,” and “96 percent [of siblings] indicated that they had affection toward their sibling with DS, with 94 percent of older siblings expressing feelings of pride.”

Seeing proof of this is as simple as doing a quick YouTube search for “down syndrome,” which produces dozens of examples that explode the anti-Downs prejudice that killing them before birth will “prevent suffering.” Here is a tiny sampling of how those with Downs are not only flourishing, but are bringing joy to all those around them:

Instead of “eradicating” a perceived health problem, Icelanders are unwittingly eradicating joy, happiness, and innocence from their midst.

Social Conservative Review - August 15, 2017

by Daniel Hart

August 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

For the first time since the 1930’s, the overall life expectancy rate in America has declined. Why? Because the suicide rate is increasing all over the country.

There are a multitude of factors that have contributed to this increase. However, all of these factors can be boiled down to one primary cause: despair.

From where is this increasing level of despair coming from? I would argue that one of the primary causes for increasing despair is increasing unbelief in God. The Pew Research Center reports that 23 percent of Americans currently describe themselves as “nones,” or those who consider themselves either atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular.” This number has been steadily rising since at least 1972, when “nones” made up seven percent of the population. In just the last 10 years, this number has jumped eight percent, from 15 to 23 percent.

It has been statistically verified that those who attend religious services are far less likely to commit suicide: In a study of 89,000 people “between 1996 and 2010, those who attended any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide.” In another study, “of the 6,999 Catholic women who attended Mass more than once a week, none committed suicide” (emphasis mine).

Without a belief system built on divine revelation, human beings will form their own belief systems around whatever suits them. The secular world is more than happy to fill this demand for what to believe—we are constantly bombarded by the news media and popular entertainment about what we should believe is right and wrong, what is good and evil, what is tolerant and intolerant, what constitutes equality and inequality, etc. If we don’t have religious belief that provides a moral framework grounded in absolute truths, we put ourselves in the risky position of having to ultimately trust in human beings for the ultimate answers. The inevitable culmination of purely human thinking is despair, because we are and never can be ends in ourselves. As discussed previously, we know where despair can eventually lead.

Christ reveals an infinitely better way: divinely revealed truth. In Matthew 16:23, he rebukes human thinking: “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” As Christians, we must do all we can to turn back the tide of unbelief that is steadily rising in America, trusting not in the ways of man, but in the ways of God.

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

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

Sanctuary Cities’ Aren’t Brave. They’re Obstructing Law Enforcement. – Ken Blackwell

When We Choose Love Over Fear, God Stretches Our Hearts – Dan Hart

Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bringing the hammer down on leaksKen Blackwell

The Decay of Liberty and the Rule of Law in 21st Century AmericaPeter Johnston

Human Sexuality and the Goodness of MarriageClara Ramos and Shania Burch

Iran Heightens Its Crackdown On ChristiansDan Hart

Attention Millennials: True Religious Freedom May Make You Feel UncomfortableMary Beasley

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Religious Liberty Protection Kit for Students and Teachers – First Liberty

Cake Wars And The Coming Conflict Over Religious LibertyNathanael Blake, The Federalist

The Threat of Free Speech in the UniversityRoger Scruton, Ethics & Public Policy Center

Christian wins the right to refuse to photograph homosexual ‘weddings’Peter LaBarbera, LifeSiteNews

The Continuing Threat to Religious LibertyRyan T. Anderson, National Review

Googling Moral PurityR.R. Reno, First Things

No One Expects The Google Inquisition, But It’s ComingRobert Tracinski, The Federalist

Prayer Walks draw protest in Mississippi school districtRon Maxey, USA Today

Wyoming Judge Appeals To Nation’s Highest Court After Losing Job For Being A ChristianJonathan Lange, The Federalist

International Religious Freedom

Pray for the persecuted church in Sudan and South SudanEthics & Religious Liberty Commission

Iran Punishes Religious Minorities with Lengthier SentencesElisabeth Doherty, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative

Saving Christians From GenocideWilliam Doino Jr., First Things

Christian Persecution in India Hits Record High in First Half of 2017Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Liu Xiaobo’s Stern WarningJianli Yang, National Review

 

Life

Abortion

American Abortion, American Freedom – Miles Smith, Public Discourse

More than half of women getting abortions also use contraceptionEmma Court, New York Post

Why Life Is WinningJeanne Mancini, Heritage Foundation

Pro-Life Laws Do Not Lead to Poor Public HealthMichael J. New, National Review

Google And Facebook Co-Sponsoring Protest Of Pro-Life Women’s Health Care ClinicPeter Hasson, The Daily Caller

What kind of society do you want to live in?”: Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearingJulian Quinones and Arijeta Lajka, CBS News

Adoption

The Changing Face of Adoption in the United StatesNicholas Zill, Family Studies

The other Russia story we need to talk about is adoptionMary Vought, USA Today

Mom Walks in Door with Adopted Baby in Arms. Moment Daughters See Her, They’re Brought to TearsCarolyn Marie, Liftable

Bioethics

Hospital tries to force baby off life support, parents won’t give up fightClaire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

Euthanasia Used for 4.5 Percent of Deaths in the NetherlandsMaria Cheng, AP

Stop Assisted-Suicide Opioid AbuseWesley J. Smith, First Things

A Tale of Two Sams: You Should Not Actively Euthanize Your BabyAaron D. Cobb, Public Discourse

Explainer: American scientists “edit” human embryosJoe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Please don’t edit me outRebecca Cokley, The Washington Post

FDA warns doctor not to promote ‘three-parent’ fertilization procedureLianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews

Obamacare

How Obamacare Is Eroding Private InsuranceJarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal

Thousands Visit Free Clinics In Barns And Fields: ‘We’re The Middle Class, And We’re HereChris Togneri, The Federalist

This is How You Make Health Care AffordableJay Bowen, The Stream

Here Are 7 Implications of Ending Obamacare’s Cost-Sharing Reduction PaymentsEdmund Haislmaier, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Economics/Education

When It Comes to Helping People, Facts Don’t Care About Your Intentions – Jacob Roth, The Daily Signal

How Should American Christians Help the Poor at Home? – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

4 Reasons To Pick A College That Doesn’t Want To Destroy Your Principles – Chandler Lasch, The Federalist

Why Men Are the New College Minority – Jon Marcus, The Atlantic

Play Hard. Work Maybe? – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family Studies

Marriage

Half of those thinking of divorce reconsider a year laterCBC News

America Abandons Marriage at Its Own PerilJerry Newcombe, The Christian Post

Parenting Is Not a “Job,” and Marriage Is Not “Work”Jonathan Malesic, New Republic

This incredible medical breakthrough could save the lives of millions of preborn babiesCassy Fiano, Live Action

Faith/Character/Culture

Religion and Politics at the Dinner Table: Challenging the Old Maxim – Christopher W. Love, Public Discourse

Serving God and a woman in need at the WalmartPatty Knap, Aleteia

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?Jean M. Twenge, The Atlantic

I Don’t Understand Christians Watching Game of ThronesKevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition

Does Conscience Point Towards the Existence of God?Matt Nelson, Word On Fire

Guys Need BrosBryan Stoudt, Desiring God

What Having a Ton of Kids Has Taught MeJared Zimmerer, Word On Fire

On Fields of PraiseRobert Royal, The Catholic Thing

The Great Wall of Cotton: Why We Hit Snooze on GodGreg Morse, Desiring God

Don’t Let Politics Turn America Into Another CharlottesvilleDavid Harsanyi, The Federalist

Human Sexuality

Study finds more Americans are approving of polygamyCatholic News Agency

Talking about sex with your kids: 5 things I’m learningJohn Powell, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Examining the History of Sexual Exploitation and the Fight to Eradicate ItMadeleine Ayers, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Gender Expert’: Boy Won’t Play With Trucks. Let’s Make Him A Girl. – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

This debate is about gender dysphoria, not transgender military service – Jamie Shupe, MercatorNet

Why Are Lesbian Teens Having Two To Seven Times As Many Babies As Their Heterosexual Peers? – Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

Senators: Alter Internet laws to hold Backpage liable for sex traffickingAamer Madhani, USA Today

At Las Vegas’s Mayweather-McGregor Fight, Human Trafficking May Happen Right In Front Of You – Vinciane Ngomsi, The Federalist

Pornography

Why Both Sides of the Aisle Can Agree that Pornography is a Public Health Crisis – Dawn Hawkins, Huffington Post

Iran Heightens Its Crackdown On Christians

by Daniel Hart

August 8, 2017

The Wilberforce Initiative is reporting that Iran is targeting Christians, re-sentencing them to lengthier jail times despite having already served their sentences. According to the report, Ebrahim Firouzi, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, was re-sentenced to five additional years for trumped-up charges of “forming a group for disrupting national security” based on “the same evidence used in the previous court case for which he had already served his prison sentence.”

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has reported an uptick in arrests and imprisonments in the last four years of those who are a part of religious minorities in Iran. In the last month alone, “12 Christians have been sentenced to lengthy prison confinement for 10 years or more because of their faith,” according to World Watch Monitor.

Iran is a country of some 80 million predominantly Muslim inhabitants, of which only one percent are religious minorities. This includes about 300,000 Christians, some of whom are Armenian Christians who are considered to be born Christian and are generally not bothered by the Iranian regime. In a country that is over 99 percent Muslim, it is considered a crime to convert from Islam to Christianity, which can carry a death sentence.

With President Trump considering his options on how to pull out of the rashly devised Obama-era nuclear deal, it is also highly important for him to consider the tragic plight of Christians and other persecuted minorities who are languishing in Iranian prisons simply because of exercising their God-given right to freely follow their consciences.

Social Conservative Review - August 1, 2017

by Daniel Hart

August 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

In an age when assisted suicide has been deemed acceptable public policy, it becomes necessary for Christians to unapologetically stand up for the dignity and worth of every human being, no matter what stage of life they are in or what occupation they have.

In the professional world, it’s easy to view jobs through the prism of worldly prestige and monetary worth—a film actor in Hollywood is seen as a much more important person than the cashier behind the counter at a grocery store. As Christians, however, we see these two jobs as equal in dignity and value, because God makes no distinction in worth between them. The actor is called to use his or her skills to further truth, goodness, and beauty through the art form of their acting abilities, thereby imparting new and cathartic insights about the mysteries of existence to the public. In a different but no less valuable way, the grocery store cashier is called to further truth, goodness, and beauty by being knowledgeable, kind, and helpful to his or her customers, thereby creating a life-giving and positive experience to every individual they serve.

Analogously, all people, no matter how old or young, have a role to play in furthering the kingdom of God on earth. As Chris Hazell has written, we discover our role primarily by living in community with others. One of the great tragedies of modern times is the increased isolation that many in our society live in. What we often fail to understand is that instead of taking away our freedom and autonomy, living in community with others actually strengthens our sense of self. God created us for communion, declaring that “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2:18). In the above referenced article, Hazel relates a beautiful quote from Henri J.M. Nouwen: “That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone - a unique, special place.”

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

Trump’s right: Transgender patriotism isn’t the issue — military readiness isTony Perkins

Why We Were Right to Pray for President TrumpTony Perkins

6 Ways Governor Brownback Can Prioritize International Religious FreedomTravis Weber

11 Reasons Why Assisted Suicide Must EndDan Hart

Backpage.com and Human Trafficking: What is Christian America’s Response?Mary Beasley

No, Rev. Barber, Prayer for a President Is Not “Heresy”Travis Weber

 

Religious Liberty

Free to Believe”

Bible verse plaque displayed at Tennessee police department to be movedFox News

Police officer disciplined for refusing to call a ‘transgender’ man a womanFr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNews

Lesbian mom asks Christian judge to recuse himself from her divorce case citing his stance against homosexualityMegan Cerullo, NY Daily News

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

FRC Speaker Series: Four Objections to Religious Liberty… and some Possible Answers! with Michael Stokes Paulsen

A Demagogic Bully – Mark Pulliam, City Journal

Indiana school district kowtows to atheist group, promises to end graduation prayersTré Goins-Phillips, TheBlaze

Ultra-Rich Gay Activist On Targeting Christians: It’s Time To ‘Punish The Wicked’Bre Payton, The Federalist

Students sue school for hushing pro-life speechBonnie Pritchett, WORLD

Conservative Students More Afraid to Speak Up on Campus Than Liberals, Study FindsMichael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Christie Signs Bill Requiring NJ Schools Use Preferred Pronouns for Transgender KidsRob Shimshock, The Daily Signal

State Directs Schools To ‘Segregate’ Students Uncomfortable With Transgender BathroomsAmanda Prestigiacomo, The Daily Wire

Millennials approve of religious freedom as a choice, but don’t know what it meansScott Taylor, Deseret News

International Religious Freedom

8 Churches Close in Baghdad Amid Shrinking Iraqi Christian Population – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

China’s Censorship Powers Are Bigger And More Dangerous Than You Know – Helen Raleigh, The Federalist

Spanish Cathedral Targeted for Reversing the ReconquistaMatthew E. Bunson, National Catholic Register

Pakistani Christians Fear Rise in Persecution After Ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz SharifAnugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Google’s New Hate Speech Algorithm Has a Problem With JewsLiel Leibovitz, Tablet

4 Surprising Facts About ISISJoshua Pease, Open Doors

Military Religious Freedom

Why Trump Keeping Trans People From The Military Is A Good Decision – Walt Heyer, The Federalist

 

Life

Abortion

Hawaii pro-life centers sue over abortion promotion lawSamantha Gobba, WORLD

An Effective Weapon to Reach Pro-Abortion AdvocatesPatti Armstrong, National Catholic Register

Melinda Gates Commits $375 Million to Global Family Planning to Counter Trump’s Pro-Life PolicyDr. Susan Berry, Breitbart

Why ‘Sidewalk Counselors’ Are Crucial to the Pro-Life MovementPatty Knap, National Catholic Register

I was told abortion would make my life more complete. But it left the biggest hole in my heart…Bettina di Fiore, LifeSiteNews

Pregnancy Center Saves LA Babies from AbortionJim Graves, National Catholic Register

Dem campaign chief vows no litmus test on abortionBen Kamisar and Reid Wilson, The Hill

Kentucky Could Be The First Abortion Free-State By 2018Jeremiah Keenan, The Federalist

Adoption

Adoption: The good and hard lessonsMicah and Tracy Fries, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Why Christians Are Abandoning the OrphanageSarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

How you can learn to love your birth momAshton Morgan, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Bioethics

Republicans in Congress attempt to repeal D.C. assisted suicide lawEmma Kinery, USA Today

How Much Longer Do We Have? Living by Faith While Our Son Is DyingAllison Muedder, Desiring God

Charlie Gard Dies After Life Support is Switched Off: Mother Says “Our Beautiful Boy is Gone” – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Charlie Gard’s Case Delivers Déjà Vu Of Twentieth-Century EugenicsCaroline D’Agati, The Federalist

Scientists Kill Unborn Children in Human Genetic Engineering ExperimentsWesley Smith, LifeNews

Mother says adult, disabled daughter traumatized by doctor’s suggestion of assisted suicideJohn Burger, Aleteia

What Charlie Gard Has Taught UsMichael Brown, Townhall

Obamacare

41-Year-Old Father: ‘Obamacare Won’t Pay For My Back Surgery, But It Will Pay For Opioids’ – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist

Congress Needs to Go Right Back to Work on Health Care Reform – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal

Bipartisan Group: We Need To Break The Law To Make Obamacare Too Big To FailChristopher Jacobs, The Federalist

 

Family

Economics/Education

Why Melinda Gates Is Wrong About Contraception – John Clark, National Catholic Register

Capitalism and the Quest for Community – Brian Jones, Public Discourse

The American Dream Is in CrisisJ.D. Vance, The Daily Signal

Dodd-Frank Has Held Down the US Economy for Too Long – Rep. Jeb Hensarling, The Daily Signal

Our Cultural Waterloo – Carl R. Trueman, First Things

Conservatives are increasingly hostile to higher ed. Who can blame them? – Noah Rothman, USA Today

This Is the Way the College ‘Bubble’ Ends – Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Marriage

Long marriage, beautiful lifeCaryn Rivadeneira, Aleteia

Establishing the facts about family breakdown transforming the debate about marriageHarry Benson, Marriage Foundation

Paper, silver and gold: How marriage shapes usTom Hoopes, Aleteia

The Children of Divorce Speak OutRachel Lu, Crisis

Staying Married Is Not About Staying in LoveJohn Piper, Desiring God

Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore’Hilary White, LifeSiteNews

Marriage MattersW. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies

Faith/Character/Culture

FRC Speaker Series: Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth with Dr. Everett Piper

Game Of Thrones’ Is The Ugliest Show On Television. That’s Why We Love ItTitus Techera, The Federalist

Children are Never a BurdenMattias A. Caro, Ethika Politika

Limping Along the Way of Truth – Word On Fire

The Democrats’ Anthropological Field Trip to Study AmericansKyle Smith, National Review

Podcast: Race and human flourishing; Embracing diversity for the good of all peopleGlenn Packiam, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Crude Language, Coarse Culture: We Need to Do BetterRob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

Human Sexuality

Why Premarital Sex Is Wrong – Nathan Smith, Public Discourse

Sen. Patty Murray Calls For Resignation of Trump Official Over Accurate Campus Rape CommentsJoy Pullmann, The Federalist

I felt really humiliated:’ Teen blasts school district’s transgender bathroom policyMatt Miller, PennLive

Activist Mommy Starts ‘Operation Pull Teen Vogue’ After Mag Peddles Sexual Perversion to MinorsCharlene Aaron, CBN News

Trump Cuts Wildly Ineffective Teen Pregnancy Program, Media Flip OutMollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Sex Robots Are (Almost) Here. How Will We Respond?Jay Richards, The Stream

How Embedding Women With Contraception May Keep Them In PovertyElizabeth Bauer, The Federalist

Human Trafficking

FRC Speaker Series: The Battle for Humanity: How Conservatives Can Fight Human Trafficking with Rep. Ann Wagner

Pornography

Twelve Days of Action: Half-Way Through This Year’s Dirty Dozen List – Ben Forsgren, National Center On Sexual Exploitation

You’d Be Surprised to Hear What Porn Is Doing to Sex – Gail Dines and Liz Walker, Verily

After 10 Years, My Partner Won His Struggle With Porn Addiction – Fight The New Drug

11 Reasons Why Assisted Suicide Must End

by Daniel Hart

July 26, 2017

A measure legalizing assisted suicide in Washington, D.C., which was recently passed by the city council and signed by the mayor, has now officially taken effect as of July 17. Thankfully, the federal government has jurisdiction over the District’s laws, and the House Appropriations Committee has advanced a measure that would repeal the assisted suicide law. Republican congressman are currently working to include this measure in an upcoming must-pass omnibus bill that will ultimately need House and Senate approval and a signature by President Trump before D.C. can once again return to sanity on this issue.

D.C. now joins six states (California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) that have legalized assisted suicide. In a culture increasingly awash in the narcotic of moral relativism, let’s review why assisted suicide is such a grievous blow to our shared humanity and to common sense in general.

1. New cures and treatments for diseases are constantly discovered. Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) made this point while proposing the amendment to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide measure: “New, stunning cures in medicine occur each and every day. Encouraging patients to commit suicide deprives them of the opportunity to potentially be cured by new treatments that could ameliorate their condition and even add years to their lives, if not cure them completely.”

2. Taking lethal drugs is cheap and easy. Committing assisted suicide is a much cheaper alternative (about $300 on average) to often highly expensive (and sometimes experimental) medical treatments and procedures that can potentially extend the lives of (or cure) those who are gravely ill. It should go without saying that money should be no object to extending or saving someone’s life. But apparently it is, according to health insurance companies in states where assisted suicide is legal, who would rather cover cheap lethal drugs than more expensive medical treatments that could potentially extend or save lives.

3. Doctors are often wrong about predicting how long a patient has to live. As with assisted suicide measures in other states, the D.C. law stipulates that only those with six months or less to live can get a lethal medication prescription. But doctors admit that it is very difficult to precisely determine how long a patient has left to live, and they are often surprised by how long patients outlive their diagnoses, or in some cases recover completely. It is also important to note that there are numerous types of cancer that will immediately mean that a patient has “six months to live” if the cancer is left untreated. In other words, many patients with six-month diagnoses could just as easily be cured from their cancer after treatment, meaning that assisted suicide policies create a whole patient subset who do not have a terminal illness that can still legally commit suicide.

4. It corrupts the patient-doctor relationship and the Hippocratic Oath. Every patient deserves to have trust in their doctor that they will do what’s best for their health. When a doctor recommends suicide, it is an inhuman violation of the implicit trust that a patient should have in their caretaker. In the Hippocratic Oath commonly taken by doctors, the primary rule is to “do no harm.” Recommending assisted suicide is the most grievous breach of this oath.

5. Assisted suicide limits patients’ access to high quality care. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Oh.), a doctor, related the story of one Oregon resident with prostate cancer who applied for an expensive form of chemotherapy through the state-run healthcare system that his doctor had recommended. He was denied the treatment; he instead received a letter from the state of Oregon offering to pay for his assisted suicide.

6. It preys upon the weak and vulnerable. Those who are terminally ill are understandably in a very fragile mental state. This makes them more vulnerable to give in to the “compassionate” advice of family members and doctors to end their lives, convincing them that they are creating a monetary and psychological “burden” on their families. Assisted suicide also gives those people who value money over the lives of their family members a convenient way to kill them off.

7. It is a violation of equality before the law. As Ryan Anderson has written, “Classifying a subgroup of people as legally eligible to be killed violates our nation’s commitment to equality before the law—showing profound disrespect for and callousness to those who will be judged to have lives no longer ‘worth living,’ not least the frail elderly, the demented, and the disabled.”

8. Comforting those who are dying is actually life-affirming. Numerous accounts of families drawing closer together around the bedside of a dying family member abound. Here is just one that I found particularly moving. Here is another one from a woman who worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, illustrating the fact that standing up against assisted suicide does not have to be a partisan issue.

9. “Until the day we take our last breath, we have something to offer.” Rep. Wenstrup learned this lesson when he examined an AIDS patient in 1985, who died the next day. “He taught me something for a lifetime on his last day,” he said. The man told Wenstrup that he was the first person to fully examine him, because everybody else was too afraid to because of his mysterious disease (at that time). Wenstrup learned a valuable lesson about the dignity of every human life from this man, and what it must feel like to be cast aside and rejected by your fellow man.

10. Human life is cheapened in the minds of everyone. When we declare a certain category of people as not worthy of life, we as human beings begin to doubt the value of human life in general. This phenomenon has been verified statistically in a study in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, where assisted suicide is legal. After these laws were passed, the suicide rate amongst the general population went up in all three states.

11. Everyone is needed. In the words of Rep. Wenstrup (who gave a superb policy lecture about assisted suicide at FRC headquarters): “With laws like this [assisted suicide laws], we promote the idea that you just aren’t needed here, and I think that’s hurting America across the board … As we go forward, we have to continue to discuss how important every life is, and the positive effects that you can have even in your struggles, not only for yourself, but for those around you. Life brings us together, and so does death; and I believe that until you take that last breath, you continue to give. And then who you were continues to give, forever—that will never perish. We need to take a long hard look at who we are as a society and what we want to be, where we want to go, what’s important to us. I imagine everyone that’s listening today hopefully feels that they have some value. You do have value. You need to feel necessary. We need to talk to each other, and tell each other how necessary each one of us is.”

In concluding his lecture, Rep. Wenstrup related a true story he read in which the author was offered a sandwich by a homeless man while he was hitchhiking. “[The author] didn’t know what to say. He accepted it … What that [homeless] gentleman was doing was making himself needed. Everyone is needed. Everyone plays a part in our lives, and we need to respect that, and hopefully [on the issue of assisted suicide] we can drive that home, because we’re all better served if we value human life and emphasize its importance each and every day.”

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