FRC Blog

Biden-Backed WHO’s Latest Power Grab Fails

by Joshua Arnold

May 24, 2022

The Biden administration’s attempt to usurp Congress’s public health authority by rewriting international law may have just encountered an untimely grave. The Biden administration submitted a number of amendments for consideration at the World Health Assembly which would bolster the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General’s pandemic authority without the consent of member states. The World Health Assembly is the WHO’s decision-making body and is meeting in Geneva this week, but “the most interesting thing that happened did not happen at the assembly itself,” said Michael Alexander, co-chair of the Law and Activism Committee of the World Council for Health.

A first-year law student in the U.K.” objected to the amendments, Alexander explained on “Washington Watch.” He “asked the courts to review these amendments, and the court rejected him summarily. So he appealed. And then he got a letter from the government that said 12 of 13 international health regulation amendments have been taken off the table and will not be addressed at this Assembly, at least at this time.”

It’s unclear how or why the amendments were tabled. It seems they were considered by a working group comprised of member states, but the group is “not transparent,” Alexander said. “We don’t know who’s on it and who’s saying what,” or even how many nations are members—although there are rumors that Brazil and Russia opposed the amendments.

It’s also unclear whether their tabling was permanent. We also “don’t know how the approval process works. … The 12 amendments are off the table right now,” Alexander continued, but “maybe … they’ll come back on in a day or two, and they’ll be approved in some way that is not transparent to us. So we have good news for the moment, [but] we have to keep an eye on what’s happening there.”

What is clear is that the Biden administration is unable to advance its public health agenda without these amendments. “The United States clearly didn’t play a role” in tabling the amendments, Alexander said.

But what is the Biden administration’s agenda at the World Health Assembly? They would add duties to states like, “The State Party shall accept or reject such an offer of assistance within 48 hours and, in the case of rejection of such an offer, shall provide to WHO its rationale for the rejection, which WHO shall share with other States Parties.”

They propose changing “State Party within whose territory the public health emergency of international concern has occurred” to “relevant State Parties,” which is undefined. They propose to delete language such as “taking into account the views of the State Party concerned” and “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory” the public health emergency occurred.

The changes largely tend either to decrease the sovereignty of a state, increase the rights of other states to meddle in its affairs, and increase the power of WHO officials. In a letter to President Biden, Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) complained the amendments would “grant unilateral authority to declare public health emergencies of international or regional concern to the WHO’s Director General and Regional Directors, respectively. This would be an alarming transfer of U.S. sovereignty to an unelected U.N. bureaucrat.” Leftist outfits like Snopes and The Washington Post have taken great pains to dispel “conspiracy theories” about this year’s World Health Assembly, which “is usually considered a dry, technocratic event,” but they achieve nothing more than missing the main point. The very trouble they take to defend the Biden administration’s amendments demonstrate something more is going on.

The concluding notes of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t satisfy the Biden administration. Their efforts to chase down increasingly unrealistic objectives with increasingly onerous mandates ended with the virus mostly burning itself out, even while the administration was still arrayed on the losing side of multiple legal battles. Pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, and administration officials all suffered precipitous drops in credibility. It seems that the administration has finally admitted to itself what most of the country already knew—the executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally impose its desired draconian response to a public health emergency under current U.S. law.

But instead of concluding that extreme public health responses were out of bounds, the administration has tried to steal a run on the American people. The Biden administration’s proposed amendments to the World Health Assembly’s international health regulations seem calculated to force a nation’s hand on public health matters, if a global cadre can agree on the measures they should take. If the amendments were ratified, an administration could defend extreme measures during the next pandemic by protesting that they simply had to take certain actions because of international consensus.

As problematic as such surrender of sovereignty would be under any circumstances, it is even more concerning given the WHO’s pathetic response to COVID-19. “This is the same organization that parroted the narrative from the Chinese Communist Party throughout the COVID pandemic,” said FRC President Tony Perkins. First they said, “it’s not human-to-human transmission. And then they sat on [data] for so long. And they failed really at every turn, even so much that the previous administration withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization.” Alexander agreed that the WHO was “a captured organization,” dependent on giant pharmaceutical companies and rich donors. “This is not an independent, neutral bureaucratic organization, … not an organization that is looking to the common good of its members.”

In his opening address on Sunday, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asserted that the pandemic is “most certainly not over.” Alexander warned Ghebreyesus is “China’s man,” a former Marxist warlord in Ethiopia who obtained his position “with the lobbying of the Chinese.” Is that really who we want running public health here in America?

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Understanding Millennials and Loving Them Into the Kingdom of God

by George Barna

May 11, 2022

Generations fascinate Americans. Among other things, we study them for clues about who we are becoming as a nation. The recent research report from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, entitled Millennials in America: A Generation in Crisis, reveals new insights into where the nation is heading as the individuals in the youngest adult generation take on a growing number of positions of power and influence.

Defining Millennials as those born between 1984 and 2002, keep in mind that this group constitutes the largest generation living in the United States today. Some 80 million strong (and growing, thanks to immigration), they are roughly one-quarter of the nation’s total population and about one-third of the adult population. They currently outnumber Baby Boomers by some eight million people, a gap that is expanding by more than one million people per year. Their influence in the marketplace is already substantial: they are four out of every 10 working-age Americans, three out of every 10 registered voters, and the prime segment of consumers in a nation driven by consumption. They are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our history.

Like every generation before them, they have been shaped by world events and how their nation and family responded to those events. Among the most significant life-shaping events they have experienced during their formative years are the end of the Cold War; the Rodney King beatings and subsequent riots; the introduction and rapid growth of the internet; the mass shooting at Columbine High School; the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the introduction of groundbreaking technology such as the iPod, tablets, digital video game consoles, and smartphones; game-changing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter; the destructive fury of numerous hurricanes, including Katrina and Sandy; the economic crisis of 2008; and the election of Barack Obama.

Considering the impact of those life-shaping events helps us to understand some of the life choices and goals that are defining Millennials. For instance, they have been actively redefining and redesigning family through their beliefs about the value of life, marriage, the appeal of raising children, and even their ideas about sexual identity and behavior. They have struggled to experience healthy relationships, at least partly due to their immersion in and reliance upon digital technology.

Millennials are known as poster children for the narcissistic lifestyle. That encompasses their pervasive yet uncomfortable materialism; hypersensitivity to criticism; and inconsistent and fluid norms, values, attitudes, and lifestyles. They are seeking to rewrite employment norms by valuing achievements (rather than hours worked) and the social value of the tasks performed. They are leading the “cancel culture” movement. Millennials are redefining religious norms as well, responsible for a long list of faith-related transitions. These include fewer self-professed Christians, less acceptance of the Bible and absolute moral truth, severely diminished interest in organized religion or institutional faith commitments (e.g., church engagement, prayer, Bible reading), strikingly low levels of trust in Christian pastors, common perceptions about Christians being hypocrites, and record levels of biblical illiteracy.

The research contained in Millennials in America: New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence provides specific evidence of these trends. The analysis describes how all those conditions are summarized in four major symptoms of a deeper crisis. Those symptoms are the generation’s lack of a sense of purpose to life (acknowledged by 75 percent); the widespread, constant fear and anxiety they experience (admitted to by 54 percent); the struggle most of them have making, maintaining, and enjoying personal relationships; and the absence of a life-sustaining religious faith alluded to by more than three-quarters of them.

But if those are the symptoms, what do they indicate? The data produce an inescapable conclusion: the absence of a biblical worldview.

Worldview Is the Root Issue

Given the breadth and depth of the changes characterizing Millennials, some people question how worldview can be the central issue behind those transitions. The explanation, though, is deceptively simple. Worldview is the foundation of every decision made by every person every moment of every day! Understanding what motivates a person to make their choices, no matter what kind of choice it may be, requires an understanding of their worldview. There are numerous worldviews from which people may pick and choose desirable options. Some of the best-known are postmodernism, secular humanism, modern mysticism, biblical theism (i.e., the biblical worldview), and Marxism. Groundbreaking research by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University has shown that almost nine out of 10 American adults select appealing ideas from a variety of worldviews and create a unique, personally appealing worldview that is best known as syncretism. Even four out of every five born-again Christians have syncretism as their guiding philosophy of life.

How, then, do we explain the fact that seven out of every 10 American adults claim to be Christian but so few—just six percent of all adults and only nine percent who claim to be Christian—have a biblical worldview? The answer is that families and churches have been neither intentional nor strategic at shaping the worldview of their children; it has largely developed by default, influenced primarily by media, government, and schools.

Millennials fit the same pattern as everyone else. Slightly fewer of them claim to be Christian than is true among older adults, and slightly fewer of them (only four percent) possess a biblical worldview.

Because one’s worldview drives their choices every minute of every day, why would we expect our nation to reflect biblical behavior when we do not accept biblical principles? After all, we do what we believe. Most Americans do not really believe biblical principles; therefore their behaviors do not reflect those principles. Millennials are simply a more extreme example of these realities in practice.

The Millennial Worldview

To gain insight into Millennials—and the future they will create in America—let’s take a look at a few of the most significant spiritual perspectives of the generation. What we are about to examine are the most common perspectives; millions of Millennials are exceptions to every one of these views, but we are seeking to understand the flow and momentum of the generation’s thinking.

Millennials perceive themselves to be “good” people. Sin is not a concept with which they are comfortable, and thus they do not dwell on it. They do not believe that we are born into sin; they believe that every person makes life whatever they choose it to be, and most of them dismiss the idea of having a sinful nature.

They believe the purpose of life is to experience as much happiness as possible. They expect such experiences to come from personal accomplishments and material goods. Most Millennials contend that wisdom, insight, and meaning in life are the products of dialogue and voluntary acts of goodwill.

The much-discussed Millennial identity crisis is due to their excessive and biblically-unwarranted trust and belief in themselves. As a result of that self-reliance, they define their identity based upon a variety of self-determined attributes: gender, education, wealth, personal accomplishments, titles, and so forth.

Their relational challenges are not surprising in light of their worldview. After all, young adults typically harbor intolerance of opposing ideas and a conditional disrespect for the value of life. The Cultural Research Center data even show that most Millennials are indifferent to the “Golden Rule,” instead indicating that their response to other human beings should be driven by their emotions at the moment.

We might like to think that if they would just turn to God and understand who He is and how He is involved in their life, things would be better. Unfortunately, the foundations for such insights are missing. Consider the implications of these beliefs:

  • 74 percent believe that all religious faiths are of equal value.
  • 56 percent reject the existence of absolute moral truth; they list feelings, personal experiences, and advice from family and friends as their most trusted sources of moral guidance.
  • 35 percent believe that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, just and perfect Creator of the universe who still rules that universe today.
  • 40 percent are “Don’ts”—that is, people who don’t know if God exists, don’t believe that God exists, or don’t care if He exists; they are increasingly inclined to think of themselves as being their own “higher power.”
  • 16 percent believe that when they die, they will spend eternity in God’s presence because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
  • 22 percent believe that life is sacred.
  • 11 percent define “consistent obedience to God” as the best indicator of a successful life.

In essence, then, the Millennial worldview can be summarized in four words: “life is about me.” Consequently, it is not surprising that this is a generation known for doing what is right in their own eyes.

See the Connections

Can you see the connections between Millennial’s worldviews and their life challenges?

No wonder many lack a sense of direction, purpose, and meaning in life. They have closed their eyes, ears, and hearts to their Creator. They have rejected His words. They believe that success is experienced through temporal pursuits driven by their intelligence and abilities.

No doubt they are having relational troubles. They have not invested in their relationship with God. They have placed themselves at the center of their reality and expect everyone to serve and care for them. They place the ultimate value upon themselves and little (if any) value upon others.

Of course, they are mired in emotional and mental health issues. They embrace wacky ideas from worldly philosophies, such as karma. That philosophy teaches that you get what you deserve. Naturally, a majority of young adults are troubled by anxiety and depression; what else would the notion of karma possibly produce? Our young adults fail to see that one of the beauties of a relationship with Jesus is that through His forgiveness and restoration, we do not get what we deserve! Instead, we get eternal life, forgiveness, hope, a special calling, and the gifts to carry out that calling. What a relief!

The anxiety and depression that most Millennials admit to is a natural consequence of a worldview that submits the God of Israel does not exist. Imagine waking up every morning thinking that it all depends on you, that there is no higher power to control evil or supply truth and guidance; you’re it! How could anyone possibly come to such an inane conclusion? Ask the millions of young adults who freely entertain the principles of Marxism, postmodernism, secular humanism, or nihilism, because those popular worldviews propose such foolishness. These fundamentally-flawed philosophies shape the decisions of Millennials and cause debilitating outcomes such as mental illness and emotional dissonance.

It is no surprise that young adults are feeling spiritually bankrupt. They have rejected the God of all creation. They have rejected the Savior of humankind. They have denied the existence of the Holy Spirit whom God has graciously sent to help us from moment to moment. They see themselves as good and ignore their sin and its implications.

They have bought into the notion of love as a feeling. They do not realize that God helps us understand that love is a commitment made real by doing what is best for others. Millennial love is narcissistic; Christian love is sacrificial.

Millennials are self-centered enough to think that because they choose a sexual identity based on emotion and desire, that is their identity. They fail to recognize the One who created them defines every element of their being, based on His perfect wisdom and purposes. As created subjects of the Master, we have no authority, competence, or capacity to determine our sexual identity.

How heartbreaking it is to watch a large majority of an entire generation so completely and unknowingly miss the truth of life and eternity. Contrary to their grand conclusion—“life is about me”—nothing could be further from the truth. Life is about God. We simply have the privilege of taking part in His universe, for His purposes, to enjoy and serve and glorify Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Anything else is just wasting time and opportunity.

Can They Become Disciples of Jesus?

Those with eyes to see and ears to hear understand Jesus is the only hope for deliverance from the devastating lies of the world. But most Millennials—24 out of every 25 of them, according to the research—do not have the eyes and ears to perceive truth. Can we do anything to help them see God’s truth?

Of course we can. There is a remnant of believers in America— you are likely among them—who are called to be the salt and light so desperately needed by these young adults.

Here are four ideas for you to consider as you pray and prepare for your role in renewing the heart and soul of America, especially through your interactions with Millennials.

1. Know what you believe and why

This suggestion is neither new nor groundbreaking. Unfortunately, it is inadequately practiced by the Christian body, an unfortunate consequence of only six percent of American adults possessing a biblical worldview. The ability and bold willingness to articulate and demonstrate God’s principles and truths to a doubting and hurting world is crucial to Christ becoming more real to the people we encounter.

With the local church having a limited impact on our culture today, the importance of the roles of advocate, evangelist, role model, and disciple-maker is magnified for each of us who claims Christ as Savior. To be effective in that multifaceted role, we must be able and willing to make the case for the relevance and reliability of the Bible and to share and explain its meaning to a world that is doubting and largely ignorant of its content.

Those conversations will enable us to reshape peoples’ notions of purpose and success and make God real to others. But we must be alert to those opportunities and be prepared to exploit them out of our genuine love for God and people.

 2. Build relationships based on trust

Young adults these days are suspicious of other people’s motives; that’s part of their daily fear and anxiety. We are most likely to defuse their suspicions if we do not perceive them as evangelistic projects but as the beloved sons and daughters of God whom we have the privilege of getting to know, love, and serve.

The research indicates that the most effective form of outreach is Socratic dialogue. That practice relies upon objective listening, followed by non-aggressive responses in the form of questions. Beware: seeking to be an agent of transformation without first investing in bridge-building usually produces disappointment. The process takes time; there are no shortcuts to loving people into the presence and kingdom of God.

3. Tell your story

Millennials are sensitive to what postmodernists call “the grand narrative”—an explanation of the big picture of life and its foundations. The arc of the Christian story represents a grand narrative. Consequently, our hope to lead young adults into a deep, life-transforming relationship with Christ can be more easily accomplished by placing biblical life principles within the larger context of the creation-fall-restoration account.

Millennials are an anecdotal generation. They often adopt principles based on someone’s example. In such an environment, linking personal stories to biblical principles becomes invaluable. Making the stories personal is crucial because most Millennials do not believe there are absolute moral truths or principles, yet they also believe “your truth” is irrefutable for your life. Conveying your story and seamlessly weaving biblical truths into it is putting your best foot forward.

4. Model it

Millennials are famously judgmental of others, but that often simply means they are looking for people, practices, and philosophies that seem genuine and authentic. Their immersion in the brutal world of social media exposes them to constant judgment, personal drama, and conflict.

Disciples of Jesus who are confident but humble regarding their worldview and immune to the criticisms of the world arrest their attention. When those people prove to be authentically in love with Christ and fully devoted to being Christ-like, Millennials will not instantly surrender to Christ, but they are likely to closely observe the believer in question as they seek to understand the motivation and means to such a life. If that Christ-follower remains true to the ways of Jesus and does not engage in evangelistic pandering, harsh criticism, or biblical compromise, meaningful and pointed dialogue is a frequent outcome.

Additional Pieces to the Puzzle

Other courses of action may be important in pointing Millennials toward Jesus and life lived through a biblical worldview. For instance, because most people’s worldview was developed on the run, anyone who can winsomely and strategically guide them toward connecting biblically-based life principles to a more compelling worldview is likely to have influence.

Also, because a person’s worldview is almost completely formed by the age of 13, working with people younger than Millennials is particularly productive. One way to reach Millennials is by working with their children. Most Millennials cannot guide their children to a biblical worldview because they cannot impart what they do not have. Working with Millennials’ children will sometimes cause Millennial parents to traverse that discovery journey alongside their youngsters.

Further, having reliable metrics to evaluate how you are doing in your quest to be an agent of transformation is crucial. After all, you get what you measure: unless you objectively measure outcomes that matter, it is unlikely that those outcomes will emerge.

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Dobbs Leak: A Leftist Pastor Takes on Abortion

by Joshua Arnold

May 9, 2022

When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19), so it’s little surprise that among all the ink spilled over the leaked Dobbs decision draft, there were at least a few shockingly poor takes.

One such take came from Leftist pastor Brandan Robertson, “God has given all human beings authority and autonomy over our own bodies. And if Roe v Wade is struck down, this will be yet another assault on women’s authority and autonomy over their own bodies.” No Psalm 139 for him. I guess consistency requires anyone ignoring “you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (verse 14) to also ignore “you hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me” (verse 5) and “search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (verse 23)—not to mention the rest of the Bible.

It’s difficult to even call him a ‘Christian’ pastor,” said David Closson, Director of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview. “At one level, yes,” we do have autonomy over our own bodies, he noted. “That’s one of the reasons I was against the vaccine mandates…. But do we have unlimited autonomy? No. And do we have the unlimited right to do something with someone else’s body? Absolutely not.”

Closson explained Robertson’s beliefs track with the worldly perspective identified by Carl Trueman in his mighty book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. That worldview lauds “being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You follow the dictates of your feelings, your emotions, your desires. And so it’s disconnected from any understanding of accountability or responsibility to God.”

The secular world says, ‘my body, my choice,’” added Joseph Backholm, host of Friday’s Worldview Conversation on “Washington Watch.” “Scripture says the opposite.” Christians are called to live as if their body belongs to Jesus, not themselves. Paul says, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20), and “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), and “you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “The starting assumption is that I am submitted to Christ,” Backholm explained.

In previous eras, even non-Christians in America understood that each person is accountable to God; this assumption undergirded oath requirements for holding certain offices or testifying in court. Accountability and rights are two sides of the same coin—a coin God minted. Today, people pick and choose which parts of religion to believe (a.k.a. inventing their own), embracing rights and jettisoning responsibility. So, President Joe Biden could say (in defense of abortion), “I believe I have the rights that I have not because the government gave them to me, which you believe, but because I’m just a child of God, I exist.” Rights do come from God, remarked Closson, but “President Biden doesn’t really believe that.” If he did, he would show more fear wielding such an argument to justify denying unborn children the rights God gave them.

Robertson had another zinger, “If we are going to bend the moral arc of this nation towards God’s vision of justice and equity, we must demand that women’s rights are protected and abortion is health care.” Backholm warned that Robertson employed “buzzwords” to “generate sympathy,” and “linguistic maneuvers like that can be persuasive unless we have a framework” for understanding what the Bible actually teaches. “When that’s our framework, then we can look at somebody who’s well intentioned [but wrong]… and we can say, ‘well, maybe a nice guy, but the things that he’s saying are not true.’”

Abortion activists “have an idea of what they think justice or equity should look like,” which they “superimpose… on holy Scripture,” said Closson. “We don’t start with our own ideas of justice…. We want to go to the Bible first and foremost and ask, what is God’s idea of justice?” Someone who fixes up cars in his spare time won’t get hoodwinked by a dishonest mechanic because he knows what he’s talking about. In the same way, a Christian who studies the Bible regularly, and understands it, won’t be misled by someone trying to twist it to mean something it doesn’t.

The Bible is not a philosophical textbook” where “we go just to debate…. It’s God’s revealed word, and so we go to it for belief and obedience,” said Closson. He has authored a publication on Biblical Principles for Pro-Life Engagement that starts with what the Bible teaches, not what man’s faulty reason has invented.

Emotional manipulation… ad hominem attack… these tactics are employed so often in public policy debates,” said Backholm. But “[blessed is the man whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3). How firmly are you planted on God’s word?

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Pregnancy Resource Center in Manassas, Va. Targeted by Vandals

by Dan Hart

May 9, 2022

In the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court decision that would reverse the Roe v. Wade decision if handed down, extremists have carried out acts of property destruction against pro-life organizations and have disrupted religious services.

Sunday night, a pregnancy resource center (PRC) in Manassas, Va. became another target of vandals. The First Care Women’s Health Center was defaced, with the messages “Liars,” “Fake Clinic,” and “Abortion is A Right” being spray-painted on a door and on the outer walls of the facility.

I was in disbelief,” said Becky Sheetz, CEO of Life First, a nonprofit organization that operates the First Care Women’s Health Center that was hit with the graffiti. She noted that similar vandalism of PRCs is quite rare in the northern Virginia area where Life First operates, and that she was only aware of one other unrelated incident of vandalism to a PRC in Culpepper, Va. some time ago. Sheetz went on to say that her and local law enforcement’s assessment of the incident was that it was very likely in reaction to the impending Dobbs Supreme Court decision.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares condemned the vandalism. “It is never acceptable to resort to intimidation, vandalism, or destruction in our political discourse. This is what makes America so unique—we should embrace diversity of opinion and civil dialogue and debate,” he said. His office went on to state that it will be monitoring the investigation.

Did the defacement succeed in intimidating Life First? “If we were cut from a different cloth, it might succeed in shaking us up a little bit,” Sheetz said. “But we’ve been through COVID, we’ve been through fear that we were going to have to be shut down. We lived in fear of, ‘What’s the government going to do to pregnancy centers’? Are we going to be able to operate day to day? … This [incident] by comparison is very small. If the intention was intimidation, it was not successful.”

Sheetz had a clear message for anyone who would attempt to vandalize a PRC. “You’re hurting women,” she said. “You’re hurting good people who work at very meager salaries to try to do the right thing and to try to honor God. Even if you don’t believe in God, can you believe that women have a right to make a fully informed choice to talk to somebody about their pregnancy, the opportunity to see an ultrasound if they want an ultrasound, the opportunity to get an actual accurate pregnancy diagnosis before they take an abortion pill? Can we confirm that they’re pregnant before they take an abortion pill? Can we confirm that it’s not ectopic? Can we give them a bare minimum of medical care and compassion? You’re standing in the way of that. It’s counterproductive to women’s health.”

Sheetz also underscored another important but often unpopular aspect of the debate surrounding unplanned pregnancies. “[Fathers] deserve to see that baby. They deserve to be part of a pregnancy decision. [Vandals] are just standing in the way of truth.”

Sheetz went on to observe that much of the rhetoric related to the Supreme Court’s pending abortion decision is missing a key component. “Read through the yelling and the shouting and the polarizing and look at the actual facts and actual data,” she said. “The abortion pill is making so much of [the controversy surrounding the Dobbs decision] irrelevant, because she can just get that abortion pill from some other country … and terminate her pregnancy without any standard of medical care.”

What would she say to women with unplanned pregnancies who are feeling apprehensive about the pending Dobbs decision? “Please do not make the abortion clinic your first stop. Don’t make the abortion pill your first option … If you are struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, go to a pregnancy center first, get honest information [and] find out all of your options.”

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Divisiveness Over Roe v. Wade Shakes Corporate America

by Deborah Laker

May 6, 2022

WASHINGTON D.C.– Late Monday night, Politico’s leaked early draft of the Supreme Court’s vote to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade sent shock waves across the nation. Some corporations like Starbucks and Lyft rushed to make public statements on the matter while other major businesses such as Disney and Walmart have been largely silent.

Amazon announced, in response to the leaked document, that it will pay employees up to $4,000 annually to travel for out-of-state abortions. Since Amazon is the second-largest U.S. private employer, their decision to fund abortion travel has sparked debate. Yelp, Uber, and Citigroup also promised to help their staff bypass newly established pro-life legislation in Republican states by covering abortion travel expenses. These corporate decisions have been met with strong disapproval from conservative employees and consumers.

Last month, dozens of House Republicans demanded the chamber drop Citigroup as their credit card provider. All 435 members of the House are issued Citibank credit cards to cover travel expenses, office supplies, and other goods as part of the company’s exclusive partnership with Congress. However, after the banking corporation committed to covering workers’ abortion-related costs, many conservative legislators no longer want to be associated with Citibank.

Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.) along with 44 Republican colleagues wrote a letter to the House’s chief administrative officer, who oversees logistics such as the issuing of credit cards.  “By choosing to underwrite travel to abortions for its employees, Citi has explicitly staked out its position to advance the liberal agenda of abortion on demand and has shown no regard for whether a particular state’s laws are in place to protect the safety of a woman and her child,” wrote GOP lawmakers.

Another divisive social issue that is putting corporations at odds with consumers is the LGBT agenda.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) feuded with Disney over recent legislation that limits conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 classrooms. Although Disney is one of the state’s major economic contributors, DeSantis responded to the conflict by signing a bill stripping the theme park’s long-standing special tax privileges.

Corporations that take bold political stances are engaging in risky business. A recent poll by Rasmussen revealed that 59 percent of Americans believe that when companies make political statements, it “adds to the divisiveness in the country”. Over half of the poll’s self-identified Democrats agreed. Another similar poll found that 66 percent of Americans thought businesses should not be taking political positions. Eight percent believed it is better for corporations to weigh in on topics related to their businesses.

In these polarized times, there is not only fierce debate over social issues but also what position corporations should take on the matters. Everyday transactions such as ordering something off Amazon or using a credit card are no longer just simple purchases; they are becoming acts of political alliance. Many consumers are increasingly conscious of whether they are spending their hard-earned money in businesses that align with their values and political opinions.

Whether or not corporations should take political stances is up for debate, however, the DeSantis-Disney squabble has kept the theme park from commenting on the leaked opinion in Dobbs. It is possible that pressure like this from lawmakers could keep more businesses out of politics.

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Most Parents Have Worldview Confusion. Is It Any Wonder That Kids Do Too?

by George Barna

May 4, 2022

Do you ever wonder why Little Johnny or Little Suzie does not obey their parents or consider them their primary role models?

New research from the American Worldview Inventory conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University reveals that children’s disregard for their parents often has to do with the worldview confusion caused by the parents.

More than nine out of 10 parents of preteens (94 percent) have a syncretistic worldview—a grab bag of beliefs and behaviors taken from a variety of philosophies of life. Most parents mix some biblical ideals with elements drawn from comprehensive philosophies ranging from Marxism to Eastern Mysticism and everything in between. The result is a hot mess of guidelines that parents use when trying to make sense of their own lives and craft decisions that seem right and feel good.

One of the inevitable consequences of living by syncretism is contradictions. Most people who embrace syncretistic thinking not only hold conflicting beliefs but also say one thing while doing another. The research confirms that such conflicts among an adult’s thoughts, words, and deeds generate little concern—as long as they feel they are doing what is right in that context, at that moment.

Those choices are perceived and interpreted quite differently by their children. Because a worldview is fully developed before the age of 13, young children listen to and watch their parents for clues on how to live an appropriate and successful life. The problem they often encounter is the inconsistency between what their parents say and do. The cute expression “do as I say, not as I do” is inadequate to alleviate the cognitive dissonance and confusion such inconsistencies cause within children.

How do youngsters reconcile the parental inconsistencies? Many of them conclude that their parents are just as confused about life as they are, and that sends the child deeper into the surrounding culture to search for sources of clarity and wisdom. In fact, the research suggests that millions of children go so far as to conclude that because their parents claim to be Christian (as 67 percent of the parents of preteens do), the Christian faith must not have the answers to life that they so desperately need to make sense of the world and their place within it. Usually, their limited experience with the Christian faith and the Bible provides nothing to override that skepticism, and they decide they must look elsewhere for wisdom and guidance.

Enter the arts and entertainment media.

Past studies have shown that of the many entities that affect children’s worldview, arts and entertainment media have the greatest influence. Why? One reason is because entertainment media—television shows, current music, movies, social media videos, video games, etc.—typically provide a unified worldview message. When children watch a television program that provides a postmodern perspective that is carried throughout the entire performance, children will consider that point of view because it is coherent and consistent. When children listen to a pop song that makes a simple set of assertions about life, they absorb the message if it provides a unified point of view. They are attracted to social media personalities who have a consistent message that underlies their presentations. Some media are rejected by children not because of issues of taste or sophistication level but because the messages provided are confusing or inconsistent. So, even media producers have to be careful about the substance they are developing for their young audience if they want to do more than simply entertain the audience.

Can parents recover from their own inconsistencies to more effectively shape the worldview of their young children? Of course. To do so, however, requires a series of integrated commitments.

For starters, parents have to possess a biblical worldview in order to impart one to their children. Currently, just two percent of parents of preteens have a biblical worldview as their dominant philosophy of life. Before parents can be instrumental in developing a biblical worldview in the mind and heart of their child, they must wholeheartedly embody that same way of life. That’s a big task, but one that every human being can accomplish. God wants each of us to thrive. Because one’s worldview determines every decision one makes, pursuing His principles and commands will bear incredible benefits to those who make the investment.

Second, to shape their child’s worldview, parents have to embrace it as a high-priority life goal. It will demand constant time and energy, and the results will not be immediate; just ask Jesus, based on His investment in His disciples.

Third, parents will need a viable and measurable plan for accomplishing the long-term task. One of the reasons why churches can be ineffective at this process is because they plan to simply provide loads of information to people and hope they figure out how to use it. Parents will require a more thoughtful and strategic plan in order to foster a biblical worldview in their children.

Next, parents will need a process and tools to evaluate how well they are doing and what tactics in worldview development seem to work best for their child. Keep in mind, “you get what you measure.” Figure out what outcomes matter and how to assess whether or not you are making progress toward those desired outcomes. If not, re-strategize and keep moving forward.

Finally, making a long-term commitment to this process is imperative because shaping a worldview takes years. There are starts and stops along the way. Prepare to be frustrated—and to nevertheless stick with the task. The life of your child is at stake. Should they develop a biblical worldview, they will experience what God has for them in this life: the ability to thrive. We thrive when we work within God’s plan. Possessing a biblical worldview facilitates that capacity.

For a parent who loves God and loves their child, that is worth committing to.

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Protecting Children in a Post-Trans Ideological World

by Jennifer Bauwens, Ph.D.

May 2, 2022

For the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided, there’s hope that the lives of the pre-born will once again be valued and protected in the United States of America. This optimism comes after nearly 50 years of praying, rallying, promoting legislative efforts, and organizing to ensure our elected officials voted for life.

In the years leading up to this moment, there’s been an awareness among the pro-life movement that we must offer solutions for some of the circumstances that could cause a person to believe that ending a baby’s life is a viable or even necessary option. In an effort to give answers to our society’s harms, some have opened adoption and fostering agencies, others pregnancy resource centers, while still others have offered counseling and shelter to pregnant women in situations of domestic violence.

As we reflect on the possibility that this historic wrong of legalized elective abortion might be righted, and as we build the foundations of a world in which the unborn are protected and their mothers supported, let’s extend this same hopeful expectation to our children who have been exposed to post-modern/transgender ideology.

The Bible talks about a day when justice would be lacking, and truth would “fall in the streets” (Isaiah 59:14). Clearly, we are living in just such a time. Post-modern or social constructivist thought tells us that there is no objective truth and what matters is “our truth.” But this kind of “truth” is subject to humanity’s desires and can be easily changed to fit the latest social trends. A standard this fickle can never serve as a rudder for an identity-starved generation. This type of fluid truth can never foster a sense of meaning and well-being that is able to withstand the changing tides of human existence.

How do we, who refuse to let truth fall in the streets, prepare for a post-post-modern/post-transgender world?

Think about what it will look like when a generation, perhaps Gen Z, becomes disillusioned by the ideology that says, “life is without boundaries” and “the only objective truth that exists is what each person identifies as true”? What happens when this conception of truth provides no grounding for emptiness, pain, or a mercurial sense of self? Or when the collective consciousness of a generation is akin to an emotional roaring sea that has no limits to the waves of confusion experienced from one moment to the next?

Right now, the medical and psychological professions do not have answers to the gender identity confusion. In many U.S. states, these professionals are not even allowed to talk about root causes of confusion over biological sex. These professionals (I’m affiliated, too) may only offer affirmation. But as some who have detransitioned have reported, a time can come when the novelty of the transgender procedures wears off and the tide of applause from trans-affirming activists rolls back. After a person’s foundation has been laid bare, what remains is pain, unresolved identity struggles, and the confusion that initiated the desire to be someone else. When this ideology and supposed treatment collapses, we must be prepared!

Because, ready or not, they are coming, and the need will be great. Many in the trans-identifying community will realize that they were sold a lie about their identity by some of their closest family members, friends, and authority and political figures. The sense of betrayal and grief, as we have already seen with the first fruits of those who have detransitioned, will be profound. This means the church and those who remain clear and fair-minded need to be ready to receive them with open arms.

First, we can’t lose hope! Just last week, one pro-transgender group noted that 200 bills had been introduced in 2021 to prevent access to gender-affirming “health care” and aimed at mitigating the problems that arise with social spaces and biological males competing in women’s sports. This all points to a willingness of parents and concerned citizens to lobby their politicians to stand for truth and protect children.

Second, we need to learn about the needs of this population and ways we can serve them. The trans ideology has been advertised as a pathway to becoming your “true self” and a grand solution for mental distress. The reality is that many of those who identify with trans-ideology have childhood traumas in their backgrounds. Some may have a diagnosis of autism or were deeply influenced by their peers and social media. This ideology is no substitute for some of these root issues. When they come for help, they don’t necessarily just need someone with a degree in psychology. They will need someone who can listen, empathize with their pain, and show mercy that is tethered to truth.

Third, don’t stop praying. The pathway to freedom has and will always be through knowing the Truth, Jesus Christ. The Truth is the only person who can truly set someone free. Let’s pray that mercy and truth will meet over those struggling with gender identity.

There are many resources that are available to begin learning more about this population. Here are a few:

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10 Tips for Discussing Infertility with Compassion

by Joy Zavalick

April 28, 2022

April 24 through 30 is Infertility Awareness Week, a time to become informed about a struggle that some couples face when seeking to grow their family and how we can respond to their experiences with love, encouragement, and compassion. An estimated 15 percent of couples will have trouble conceiving or experience infertility. Having a reservoir of helpful words to share with those facing infertility is an essential component of loving those particular neighbors well. Knowing which words are unhelpful to say is equally important.

5 Compassionate Things to Say

1. “I am praying for you.”

One helpful response to hearing about someone’s struggle with infertility is letting them know that you are talking to God about their pain and asking for His intervention. Prayers should not only be that the couple would be able to conceive but also that they will find peace and contentment with the path to parenthood that God desires for them—even if that looks like pursuing adoption instead of having biological children.

2. “I am here to listen if you want to vent.”

Many times, keeping silent and listening is the best way to show compassion to someone who is struggling with infertility. If someone has chosen to confide in you about their infertility struggles, honor that trust by patiently listening to them and allowing that conversation to occupy your time together.

3. “You will be wonderful parents, even if your path to parenthood looks different than you expected.”

Some couples facing infertility may greatly desire children but feel intimidated by the adoption process or have a stigmatized view of adoption. Encourage them that adoption is a beautiful form of growing a family if they feel led to pursue it.

4. “I know that today may be extra hard for you. Do you need anything?”

When someone is facing infertility, specific events or celebrations can lose their joy or become a source of pain. Sensitively reaching out on days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, or after events like baby showers or gender reveal parties for other people, can help your loved ones feel seen and understood.

5. “Seeking professional support and counseling is healthy, not shameful.”

Nearly 40 percent of women who experience infertility develop symptoms of depression. While lending a listening ear as a friend is always helpful, it may also be necessary to encourage a loved one struggling with depression as a result of infertility to seek further counseling.

5 Things Not to Say

1. “When are you going to have a baby?”

Unless a married couple shares with you that they are open to discussing their plans to become parents, it is not appropriate to ask; you never know who may be struggling with infertility or miscarriage. Respect the privacy of married couples in their fertility journey by allowing them to make announcements at their own pace about having a baby.

2. “At least…”

A compassionate response to hearing that a loved one is facing infertility does not include making them feel guilty or ungrateful by pointing out the ways they are blessed. Phrases such as “At least you have each other” or “At least you will save money without kids” are not the encouragement that couples need to hear.

3. “Not everyone is meant to be a parent.”

Just because a couple is struggling or unable to conceive biologically does not mean that they are not cut out to be parents. Infertility may be an indication that they should pursue adoption, not that they should abandon parenthood entirely.

4. “Here’s what worked for us when we were trying to conceive.”

Many couples facing infertility have already consulted with a doctor or fertility specialist about their dilemma. Unless the couple specifically requests your advice about conception, it is not your place to offer unsolicited solutions or home remedies.

5. “Just have faith, and God will allow you to conceive.”

Although doubtlessly tragic, it is a biological reality of living in a fallen world that some couples will never be able to conceive naturally. Compassionate encouragement to couples facing infertility should not include false promises or making them believe that a lack of faith is the reason why they cannot conceive. Couples should certainly seek God in their heartache, but infertility is not a punishment for a lack of faith and should not be treated as such. Examples in Scripture of God opening or closing a woman’s womb for a specific purpose can be distinguished from the everyday experience of infertility as a result of the fall, in which case God is not punishing a woman individually through infertility.

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FDA Acknowledges Prenatal Screening Risks, But Fails to Condemn Eugenic Abortion

by Mary Szoch

April 28, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a statement warning of the “risks associated with non-invasive prenatal screening tests.” The statement reads:

While genetic non-invasive prenatal screening tests are widely used today, these tests have not been reviewed by the FDA and may be making claims about their performance and use that are not based on sound science … Without proper understanding of how these tests should be used, people may make inappropriate health care decisions regarding their pregnancy. We strongly urge patients to discuss the benefits and risks of these tests with a genetic counselor or other health care provider prior to making decisions based on the results of these tests.

Of course, by “inappropriate health care decisions,” the FDA likely means the decision to kill an unborn child.

The statement continues:

Many laboratories offering these tests advertise their tests as “reliable” and “highly accurate,” offering “peace of mind” for patients. The FDA is concerned that these claims may not be supported with sound scientific evidence.

This simple acknowledgment that these tests are not approved by the FDA and their inaccuracy could be leading to abortions that otherwise would not take place comes as a welcome surprise—especially since this is the same agency that just months ago loosened health and safety protocols governing chemical abortion pills despite evidence that these pills are unsafe for pregnant mothers. Although it is riddled with euphemisms and disingenuous word choices, the FDA statement will likely decrease the number of abortions that occur in the United States. However, the FDA is far from adopting a philosophy of respect for life.

In its statement, the FDA also writes:

Conditions caused by a missing chromosome or an extra copy of a chromosome are more common and may be easier to detect, such as Down syndrome, which can cause physical and intellectual challenges. A missing or extra piece of a chromosome may result in rarer conditions, such as DiGeorge syndrome, which can cause heart defects, feeding difficulties, immune system problems and learning difficulties. … Pregnant people have ended pregnancies based on the results of genetic prenatal screening alone, without understanding the limitations of the screening tests and that the fetus may not have the genetic abnormality identified by the screening test.

The failure to acknowledge that only women can be pregnant is not the only problem with this statement. It implies that if the tests were correct—if the unborn child had the genetic abnormalities indicated by the tests—the decision to kill the unborn child would not be “inappropriate.” Although not explicitly stated, the subtext of this statement is that the FDA sees nothing wrong with eugenic abortions.

Sadly, other parts of the world have accepted eugenic abortions as well. For example, in multiple countries, nearly every unborn baby prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome is aborted, and in Western countries, around 95 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with a severe form of spina bifida are aborted.

The FDA is correct; many—including the authors of the statement—do not understand “the limitations of the screening tests.” A screening test may be able to tell parents if their child is at greater risk of a genetic abnormality. Further testing may be able to state more conclusively if a child is at risk of having a genetic abnormality. But no test can measure the worth of a child. No test can predict the love, joy, and suffering a child will endure. No test can predict the impact a child will have on the world.

Although the pro-life community should be grateful for the lives that will be saved as a result of the FDA’s warning, the fight against eugenics must continue. As long as abortion is legal in the United States, people with disabilities will be targeted in the womb. Every life has equal dignity and worth. We must pray for the day when our laws reflect that fact by completely protecting life.

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No, Amnesty International: Ukrainian Refugees Do Not Need Abortion

by Arielle Del Turco

April 27, 2022

Even as the world watches in shock and horror while the Russian military targets Ukrainian civilians, certain activists are taking advantage of global concern for Ukraine to push radical agendas. On March 17, the same day that survivors were being rescued from the wreckage of the Mariupol theater bombing, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation joined dozens of European organizations in signing a statement urging the countries helping Ukrainian refugees to prioritize—of all things—abortion.

The “Call to Action” recommends that European Union (EU) countries “take swift and effective measures to facilitate and support urgent access to early medical abortion” for refugees. It singles out Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia as countries with strong pro-life protections who are taking in Ukrainian refugees and calls on the EU to provide “urgent political support, guidance and technical assistance” to the governments of these countries “to facilitate the removal of legal and policy barriers that are impeding the provision of essential sexual and reproductive health care.”

While the Russian military continues to kill thousands in Ukraine, Amnesty International and Planned Parenthood are campaigning for more abortions, which will kill even more innocent Ukrainians.

The coercive tone taken by European activists is far from unusual. Many Western elites are quick to criticize Poland, Hungary, and other Central and Eastern European countries that, after gaining independence from the oppression of communist regimes, have worked to protect life in the womb. These same countries have been a shining example of hospitality to Ukrainian refugees; governments are taking unprecedented steps to welcome Ukrainians, and many citizens are opening their homes to refugees. These countries are the heroes in this story, but the Call to Action is treating them like villains because they value both women and unborn children.

The reality is that pregnant Ukrainian women and unborn children do need increased assistance. Within Ukraine, there has been a spike in premature births, and the stress of war is taking a physical toll on pregnant women. Some doctors have guided their patients through labor at home when fighting made it impossible to travel to the hospital. The difficulty for doctors to access certain medication or medical equipment also poses a risk to women and children’s well-being.

Thankfully, some are already working to support expectant mothers. Private organizations and even UN agencies are sending medical kits into Ukraine designed to help midwives support mothers giving birth. This is increasingly necessary, as births are often taking place in homes, shelters, and other less-than-ideal situations. Even hospitals aren’t always safe; Russian forces have attacked over 100 hospitals and medical facilities. The bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol produced one of the war’s most striking images; it showed a pregnant woman on a stretcher gripping her bloodied belly as she was carried across rubble. Sadly, neither she nor her baby survived.

A writer for WIRED asserted that among Ukrainian women, “Pregnancies that were previously desired may no longer feel sustainable.” This view illustrates a failure to uphold human dignity. In times of war, the birth of a child is a sign of hope for the future. As Ukrainian Ivan Korol, whose baby girl was born in a bomb shelter this February, said, “Last night under the roar in Gostomei, my wife gave birth to me a daughter, like a star in the dark in such a difficult time!”

Indeed, pregnant Ukrainian women, whether they remain in the country or flee as refugees, are encountering many challenges that could not have been foreseen a few months ago. They need Western countries and NGOs to offer robust assistance—food, shelter, and medical attention—not pressure to kill their own children.

Amnesty International knows the gravity of the situation faced by Ukrainians. Their own investigators document allegations of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers. This is valuable work. However, it’s beyond comprehension that during these ongoing tragedies, Amnesty International and other European organizations that purport to care about human rights would seize the opportunity to criticize democratic countries over their social policy. Human rights groups should be focused on ensuring accountability for the many human rights violations Russia is committing in Ukraine, not pressuring other countries to violate the right to life.

Russia is bombing maternity hospitals—an act that is recognized as especially egregious because it kills both mothers and children. Our response should not double down on that death and destruction by encouraging mothers to kill their own unborn children. Rather, we should do everything in our power to save lives, including the most vulnerable lives—those in the womb.

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