Category archives: Social Conservative Review

The Social Conservative Review: March 15, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

March 15, 2012

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Dear Friends,

Vanderbilt University scholar Dr. Carol Swain, in her recent book Be the People, reminds us that, “People across the globe are still willing to risk their lives to live on American soil. The vast numbers of foreign citizens wishing to enter the United States, whether legally or illegally, tells us we are an exceptional nation.”

As usual, Dr. Swain is right: There is no country like ours, for which we should be deeply grateful - and ever vigilant. Family Research Council exists to strengthen families, protect the unborn and their mothers, sustain religious liberty, and uphold the moral convictions that have infused our nation with hope and prosperity.

One of our top priorities is restoring fatherhood to its central role in our society. Last week, FRC was privileged to host Pastor Freddie Scott, author of The Dad I Wish I Had, as he discussed the crisis in American fatherhood, and what we can do about it. Watch Pastor Scott’s gripping presentation here.

Fathers, mothers, children - all Americans - benefit when integrity is clean, respect is mutual, and virtue is exalted and practiced. “Our forebears balanced a commitment to virtue and justice with a deep awareness of the moral conflict that lies at the heart of humanity,” writes Dr. Swain. “In doing so, they forged a nation unlike any other - with a deep sense of reverence for the human spirit, yet deferential to the God who weighs the affairs of men.”

Will we, in our time, return to that vision? Let’s keep advancing it and not lose heart. America - and the culture we bequeath to our children - is well worth the effort.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

Here’s what they are saying about the Social Conservative Review

Generation Strategies: “A Must Read

Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, Ashland University: The Social Conservative Review has “the pulse of the social conservative movement - always worth a read.”

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The Social Conservative Review: March 2, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

March 2, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

The Founders of our country had what historian Ellis Sandoz has called “a paradoxical sense of the dignity and frailty of every human being.” They knew that man was unique in all creation: That God had made man in His image, had created him only “a little lower than the angels,” and had “numbered the very hairs of his head” (Gen. 1:26-27, Psalm 8:4-5, Luke 12:7). They also knew that man was a fallen being, scarred by sin, whose heart was “deceitful and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).

It was this understanding that tempered their confidence in the capacity of man to govern himself. They did not believe in pure democracy, the direct and immediate approval of the 50 percent-plus-one. Consider John Adams’ wise counsel in his 1763 work, “An Essay on Man’s Lust for Power:” “Democracy will soon degenerate into anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure.”

The Founders believed that morally bankrupt leadership would exploit human selfishness such that coarseness, or license, would become entrenched in law. This would breed anarchy - a breakdown of civil order as people pursued, under sanction of law, ill-behavior - and this breakdown would eventually lead to dictatorship as people began to long for order and security.

Consider the words of former New York Gov. David Paterson, who was sworn-in after his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, admitted to having had an extensive relationship with a prostitute. When confronted, Gov. Paterson acknowledged having had several extra-marital affairs, and offered this defense of his actions at a news conference on March 18, 2008: “I think (I) have a marriage like many Americans, maybe even like many of you. Elected officials are really just reflections of the people we represent.”

That’s a chilling proposition - especially since there is a ring of truth in it. “A state is nothing more than a reflection of its citizens,” said Ronald Reagan in a 1984 speech. “The more decent the citizens, the more decent the state.” Are we each sustaining and enhancing the personal character without which our lives, our families, our economy, and our country will be lost? There can be few more challenging questions for us as persons or as citizens.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC’s Jeanne Monahan spoke on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee on the President’s mandate that religious organizations providing health insurance offer plans including contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization. View her compelling testimony here.


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The Social Conservative Review: February 16, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

February 16, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Despite his claim of finding a “compromise” on requiring religious organizations that offer health insurance to include contraception and abortifacients, President Obama has only superficially cost-shifted the burden of payment.

Religious leaders across the spectrum understand the threat: If Uncle Sam can mandate that they violate their consciences through an obvious fiscal sleight-of-hand, religious liberty and the free exercise of conscience experience erosion not easily repaired and all too easily exploited. Such respected scholars as Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon and Princeton’s Robert George - and FRC’s own Dr. Pat Fagan - have published an open letter stating, in part:

The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience.”

Last week, FRC President Tony Perkins hosted a distinguished panel of leaders from across the theological, educational, and political spectrum to discuss the grave implications of this threat. You can view a video of the webcast, titled “Healthcare Mandate: Violating the Separation of Church and State,” here.

FRC also urges you to sign the Manhattan Declaration’s “Mr. President, I Still Believe” to let Mr. Obama know that social conservatives will not accept the diaphanous and condescending coverlet of faux accommodation. Are you prepared to take action - at the least, to write, speak out, and pray - to retain our precious liberties of religion and conscience?

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. February is the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day - which is the latest publication of FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, “162 Reasons to Marry,” is so timely. You can download a copy for free here.


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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The Social Conservative Review: February 2, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

February 2, 2012

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is one of America’s most respected and learned journals. It is a forum in which some of our finest minds publish articles on everything from “Evidence for the extraterrestrial origin of a natural quasicrystal” to “In-feed antibiotic effects on the swine intestinal microbiome.” To a non-scientist like me, even the titles are intimidating.

In the most recent edition of PNAS, three Stanford University scholars argue that both liberals and conservatives engage in a “dramatic projection of one’s own views onto those of Jesus.” While it is only human for us to want the Savior to confirm our own predilections, there can be no doubt that, objectively, Jesus affirmed the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, Old Testament teachings about human sexuality and personhood within the womb, or the dignity of every person such that liberty — religious, political, and economic — should be the normal state of society.

As theologian Andreas Kostenberger wrote in his recent FRC booklet, “The Bible’s Teaching on Marriage and the Family:”

Marriage and the family were God’s idea, and as divine institutions they are not open to human renegotiation or revision … the Bible clearly teaches that God instituted marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman, a lifelong union of two partners created in God’s image to govern and manage the earth for him. In keeping with his wonderful design, the Creator will normally bless a married couple with children, and it is his good plan that a family made up of a father, a mother, and several children witness to his glory and goodness in a world that has rejected the Creator’s plan and has fashioned a variety of God-substitutes to fill the void that can properly be filled only by God himself.

We all like it when people agree with us. Yet it’s more important that we agree with the God of the Bible, Whose path for human relationships and sexuality is clear in His written Word and evidenced in the natural order. It’s up to each of us to choose whether or not to take it.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC President Tony Perkins has been offering some sage counsel about the current state of American politics in a series of recent television interviews. To view Tony’s comments, click here.


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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The Social Conservative Review: January 19, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

January 19, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

A Massachusetts judge’s decision to order the abortion of “a mentally ill woman’s unborn baby and sterilize her - if it meant she had to be ‘coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse’ into the procedure” has drawn appropriate fire from officials in the Bay State.

Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last week, not only wanted to compel the woman known only as “Mary Moe” to have an abortion - a procedure serious Catholic Ms. Moe said, explicitly, she did not want - but also to sterilize her. Thankfully, State Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger has reversed Judge Harms’ ruling, stating that ‘No party requested this measure … and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air.” Justice Grainger has now given the case to another judge.

The forced sterilization of roughly 30,000 Americans occurred in our own country in the years leading up to World War II (U.S. Holocaust Museum). The inherent injustice and cruelty of the practice was not only odious to most of our fellow citizens, but its barbarity was cast into horrible relief with the rise of Nazism in Germany. Hitler’s “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases” (July 14, 1933) compelled “the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), retardation (‘congenital feeble-mindedness’), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.” In addition to the estimated 400,000 persons sterilized, by 1945 up to 250,000 people had been murdered for their real or perceived physical or mental problems.

All of this poses a troubling question: Our society’s outrage over Judge Harms’ decision, while admirable, is much too muted when it comes to the ongoing death of more than 3,000 unborn children daily in the U.S., as is our culture’s compassion for their mothers, who often are “left uninformed” of the other, non-abortion related options they have.

At FRC, we work with dedicated people across the country to provide those better options. That’s why, on Monday, January 23 - the day of the annual “March for Life” here in the nation’s capital - FRC will launch the second edition of our “A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families, and Strengthen Communities.” Make sure to visit our website, A Passion to Serve, where you will be able to download your own free copy on January 23.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch the Webcast of FRC’s annual “ProLifeCon,” the premier gathering of online pro-life activists, on January 23.


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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  • I, iPhone,” Jordan J. Ballor, The Acton Institute

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The Social Conservative Review: January 5, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

January 6, 2012

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another. Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821

Dear Friends:

The size and scope of the federal government continues to expand. The larger government has become, the more constraints it has placed on the way we live our lives.

Most particularly, to pay for its many programs, Washington has placed a substantial tax burden on citizens and the companies where they work. As a result, families are able to retain less of their incomes and not only become more reliant on government for benefits, but also have fewer resources to provide for their own daily needs.

Economic growth and family stability are interwoven. The extensive data available on FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute website prove it. As the 2012 campaign season - for everything from President to county resource commission - begins in earnest, policymakers (including would-be ones) should come to understand this.

As FRC’s distinguished Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, Ken Blackwell, wrote recently, “We who are pro-life and pro-marriage know that families need jobs. They need a growing economy. But economic conservatives need to recognize that stable married families having children are what drive economic growth.”

Family, growth, life, and hope - they’re all part of the same package. And since it was designed by God, a wonderful package it is.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC began the new year with a bracing lecture by scholar Michael Brown on the homosexual social and political agenda and the need for Christians to stand for the truth about human sexuality in our culture. Click here to watch.


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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The Social Conservative Review: December 15, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

December 15, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

We at the Family Research Council hope you and yours have a Christmas season that is rewarding, memorable, and Christ-focused.

Perhaps few have captured the magnitude of the Incarnation better than poet Christina Rossetti. In the second verse of her poem, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” she writes:

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

He came as a baby, and went on to grow “in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52). That growth began in the womb: As science documents, babies in the womb are capable of absorbing much information. In the words of science writer Annie Murphy Paul:

The fetus, we now know, is not an inert blob, but an active and dynamic creature, responding and adapting as it readies itself for life in the particular world it will soon enter … The recognition that learning actually begins before birth leads us to a striking new conception of the fetus, the pregnant woman and the relationship between them.

The Savior Who was virgin-born was unique: Fully God and fully man. Yet all infants share a remarkable commonality with Him—they are sacred to God. Whether in the womb or outside of it, they deserve protection in law and welcome in life. The Bible teaches it. Science proves it. The Incarnation vindicates it.

Merry Christmas,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. For a moving presentation on the sanctity and dignity of every person, watch FRC’s lecture, “Down Syndrome: Death Sentence or Divine Smile,” hosted by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Jeanne Monahan.


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Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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The Social Conservative Review: December 1, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

December 1, 2011

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

The likeability of a presidential candidate is important to both political parties and to the American people. Some of us will vote less on the content of a candidate’s character and convictions than whether or not he seems “nice.”

The cover story of this week’s Time Magazine is titled, “Why They Don’t Like Mitt (Romney).” A Los Angeles Times poll last month found Newt Gingrich to be “one of the least likeable candidates.” And in a poll reported by the Des Moines Register, Michele Bachmann was rated as the “least likeable” of the Republican presidential candidates.

During one of the 2008 presidential debates, this exchange occurred between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

Then-Senator Hillary Clinton was asked about her deficit of “likeability” and joked that the question hurt her feelings but she would “try to go on.” The audience laughed and Clinton , looking over at fellow candidate for the Democratic nomination Barack Obama, admitted “he’s very likable - I agree with that.” “I don’t think I’m that bad,” Clinton said, smiling. Obama barely looked up from his notes. “You’re likeable enough, Hillary,” he said.

In one respect, these perceptions are meaningless: Many of us like people for whom we would not vote for President, and support presidential contenders we might not want for neighbors. Moreover, one person’s likeability is another’s distaste: Subjective impressions about likeability should be far down the list on our electoral criteria.

Character counts far more than likeability. A person can be winsome, charismatic, and funny, and also be a serial adulterer. On the other hand, someone might be socially stiff and a bit awkward and be an exemplar of sterling virtues. Ideally, we want to be able to support someone both pleasant and principled. But should not principle triumph over a ready smile, if it comes to that?

A vote is like a rifle,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt in his autobiography. “Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” As each of us thinks and prays about our vote in the 2012 primaries and general election, let’s bear in mind that our choices will reflect our own character as much as that of those for whom we vote.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. It’s been two months since the military opened its doors to homosexuality. Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (USA-Ret.) was a member of the 1993 Pentagon team that wrote the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. In his new paper Looking Back, Looking Forward: Homosexuality and Military Service, Maginnis details how America’s armed forces have become a cultural battleground for advancing the radical gay agenda.

 


 

Educational Freedom and Reform

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Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

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Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Human Trafficking

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The Social Conservative Review: November 17, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

November 17, 2011

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends:

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, which is why FRC was proud to host Ryan Bomberger last week for his lecture, “Adoption: Be the Hope.” Ryan was himself adopted and, with his wife, has adopted two children. You can watch his moving presentation here. To learn about the pro-life, pro-adoption ministry of Ryan’s Radiance Foundation, go to www.theradiancefoundation.org.

One of the most daunting obstacles to adoption is its up-front cost, which can be as much as $40,000 per child. Although the federal adoption tax credit is very helpful, it does not cover what can be, for families of ordinary means, a great financial challenge.

It’s for that reason that the adoption ministry Lifesong (a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) has set-up a program to help churches develop adoption funds. An adoption fund is a designated line-item in a church’s budget that helps church members pay for their adoption costs, either through a direct financial gift or low-or no-interest loan. As the beneficiaries of one such fund, my wife and I are eternally grateful for the generosity and selflessness of God’s people in helping us adopt our three children.

To learn more about adoption and related ministries, go to FRC’s www.RealCompassion.org, through which you can link to many organizations helping children at home and abroad.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Dr. Pat Fagan, Director of FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), has just released the second annual “Index of Belonging and Rejection.” The Index rank-orders the states and the 25 largest cities by the strength of belonging in their family, showing that less than 50 percent of American children reach adulthood having grown up in an intact married family. Click here to download the report.


Educational Freedom and Reform

Homeschooling

Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform

Regulation

Waste/Fraud/Abuse

Health Care

Abstinence

Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics

Abortion

Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC’s Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family

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Family Economics

Family Structure

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Religious Liberty

Religion in America

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International Economy and Family

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The Social Conservative Review: November 3, 2011

by Krystle Gabele

November 3, 2011

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

Harry Truman once said that a “statesman is a politician who’s been dead for 15 years.” In other words, our view of the nobility and wisdom of our political leaders grows the further we get from their public service. Remember that the next time you see a bumper sticker with a photo of George W. Bush, bearing the legend, “Miss him yet?”

If we want a virtuous and just society, we cannot afford to concede that statesmanship is a lost art. As King’s College professor David C. Innes notes, politics “politics is more than just good intentions. It requires knowledge, judgment and an ability to move people so that they want to follow you. Essentially it requires statesmanship. Statesmanship is the just, prudent and persuasive exercise of authority.”

As statesmanship declines, public life becomes more tawdry. The personal corruption of political leaders deepens our cynicism, and the unwillingness of many officials to make tough but necessary policy choices seems more animated by their chances for re-election than the best interests of the country.

Speaking of the American Revolution, Queen Elizabeth II said, “We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.” Statesmanship, or the lack thereof, can have profound consequences for the moral health of the nation and for the very existence of the political and social order.

Our Founders understood this. Writing in 1789, James Madison observed, “If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice.”

Distributive justice,” to Madison and his colleagues, meant a government that ensured fairness and dignity for all its citizens - justice that would be distributed equally, without favoritism.

Christian statesmanship involves the prudent application of justice. It also means that Christians must pray for elected and appointed public servants, that they would make such an application with courage and consistency.

Prayed for our government’s leaders lately?

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S Be sure to watch FRC’s Webcast of our forum on international religious liberty, featuring five experts whose comments drew media coverage in The Washington Post.

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