Month Archives: September 2012

With Audacity, France will be Saved!

by Robert Morrison

September 28, 2012

Pierre Jovanovic has been a student at L’Institut d’etudes politiques (IEP) de Paris (Sciences Po), one of France’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. He met with FRC’s Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder and Senior Fellows Henry Potrykus, Peter Sprigg, and Bob Morrison last August. Monsieur Jovanovic sent us this column on the great controversy in France. The new Socialist government of President Francois Hollande is determined to overturn marriage in the French parliament. The Catholic Bishops of France have strongly resisted this move. They have been viciously attacked in the left-wing French press. But Evangelical leaders in France have stood firmly with their Catholic brethren. This column was lightly edited by Bob Morrison in an effort to preserve its French flavor. Pierre Jovanovic’s courage reminds us once again of the world-wide solidarity of Christians defending true marriage, the foundation of society.

This Sunday morning at the Evangelical Baptist Church of Rue de Lille, Paris, the minister invited the community to pray for Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon, attacked in the media for comments “with which I totally agree, and that every Christian should support“, he said in his sermon. What is the controversy in which the Cardinal finds himself? Four seconds, no more, no less, from an interview of twenty minutes Friday, September 14th to the TV show “Droit de Citer”. Pressed to answer on gay marriage, the Cardinal asked about the definition of marriage: “It is a word that means a bulwark which allows the weakest in society, that is to say, a woman who gives birth to a child, that establishes all conditions to ensure that this happens the best opportunities. (…) Without the bulwark of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, everything is permitted: you can allow marriage with three people, or incest.”

Horror! Shame! Abjection! Out of context, these words were dropped as fodder for mainstream media and social networks, processed (the Agence France Presse report mentioned the term “polygamy“, which was never employed during the show), amplified and widely criticized. For many, this is another outrage from the “homophobic cardinal“.

At that time, it would be good to restore some truths. Firstly, Cardinal Barbarin reaffirmed Catholic doctrine distinction of persons and acts, valid personal issues to social issues. The heart of the matter, it is the person who can not be reduced only to the “identity” homosexual, which has its place in the Christian community:

Inside the church, I often say to people who have homosexual desires or tendencies: you have your place, we need you! If it is, you build the Church better than me! This is not a judgment of the people. This is the question of the structure of the depth of family, marriage, society …“.

For Cardinal Barbarin, the main Christian attitude is respect: “Everyone should be respected.” His words were not those of a Salafi imam. The medias can scream homophobia, but if the wolves would really come out of the wood, their calls for vigilance would lose their strength. The content of the reference to “marriage of three” and “incest“, now: what did the Cardinal dare to say? Here again the confusion between homosexuality and pedophilia.

As for marriage of three, nobody asks if this is a pure figment of the imagination! Helas, (Alas!) from a French perspective, there is no need to go back to the 1970s. In those years, we saw the Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action (FHAR) and Michel Foucault demand the recognition of “peripheral sexualities” and people like Bernard Kouchner (former Foreign Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy) and Jack Lang (former Socialist Culture Minister and still Socialist MP today) sign a petition in 1977 for the release of three men who had sex with children under 15 years old, to notice that a claim about the child sexuality is always present, but unobtrusive. It hides in LGBT intellectual circles of Paris as “we must end with the confusion between pederasty and pedophilia! A boy of 12 is not a child of 8!

Or, in this proposal to enable, through a redefinition of the family, consensual relations between stepparents and children, “when they are old.”

Second, as for marriage of three, his claim is asserted, under the names of “polyamour” or “multiple parenting“. On September 11, during a public debate at the Senate, in Paris, about the bill of Senator Esther Benbassa (Green Party) on marriage and adoption for LGBT couples, academics Daniel Borrillo and Didier Eribon called to change the model family “two parent-child” from top to bottom.”Families with three parents, they already exist! ” they argued. On another note, the claim of a “universal contract“, instead of marriage of two, published in the liberal newspaper Le Monde last May will not have escaped anyone. Cardinal Barbarin never compared homosexuals to polygamous or incestuous relationships. He warned that some wish, consciously or unconsciously, to destroy marriage. They see an opportunity in recognition of same-sex couples. Homosexual persons should know that the internal philosophical logic of gay marriage provides the justification for all claims, which may also be based on “love“, “social recognition” or “reality.” For proof, consider the recent words of Nick Cassavetes, director of the Yellow movie, during Toronto Film Festival: “The whole movie is about judgment and lack of judgment on the fact of what you want. What does it matter that people judge you? (…) Love who you want. This is not what they always say? It’s like gay marriage. (…) If it is between brother and sister, it’s very strange, but if you look closer, no one was injured, except the people who freak out because you’re in love.

Hence the need for a national debate, as requested by Cardinal Barbarin: “On a subject as deep and touching at this point everyone should really give voice to all citizens.”

In conclusion, I would like to leave a personal testimony. I never forgot that Sunday in January 2009, when a handful of gay protesters had gathered outside the Fourviere Basilica in Lyon to disrupt the Mass. Not listening to some young “cathos” frightened or anxious for battle, Cardinal Barbarin went to meet the demonstrators, who suddenly ceased their din, surprised by his approach.The result was a surprising encounter between the Archdiocese, the Cardinal and LGBT representatives. They departed soothed, and happy to have been listened to.

This act worthy of Christ should be a bright denial of the suspicion of homophobia charged against Cardinal Barbarin. If only journalists really did their job, they would find the same attitude of Pope John Paul II during his visit to the United States in 1979, narrated by Arturo Mari, the photographer of the Pope. “As we entered the Nunciature in Washington, there was a group of homosexuals who were protesting against the Pope. The Holy Father initially did not understand what was happening, and therefore, on entering, he asked me ‘What’s going on?’ A manifestation [demonstration]’ I told him. ‘Who are they?”Gay people, your Holiness.’

And how many are they?’ ‘Five hundred.’ ‘And we, how many are we?’ And he began counting, pointing ‘One, two, three, four, five … It’s okay, we can go.’ He pressed the door, approached the protesters, welcomed them and began to speak with some of them. And whistles turned into applause. He was not afraid of anything. He said: ‘Open the doors to Christ’ and he would open himself with his own hands.” As Blessed John Paul II, Cardinal Barbarin is also a clergyman who puts his faith into action.

The whole Catholic Church of France is ready to do the same. Two days ago, the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, head of the Bishops Conference, was invited to RTL, one of the well-known radio networks of France to speak about Gay Marriage. Today, we just received a poll showing 66 % of the French people want a referendum about the issue.

As the revolutionary leader Danton said: “Audacity, more audacity, always audacity, and France is saved!

Proposing Marriage: A Solution to Child Poverty

by Sharon Barrett

September 28, 2012

As Maria Reig Teetor, MARRI intern wrote recently, social science shows a clear link between family structure and mental health. For instance, a study on child poverty found that children who grow up in poor families are more likely to develop depression and personality disorders. Maria explains:

Poor children are exposed to a wide range of risk factors that affect their social and emotional development. The environment they grow up in is surrounded by drug abuse, inadequate nutrition, crime, parental instability, divorce, maternal depression….

This environment also causes the children to externalize their emotional turmoil with behavior outbursts such as delinquency or drug and sexual abuse. In short, poverty affects children and has grave consequences.

Just as mental health disorders are linked to child poverty, so is child poverty linked to non-intact family structure. Poverty does not occur in a vacuum. Since the 1960s, marriage rates and employment rates have declined in tandem. In the 2010s we see the full-blown effects of the divorce revolution and the sexual revolution. With the devaluing of the intact family, we also suffered a deficit in human capital and an inflation of poverty rates. Original research published by MARRI explains the statistics:

55 percent of U.S. children entering adulthood in 2008 had experienced the breakup of their family of origin.

This number is even more staggering when we see it alongside the number of children living in poverty conditions in 2010: 43%. Furthermore,

Up to 20 percent of [American] children are unequipped to compete in the modern economy because of a lack of essential skills formed within the intact married family.

When this is combined with the high risk of mental health disorders, poor children are at an overwhelming disadvantage. But look closely at the reason:

Family planning policies have undermined fertility rates and simultaneously discouraged marriage and encouraged out-of-wedlock births. Among its main target group, the poor, marriage has virtually disappeared, and been replaced with serial cohabitation [emphasis mine].

The solution to the child poverty crisis is not a social program, but a simple proposal: marriage, which Maria Reig Teetor calls the strongest anti-poverty weapon. Reviving a culture of marriage can help restore the benefits of the intact family to those who need them most: poor children.

On the Values Bus: Iowa Strong

by Robert Morrison

September 28, 2012

Im wearing a new red rubber wristband: it says Iowa Strong11.6.12 Its a good reminder for me and for Iowans of the important role this state plays in our presidential selection process. Iowa has a high voter turnout. In 2008, the nations turnout was unusually high61.6% But Iowas was higher still69.4%. The Hawkeye State has a strong commitment to grassroots democracy.

The sense of Iowa Strong made itself clear again last weekend as we took the FRC-Heritage Foundation Values Bus through the state. Starting in Osceola, local leader Scott McLin organized a rally in a church parking lot. Citizens came together on a windy, clear Saturday afternoon to hear State Rep. Joel Fry and State Senate candidate Amy Sinclair speak of the urgent need to control spending and stand strong for basic values. Heritage Foundations Genevieve Wood warned of Taxmageddon, the avalanche of new taxes that will hit American homes and businesses if Congress and the president do not act soon to avoid the automatic expiry of Bush-era tax cuts.

I had a chance to make the case for policies that protect unborn life, preserve marriage, and defend our essential religious freedom. Pastor Matt Flood spoke movingly of our responsibilities as Christians to exercise our right to vote. He quoted from American Founder John Witherspoon. Rev. Witherspoon was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Pastor Flood cares deeply about the nations pastand its future. His eloquent remarks got me thinking: John Witherspoon never heard of Iowa. He died before President Jefferson made the historic Louisiana Purchase that brought Iowa into American possession. But Witherspoonlike all the Founderscared deeply about securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. We are those millions yet unborn for whom the Founders were willing to sacrifice so much.

Its humbling, too, to hear John Witherspoons words read out to appreciative Iowans 236 years after they were written. Will anything we say on the Values Bus tour be read and appreciated in the year 2248? Perhaps, but only if we succeed in keeping this beloved country the last best hope of earth.

Moving on to Council Bluffs, we are regaled with local stories. This city has one of only six remaining Squirrel Cage Jails in America. That aptly named hoosegow is three stories high, consists of pie-wedge shaped cells, and allows the entire lockup to be overseen by a single prison guard. The Squirrel Cage Jail is no longer in use for prisoners. Maybe the ACLU thought it cruel and unusual to be twirled around every time one of the inmates had to go exit the single door. But I had a great time imagining a reality show in Council Bluffs. Instead of voting people off the island, we could vote them into jail. I confess Id like to see a lot of political consultants in both parties there. I have a little list and therell none of them be missed.

Local notable Grenville Dodge had a great Victorian mansion in Council Bluffs. Local political leaders told us that Abraham Lincoln once dined there, before he was president. They say there are six wine glasses lovingly tended and on display. They dont know which one Lincoln used, so they preserve them all. Lincoln, I knew, was almost a teetotaler, so those wine goblets really are rare.

On to Sioux City, our bus rolls in to an Olive Garden restaurant for dinner. The buzz cut teenager who escorts to our booth takes one look at the big red, white, blue and gold Values Bus and my I Vote Values button and says: I dont need to guess who youre voting for for president. Thats another reason I like Iowa. When one in the crowd presses me for an endorsement, I just quote Jefferson: Give light and the people will find their own way.

Riding on the Values Bus, we are in the lighting department. Our purpose is to make sure the vital issues that the media too often like to ignore are not ignored. They are a critical part of voters decision-making. The party platforms make it clear, too. For one party, abortion is central. For one party, too, counterfeit marriage has become the order of the day.

It wasnt always so. At various stops, I related the history of the Defense of Marriage Act. In 1996, that bill passed through both houses of Congress overwhelmingly. The House voted 342-67; the Senate 85-14 to defend marriage. That bill would have passed both houses of Congress if there had not been a single Republican in either chamber. And it was signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

I thank the young voters at every stop for leading America firmly in the pro-life direction. They know what even some liberals are admitting. TIME Magazines Joe Klein says ultra-sound has made it impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being. Right you are, Joe Klein. And most young Americans have seen their own first picturesultra sound photos. Impossible or not, there are leading politicos in this country who deny reality every day. You could find thousands of them meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently.

Pastor Cary Gordon at Cornerstone World Outreach Church presides over a truly Shining City on a Hill. CWOC is built on the highest point in that city. Pastor Gordon invited Congressman Steve King and State Senate candidate, Col. Al Ringenberg, to address a large assembly. The pastor emphasized that all candidates are welcome to speak in his church and he will ask them all where they stand on life, marriage, and religious freedom.

Congressman King reminded attendees of this administrations attempt to ban the Bible at Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington, D.C.

In my remarks, I noted that Walter Reed was the most famous military doctor, the one who eradicated Yellow Fever. Dr. Reed wrote to his wife the prayer of twenty years has been answered. I asked if Walter Reed himself would be banned at Walter Reed hospital?

Riding through the night, we return to Des Moines. Big Bus Driver Scott Wilson has logged tens of thousands of miles on the Values Bus, tirelessly pressing on. And Ive never seen him get lost or make a mistake! FRCs Chris Bosch has perfected the setup and breakdown of our booths to a science. He can do it in less than five minutes. FRC Actions Kathy Flavin handles the scheduling of events with amazing professionalism. In my time on the bus, weve never been late or missed an engagement.

Were up early for a Monday rally at the State Capitol. Pro-family leaders Bob Vander Plaats and Tamara Scott remind the crowd assembled in the shadow of the majestic gold dome how important it is to remove Judge David Wiggins from office. He is one of seven Supreme Court judges who overturned marriage in Iowa. In 2010, FRC President Tony Perkins and FRCAction leader Connie Mackey led a Judge Bus Tour around Iowa that helped to recall three of those judicial activists. Judge Wiggins is simply Number Four in line to be removed. Tamara Scott showed her hand-made D- signthe grade given to Judge Wiggins by the Iowa Bar Association. Even his peers recognize that Wiggins is a less than mediocre judge.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum spoke most powerfully of Americas unique constitutional order, our exceptional system of checks and balances, so necessary for the maintenance of liberty. Sen. Santorum famously visited all ninety-nine Iowa counties in his year-long quest for the GOP presidential nomination.

I thanked Iowa voters and noted that black, white, Hispanic and Asian voters had come together to vote out those anti-marriage judicial usurpers. In every state, marriage is a bridge issue that brings together Americans of all races and creeds.

Standing under that beautiful Iowa State Capitol, you cannot help but marvel. That impressive structure was erected by a free people, without federal funds, without federal mandates. Yes, Iowans, you did build that!

The Social Conservative Review: September 27, 2012

by Krystle Gabele

September 27, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.

Dear Friends:

Faith, family and freedom: it’s a formulation FRC uses all the time, with good reason. Each one of these key components of our culture is under attack.

To help provide you with resources to keep sustaining the battle for what the ancients called “the good, the true, and the beautiful,” FRC continues to publish top-of-the-line research and user-friendly material we provide at no costs. Here are three of our most recent:

  • Modern Slavery: How to Fight Human Trafficking in Your Community.” Author and attorney Robert Flores, formerly an official in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, explains the seriousness of the crisis in human slavery - right here at home - and how we can fight it.
  • Non-Marriage Reduces U.S. Labor Participation,” by Drs. Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan of FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute. This careful analysis demonstrates that given the ” long decline of adult male labor participation … the risk of depression will be exacerbated over time.”
  • Hunger, Plenty, and Population.” In this brief new study, I explore the link between hunger, malnutrition, corruption, and the extreme environmental movement.

The challenges we face as a nation are large and looming. We need not just good and courageous hearts but informed and ready minds. FRC honors each of our supporters for the former, and we’re working to provide you with the resources needed for the latter.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice-President

Family Research Council

P.S. Check out FRC’s lecture series, including most recently our star panel of experts on college debt, by clicking here.

Educational Freedom and Reform


Legislation and Policy Proposals

College Debt

Government Reform



Health Care


Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts


Human Life and Bioethics


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

Women’s Health

Marriage and Family


Family Economics

Family Structure




Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America

Check out Dr. Kenyn Cureton’s feature on Watchmen Pastors called “The Lost Episodes,” featuring how religion has had an impact on our Founding Fathers.




International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law — U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews

Hope for North Korean Christians

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 27, 2012

The persecution of North Korean Christians has been endemic to that nations strange, brutal regime for decades. Now, we can get an inside glimpse of how these believers are treated by their mindlessly Marxist government and also learn about the heroic efforts of Christians in China to help rescue them.

In her new book, Escape from North Korea, the Untold Story of Asia‘s Underground Railroad, former Wall Street Journal reporter Melanie Kirkpatrick describes how Chinese Christians and churches are supporting escapees in defiance of laws prohibiting such assistance. Read an interview with her at Christianity Today and read about her book here.

The thousands of men, women, and children who claim the Name of Jesus and for which they are thrust into the barbaric North Korean gulag archipelago deserve our prayerful support. So do those courageous Chinese who, at great risk, work to get them out of their troubled country. As Ms. Kirkpatrick says,

Christians were the prime movers of the original underground railroad during the years leading up to the Civil War. If the church community in America wanted to do that today, there’s a lot they could do to raise awareness and support both politically and financially simply by making it a priority in their own churches. It would also give a lot of comfort and encouragement to North Koreans who are hiding in China.

Setting the Solitary in Families

by Sharon Barrett

September 26, 2012

In her post May I have this [politically-correct, gender-ambiguous, tolerance-driven] dance?, MARRI blogger Lindsay Smith points out the problem with the recent ban on father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games in Rhode Islands Cranston school district. Banning events that encourage parent participation undermines childrens academic well-being, because parental involvement is related to a childs academic success. Lindsay summarizes the research (further data is available from MARRIs Mapping America surveys):

On average, children from intact married families earn higher test scores, have higher high-school GPAs, are less likely to drop out of school, and have better behavior than their peers. In addition, adolescent children of single-parent families or stepfamilies reported that their parents had lower educational expectations for them, were less likely to monitor schoolwork, and supervised social activities less than the parents of children in intact biological families. Based on these findings, one can see parental involvement directly correlates with academic success.

Lindsay suggests an alternative solution to the Cranston school districts problem: instead of banning parent-child events, encourage community members to reach out to children in non-intact families, just as an elderly neighbor did for her when it came time for Grandparents Lunch Day at her school.

I propose a better solution is not to eliminate the event, but rather to embrace the child. Allow traditional families to show what love and support look like and invite a child whose mom or dad cant attend, whatever the reason.

Lindsays suggestion should sound familiar to readers who have also read the Bible. Scripture throbs with Gods concern for the widow, the divorced parent, the fatherless child, and everyone who is affected by the breakup of a family. Psalm 68:5-6 says this:

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains.

Gods people ought to take the lead in reaching out and offering a family to the solitary, whether that be a teen mother, a divorced father, a youth who has trouble fitting in at school, or simply a young girl whose grandmother cant make the 10-hour drive for Grandparents Lunch Day. Research suggests this will have a far greater impact than raising academic success levels; for instance, by sharing the love and security found in an intact family environment, it can bring out those who are bound with chains of addiction or imprisonment by reducing rates of drug abuse, youth behavior problems, and violent delinquency. Intact families strengthen society. As Lindsay Smith says, Thats something that should make us all get up and dance.

A Gruesome Anniversary

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 26, 2012

Every January, tens of thousands of Americans come to Washington for the March for Life to commemorate the roughly 55 million unborn children who have been aborted since the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe V. Wade decision. This coming year, the 40th anniversary of Roe, the March for Life will be led by FRC’s own Jeanne Monahan, who directs our Center for Human Dignity. Last month, Jeanne was named interim president of the March in the wake of the passing of the March’s founder, Nellie Gray. We are proud of Jeanne’s deep commitment to the sanctity of life, which led the Board of the March to appoint her to this key role.

But there is another anniversary we must not forget: Today is the 32nd anniversary of the beginning of Communist China’s notorious “one-child” policy. In a moving open letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao, FRC’s friend Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, writes, “The coercive enforcement of Chinas cruel and barbaric One Child Policy causes more violence towards women and girls than any other official policy on earth. It is Chinas war against women and girls.” You can read the complete text of Reggie’s letter here.

The good news is that there is some movement within the Chinese government for change. According to one of the government’s official newspapers, The People’s Daily: “The National Population and Family Planning Commission is sending 10 teams to 19 provinces, cities and counties to curb misconduct in family planning law enforcement. Wang Xia, head of the national commission, said: ‘No law enforcement raids will be allowed and there should be a system in place to prevent violent enforcement’.”

Nice words; now the proof will be not only in ending the violent practice of forced abortions but also ending the incentives which encourage only one child per couple, including those provided to communities that comply. Such incentives create profound social pressure on couples to abort any child beyond their first.

Tragically, but predictably, China’s war against the unborn is driving that nation toward economic collapse. Even the New York Times, hardly a conservative newspaper, reports: “Besides the concerns of lawyers and human rights advocates, economists and business executives have expressed anxiety about the impact of a slowing population growth rate on the economy. Liang Jianzhang, a well-known executive with a doctoral degree in economics from Stanford University, and Li Jianxin, a demographer at Peking University, have estimated that by 2040, the number of Chinese older than 60 would be 411 million, up from 171 million today. The working population people between the ages of 20 and 60 would drop to 696 million from 817 million today.”

In total, the Chinese government itself estimates that due to the one-child policy, there are 400 million fewer Chinese today than there otherwise would be. This includes not only the tens of millions who have been aborted - most of them girls - but also the children these ended lives would themselves have born as they grew into adulthood and marriage.

State-demanded and incentivized abortion is no less morally repugnant that coerced abortion. To try to distinguish between them is to seek distinctions without any substantive difference. America’s most pro-abortion Administration ever (documented by FRC) can have no real voice in calling upon China to ends its disastrous and evil state abortion policy when that same Administration works actively to undermine the sanctity of life here at home, even to the point of requiring faith-based institutions to provide health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. It is up to Christians in our country and around the world to continue to call on the Chinese government to end, completely, it’s brutal “family planning” (i.e., pro-abortion) activities.

What Can You Do to Save One Life?

by Family Research Council

September 25, 2012

A few weeks ago at FRC’s Values Voter Summit, I had the honor of moderating a truly all-star panel of pro-life speakers. Our theme was “One Life” — incorporating both the somber reality of reflecting upon the 55 million unique lives that have been lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, as well as the urgency of doing everything we can moving forward to save each and every precious life.

Our distinguished panelists included Melissa Ohden, who as a developing baby survived a saline abortion. Melissa has recently come under much attack for a beautiful ad she made promoting life. We also heard from Dr. Michael New, author of research on the impact of state laws with regard to reducing the number of abortions. Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, also gave an incredibly inspiring and engaging presentation about his own personal story and the importance of doing everything we can to save lives, each of which are filled with wonderful potential.

Lastly our panel included David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life. David spoke about what every person can do to make a difference in saving a life. This group has seen very fruitful returns on the investment of time, patience, love and prayer. In fact, the most recent 40 Days for Life campaigns begins tomorrow.

For those of us who have ever asked what we can do to make a difference in the culture wars, what we can do to help protect and defend life, I highly encourage giving one hour to 40 Days for Life during this campaign between Sept 26-Nov 4. You will not regret it!

Tolerance, Truth, and Tough Love

by Sharon Barrett

September 25, 2012

As a one-time college debater, part-time blogger, and future law student, I am constantly on the watch for questions in need of an answer (or answers in need of a refutation). But when I decided to dive into the debate over the redefinition of marriage, I discovered that more is at stake than my ability to present sound evidence for my side.

More is at stake, too, than the effects of same-sex parenting and divorce on children, or the ways religious freedom will be muzzled if marriage is redefined. The core issue is love.

The definition of love itself has been called into question. Recently, a friend who works with teens in the school system gave me a scalding rebuke for posting about the results of the New Family Structures Study. She told me students in her class are bullied for feeling same-sex attractions, and if we would stop disseminating hatred and start loving others as Jesus did, these teens (as well as children raised in same-sex households) could have a well-adjusted life. Love, she insisted, all you need is love.

Love, of course, does not mean tolerating behavior that carries negative consequences; it means telling someone the truth. Documentation of the negative outcomes of homosexual behavior abounds. For instance, the mortality risk from the active homosexual lifestyle is, on average, double the risk from smoking cigarettes. Surely it is not unloving to tell a friend who smokes that he is shortening his life expectancy by 7-10 years. To say the same to a friend who lives as an active homosexual, however, is unacceptable.

True love is often tough love. Put another way, love is often unacceptable.

Jesus exhibited unacceptable love. He showed tough love to the Pharisees, calling them snakes and sepulchers for holding people to man-made regulations; he showed it to the woman at the well, looking her in the eye and naming her sins. I knew my friends definition of love as tolerance was skewed, but her words encouraged me to ask a critical question: Am I showing love according to Jesus definition?

Answering this question showed me a new dimension of Jesus love. As MARRI intern Sarah Robinson writes in a piece titled Tolerance vs. Love:

Ultimately, I wish to live my life in such a way that homosexuals and heterosexuals alike would see radical love emanating from me that ultimately would point them to the love of God. I may be accused of being intolerant, but may I never be accused of being unloving.

Jesus love tells us the truth about our sin, and then goes further. It is radical because it is not just tough love, but transforming love. The teens my friend sees at school each day need to hear that Jesus can set them free from all sexual attractions, addictions, and fears that are not part of His created design for men and women. He can make them a new creation!

As Sarah Robinson said, the change Christ has made in our lives should invite others to be changed. While our words may or may not win the soul of the culture, Christs love can win the soul of a person. And this, according to Proverbs 11:30 and James 5:20, is what matters most.

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