Category archives: Social Conservative Review

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News February 26, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 26, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Theologian David Wells has written of “the extraordinary bombardment … that goes on every day from a thousand different sources that leave us distracted, with our minds going simultaneously in multiple directions” (God in the Whirlwind, p.17). Not only are we inundated with information, but attentive citizens are confronted daily with national and international matters of great significance.

As is appropriate, each of us has particular interests and concerns. Only God is infinite, and only He can attend to all matters simultaneously and in proportion to their true value. But sometimes things rise to the surface that cut through the noise and stand out on their own. Here are a couple:

Domestic Policy - Marriage: Earlier this week, FRC released the findings of a new survey showing that 61 percent of Americans agree that “states and citizens should remain free to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman and the Supreme Court should not force all 50 states to redefine marriage.” The survey also found that 53 percent of Americans agree that marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman. In addition, an overwhelming majority (81 percent) of Americans agree that government should “leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage as they live their daily lives at work and in the way they run their businesses.”

In April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the constitutionality of same-sex “marriage.” As they weigh what to do, they would be wise to remember that sundering the social fabric through judicial fiat has never born good fruit; the Dred Scott and Roe decisions make that plain. And they should be sobered by the fact that four out of five Americans believe moral convictions grounded in deeply-held religious faith can’t be parked at one’s home or left within the four walls of a house of worship – they continue to uphold the right of their fellow citizens to live-out the implications of their faith at work as well as worship.

Foreign Policy – ISIS: In this edition of the SoCon Review, we feature a special section devoted to analyses of ISIS and Christian responses to it. The beheading of Coptic Christians along the Libyan shoreline was evil in its rawest, most horrific form. Yet followers of Jesus in the Middle East know that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35). ISIS seeks conquest of a temporal kingdom, but Christians serve a King Who has “overcome the world” (John 16:33). As we pray for the persecuted – and their persecutors – let’s remember, and be comforted, by that changeless truth.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to listen to Dr. Mark Regnerus’ FRC lecture, “Stability and Change in Americans’ Relationships,” presented this week at our headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Education

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Assisted Suicide

Marriage & Family

Homosexuality and Gender Issues

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty and Persecution

Domestic

International

Religion in Public Life

Occasional Categories

Feminism

ISIS

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News February 12, 2015

by Lela Mayfield

February 13, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


This week is National Marriage Week, fitting given that the week culminates in Valentine’s Day (that’s Saturday, guys; forget at your peril).

It is oddly unfitting that Valentine’s Day is also when the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” is being released and marketed aggressively. One of the marketing tools being used for the film isa little Teddy Bearholding not roses or a box of chocolates but handcuffs. Another is jewelry: For example, jeweler Janet Cadsawan is selling a “double handcuff necklace” for a mere $150.

Fifty Shades” is based on the best-selling book of the same name. The book and movie go beyond mere graphic depictions of sexual intimacy, which are, of course, pornographic and exploitative in their own right. As commentatorRichard Swiernotes, “It is a story of a girl being sexually molested, over and over again, by a male figure with all the power, all the control. It is the classic abuse scenario.” The movie features horrific scenes of violent sexual abuse, to the point that the female star of the movie, Dakota Johnson, saysshe doesn’t want her own parents to watch it.

The movie is pornography of a particularly vile type. It celebrates things – abuse, rape, violence against women, manipulation, male domination – our culture claims to protest.

Radical sexual autonomy is now society’ssummum bonum. When combined with an ethos of moral relativism animated by the denial of an infinite, personal God Who has revealed His moral will clearly and with finality, this autonomy has led to growing chaos – and growing darkness.

Inreports being released today by FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, we learn that just 46 percent of U.S. teenagers ages 15-17 have grown-up with both biological parents always married. In the African-American community, “only 17 percent of black teenagers reach age 17 in a family with both their biological parents married.”

Marriage is in crisis. Human dignity, whether through promiscuity, pornography, homosexual behavior, or whateverother deviation from God’s standard for sexual intimacy, is being degraded. Is there hope?

Yes, in part because the conscience is not wholly dead: Even Ms. Johnson, who willingly subjected herself to what Yale cognitive scientist Joshua Knobe has called“animalization,”has sufficient shame and horror at her own cinematic acts that she does not want her parents to view them.

This is good news for followers of Jesus. Christians should take note that “the works of the law (remain) written on the heart” (Romans 2:15). That should give us a clue as to how to make public arguments during an era of moral disarray, and also provide an entry point for us to share the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With God, there no shades of grey, no “variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). His truth is always the same, and resonates in all but the most calloused of hearts.That’s good news for troubled marriages, broken hearts, and a wounded culture.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Don’t miss my colleague Jessica Prol’s wonderful meditation on meaning, marriage and singleness, “Marriage Haves and Have-Nots Don’t Have To Square Off” inThe Federalist.


Education

Common Core

College Debt

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Adult stem cells

Bioethics

Assisted Suicide

Marriage & Family

Economy and the family

Fatherhood

Homosexuality and Gender Issues

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty and Persecution

Domestic

International

Religion in Public Life

The Social Conservative Review: October 9, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

October 9, 2014

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

In his lecture yesterday at FRC, “Renaissance: The Power of the Christian Gospel However Dark the Times,” renowned scholar Dr. Os Guinness offered encouraging words for Christians ready to “throw in the towel” as events at home and abroad sometimes look bleak.

Any gloom and doom today is totally unwarranted,” said Dr. Guinness. “There are no answers so deep and true as those in the Christian faith.”

Are we proclaiming and articulating those answers confidently, humbly, graciously, and persuasively? Serious believers should be asking themselves that question often. Dr. Guinness noted that “the church always goes forward by going backward first” — by returning to its first love, Jesus Christ, and the eternal truths of God’s Word. This is one of the paradoxes of God’s kingdom — we advance by retracing our path to His unchanging message. For the sake of advancing “a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives,” taking a few steps back to what really matters is always a good idea.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. What’s going on with ebola, Islamic terrorism, and American security? Learn from FRC’s Lt. Gen. (ret) Jerry Boykin, former commander of the Delta Force, as he explains what’s happening in a Fox News interview.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Education

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: September 25, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

September 25, 2014

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

So now even the federal government affirms what FRC and others have been saying for years: President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ObamaCare) subsidizes abortion.

According to a report issued by the General Accountability Office earlier this month, “1,036 qualified health plans in … 28 states cover non-excepted abortion services.” Commenting on the report. FRC President Tony Perkins said, “Not only does Obamacare fund elective abortion, but the ACA only requires that the information about elective abortion coverage be provided after an individual purchases a plan. Americans should not be forced to play a game of moral Russian roulette when they select a health care plan.”

That’s why the director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, joined U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and other national pro-life leaders at a Capitol Hill news conference a few days ago to say FRC “call(s) on Congress to vote for H.R. 7, the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion’ and the ‘Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.’ The American people deserve real answers, real options, real transparency and absolutely no taxpayer funding of abortion.”

The more complex the legislation, the less accountability and transparency it provides. In a republic in which representative self-government depends on integrity and knowledge, accountability and transparency are essential. Let’s demand them from Congress and from our President when it comes to paying for something - abortion - tens of millions of Americans can never approve.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. It’s not too late to register for FRC’s annual “Values Voter Summit” this weekend to hear from some of America’s leading conservative voices and find out how you can help advance faith, family, and freedom.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Education

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: September 11, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

September 11, 2014

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

All responsible moms and dads in America are concerned with their children’s education. Public school, private school, Christian school, home school: Whatever choice parents make for their kids, they care deeply about how and what they will learn.

That’s why FRC has taken a strong stance on the Common Core education standards being promoted by the Obama Administration. Earlier this week, FRC President Tony Perkins and Senior Fellow Sarah Perry, J.D., hosted a nationwide webcast on what Common Core is and the dangers it imposes. Joined by such leading voices as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Will Estrada, Esq. of the Home School Legal Defense Association, and esteemed educator Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Tony and Sarah explained why the Common Core standards threaten not just the educational competence of the next generation, but the whole premise of our society: That parents and children belong to one another, not any government program, however well-intentioned.

Watch the program here and join us in taking action. It’s about families, children, and the future of our country.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. How does a man who can’t walk run in a 5k? Adult stem cell transplants! Watch the amazing story of Bryan Hinkle and learn more at FRC’s StemCellResearchFacts.org.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Education

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: August 28, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

August 28, 2014

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Baseball great Lou Gehrig is one of my heroes. His photo is on the wall of my office and I recall vividly seeing his uniform at baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Gehrig probably was, in the words of his biographer, the greatest first baseman ever to play the game. His record as a hitter and player generally remains, more than 70 years after his death, the stuff of legend.

Just about everyone is familiar now with the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” in which ice water is poured over one’s head in the hope of generating gifts to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. ALS, commonly called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” tragically cut short the Iron Horse’s life, and remains a debilitating disease for which there is no cure.

Sadly, as my colleague Dr. David Prentice notes, the ALSA has admitted that it gives some of its money to embryonic stem cell research.”

So, Dr. Prentice, one of America’s most distinguished stem cell biologists, has suggested that instead of sending money to the ALSA, you send it to alternative groups that are performing leading-edge ALS research without using human embryos. Instead, they use adult stem cells, the ethics and effectiveness of which are unquestioned. Here’s a link to access groups like the Mayo Clinic and the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center that are working to conquer ALS without sacrificing nascent human lives.

I have been challenged by my sons and one of my nephews to stand beneath an ice bucket, as they have done. I’m thinking about it. But one thing none of us has to think about: Adult stem cells save lives, ethically, and that’s something to celebrate during baseball season and always.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Join us in Washington, D.C. for our annual Values Voter Summit from Sept. 26-28! For more details, click here.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Education

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: August 14, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

August 14, 2014

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

I’m not in the habit of quoting Osama bin Laden in The Social Conservative Review, but in light of the events in Iraq against Christians and other religious minorities, the words of this devout mass murderer seem apt: “There are only three choices in Islam: either willing submission; or payment of the jizya, through physical though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; or the sword — for it is not right to let him (an infidel) live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.”

Not everyone would accept his interpretation of the Quran, but certainly the jihadists in Iraq do. Here’s how the respected journal Foreign Policy describes one Iraqi Christian’s story: “Salwan, an engineer and father of two from Mosul (said that) when he heard that France was ready to welcome displaced Christians, he joined the long queue of people in Erbil applying for asylum. Soon, he hopes to wave goodbye to his lifelong home. ‘There is no future for Christians in Iraq,’ he said. ‘Christians in Iraq are over’.”

What can Christians in America do? Groups like Samaritan’s Purse and the Knights of Columbus are working to provide aid to the Christians who have fled from their homes as the wave of Islamist terror continues. We can give to them, but we must also pray for those who identify as followers of Jesus as they experience such great loss and, in some cases, such great brutality. And we should pray for their persecutors, that they would turn from violence and instead find true peace in Christ.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Next week, FRC President Tony Perkins will be in Israel to stand with that troubled nation during a time of great need. Tony will be broadcasting his daily radio show from Israel and will offer on-the-ground reports of what’s happening. Be sure to listen here.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Common Core

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: July 31, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

July 31, 2014

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

Our troubled culture presents no shortage of opportunities for social conservatives to take action to rebuild the family, advance the sanctity of life, strengthen marriage, and protect religious liberty. Here are some new resources that will better equip you to join FRC in these vital efforts:

  • Pornography is a cancer, and we have to fight it like the disease it is. We’ve just published, “Pornography and Its Consequences,” authored by FRC Senior Fellow Cathy Ruse. This study offers practical tools to help you fight this scourge in your church, your community, and your family.
  • Common Core - Uncommon Dilemmais the title of a recent lecture panel here at FRC that addresses one of the most significant issues in American education, the “Common Core” standards being imposed on the states. Watch and listen to leading experts share their concerns with “Common Core” and find out how the standards place your children at risk.
  • Marriage Is a Religious Liberty Issue,” says the director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, Travis Weber. Read his compelling piece to learn how these two critical issues intersect.
  • Rev. Jack Hibbs, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel-Chino Hills in California and a member of FRC President Tony Perkins’ National Pastors Council, spoke out boldly on Fox News about the danger of the IRS potentially working to remove tax-exempt status from churches that take a stand on moral issues.

As we seek to uphold the good and true in government, society, and family, we can never quit “speaking the truth in love” and acting with the wisdom and courage needed for the task. FRC is here to help you do just that.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. How is the Supreme Court ruling on our “first freedom,” religious liberty? Learn more from Dr. Mark David Hall by watching his lecture on this key subject when it’s broadcast at noon on August 8.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Common Core

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

The Social Conservative Review: July 16, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

July 16, 2014

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

FRC is blessed to have classes of interns composed of some of the finest, brightest, most promising young men and women in America.

They come from every size and type of college and university, and work on every facet of the public policy issues we address here at the Family Research Council. Whether in doing analysis for our Marriage and Religion Research Institute, research for our pro-life initiatives, supporting our Government Affairs department, or advancing FRC’s message in the media, their contributions are important and their work is substantive.

Many of them are talented writers whose additions to the FRC Blog and publications in newspapers of all kinds help showcase not only their talent but their deep commitment to faith, family, and freedom. Here are some of their recent articles:

  • Haley Halverson (Hillsdale College) has written a moving piece on her family’s adoption of her brother Eli in, “Adoption Made Me Love Superman.”
  • Rachel Del Guidice of the University of Akron offers a powerful description of the value of religious liberty in, “Keeping the Freedom Fire Ignited.”
  • Emma Vinton, also of Hillsdale, shared a wonderful reflection on how her Dad has shown her the love of a Heavenly Father in a piece titled simply, “Our Father.”
  • Connor Headrick (Louisiana College) charges Christians to stand strong for the truth in “Finding a Firm Foundation.”
  • Bob Jones University’s Elizabeth Folger discusses the importance of sexual abstinence in, “Why Avoid Sexual Risk?.”
  • Regent Law School’s James Wheeler ranks first in his class. He discusses the recent Hobby Lobby decision in, “Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
  • And Liberty University’s Hannah Solem writes about Planned Parenthood’s desperate, irreverent effort to “Use God to Boost Abortion Sales.”

To learn more about FRC’s internship program, visit our Internship page and share your interest with us.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Join U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, M.D.(R-Md.) and our own Dr. David Prentice for a noontime lecture, “Human Cloning and Bioethics: Restoring Ethics in a Crazy World” on July 17. Register to attend or watch online, both at no charge, here.

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life
Abortion

Euthanasia/End of Life Issues

Stem Cells and Biotechnology

Marriage & Family
Common Core

Family Life

Human Sexuality

Homosexuality and Same-Sex “Marriage”

Pornography

Human trafficking

Religious Liberty

Religion in Public Life

International Religious Liberty

Other important articles

Book Reviews

Special Edition: The Social Conservative Review - July 10, 2014

by Krystle Gabele

July 10, 2014

Dear Friends,

Welcome to a special edition of the Social Conservative Review.

Celebrating Independence Day, as we did last Friday, is an important way of remembering those who have given so much for our liberty. Yet our gratitude for our country and the brave men and women who defend it cannot be measured only by an annual commemoration. Upholding the virtues that have made America a nation like no other, the virtues of integrity and family, faith and liberty, self-control and initiative, work and resourcefulness among them, helps us honor our country every day.

Those virtues sometimes still resonate on the federal bench, as well.  Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an important ruling upholding religious liberty and protecting the conscience rights of family businesses who object to being forced to serve as a conduit for coverage of sterilizations, contraception and drugs that can kill an unborn child. FRC has produced careful analyses of this decision so critical to our First Freedom, the freedom of religion.

Commenting on the ruling, FRC President Tony Perkins said, “All Americans can be thankful that the Court reaffirmed that freedom of conscience is a long-held American tradition and that the government cannot impose a law on American men and women that forces them to violate their beliefs in order to hold a job, own a business, or purchase health insurance.”

When victories happen, defeats can also occur. A case in point is the recent ruling in Kentucky, in which a U.S. District Court Judge overturned the Commonwealth’s marriage amendment. Kentucky voters voted overwhelmingly for the amendment with 75 percent of the vote. That’s why we keep on advancing faith, family, and freedom, whether we win or lose.

Those who have won the liberties we enjoy deserve no less.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Here are some other recent free FRC resources on issues important to our country’s future:

Watch for the next edition of the Social Conservative Review on July 17, 2014.

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