Month Archives: June 2013

The Social Conservative Review: June 6, 2013

by Krystle Gabele

June 6, 2013

Click here to subscribe to The Social Conservative Review.


Dear Friends,

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Christians is that their hope is not in any human institution, political leader, or social movement. It is in Christ Himself, the Lord of history who is weaving, subtly but unstoppably, every disparate strand of life to create the final, majestic tapestry of human experience - for His glory and the good of those who love Him.

This great truth is always relevant, but it’s a good reminder as we consider the events of our time.

  • FRC’s friend U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has offered legislation to protect all unborn pain-capable babies nationwide.
  • The Boy Scouts of America voted to allow “open and avowed” homosexuals in their ranks, even as the Illinois legislature refused to vote for permitting same-sex marriage.
  • A federal judge has ordered that a version of the notorious abortifacient drug “Plan B” can be sold over the counter to anyone of any age.

Some defeats and some victories, none complete or necessarily final. The one great constant is the Resurrected One, Whose triumph over sin and death is comprehensive and eternal. In all the battles we fight and prayers we offer, let’s always remember that.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch our latest adult stem cell video, which tells the remarkable story of kidney transplant patient Rob Waddell. Unlike so many kidney patients, Rob received adult stems cells that enable him not to need anti-rejection drugs. View his story here.


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Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts

Homosexuality

Human Life and Bioethics
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Bioethics and Biotechnology

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

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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.

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D-Day then and now

by Robert Morrison

June 6, 2013

President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation on this day in 1944. He spoke of the invasion of Normandy that had been proceeding since the pre-dawn hours. FDR also offered a prayer to the nation, and to the world. “Thy will be done,” the president intoned in his rich baritone. He spoke of re-dedicating ourselves to “faith in Thee…faith in our united crusade.”

His language was informed by the biblical cadences of the King James Version and echoed the uplifting style of The Book of Common Prayer. Columnist George Will has said of the BCP that is gives us our very idea of stateliness. And President Roosevelt, who had heard those lines since childhood, gave to his address a stately quality that inspired millions.

Compare Roosevelt’s speech with the dull, flat statements of leading figures of both parties today and we realize what we have lost. There is much in FDR’s Prayer. But this day should remind us of the kind of leaders we had then.

In those long-ago years, politicking for the White House did not begin in Iowa and New Hampshire years before the quadrennial election. Still, it was 1944, and even though he was very ill, President Roosevelt believed he had to carry the war through to victory.

If the D-Day invasion had failed, so in all likelihood would the presidential prospects of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Then, his remarkable and unprecedented three-term tenure in the White House would have ended in defeat—in the hedgerow country of France and at the November ballot box. Roosevelt had staked his political life and his place in history on this invasion.

So had General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was just a colonel when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack just two and a half years earlier. Through the war, however, when the U.S. armed forces expanded from a few hundred thousand to twelve million—one in 11 Americans then being in uniform—”Ike” rose in rank like a rocket.

On this D-Day, Ike was Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe—SCAEF. He would wear five stars on the trim “Eisenhower jacket” he had designed.

We can surmise what would have been FDR’s political fate had the D-Day invasion failed. But what about Ike? He could well have expected to be replaced. Possibly by General of the Army George C. Marshall. Maybe even by “Old Blood and Guts,” Gen. George Patton.

Knowing this, Ike drafted a communique for release in the event of a failed invasion. Eisenhower biographer Carlo D’Este provides this insight into the character of our SCAEF.

Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

This is what American leadership once produced. In the past months, we have seen scandal pile upon scandal in our government. High ranking officials tell Congress “What difference does it make?” Others take the Fifth Amendment or seek to place the blame on their subordinates. It’s Cincinnati’s fault, they tell us.

We cannot think of D-Day without thinking of victory, for sure. But we remember the losses, not only of the brave soldiers who gave their all that day, but also of the lost leadership we once had.

When Victory Is Hard: Remembering D-Day

by Family Research Council

June 5, 2013

D-Day June 6, 1944.  The day in which the Allies entrance into France was brutal and costly.  What ended in a victory and a beachhead also marked a mass grave where many brave men gave their lives for something greater than themselves.  I can imagine that disembarking from a landing craft in the face of heavy machine gun fire and knowing the chances of death were high was not a comforting thought.  So why did those men leave the craft? The men who lay strewn on that fateful shore did not prove their courage when they took a bullet but when they left the ships.  Courage is not being a casualty but being willing to be one.  Whatever battle we engage in we must not ask ourselves the question “Will I win?” but rather “Am I willing to stand?” 

Heroes like Churchill, Patton, Eisenhower, De Gaulle, and others would not have been successful if men had not been willing to die for their cause.  It is easy to measure one’s mission in life by following the easiest path that will lead to material success.  But the great men are those who endure to the end standing for truth.  As FRC President Tony Perkins often says, “When you’ve done everything and can do no more, just keep standing.”  Standing doesn’t mean temporal success, it means being faithful.  Let us remember on this historic day that the men who taught us best how to stand were those who fell forever on that war ravaged Normandy shore.  May we stand faithfully wherever we find ourselves.

What an Unborn Baby Learns

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 4, 2013

In the fall of 2011, science writer Annie Murphy Paul gave a lecture at a Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference in Edinburgh, Scotland that demonstrates with moving clarity that the unborn child is a person, capable of cognition and emotion from its very early stages.

Based on her book Origins, Murphy explains that the child in the womb absorbs all kinds of information that affects his or her life once born.  Here are some excerpts:

First of all, they learn the sound of their mothers’ voices … And because the fetus is with her all the time, it hears her voice a lot. Once the baby’s born, it recognizes her voice and it prefers listening to her voice over anyone else’s …From the moment of birth, the baby responds most to the voice of the person who is most likely to care for it — its mother. It even makes its cries sound like the mother’s language, which may further endear the baby to the mother, and which may give the baby a head start in the critical task of learning how to understand and speak its native language.

In addition to sound, unborn babies also learn taste and scent:

But it’s not just sounds that fetuses are learning about in utero. It’s also tastes and smells. By seven months of gestation, the fetus’ taste buds are fully developed, and its olfactory receptors, which allow it to smell, are functioning … They’re being introduced to the characteristic flavors and spices of their culture’s cuisine even before birth.

The baby’s mother has a profound bearing on the life of her child, biochemical but much more:

Much of what a pregnant woman encounters in her daily life — the air she breathes, the food and drink she consumes, the chemicals she’s exposed to, even the emotions she feels — are shared in some fashion with her fetus. They make up a mix of influences as individual and idiosyncratic as the woman herself. The fetus incorporates these offerings into its own body, makes them part of its flesh and blood. And often it does something more. It treats these maternal contributions as information, as what I like to call biological postcards from the world outside …The pregnant woman’s diet and stress level in particular provide important clues to prevailing conditions like a finger lifted to the wind. The resulting tuning and tweaking of a fetus’ brain and other organs are part of what give us humans our enormous flexibility, our ability to thrive in a huge variety of environments, from the country to the city, from the tundra to the desert.

Ms. Paul inexplicably insists on calling the unborn baby “the fetus;” if he or she is not a baby, who cares what a “fetus” does and doesn’t know?  Regardless, she has done a tremendous service to all who care about the sanctity of unborn life.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made,” writes the Psalmist, made in God’s image and likeness.  Doubt it?  Watch Annie Murphy Paul’s lecture and share in the spontaneous, humble joy that accompany the miracles of conception and birth.

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