Category archives: Family Policy Lecture Events

Our Moralized Social Tyranny and What Conservatives Can Do About It

by Caleb Sutherlin

October 19, 2018

If one party managed to accumulate 90 percent of our nation’s capital and used it to favor a political agenda, we would all be worried. But today, we see something similar in the social capital accumulated by the Left. On October 12, Justin Pinkerman joined Family Research Council’s Speaker Series to shed light on the institutions of social capital controlled by the Left

Central to his research is the idea espoused by Antonio Gramsci that one cannot just look at the political sphere when looking at a nation; also critical is the cultural sphere. Pinkerman conducted a thoughtful look at our moral and intellectual authority in civil society. The cultural sphere or civil society includes areas of “consent, persuasion, the church, morality, freedom and self-discipline.”

Moral and intellectual authority comes from civil society. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French philosopher that studied the American political system, believed that you really needed to study America’s customs to be able to explain our democracy. Tocqueville used many institutions in his research, including religion, the legal field (respect for law), and the press. At the time in 1831, religion largely controlled the education system. Similarly, the press represented American literature. Clearly, this is no longer the case.

Highlighted by Pinkerman are several facets of civil society that shape the cultural sphere of our present moment. These include journalism, the universities, the tech industry, Hollywood, the legal profession, and religion. Because people “do not have the time to research every single topic, we are reliant on other intellectual and moral sources.” In other words, many in our culture today rely on others to form their moral opinions. 

American journalism has a tendency to lean Left. All journalists are not alike, but it indicates the state of journalism to look at the strength of that lean. Between The Washington Post and The New York Times, 25 endorsements for presidential candidates were made since 1960—none have been for Republican candidates. Pinkerman pointed out that you would have to go back to 1956 to find the last time either one supported a Republican for president. Furthermore, only seven percent of journalists identify as Republican. Democrats outnumber Republicans 20 to one among journalists. This is very concerning, since intentional self-questioning is critical in order to prevent bias from filtering the news.

Colleges and universities are another sector in which a pronounced majority of faculty identify as being on the Left. In the field of social psychology, professors that favor the Left are 314 to one, though they self-identify as 36 liberal for every one conservative. There are similar breakdowns where a profession will skew greatly to one political party. Even the localities where top schools are located lean left. A person is likely to move left in their political ideology simply because of the environment that has been created in and around the top schools.

With so many people receiving their information from online sources, the tech sector is highly influential on American culture. Though companies like Google or Apple are not producing the majority of content, they do control what is seen. When looking at Google’s employees, 97 percent voted for Obama, while 91 percent of Apple’s employees did the same. Tech giants function as gatekeepers, the ones who decide what content is inappropriate or will even come up. Search algorithms of these companies have been called into question in recent years for the way they filter content.

Though difficult to find empirical evidence, Hollywood too leans left. Pinkerman cites a study that shows that for every dollar donated to Republicans, 115 were given to the Democratic presidential candidate. The elites shaping the entertainment industry and thus our thought use are clearly using their political voices to promote liberal views. One would simply need to watch some of the television and film awards shows during the 2016 election cycle to see these views on full display.

In the legal profession, around 80 percent of law school faculty members are liberal. The disparity among practicing attorneys is not quite as pronounced, with 35 percent having conservative views. This is important because the people that shape our understanding of the law, and thereby of justice, have a strong influence.

Going off of what Tocqueville studied, the only aspect that has not veered to the left is religion. Culturally and politically, religion remains diverse. Catholic clergy tend to be about 50-50, with Protestants leaning slightly left and Evangelicals to the right. There is much diversity of ideas in the religious field. However, when looking at religious studies in academia, faculty members on the left are about 70 to one.

Politically speaking, we have great protections and freedoms from the government in our current time. Our freedom seems secure from tyranny. But when looking at social tyranny, the outlook is not so reassuring. Social tyranny can easily devolve into factionalism, with one section of society needing protection from another section. James Madison warned against factionalism because it had historically led to the downfall of democracies. In his time, the expanding country made any singular ideology unlikely to take over.

Today, however, when we look at all of the main areas of our cultural establishment, there is one political sphere that is entrenched. Distressingly, many conservative voices are being squelched. College campuses are a perfect case study for this phenomenon. From speakers being disinvited to protestors disrupting events to student activists accosting conservatives on campus, there is a blatant lack of diversity of thought. 

The danger of one political ideology controlling so many spheres of public influence is that this ideology can be imposed in a way that looks normalized. Voices of opposition can easily be silenced. This can lead to a spiral of silence in which the voices of opposition become fewer and fewer over time. It will take a concentrated effort from within these industries to prevent that from happening. All Americans should keep a close eye on these industries to see if they are telling the whole story, just as we ourselves should be fair and balanced in our own judgments. Most importantly, we should call out the lack of conservative voices in every major cultural establishment and use our own voices to call for an increase in diversity of thought. Be sure to view Justin Pinkerman’s full discussion of this important topic.

How the Left Uses Fake Science to Advance Its Agenda

by FRC

September 14, 2017

FRC hosted a Speaker Series event yesterday to launch Austin Ruse’s new book Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data. In his remarks, Ruse made the perceptive observation that fake science is more dangerous than fake news because scientific statistics, no matter their dubious origins, tend to lodge in our brains and stay there, whereas fake news is simply superseded by the next news cycle.

Here are some examples of the fake science that he cites in his book:

  • Proponents of Missouri’s constitutional amendment to legalize cloning in 2006 argued that it would lead to a plethora of treatments and cures for incurable diseases. Eleven years later, not one treatment or cure has been produced.
  • Sixteen years ago, Al Gore claimed that global warming would wipe out polar bears. Today, the polar bear population remains the same as it was when Gore made his claim.
  • Homosexuality is said to be inborn and unchangeable. Researchers have in fact never found a “gay gene,” nor have they found that those identifying as homosexual have different brains than everyone else.
  • The state of California claims that acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical compound that is found in bread, cereal, cookies, potato chips, French fries, and other foods, causes cancer. In fact, one would have to consume 182 pounds of French fries per day to hit the cancer “danger zone.”
  • Activists and some scientists claim that genetically modified rice causes cancer. This has never been proven and could in fact save hundreds of thousands from blindness and even death. Approximately 250,000 children go blind every year because they lack an essential mineral that is found in this kind of rice. The rice has never gone to market because environmentalists have held it up for over 25 years.
  • Abortion advocates claim that pregnancy does not begin until the fertilized ovum attaches to the uterine wall. In fact, most medical textbooks and dictionaries still say that pregnancy, and therefore human life, begins at conception.
  • Sexual revolutionaries in the 60’s said and continue to say that children do not need their moms and dads. In fact, social science data shows voluminously that children do best when raised in the home of their married biological mother and father—anything less than this increases the risk of the child developing dangerous pathologies.

View the entire event to learn more about this important issue.

The Poverty of Nations: Practical Solutions for a World in Need

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 27, 2014

My friend Dr. Wayne Grudem, one of America’s leading theologians and a man of great compassion for those in need, has published a new op-ed in FoxNews.com.  Titled, “The Only Way for the Poor to Escape from Poverty,” the piece is a short, introductory summary of Dr. Grudem’s book, Poverty of Nations (both the book and op-ed are coauthored by economist Barry Asmus). Here is an excerpt:

The Bible’s teachings support the idea that nations must produce their own prosperity. When Israel came into the Promised Land God did not promise them perennial donations of riches from other nations, but hills filled with iron and copper (which they would have to dig and refine) and fields of vines and fig trees (which they would have to tend and harvest each year).”

Dr. Grudem gave a longer presentation of the arguments in his important book last month at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. You can watch it in its entirety at no charge and learn the principles that, when applied, can elevate the poor into prosperity and hope.

ProLifeCon 2014 Features The Duggar Family

by Krystle Gabele

January 21, 2014

We are only a day away from ProLifeCon, the premier gathering of online pro-life activists.  We have many exciting and informative speakers, and there is no doubt that you will learn how you can encourage and motivate pro-life activists in your community.

This year, we are honored to welcome The Duggar Family to ProLifeCon.  Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of the popular TLC show 19 Kids & Counting are celebrating 30 years of marriage this year. With 19 children, including 10 boys and 9 girls, plus 3 grandkids, life is very busy.

The Duggars started filming their first show back 10 years ago when they only had 14 children. Over the years the name of their show has changed as their family size has increased. The first show was called 14 Children and Pregnant Again, then the show name changed to 16 Children and Moving In, 17 Kids & Counting, 18 Kids & Counting, and finally to 19 Kids and Counting. Two hundred shows later they are still weekly filming their daily life and adventures of their growing family. Their shows air around the world in many foreign countries and the Duggars have been guest on numerous National and International TV shows.

The Duggar’s heart is to share with the world that children are a blessing from God. They believe the Bible is the owner’s manual for our lives. They have written two New York Times Best-selling books, 20 & Counting and A Love that Multiplies. Jim Bob Duggar was an Arkansas State Representative from 1999-2002. The four oldest Duggar daughters Jana, Jill, Jessa & Jinger are releasing their new book Growing Up Duggar on March 4, 2014. Season 8 of 19 Kids & Counting premieres on TLC, March 11, 2014.

Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

ProLifeCon 2014 Features Ryan Bomberger

by Krystle Gabele

January 20, 2014

This year’s ProLifeCon promises to be another exciting time to unite pro-life activists from across the country to become active online and bring awareness to the sanctity of life.  We have an exciting line-up of speakers, who will not only educate you on emerging technologies to help spread the message, but make you aware of the issues impacting the pro-life community in 2014.

We are grateful to have Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation as a speaker at this year’s ProLifeCon.  Ryan will no doubt inspire you with his story, as well as with his vast knowledge on utilizing the internet to educate the community on adoption.

Ryan’s story is also inspiring.  His biological mother was raped, but chose to continue her pregnancy and gave him life.  He was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving Christian family.  Ryan has won an Emmy Award for his work.  He founded The Radiance Foundation, along with his wife, Bethany, and has been active with the pro-life community with the TooManyAborted.com billboard/web campaigns, which advocates for adoption within the black community.

You don’t want to miss ProLifeCon, as there are many more exciting speakers who will be featured throughout the week.  Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Andy Harris Joins ProLifeCon 2014

by Krystle Gabele

January 17, 2014

Rep. Vicky Hartzler from Missouri will also be joining ProLifeCon as a featured speaker. Rep. Hartzler was elected to serve the Fourth District of Missouri in 2010, and she has been a tireless advocate for pro-life issues. She is the sponsor of H.R. 3549, the Protecting Adoption Act, co-sponsor of H.R. 7, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. Rep. Hartzler is also a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is also speaking at ProLifeCon.  Rep. Harris was first elected to represent Maryland’s First Congressional District in 2011, and he previously served in the Maryland State Senate.  Rep. Harris is a member of the Congressional GOP Doctors Caucus, which is composed of medical providers in Congress who work to develop patient centered, patient driven healthcare reforms focused on quality, access, affordability, portability, and choice.  Rep. Harris served as an Obstetric Anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md.  

ProLifeCon has more exciting speakers who will be featured throughout this week. Click here to register today and learn how you can spread the pro-life message to others.

Is College Worth It?

by Krystle Gabele

August 12, 2013

With many young people preparing to attend colleges and universities throughout the country, there is one thing looming on the minds of many parents and students:  “How am I going to pay for this?”  Student loans seem to be the solution that many are choosing to finance their education.  According to a recent article in Forbes, the average college graduate will have student loans totaling close to $26,600.  This figure might seem daunting, and it especially seems overwhelming considering the economy and the dismal job market.

Join FRC for our upcoming Family Policy Lecture, “Is College Worth It?” on Wednesday, August 14th at Noon.  David Wilezol, associate producer of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America,” joins us to look at the student loan industry and to examine whether a college education is all that it is cracked up to be.  You can register for the lecture here, and it is also available to view by webcast as well.

TONIGHT: FRC Webcast — “Inhuman: Undercover in America’s Late Term Abortion Industry”

by Anna Higgins

May 21, 2013

The gruesome practice of late-term abortion in the United States was brought to the forefront recently in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. While Gosnell’s facility has become well-known, it is important to point out that there are many other late-term abortion facilities operating throughout the United States. The horrific practices of these facilities were recently highlighted in a series of undercover videos by Lila Rose of Live Action.

Late-term abortion facilities are aborting children well into the second and third trimesters – subjecting unborn children to violent and painful death. Studies show that unborn children can feel pain as early as 20 weeks gestation. Currently, many states allow late-term abortion procedures despite the evidence of the pain capability of unborn children. The violent nature by which Gosnell killed his infant victims outside the womb would have been legal in many states if it had been carried out before birth.

In order to put an end to these inhumane practices, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is introducing The Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797), which, if passed, will implement a nationwide ban on abortion past 20 weeks gestation.

The Family Research Council is hosting a very important webcast tonight at5:00 p.m.(EDT) to expose these late-term abortion practices. Guests will include Lila Rose of Live Action, Rep. Trent Franks, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Please join us for the webcast. Together we can raise awareness about the dangers the abortion industry poses to women and children and end the grisly practice of late-term abortion.

Responding to Islamism and Persecution of the Church

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 26, 2012

Persecution of self-identified Christians has become a pandemic in the developing world. For Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Copts and others, making the simple assertion that they follow Jesus Christ can lead to abuse, eviction, disfigurement, and far too often death.

Today at FRC, we heard a remarkable and very probing lecture by Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, a profound theologian and himself a former Muslim, about the way the church is responding to the threat of radical Islam both abroad and here in the United States.

Dr. Sookhdeo drew a striking parallel between the church in Germany during the rise of Nazism and the way Christians should be responding to the Islamists who would undermine the very foundations of representative self-government and religious liberty.

Christians are called to love and minister to Muslims and also stand against an agenda which is inherently oppressive and even violent. Dr. Sookhdeo offered wise counsel about how we can do both. You can watch his lecture here.

In addition, there are excellent summaries of anti-Christian persecution worldwide in The Catholic Thing and the Voice of the Martyrs newsroom.

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