Month Archives: May 2021

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 23)

by Family Research Council

May 28, 2021

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Unequally Woked: One Teacher’s Stand to Stop the Left

It took a young, courageous Spanish teacher to stand up and say, “Not in my school district” to open the eyes of Americans all across the country. Now, a month later, his viral video is sparking a nationwide movement to expose the Left’s biggest lie: it’s not happening here. It is, Jonathan Koeppel insists. People just don’t know it.

2. Update: The Fighting Irish Fight Back

The White House called it a “scheduling conflict.” But people at Notre Dame knew it was something else: a conflict of values. When Joe Biden didn’t give the keynote address at Sunday’s graduation ceremony, his absence was enough to make headlines. The only truly controversial visit was Barack Obama’s in 2009, but that would be nothing—protestors warned—compared to the backlash over Biden.

3. Blog: Why I Don’t Use Preferred Pronouns

Demi Lovato has “come out” as non-binary. Being non-binary seems to mean that someone does not feel entirely masculine or feminine so they choose to be neither male or female—non-binary. With this label comes preferred pronouns. The thing is, pronouns contain a statement of belief about the nature of reality, so how do we navigate using preferred pronouns that defy reality?

4. Blog: Thinking Biblically About Judging

On this edition of “Worldview Wednesday” we unpack what scripture says about “judging.” Even people who don’t know the Bible have opinions about it. A favorite verse of many who want a get-out-of-jail-free card is Matthew 7:1, which says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” But what does this Bible verse, and the rest of Scripture, say about the issue of “judging”?

5. Washington Watch: Chip Roy, Rand Paul, Mat Staver, Anthony Wade, Tom Cotton, Jerry Boykin

Tony was joined by Chip Roy, U.S. Representative for Texas, and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, FRC’s Executive Vice President, who cautioned against the influx of Critical Race Theory in military training. Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, discussed the small business committee hearing about Planned Parenthood unlawfully obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans. Anthony Wade, Lead Pastor of Faith Building Church in Lebanon, Ohio, praised his City Council for making Lebanon Ohio’s first sanctuary city for the unborn. And Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, talked about new intelligence showing that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick in November 2019.

6. Washington Watch: Mike Johnson, Scott Rasmussen, David Bullard, Jonathan Koeppel

Tony Perkins was joined by Mike Johnson, U.S. Representative for Louisiana, who discussed the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire agreement and the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the Iran deal. Scott Rasmussen, Pollster and Publisher of ScottRasmussen.com, emphasized the importance of the abortion issue ahead of the midterm elections. David Bullard, Oklahoma State Senator, explained his bill that banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in Oklahoma public school classrooms. And Jonathan Koeppel, a high school Spanish teacher, objected to his school’s radical gender theory curriculum.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: How to Pray for America

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Mike Berry, Jay Johnston, and Michele Bachmann to discuss government policies that have created hostility and even opposition towards biblical Christianity and how Christians should respond.

Fidelity to the Constitution Requires Roe’s Reversal

by Mary Szoch

May 27, 2021

Before joining the policy world, I taught history in Catholic schools. One of my favorite units was on the Supreme Court. Students were required to memorize the justices’ names, review various cases, and argue how the justices should rule in each case. The biggest challenge I faced as a teacher was convincing students that their determination of how justices should rule needed to be based in the United States Constitution, not in personal opinion. Sadly, this is not a problem only middle school teachers face but one confronting all Americans who recognize the role and purpose of the highest court in the land.

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to review Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health—a case asking whether Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks is constitutional. The Court’s decision to review this case is terrifying pro-abortion activists across the country because not only does Dobbs have the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but if the Supreme Court justices follow their obligation to the Constitution, the Dobbs decision should overturn Roe and Casey.

In Roe, the Court argued that under the 14th Amendment, the Due Process Clause, a woman has a right to privacy, and as such, she has a constitutional right to an abortion. As part of this decision, the Court said that the states had the power to regulate abortion in the first trimester for any reason, in the second trimester in the interest of the woman’s health, and in the third trimester, the state could outlaw abortion. In the Court’s 1992 decision Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, the Court reaffirmed Roe’s finding that a woman has the right to an abortion but changed the requirements for outlawing abortion from the trimester framework to a viability framework.

As any former student of mine should be able to attest, the words “right to privacy” that are used to justify the right to an abortion in both Roe and Casey do not appear anywhere in the Constitution—neither do the words “viability ” or “trimester.” The seven justices who ruled in favor of Roe, and the five justices who ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood fell into the same trap that plagued my 8th graders. They ruled based on their personal opinion—not on the United States Constitution.

Many have speculated that the outcome of Dobbs will be less than satisfactory to those in the pro-life movement—suggesting that the decision will likely favor a more incremental walk-back of Roe and Casey rather than a full reversal. I hope they are wrong.

If my middle school students (who were very bright, but still, middle school students) were the ones deciding Dobbs, I could understand another failure to decide an abortion case based on the Constitution. I could understand that for a third time, middle school students might substitute their own opinions and create their own framework for when and how abortion should be allowed. But the nine individuals deciding this case have been educated far beyond middle school by teachers and professors far more knowledgeable than me. In fact, these nine men and women are some of the best and the brightest this country has to offer, and more importantly, they have taken an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.

As the Dobbs case is argued and the opinion is written, the pro-life movement must pray that the nine justices are able to recognize that overturning Roe and Casey is not a form of judicial advocacy, a decision based on religious principles, or an ideological answer to the pro-life movement. Overturning Roe and Casey is what fidelity to the Constitution requires.

Spiritual Considerations During Miscarriage

by Mary Szoch

May 27, 2021

This is the final part of a three-part series on miscarriage. Read part 1 on how to support a friend who has gone through a miscarriage and part 2 on the practical considerations during miscarriage.

The information contained in this post may be difficult to read.

If you are or have gone through a miscarriage, or if you are supporting a loved one going through a miscarriage, there are several spiritual considerations that may help you to grieve the death of your child and celebrate the life of your child.

Consider bringing these thoughts to prayer, especially reflecting on how Christ unites His experience of the cross to your pain. Invite Him to be with you in the midst of suffering, in order that He may fill it with His presence and transform it. Christ is carrying His cross and suffering with you. As Pope John Paul II said, “Christ, through His own salvific suffering, is very much present in every human suffering, and can act from within that suffering by the powers of His spirit of truth, His consoling spirit.” 

  • God loves your child. In fact, God has had a purpose for him or her since before your child was conceived. Regardless of how many weeks old your child was when he or she died, you can rest in the knowledge that God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I sanctified you and appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Your child’s life made a difference. Acknowledge your child as a unique person. Recognize that the grief you feel is proof that your child’s life made an impact.
  • Isaiah said, “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name” (49:1). God already knows your child’s name. You and your spouse should consider spending time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal to you what He wants you to name your child. You can share this name with others or keep it to yourself. Naming your child acknowledges his or her existence and connects you to him/her.
  • Your unborn baby’s death is not punishment. Their death is not because of anything you or your child did (John 9:2). God loves you. Isaiah 55:8 gently reminds us that we can’t always look into God’s purposes for the pain and suffering we experience: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” You will likely not understand why your unborn baby died until you meet Christ on the last day. It is okay to wonder what God is doing. Ultimately, trust that God loves you and your baby—even when you have no idea what His plan is.
  • Though Scripture tells us, “the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31), you and your husband will experience your miscarriage differently. A woman will undergo physical and emotional pain, while a man’s experience of pain will be purely emotional. You and your husband may grieve in different ways at different times. This is ok—in fact, it’s helpful. When one of you is falling apart, the other can be a source of comfort.
  • Isaiah 64:8 teaches, “We are the clay and you are the potter. We are all the work of your hand.” God does not make mistakes. Your child was and is a beautiful gift from Him to you. Consider keeping the ultrasound of your baby, your positive pregnancy test, and any other mementos of your child’s time on earth in a special place, and yearly—perhaps on your unborn child’s due date—consider remembering your child in a special way, even if just in a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift he or she was during his or her short time on earth.
  • An unborn baby was the first person to recognize Jesus as the Son of God without anyone telling him who He was: “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (read the whole story in Luke 1:39-45). While your baby was never formally introduced to Jesus, we know from Scripture that an unborn child can recognize the presence of the Lord even in the womb. Trust in God’s mercy and love and know that you will see your child in heaven one day. (On the question of about whether unborn babies go to heaven, read this short book or this article for biblical backing.)
  • Scripture also tells us, “In your book were written the days that were formed for me, every one of them…” (Psalm 139:16). Your child is part of God’s plan. Do not be afraid to share the experience of losing your child with others—especially with your other children and family members. This is a personal decision, and your decision on this may develop and change over time. Allowing your other children to grieve the loss of their brother or sister at an appropriate age is important. Knowing there is a sibling in heaven can have a huge impact on a child’s life. Sharing about the loss of your child with others not only acknowledges your child’s existence, but it also allows your child to continue to have an impact on this world. The following books have been helpful for other parents talking to their child about the loss of a sibling through miscarriage.
  • Trusting that God is all good and all loving is especially hard when grieving the loss of a child. Ask your pastor to preside over a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of your unborn child. If your pastor is not able or willing to do this just for you, suggest a service for all parents mourning the loss of a child through miscarriage. Running to Jesus—even if only to cry out “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24”—is the first step to healing your heart. 
  • As a gift from God, your child will always be a part of you. For moms, your child will not only always hold a place in your heart, but it has been scientifically proven that an unborn baby’s DNA stays within his or her mother, and in fact, may help the mother’s body heal from certain diseases. This connection will unite you and your baby until you meet him or her in heaven.
  • Remember that you are a mom and that your husband is a dad, and that you have a child in heaven. This is a great gift. Do not forget that your child always belonged to God, and now your child is with God for eternity. May you be able to say with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
  • If you are a Christian, take hope in the reality that you will see your child again. This is the hope of the resurrection. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul wrote, “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.” The hope for those in Christ is that we will see our loved ones again—born and unborn.
  • At some point, the wound of miscarriage can become a source of strength. “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17).   When you feel ready, do not be afraid to share your story. Your unborn child’s life has and will continue to change the world. This article may be helpful in discerning when, how, and if you want to share your story.

Thinking Biblically About Worldview

by David Closson

May 26, 2021

On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on Unity, Safety, “Christian Nationalism”, Love, Courage, Forgiveness, the Resurrection and the Social Gospel, Loyalty, Identity, Religious Freedom, Communication, Cancel Culture, and Judging.

Earlier today, Family Research Council launched the Center for Biblical Worldview to equip Christians to think biblically and train them to advance and defend the faith in their families, communities, and the public square. To mark the occasion, FRC released the findings of a national survey conducted by FRC Senior Research Fellow George Barna. This survey provides new insights into how many Americans believe they possess a biblical worldview and to what extent they seek to integrate that worldview into every dimension of life.

The results of the survey have political, cultural, and missiological implications. For starters, 51 percent of Americans believe they possess a biblical worldview. Compare that figure with the results of extensive testing performed by the Cultural Research Center, which indicates that only six percent of the adult population has a biblical worldview. This discrepancy between people’s perceptions and reality points to Americans having a foundational misunderstanding of what a biblical worldview actually is. However, it also reveals that most Americans have a favorable opinion of a biblical worldview.

With the launch of the Center for Biblical Worldview, FRC is doubling our efforts to teach, cultivate, and equip Christians to live out a biblical worldview. But this raises some important questions: What is worldview, and why is it important? What makes a biblical worldview distinct, and why is it so important for Christians to have one?

The term “worldview” is derived from the word Weltanschauung, a combination of Welt (world) and Anschauung (view). German philosopher Immanuel Kant first used it in 1790 to refer to people’s sensory perception of the world around them. But while the term “worldview” has only been in use for a few centuries, the concept of a worldview is not new. In fact, people have possessed worldviews since the beginning of human history.

So, what is a worldview? Simply put, a person’s worldview consists of their core beliefs and convictions. It includes their answers—whether conscious or subconscious—to life’s most fundamental questions about origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

Here are some important things to know about worldview:

Worldview is comprehensive.

A worldview is not merely a cognitive or intellectual exercise; it includes our entire perspective on life, including what we love and worship, our guiding philosophies, affections, and everyday outlook on the world. A worldview is both intellectual and personal; it is a matter of both head and heart.

Worldview shapes values and behaviors.

Every person lives and behaves according to a worldview—even if it is unconsciously formed or ill-informed. Even those who have not spent much time reflecting on what they believe are nevertheless ordering their lives around certain assumptions. We are creatures of faith; believing in things is an inescapable part of the human experience.

Worldview shapes culture.

People often try to pin responsibility for their personal behavior or beliefs onto the culture at large. However, our collective worldviews shape the cultural norms. Anthropologists are skilled at analyzing the patterns of behaviors and values, but something even more fundamental undergirds those patterns—worldview.

Worldview isn’t always logically consistent or applied consistently.

Some people’s worldviews are logically inconsistent. In fact, according to George Barna, 88 percent of Americans have a syncretistic worldview, meaning their worldview consists of a disparate collection of beliefs and behaviors. In other words, an overwhelming majority of Americans have a “cut-and-paste” approach to making sense of life, and many of the pieces they’ve assembled are incompatible. An example of a logically inconsistent worldview is contending that there is no such thing as truth—which itself is a truth claim.

On the other hand, even if a person’s beliefs are logically consistent, they might not always apply them consistently. For example, someone with internally high moral standards and who believes cheating is wrong might nevertheless talk themselves into thinking that it is justified in their particular case, especially if they suspect that they were cheated by someone else first.

A biblical worldview is essential to the Christian life.

For Christians, the basis of our worldview is the Bible, consisting of both the Old and New Testaments. Christianity teaches that the biblical God, Yahweh, is responsible for all life and purpose. Christians believe that God is triune (i.e., three in one) and has revealed Himself to humanity in the form of the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. A biblical worldview sees life through a fourfold framework of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.

Because a biblical worldview is first and foremost a worldview rooted in and shaped by the truth of God revealed to mankind through His Word, it is imperative that Christians build their lives on it. Jesus spoke about the importance of a solid foundation in His parable of the man who built his house upon the rock. When the rain, wind, and floods came, his house stood firm, unlike the house built on the sand that was washed away and destroyed (Matt. 7:24-27).

Whenever a Christian’s worldview is inconsistent with the truth contained in the Bible, or whenever they inconsistently apply it, they are in danger of falling like the house built on the sand. Christians can avoid this fate by building their house on the rock—the Word of God. When Christians familiarize themselves with truth and put on “the mind of Christ” in everything they do, they will have a solid foundation.

Thus, because of the foundational role of God’s Word in developing a biblical worldview, FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview will be guided by the following beliefs about the Bible:

We believe that Jesus Christ created all things and rules all things and that He Himself is truth. We believe the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word and that submitting our lives to it should be the goal of everyone who seeks to follow Christ. Furthermore, we believe that the Bible offers the most rational and satisfying answers to life’s most fundamental questions, including:

  • Why are we here?
  • What has gone wrong with our world?
  • Is there any hope?
  • How does it all end?

We believe a person exhibits a biblical worldview when their beliefs and actions are aligned with the Bible, acknowledging its truth and applicability to every area of life.

This high view of Scripture will undergird the Center for Biblical Worldview’s approach to the political, cultural, moral, and theological issues of our day. It will inform everything we hope to produce, including curriculum, books, videos, and other content.

The Center for Biblical Worldview hopes to serve churches and contend for truth in the public square for years to come. As the broader culture continues to turn against Christians, we will stand firmly on God’s revealed truth. As Christian sexual ethics are increasingly maligned as outdated or harmful, we will winsomely articulate and defend God’s design for the family, marriage, and sexuality. And as even some in our churches are tempted to compromise truth for the sake of popularity or comfort, we will remain steadfast, regardless of popular opinion or shifting cultural norms.

We want to be a voice to and for those who love Jesus and are committed to Scripture. We commit to coming alongside pastors and churches and contending together for the faith (Jude 1:3). As Jesus promised, persecution and hostility toward believers are ever-present—and increasing. FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview is here to equip those committed to honoring God in all areas of life.

Visit FRC.org/worldview to learn more about the work of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview.

Courageous Faith in China’s Early Rain Church

by Arielle Del Turco

May 26, 2021

Earlier this month, Preacher Wu Wuqing was arrested just hours after he officiated a funeral service in Chengdu, China. Authorities accused him of “disturbing public order.”

This was not Wu’s first run-in with authorities. He belongs to Early Rain Covenant Church, a church now internationally known for being targeted by the Chinese government. Though he was released later that evening, Wu has been threatened and intimidated many times for his service to his church and his community.

Authorities have at times cut his home’s access to utilities and they warn that things will only get worse for him if he continues his work. But Wu does not plan to back down, just as other members of his church have not stopped boldly proclaiming the gospel despite other instances of intimidation, arrest, and even long-term imprisonment.

The more than 500 members of Early Rain Covenant Church comprise one of the most influential house churches in China. Unashamed of their faith, these Christians do not bother to keep a low profile, although their status as an unregistered church makes them vulnerable to being shut down at the whim of the government.

Early Rain even runs a seminary and a Christian school, in addition to ministries that serve the most marginalized in society, including orphans, the families of prisoners of conscience, and the unborn.

The trailblazing streak of this impressive church grew under the leadership of Pastor Wang Yi. When Wang Yi converted to Christianity in 2005, he was already a prominent lawyer, public intellectual, and professor known for his human rights work. In 2006, he was even invited to the White House to meet with George W. Bush along with two other notable Chinese Christians. In 2011, Early Rain Covenant Church installed this former firebrand lawyer as their pastor.

As a pastor, he did not cower from the possibility of backlash from the government. He often spoke out in favor of religious freedom and against abortion, participating in local pro-life campaigns. China is still suffering from the painful consequences of the former one-child policy, and though that has eased to allow for two children, China still has the largest number of abortions in the world.

Pastor Wang knew that there was a strong possibility that he would one day be arrested. He prepared for that eventuality by writing a document he titled “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience.”

His congregation was instructed to release the declaration if he were ever detained by the government for more than 48 hours. On Sunday, December 9, 2018, Pastor Wang, his wife, and more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested.

By December 12, the published declaration had begun to inspire Christians around the globe. It offers a beautiful description of what he terms “faithful disobedience,” contrasting his actions from political activism or civil disobedience. He wrote:

I firmly believe that the Bible has not given any branch of any government the authority to run the church or to interfere with the faith of Christians. Therefore, the Bible demands that I, through peaceable means, in meek resistance and active forbearance, filled with joy, resist all administrative policies and legal measures that oppress the church and interfere with the faith of Christians.

I firmly believe this is a spiritual act of disobedience. In modern authoritarian regimes that persecute the church and oppose the gospel, spiritual disobedience is an inevitable part of the gospel movement.

He was secretly tried at the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court on December 26, 2019. On December 30, Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison for the false charges of “illegal business activity” and “inciting to subvert state power” and fined 50,000 RMB.

It was a harsh punishment that surprised even the most cynical China hawks. Pastor Wang was far from a national security threat. Upon his arrest, the congregation of his church released a statement emphasizing this. They testified that Pastor Wang “has taught that even when the church is being persecuted, Christians should be willing to submit to the government’s physical restrictions of them as well as to the depravation of their property.”

The national security charge of “inciting to subvert state power” is familiar to many Chinese dissidents. Regularly abused in China, this charge is now utilized by the Chinese government against pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong since it passed an oppressive national security law for the city.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party often feels threatened by anyone who publicly disagrees with the state or even pledges allegiance to authorities outside of Party control, and that includes God. This makes dissidents—and sometimes people of faith who refuse to comply to state regulation—perceived opponents of the state itself.

Today, Pastor Wang remains in prison. The Chinese government is likely to continue making the lives of Early Rain church leaders and members harder. But this congregation is unlikely to fold. They haven’t so far, and the eternal hope provided by their faith is something that no government can snuff out.

Practical Considerations During Miscarriage

by Mary Szoch

May 26, 2021

This is the second part of a three-part series on miscarriage. Read part 1 on how to support a friend who has gone through a miscarriage. Part 3 will discuss spiritual considerations during miscarriage. 

The information contained in this post may be difficult to read. 

If you are reading this because you are in the midst of losing a baby, I am so sorry. Know that you are not alone. 

The following considerations are meant primarily for those experiencing a miscarriage prior to 20 weeks. Though this post does contain some medical information, these considerations were not written by a doctor and do not constitute medical advice. 

  • If you are pregnant and have started exhibiting the signs of miscarriage including bleeding and cramping, call your doctor immediately.[1]
  • If the doctor orders an ultrasound, ask the ultrasound technician to print out a picture of your baby for you.
  • If the ultrasound determines your baby has died and the doctor recommends going home, be prepared for pain and bleeding. 
  • Depending on how far along you were in your pregnancy, your pain and bleeding levels may vary. Be certain to check in with your doctor to make certain you are not in too much pain or bleeding too much.
  • Heating pads and hot water bottles can help ease the pain during a miscarriage. 
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. 
  • Depending on how severe the cramping is and how far along you are it may be helpful to also use some labor techniques, as what you are experiencing is a “mini labor.” Low lighting, swaying or leaning on a birthing ball, emotional and physical support of your spouse/massage, deep breaths, offering your suffering for someone in need, having a spouse or partner read from Scripture or pray with you are all helpful ways to endure this time.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. 
  • As you prepare for or experience bleeding, use pads—not tampons—to prevent infection.
  • If you are miscarrying at home, consider placing a bowl in the toilet to ensure your baby’s remains will be treated with dignity. If you are not able to do this, know that God sees your heart and knows how much you love your child. 
    • These pictures are graphic, but they are extremely helpful if you would like to identify the baby. To view them, click here.  
  • You may see your child’s body. Be certain to treat the body with respect by placing the remains in a container. Heaven’s Gain Ministries offers beautiful baby caskets for babies miscarried in the first, second, and third trimester. A container or box that you have at home will work as well. Be aware that your child’s remains will likely begin to disintegrate very quickly.    
  • If you have a miscarriage at a hospital prior to 20 weeks, your child’s remains will likely be taken for testing. State laws differ on releasing the child’s remains to parents. Do not be afraid to ask if you may take the remains for burial. Do not be afraid to ask for a death certificate for your child. If you are at a Catholic/Christian hospital, the hospital itself may have a place where miscarried babies can be buried. If not, your local cemetery or church may have a place. Click here for more information on parents’ rights/dealing with the hospital. 
  • If you miscarried at home prior to 20 weeks and you bring your child’s remains with you to the doctor for a follow-up appointment, the doctor may ask if you would like to have testing done on your child. You have the right to refuse or consent. Know that if testing is done on your child, you may not receive your child’s remains back. 
  • If you do not miscarry naturally, you may need a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure or a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure. If this is the case, be CERTAIN to have one more ultrasound before the procedure is done to ensure that your baby’s heartbeat has stopped completely. 
  • Following the miscarriage, rest. You have been through a traumatic experience. Your body needs time to heal and recover. You have been on an emotional rollercoaster. The loss of your child is devastating, and the hormones that are shifting in your body do not make it easier. 
  • Allow yourself to grieve and experience all the emotions that come with it. Seek emotional support. Take time alone if you need it. Everyone’s journey is different, but don’t be ashamed to ask for help. 
  • Do not be surprised if seemingly unrelated events or objects trigger a strong emotional response or if grief comes at unexpected times. 
  • Advocate for yourself and ask for time off work if needed. Talk with your boss (or if that doesn’t work, then HR directly). A few programs you can inquire about are: Personal Leave, Bereavement, FMLA/Short Term Disability. When speaking with your employer do not say, “Can I…” but rather “I had a miscarriage. I need (time frame) off. What are my options?”
  • Know that a pregnancy test may still read positive for a period of time after a miscarriage. 
  • Know that you may re-experience all the emotions and feelings surrounding your miscarriage when you first get your period back. You may even find that you feel like you are going through a miscarriage all over again. Communicate with your spouse about your fertility to prepare him for this as well. Again, don’t be afraid to ask for support from those who care so much about you. 
  • Check in with your doctor regularly to ensure you are recovering properly. 
  • You will likely have questions about fertility after the loss of a child through miscarriage or about when it is safe to try to become pregnant again. FACTS has a very helpful resource.  

For more information on the physical experience of miscarriage, click here.



[1] Research has been done on the link between low progesterone and miscarriage. Progesterone supplementation may help sustain a pregnancy/avoid miscarriage. There will be a blog forthcoming on this for those who are interested.

A Personal Reflection on Israel’s Never-Ending Conflict with Hamas

by Lela Gilbert

May 25, 2021

On May 20, a news alert on my computer tersely announced that Israel was launching retaliatory strikes into the Gaza Strip. And, as always, this was in response to volleys of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza into southern Israel. In fact, since some 50 rockets had struck Israel just since April, it was about time to react—yet again.

But the news story really came to life for me when a close friend started sending me WhatsApp messages from a bomb shelter in her Tel Aviv apartment building. She also forwarded photos and videos of skies alight with rockets and explosions in her own neighborhood.

She described how her building was shaking. And, later, on a phone call, I could hear blasts as Israel’s Iron Dome defense system blew up rocket after rocket, disabled before they could strike Israeli homes, hospitals, and schools.

Another friend wrote briefly that she was also in a shelter—safe but “Sleepless in Tel Aviv.”

Since I’d lived in Israel for more than a decade myself, those Hamas rocket attacks on civilian Israel neighborhoods sounded sadly familiar. In fact, by the time I returned to America in 2017, I had experienced several of Israel’s “operations” in Gaza. Time and again, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fought back to stop relentless attacks on Israeli cities, villages, and kibbutzim in the “Gaza Envelope”—the civilian area within reach of Gaza’s earlier short-range Qassam rockets.

The Hamas terrorist organization, which is funded by Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other radical Islamists, is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom, as well as other powers. The Hamas Charter is lengthy, but it quite clearly calls for the destruction of Israel, declaring in part,

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. The Islamic Resistance Movement is but one squadron that should be supported…until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…

I first arrived in Israel during the 2006 Lebanon War. At that time, rockets and missiles were being launched from Lebanon into Israel by Hezbollah—another Iranian proxy. In several places I visited, sirens wailed and people grabbed their children and ran for shelter. It was an amazing introduction to Israel and its people.

Just after the Lebanon War ended, I moved into a Jerusalem apartment. And once there was a peace agreement, I traveled with some new friends to Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli city close to the Lebanon border to see the widespread damage and talk to some traumatized residents.

So I was introduced to warfare early in my lengthy stay in Israel. Between rocket and mortar launches from Gaza in the South, a seemingly endless string of terror attacks in Jerusalem, and insistent threats and posturing about Hezbollah’s arsenal in the North, wars and rumors of wars never really went away.

On a couple of occasions, I traveled south to communities in the Gaza Envelope during rocket attacks. With other Christians, I visited a kibbutz where residents had been under sporadic fire for some months. A group of elderly men and women were being bussed to Eilat—a tranquil beach resort—for a few days of relief from persistent, jolting “red alerts” in the night.

One woman with shaky hands told me that most of the children in their community were bed-wetters and many of the adults required anxiety medications. “I’m really surprised you came,” she said. “My own children won’t visit me here.”

As we were about to leave, we heard a large explosion nearby, just as the bus to Eilat was pulling out.

Another trip to the South was with representatives of a Christian group that was installing a donated bomb shelter in a children’s school. Again, the assaults on that small town of unarmed civilians had been relentless.

In November 2012, during Israel’s “Operations Pillar of Defense,” for the first time I heard air-raid sirens in my own neighborhood as Gaza’s rapidly-expanding Hamas rocketry arsenal attempted to reach Jerusalem. The sirens warned us to seek shelter more than once.

In every case, the starting point of the conflicts that I witnessed was Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists attacking Israeli civilians. And after tolerating relentless and unprovoked rocket fire, the misery on the ground demanded a military response. This most recent battle was no exception.

In early May, Israel pushed back against rioters on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, who among other aggressions, had gathered piles of large stones to drop on the heads of worshippers at the Western Wall. Also, because of an eviction notice issued to Arab families who were living rent-free—thanks to a decades-long property dispute—there was increasing violence, rioting, and a tough response by the Jerusalem Police.

And so it was that Hamas, once again, declared war on the Jewish State. They launched volleys of rockets—totaling some 4,000 deadly missiles—on civilian Israeli communities. At least 248 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes during the conflict. Gaza’s rocket attacks killed 12 people in Israel, while countless lives were saved by Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system, which intercepted some 90 percent of the incoming Hamas missiles.

Based on what I’ve learned, and on what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears, Israel has the absolute right to defend its existence. It also has the moral obligation to protect its endangered civilian population. And as long as the Iranian regime, Hamas, and other radical Islamists continue their quest to “Drive the Jews into the Sea,” Israel will eventually have to go to war all over again.

Let us all remember Israel in our prayers. As the Bible teaches us,

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

Psalm 122:6-9 NIV

How to Support a Loved One Experiencing Miscarriage

by Mary Szoch

May 25, 2021

This is the first part of a three-part series on miscarriage. Future parts will discuss practical and spiritual considerations for miscarriage.

Our society does not think or talk much about miscarriage. For many, miscarriage is a silent form of suffering. Sadly, many couples endure the loss of a child through miscarriage. It is estimated that as many as one in four women experience a miscarriage in their lives.

My prayer for you is that you never need the information contained in this series, but I know there are many women out there who are silently suffering. I myself am a woman who has suffered through a miscarriage.

If one of your loved ones is experiencing a miscarriage, it is important to recognize that your loved one needs extra love and support and that there are several ways you can be a loving friend.

  • Pray. The most important thing you can do for your friend(s) who is going through a miscarriage is to pray for them. Pray for the couple’s physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Pray for grace to be a good friend during this challenging time. Pray for the Lord to protect them from outside stress that will make the loss of their child harder.
  • Be very sensitive about what you say. Treat your friend the same way you would treat anyone else who lost a loved one. Do not try to solve your friend’s problem. Do not think that you know what your friend is going through or why they are going through it. Also, do not offer medical advice if you are not a doctor.
  • Tell your loved one you are sorry for the loss of her child and remind her that you are there to listen if she would like to talk. Your friend may or may not feel like being around people. She may or may not feel like talking about her miscarriage. In the same way you would listen and be present through any other suffering, offer to listen as she directs the conversation about the loss of her child. If she does not want to talk about it, offer to just be with her. If she does not want to be around people, she will appreciate that you offered.
  • Whatever you do, do not say nothing. Don’t avoid your friend out of fear that you will remind her of her loss. Acknowledge her pain. She will never forget your presence or lack of presence.
  • Check in. Make sure to check in on your friend a few days after your first meeting and follow up on anything you have offered to do.
  • Acknowledge your friend’s loss. Take your cues from the mom. If she talks about the baby by name, use the baby’s name. If she refers to the baby as a boy or girl, do the same. Follow her lead.
  • Make a meal. A woman going through a miscarriage is experiencing physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma. It is an incredibly challenging and exhausting time. Bringing over a meal is a helpful way to acknowledge the great loss she is experiencing. Offer to drop off the meal. She may or may not want you to join her.
  • Send a card or flowers. Your friend will appreciate the fact that you are treating the death of her unborn child with love, seriousness, and kindness. Miscarriages are often not talked about, but that does not mean they are not incredibly painful. Your friend will never forget that you sent a card or flowers commemorating her child.
  • Do not trivialize the loss of her unborn child no matter how early in pregnancy the loss occurred.
  • Do not refer to the loss of her child as “pregnancy loss.” A woman who has miscarried is not experiencing the loss of morning sickness, or bloating, or a period of time. She is experiencing the loss of a child. Acknowledge the child.
  • Do not begin any statement with the words “at least.” There is no “at least” that the mother wants to hear or that will help her.
  • Write the due date/month in your calendar and circle back. Significant dates associated with a deceased loved one (such as a birthday or anniversary) can be hard for loved ones. In the case of a miscarriage, the due date of a baby who was miscarried can be a painful time for a mother. Checking in to see how the mom is doing during this time can be very helpful.
  • Don’t forget the husband! Often, caring for a couple who has lost a child through miscarriage focuses primarily on the mom. Remember that your friend’s husband is grieving, too. Take time to check in on him.
  • Do not expect your friend to be fine. Remember that your friend lost a child and will need time to heal. Also remember that the pain of losing that child—just like the pain of losing any other loved one—may come up at various times in the future. Be ready to listen! 
  • Be extremely sensitive if you are pregnant or have just had a baby. Do not take it personally if it is too hard for your friend to be around you at this point. Remember that she is grieving.
  • Remember your friend on Mother’s Day. She is a mom, and she will appreciate you acknowledging that. Do so delicately.
  • Remember your friend’s husband on Father’s Day. He is a father, and he will appreciate you acknowledging that. Do so delicately.

Read part 2 discussing practical considerations during miscarriage.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 16)

by Family Research Council

May 21, 2021

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Funny You Should Mask, Biden Says

Public Relations 101: When you’re getting hammered by critics, give the media something else to talk about. After the worst week of his presidency so far, Joe Biden resorted to that ploy Thursday with his “Hey, look over here!” decision on public masking. The CDC, who really has no power to impose a mandate to begin with, chose this week to inexplicably lift its guidance for anyone who’s vaccinated.

2. Update: Biden Goes off the Deep Spend

The worst campaign ad is a bad economy. And right now, that’s exactly what the Democrats in charge are worried about. While President Biden seems quite content to blow through trillions of dollars on programs Americans don’t need—or want—the party’s leaders are starting to exchange nervous glances about what the economic indicators are saying about the storm ahead.

3. Blog: The Prayer That Saved America

The United States was a mere six years old and was on the brink of collapse. Our first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, proved to be an abysmal failure due to a weak central government that failed to keep the young nation united. In May of 1787, the states decided to send delegates to Philadelphia to draft a new governing document—what is today known as the Constitutional Convention. It was at this point that the aged delegate from Pennsylvania offered his sage advice.

4. Blog: A Growing Number of States Are Protecting Minors from Transgenderism

The cultural phenomenon of transgenderism is growing at an astonishing rate. In her book, Irreversible Damage, Abigail Shrier reports that most Western countries have seen a 1,000-5,000 percent increase in teenage females seeking treatment from gender clinics and psychologists—many of whom recommend that these girls socially and physically transition through hormones and sometimes surgery.

5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Tom Cotton, Mat Staver, Phil Bryant, Travis Weber

Tony was joined by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN News, who shared the latest on the situation in Israel. Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, blasted the Associated Press for claiming to be unaware they were sharing office space with Hamas militants in Gaza. Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, discussed the first state-wide permanent order in the country against COVID restrictions on churches. Phil Bryant, former Governor of Mississippi, discussed the significance of the Mississippi abortion law on which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments. And, Travis Weber, FRC’s Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, unpacked the Equality Act and why it cannot be fixed.

6. Washington Watch: Ralph Norman, John Joyce, Connor Semelsberger, Jim DeMint

Joseph Backholm was joined by Ralph Norman, U.S. Representative for South Carolina, who talked about the gas crisis. John Joyce, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania, recalled a hearing at which HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was asked about partial birth abortion. Connor Semelsberger, FRC’s Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity, discussed how the Biden administration is pushing hard on abortion. And, Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator for South Carolina, shares about his new book, Satan’s Dare.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Praying and Standing With Israel

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Christ Mitchell, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Caroline Glick, and Heather Johnston to pray over and discuss the siege on the Holy Land that has sparked debate around the world and how the fate of this tiny nation and the world’s Christians are inextricably linked.

Why I Don’t Use Preferred Pronouns

by Joseph Backholm

May 21, 2021

Demi Lovato has “come out” as non-binary. While this news caused some to wonder who Demi Lovato is, others wondered what “non-binary” is. Being non-binary seems to mean that someone does not feel entirely masculine or feminine so they choose to be neither male or female but leave room to act like either if they feel like it—non-binary.

If we are trying to be charitable, and we should, the kernel of truth in all this confusion is that there is not one way to be male or female. A man who enjoys cooking is not less of a man nor is a woman who enjoys football and working on cars less of a woman. While stereotypes exist for a reason, there is—and should be—room for each person to be an individual.

Still, the coverage of Lovato’s announcement is just as significant as the announcement itself because her announcement included her new pronouns which she declared to be they/them. What does that mean? It means that she is no longer a “she.” She is a “they,” which, obviously, makes no sense unless we are dealing with a personality disorder. But CNN, in their article announcing the big news, illustrates how it’s supposed to work: “Singer Demi Lovato has revealed they are nonbinary and are changing their pronouns, telling fans they are ‘proud’ to make the change after ‘a lot of self-reflective work.’”  

We now are to refer to a singular person with words that have long implied more than one person. To do otherwise is to “misgender” them, an act which has become the gravest of sins among those who otherwise deny the existence of sin.

This is why I don’t intend to comply.

In my mind, preferred pronoun usage is not a matter of politeness or courtesy. It is more than honoring the wishes of Mr. Jones who says “Please, call me Steve.” It is even more significant than honoring Steve’s wishes when he changes his name to Dave—or even Darlene.

Pronouns contain a statement of belief about the nature of reality. Preferred pronouns are a declaration that there is no authority above me—or you—that has determined my identity. I am the captain of my own soul, the master of my own fate, and the only person to whom I am responsible. My body, my choice.

This is not a scientific claim, this is a philosophical and religious claim. Those of us who disagree don’t only disagree with the idea that a man can become a woman. More fundamentally, we disagree that we determine our own reality. 

How would you feel if you were asked to say “Jesus is Lord” every time you saw someone? If you don’t believe Jesus is Lord, you might even be offended by the request. That’s how some of us feel.

It isn’t just that I don’t believe a man can become a woman, I also don’t believe that decision is within a person’s jurisdiction to determine. You might as well tell me you decided the sun revolves around the earth. I can appreciate your perspective, and I promise to treat you with respect, but my kid is not going to modify their science project just because you’re triggered every time you see a model of the solar system with a big orange ball in the middle.

If you don’t agree with the way I see the world, persuade me I’m wrong, but until we come to agreement, our default position should be mutual respect, not coercion.

Ironically, the pressure to make people say things they don’t believe is coming from the “live your truth” crowd. However, it seems I’m only supposed to “live my truth” if my understanding of the truth is consistent with theirs. Maybe the real goal has always been power, not truth.

If you’re still not persuaded and you still think I should use preferred pronouns as a matter of courtesy, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll refer to Demi Lovato as “they” as long as you say “Jesus is Lord” every time you see me. After all, it will make me happy and I really think it’s true. It’s the polite thing to do.

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