Month Archives: August 2018

The Transgender Movement Just Pushes People Too Far

by Cathy Ruse

August 6, 2018

When I read this column by Rafael Castro, I was reminded of other people who reluctantly supported same-sex marriage in order to “get the issue behind us.” They, like he, must feel betrayed and angry. The T in LGBT is a ticking time bomb that could sabotage the activists’ whole operation:

As a religious conservative living in a liberal city – Berlin – I was torn between loyalty to tradition and respect for individual freedoms on the issue of gay marriages. What eventually swayed me to support gay organizations in this field was the argument that alternative definitions for marriages are a human right.

I thus sided with the LGBT liberation movement with the hope that once such marriages were legal, the issue would be behind us and the energies exhausted in this fractious debate would be channeled to fight far more serious abuses of human rights in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

These expectations have been bitterly disappointed. To the best of my knowledge the LGBT lobby has done next to nothing in order to help gays and lesbians who are whipped and stoned in nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Instead of championing genuine human rights it has promoted the issue of transsexuality, blowing it out of all proportion, and has declared war on our historical and science-based understanding of sex and gender.

In its obsession for blurring all gender differences it is pressuring the academic and culture establishments to erase any awareness of gender differences from the youngest of children and harassing any person who refuses to endorse this gender ideology. In addition, it has even encouraged voices demanding that incest, polygamy and pedophilia be normalized in our societies.

In other words, I supported same-sex marriage rights with the understanding that I was contributing to defend human rights. Instead my support has been exploited by the sexual liberation movement to undermine the values and paradigms that give society its bearings and guidance to minors who are vulnerable in their development.

I feel betrayed and angry. From now on I will fight every progressive social cause, regardless of the language used to market it. It is evident that today’s progressives are more interested in dismantling Western society than in repairing its relatively minor flaws.

Looking back, I see that same-sex civil unions gave homosexuals all the legal and fiscal rights they needed . These civil unions respected the rights of all parties, without encouraging extremists to assault heteronormativity and bi-genderism. That’s how things should remain.

Social Conservative Review - August 3, 2018

by Daniel Hart

August 3, 2018

Dear Friends,

We are now in the month of August, the time of the year that seems to be a kind of buffer between the season of vacations and weddings and the season when school and Congress begin work in earnest again in September. Generally speaking, August is when life seems to slow down a bit. Offices are a little emptier, the summer heat is a bit more intense, and there’s a few more stretches of time to spend in leisure.

But what is “leisure”? Most of us tend to think of it in terms of watching a movie or playing a board game. But as John Cuddeback writes, there is an important distinction between leisure and amusement:

Amusement refers to those activities we do because they are fun, or diverting, or simply relaxing. We play a game, ride a bike, go out on a boat, or watch a movie. We enjoy these activities even while they have no obvious product or utility.

Leisure refers to activities that are more serious: we have a deep conversation, we lie on our backs observing the stars, we listen to great music. We contemplate deeper things, we worship God.

Amusement and leisure share a common element: they are not work. But this similarity points to their fundamental difference. At the end of the day, amusement is less important than work, and it takes its immediate meaning from the fact that it serves work, by refreshing us to go back to our labors.

Leisure on the other hand is served by our work. It provides the ultimate meaning and justification for human work.

As we take vacations and spend time away from the office during this season, let’s remember to not only have fun and unwind, but to also spend some quality time in authentic leisure in order to renew our intellects and souls for the work God is calling us to accomplish.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

Ominous Court Ruling Allows Discrimination Against Christian Adoption Provider – Travis Weber

With State Department Ministerial, Trump Administration Signals Seriousness on Religious Freedom – Travis Weber

Why It’s Impossible To Support Both #MeToo And Planned Parenthood Without Being A Big Hypocrite – Patrina Mosley

Unleashing America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit – Ken Blackwell

Nikki Haley’s Great Advice on Resurrecting Civil Discourse – Spenser White

Transgender “Revolution” is Really an Elitist Diktat – Cathy Ruse

DOJ Announces Timely Religious Liberty Initiative – Travis Weber

RNC: Schools Must Get a “Yes” from Parents Before Teaching Radical Sex Ed – Cathy Ruse

The Lies of Access and Autonomy – Hannah Borchers

Ohio House Bill 658: Parental Rights are Good for Children – Madeleine Lucas

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

Town Orders Family to Stop Hosting Bible Studies on Farm – ToddStarnes.com

These 6 Cases Show How Brett Kavanaugh Might Rule on Religious Freedom – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal

School District Threatens to Call Police After Mystery Person Gives Out Free Bibles on Campus – Will Maule, CBN News

Muslim Who Squeezed $3M Out of SPLC for Calling Him an Anti-Muslim Extremist Says Others Also Wrongly Labeled – Jeremiah Poff, The Daily Signal

Christian club rejects University of Iowa’s mandate to accept LGBT leaders – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

Atheist Group Sues West Virginia City for Reciting Lord’s Prayer at Meetings – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

International Religious Freedom

Religious persecution in Iran, China must end now – Mike Pompeo, USA Today

American Pastor Brunson Moved from Prison to House Arrest in Turkey – Benjamin Gill, CBN News

China Detaining Over 1 Million Muslims in Concentration Camps but the World Is Silent, Believer Says – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post

Victims of Religious Persecution Tell Their Stories at International Conference in DC – Katherine Rohloff, The Daily Signal

Trinity Western and the Endangerment of Religious Pluralism in Canada – Derek Ross, Public Discourse

US Tells Iraqi Christians Help Is on Its Way (For Real This Time) – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force surrenders to demand to replace Bible with generic ‘book of faith’ on POW/MIA table – Todd Starnes, Fox News

 

Life

Abortion

When Arguments Fail, What Do Pro-Lifers Do? – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

Pushing the abortion pill on college campuses is dangerous to women – Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action

Amazing new video illustrates humanity of preborn baby in womb – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

7th Circuit strikes down Indiana abortion ultrasound law – Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer

Planned Parenthood opening 14 new facilities in ‘deep red’ states – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews

The Tyranny of Reproductive “Justice” – Regis Nicoll, Crisis

Adoption

Should Kinship Care Be the Default Option for Kids in Foster Care? – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

Welcoming an Adopted Baby Home Is Both Beautiful and Challenging — And Here’s Why We Need to Talk About It – Marianne Garvey, Bravo

Bioethics

Children Are Now Being Euthanized in Belgium – Michael Cook, Intellectual Takeout

Who gets the embryos? Whoever wants to make them into babies, new law says – Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post

Thousands of Euthanasia Killings in Canada – Wesley J. Smith, National Review

UK horror: Patients in ‘vegetative state’ can now be killed without consent – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action

What does the Bible teach about euthanasia and physician assisted suicide? – Mary Wurster, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

 

Family

Marriage

We All Marry the Wrong Person – Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family

Words of Wisdom on a Silver Anniversary – Michelle Malkin, National Review

Children of divorcing parents want more information and more say in what happens, study finds – Angus Randall, ABC News

Single Sailors Think Navy Hinders Likelihood of Marriage, Survey Says – Brock Vergakis, The Virginian-Pilot

Our Fixer-Upper Marriage – Stephanie Reeves, Family Life

God remembers the barren, and so should the church – Jenn Hesse, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Parenting

What Are Your Child’s Passions? – Dennis Prager, The Stream

Podcast: Parenting through the hard seasons – Nancy Guthrie, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Genetics of Parenting – Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies

I Love Being Their Mother – Jess Hunt, Her View From Home

Economics/Education

Parents… Deserve the Right to Know’: RNC Passes ‘Parents’ Rights’ Sex Ed Resolution – Mark Martin, CBN News

In Search of Family Time – Amber Lapp, Family Studies

Free-Market Policies Make the Most of the Sharing Economy – Anthony B. Kim, The Daily Signal

Family Instability in Childhood Affects American Adults’ Economic Mobility – Paola Scommegna, Population Reference Bureau

Faith/Character/Culture

Why Gratitude Is So Good for You (and for Those Around You) – Richard Gunderman, Intellectual Takeout

The family that prays together … feels connected, unified and bonded with less relational tension – Jon McBride, BYU News

Living a Life of Purpose: An Interview with Michelle Singletary – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Human Sexuality

The Beauty of Complementarity Goes Beyond Gender – Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

What #MeToo and Hooking Up Teach Us About The Meaning of Sex – Elizabeth Schlueter and Nathan Schlueter, Public Discourse

Thinking Deeply about Christian Love: Same-Sex Attraction, Sin, and Spiritual Friendship – Ron Belgau, Public Discourse

Why ordinary people disregard the transgender movement as utterly insane – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Religious Male Students Less Sexually Aggressive, Coercive, Study Finds – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian Post

Study finds health risks for transgender women on hormone therapy – Avichai Scher, NBC News

Human Trafficking

The Porn Industry and Human Trafficking Reinforce Each Other – Marlo Safi, National Review

A Need for Child Safeguarding Policies – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

Americans Are Rapidly Warming Up to Porn, a New Gallup Poll Shows. Here’s Why – Jon Miltimore, Intellectual Takeout

How Our More Permissive Attitudes Toward Porn May Impact Marriage – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies

Pornography is First Boom in Virtual Reality – Brynne Townley, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

 

Nikki Haley’s Great Advice on Resurrecting Civil Discourse

by Spenser White

August 2, 2018

Our republic has a problem. Commentators have commented on it, pundits have pontificated on it—it could be the death of our society. What is this issue that could destroy our country? It is, simply, the death of civil discourse. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has been the most recent leader to address this societal problem.

Since her appointment, Ambassador Haley has become a conservative “rock star” for her stunning speeches on the UN floor. At an event at The Heritage Foundation this month, the Ambassador called the UN Human Rights Council, a council which currently includes egregious human rights violators Iran and the Congo, a “cesspool of political bias.” She has defended Israel—America’s main ally in the Middle East—countless times against its detractors in the UN.

Now Ambassador Haley is advising conservatives on their approach to debating and discussing ideas with those who may disagree. In a recent speech to a group of conservative high schoolers at the Turning Point USA conference at George Washington University, she commented on a recent trend by young people on social media: “Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote-unquote ‘own the libs.’” For those not up-to-date with modern slang, in this context, to “own” someone is to render them unable to reasonably reply to a sarcastic statement or zinger.

Quite a few students raised their hands and a few cheered. The ambassador then explained her view of the tactic: “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this—are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading? We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn’t leadership—it’s the exact opposite.” Instead, Ambassador Haley offered her own definition of leadership: “Real leadership is about persuasion, it’s about movement, it’s bringing people around to your point of view. Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.”

Ambassador Haley’s words line up perfectly with what Scripture says (which is not surprising, as she is a Christian). In the book of Proverbs, Solomon advises his son that “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” He then warns that the opposite, “harsh words,” only “stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Peter writes to his readers that they should “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” and to “do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

The fundamental issue here is how we conduct discourse. Disagreements should never become merely a platform for “zingers” in and of themselves. When one or both sides resort to name calling and/or mocking their opponent rather than using reason to persuade, nothing of any value is accomplished. For example, suppose a conservative (or liberal) posts a political statement on Facebook or another social media platform, and a commenter on the other side of the aisle replies nastily to the post. The original poster has three options: not replying, replying with the same amount of ire, or replying with the purpose of persuasion. If the poster replies with “gentleness and respect,” there is a good chance that their original argument will get a fair hearing. Obviously, civil discourse needs two participants, and the commenter may not comply, but Scripture demands that we at least try to respectfully persuade our opponents.

If our culture really is coming apart at the seams, as some commentators are bemoaning, then conservatives adding to the cacophony of empty rhetoric will certainly not aid in tamping down the culture war vitriol. If conservatives are correct, than we should be comfortable voicing our opinions reasonably. At the end of the day, resorting to “owning” our opponents with one liners and zingers will not convince anyone of the rightness of our side. Let us resurrect civil discourse for the future our of country.

Transgender “Revolution” is Really an Elitist Diktat

by Cathy Ruse

August 1, 2018

I commend Jonathon Van Maren’s recent column, “Why Ordinary People Regard the Transgender Movement as Utterly Insane.”

Van Maren points out that the cultural “revolutions” of today—and especially the transgender revolution—are not revolutions at all. “Revolution” suggests an uprising by the people to overthrow an oppressive government or elite class.

But the transgender “revolutionaries” are, themselves, the elitists. And they push their agenda primarily from the top down. Van Maren writes:

Progressive politicians, select academics, and cowed journalists might accept the ideologies of gender-fluidity, but the average working man and woman still find much of this stuff to be insane when they are confronted with the beliefs and implications of gender fluidity. 

These ideas are being imposed on us, not demanded by us. Trans activists are demanding that the people accept their ideas. Trans activists claim that they are championing a new understanding of gender, but it is as of yet largely confined to the elites. They say that language evolves, and that trans pronouns will be ubiquitous in no time—but not even their political allies know most of these recently invented words. Despite the lighting-fast speed at which their cultural revolution has progressed, trans activists have not actually accomplished much at the grassroots level.

I suspect they know this, which is why they try so hard to force their ideologies into the schools, where they can indoctrinate the children of the working class men and women who have far too much common sense to accept their ridiculous ideas. As always, this battle will boil down to a fight for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

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