Month Archives: November 2021

The Daunting Journey of Millennials

by George Barna

November 15, 2021

The Millennials have come of age—and they need our support. A new report about America’s youngest adult generation from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University reveals that tens of millions of Millennials are having a hard time making life work.

The nationwide study, Millennials in America: New Insight into the Generation of Growing Influence, describes a generation affected by world events that occurred during their formative years. Those include the Rodney King beatings and subsequent riots; the mass shootings at Columbine and other schools; the birth of the internet; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; the spread of groundbreaking technology such as digital music devices, video game consoles, and smartphones; social media apps like Facebook and Twitter; devastating hurricanes such as Katrina; and the economic crisis of 2008.

But the most significant influence on their thoughts and behavior comes from the worldview they have been taught and have embraced. It is their worldview that has produced the generational mindset and consequent lifestyles we see today.

The combination of lackadaisical worldview development and global events has generated some devastating outcomes. Among the most serious challenges Millennials must confront is a crisis of meaning. Three-quarters of the young adult segment, currently 18 to 37 years of age, contend that they are searching for their purpose in life. One cannot help but wonder how much that absence of a clear and compelling direction in life has contributed to the generation’s record-breaking rates of suicide.

Another significant challenge Millennials allude to is their struggle with relationships. Although they are a generation that believes in the importance of friendships and other close ties, it is also a group struggling to experience lasting, meaningful relationships. It appears that much of this struggle is due to their reluctance to trust and respect other people. Another shocking outcome—that three out of every 10 identify as LGBTQ—reminds us that this is a group desperate to belong to a community that accepts them for “who they are.” While the vast majority of that 30 percent is not personally living a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle, they want to be seen as accepting, tolerant, understanding, and compassionate when it comes to the causes and issues championed by the LGBT movement. They would rather fit in with their peers than stand firm for God’s truth and endure conflict or rejection over their choices.

One of the most disturbing revelations from the research relates to the mental health of the nation’s young adults. A majority admits to having mental health issues in the form of frequently feeling anxious, depressed, or unsafe. This concern is echoed by data from the National Institute of Mental Health, which also reports large-scale issues among young adults with such troubles.

On top of these points of discomfort and adversity lies the dramatic reshaping of the faith foundations of the generation. Millions of them are consciously distancing themselves from God. Forty percent can be classified as “Don’ts”—individuals who either do not know, do not care, or do not believe that God exists. A historically-low proportion of the generation (16 percent) qualifies as born-again Christian based on their beliefs about sin and salvation. And a substantial majority does not believe that absolute or objective moral truth exists. Interestingly, they have favorable opinions of Jesus and the Bible, but not of pastors, Christian churches, and Christian individuals.

As the report concludes, the fundamental crisis facing Millennials is their worldview. Currently, only four percent of Millennials possess a biblical worldview. According to the American Worldview Inventory, nine out of 10 Millennials possess a syncretistic perspective—the personalized blend of many worldviews with no particular philosophy of life dominating the others. Think about how their worldview contributes to their life challenges:

  • It’s no wonder they face fear, anxiety, and depression. Without belief in a loving, powerful God who wants to guide and protect us, the world is a scary and overwhelming place. Without the truth principles provided in the Bible and the continual empowerment and guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, making sense of the world and thriving in it are unlikely outcomes.
  • The hardships they experience in making and maintaining deep and lasting relationships are a predictable outcome of their belief that life has no inherent value, that people cannot be trusted, that biblical marriage is outdated and unworkable, and that personal relationships should not be restrained by biblical moral principles regarding matters such as lying, stealing, and sexual conduct. Add their strong reliance on technology as their vehicle for developing or maintaining relationships, and the probability of relational breakdowns seems inevitable.
  • It must be difficult, if not impossible, to identify purpose when you dismiss God, reject the Bible, believe success is the outgrowth of personal accomplishments rather than obedience to God, and consider life to be about you rather than your Creator. The world must seem out of control and hopeless. Suicide and substance abuse are logical reactions but are nevertheless heartbreaking—and avoidable.
  • It is not surprising that Millennials are far more likely to be politically liberal than conservative and to be the generation most supportive of socialism. What else could be expected of a group that harbors a limited sense of responsibility and a knee-jerk reaction to the traditions of prior generations? Further, a group that dismisses biblical norms and values, such as the inherent dignity of individuals and the unassailable value of human life, would naturally support abortion as a reflection of the primacy of personal choice.
  • The episodes of violent protest and property destruction that filled the news recently is a predictable outcome for people who possess a heightened degree of self-righteousness, a belief in human sovereignty, a rejection of the legitimacy of institutional authority, and antipathy toward law and order agencies and officers.

We can go so far as to say that all the current “crises” facing America—economic, moral, familial, political, and so forth—would be mitigated if we solved the real crisis facing America: the worldview crisis. Because worldview is the basis of all choices we make, a wrong worldview produces bad choices. The answer to our national dilemma will not be found in Washington, D.C. It will be found in God’s words to His people and their willingness to live in harmony with those principles.

George Barna is Senior Research Fellow at FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview and is also a Professor at Arizona Christian University. To read or download the report, Millennials in America, go to culturalresearchcenter.com. The report is available at no cost.

Through the Center for Biblical Worldview, FRC is working to educate and equip Americans with a biblical worldview. For more on the current state of worldview in America and the church, see our 2021 study Perceptions about Biblical Worldview and Its Application: A National Survey from the Center for Biblical Worldview.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of November 7)

by Family Research Council

November 12, 2021

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

1. Update: Lacking Infrastructural Integrity

It was shaping up to be one of Joe Biden’s worst weeks yet. Humiliated in Virginia and nearly so in New Jersey, then came the news that the president’s approval rating had collapsed. By all rights, Biden’s radical agenda was done—kaput. Until late recently, when—for reasons no one can fathom—13 Republicans decided to give the sinking party a life raft.

2. Update: Tailoring Suits to Stop Biden

The president used his “emergency” powers to file the vaccine mandate but there has been absolutely no hurry to put it into effect. If COVID is that urgent, Joe Biden has sure taken his sweet time showing it. But then, that’s one of the most outrageous parts of this whole process. The virus is no longer the emergency—the attacks it enables on our freedoms are.

3. Blog: House Democrats Want to Fund… Companies That Oppress Uyghurs?

Democrats have released their latest version of President Biden’s budget-busting reconciliation bill, taking it from bad to worse. This bill, nearing $1.75 trillion in new spending, covers programs that will fund abortions, imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to childcare, and now includes language that would allow taxpayer funding to subsidize Chinese companies that engage in human rights abuses.

4. Blog: Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan Oppress Another Victim

Masih, an Arabic word meaning “messiah,” is a common family name among Pakistani Christians. One of them is Stephan Masih, a Pakistani man with a psychological disability. Sadly, Masih is one of too many Christians in Pakistan who has become a victim of the country’s blasphemy laws.

5. Washington Watch: Mark Green, Todd Rokita, Vicky Hartzler, Dave Yost, Brent Keilen

Tony Perkins was joined by Mark Green, U.S. Representative for Tennessee, to discuss the Democrats’ massive spending bills. Todd Rokita, Indiana Attorney General, unpacked Biden’s recently released vaccine mandate rule. Vicky Hartzler, U.S. Representative for Missouri, talked about the role critical race theory and education played in the Virginia governor’s race. Dave Yost, Ohio Attorney General, gave his thoughts on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate rule. And, Brent Keilen, Vice President of FRC Action, reacted to the election results in Virginia and around the country.

6. Washington Watch: August Pfluger, Roger Severino, Todd Nettleton, David Closson

Washington Watch guest host Joseph Backholm was joined by August Pfluger, U.S. Representative for Texas, who gave an update on the reconciliation and infrastructure bills and the Biden administration saying they would pay illegal immigrants $450,000. Roger Severino, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, called out the Biden administration for improperly using an emergency rule provision to push mandates. Todd Nettleton, of The Voice of the Martyrs, shared how we can pray for persecuted believers during the upcoming International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. And, David Closson, FRC’s Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview, discussed how Christians can think biblically about freedom.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Honoring God and Caesar in the Age of Government Mandates

On this episode of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Ryan Tucker, Robert Destro, and Owen Strachan to pray and weigh in on the upcoming deadlines for Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate rules. Many are facing a profoundly unfair choice between their convictions and their career. So how do we honor God and Caesar? Watch to find out.

Women Must Be Protected in the NDAA

by Mary Beth Waddell, J.D. , Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin

November 12, 2021

As the Senate prepares to take up the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA, S. 2792), hundreds of amendments to the bill have been offered. One of the most crucial for senators to support is the amendment which removes the provision changing registration for the Selective Service to require young women to register alongside men.

Introduced by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), this amendment is cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). Each of these senators, and others, like Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) who has an identical amendment, and SASC Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) who opposed this change in committee and supports this amendment effort, understand that requiring women to register for the Selective Service means that women will be mandated into front line combat roles should we employ the draft again.

Women are an asset to our military and serve with great honor, courage, bravery, and distinction. They bring unique and valuable skills and perspectives to their service. There is nothing hindering women’s ability to volunteer and serve, so there is no need for this dangerous and unnecessary mandate contained in the NDAA.

Requiring women to register for the Selective Service and thus be subject to the draft is dangerous and unnecessary. As Senator Hyde-Smith, Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Selective Service, noted, “I have great admiration for the women who serve in our Armed Forces, and every opportunity to serve should be available to women. I do not, however, see any compelling reason to expand the Selective Service System.”

Should we ever need to employ the draft, women would be placed in front line direct combat roles—if Sen. Hawley’s amendment is not adopted. No “modernization” of the Selective Service is going to change this fact. When the draft was employed in 1973, it was not to solely replace combat arms but to increase the force structure generally, yet most draftees went to combat arms. Since that time, the lines between combat and non-combat roles have become even more blurred. Just because a role is in information technology, cyber security, or other such “non-combat” sounding role does not mean that it will be removed from the battlefield and away from immense danger and risk.

Women in combat have a higher likelihood of injury, leading to non-deployability and the compromising of lethality, readiness, and cohesion of certain combat units. While some women are able to meet the demands of combat, the physical differences between men and women cannot be ignored. Fewer women than men can meet these demands and the random nature and the lowered fitness examination parameters of the draft are insufficient to ensure that only such highly-qualified women would be selected for combat roles. A three-year long study by the Marine Corps found that, in tasks resembling requirements of infantry, armor, and artillery units, all-male teams outperformed co-ed units in 69 percent of ground combat tasks.

This, along with the menstrual cycles and potential for pregnancy for women, has led to unit cohesion and readiness issues which should be avoided if a draft is needed. This same Marine Corp study found that sex-related physical differences negatively affected co-ed units’ speed and effectiveness in simulated battle tasks, including marching under heavy loads, casualty evacuations, and marksmanship. During the Persian Gulf War and the large-scale deployment of military servicewomen, some deploying units reported that non-deployable rates for pregnancy were as much as 30 percent of those assigned.

Not only is this requirement currently in the NDAA dangerous, it is numerically unnecessary. If the armed services needed to be more than doubled to five million with maintaining the 16.5 percent female service members, only 1.4 percent of the male population would need to be added to the 1.1 percent of males who currently serve.

The Senate could take up the NDAA as soon as next week. We applaud the efforts of these senators supporting Senator Hawley’s amendment to protect both women and our military. We encourage other senators to support this amendment, and we encourage the American people to let their senators know how they feel about this issue. Thank them if they are supporting these great efforts and, if not, ask them to do so here.

For more information on this issue, see Women Should Not Be Drafted into Selective Service.

Retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin is the Executive Vice President at Family Research Council. He formerly served as the commander of Delta Force and the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2002 to 2007. 

Mary Beth Waddell, J.D. is Director of Federal Affairs, Family and Religious Liberty at Family Research Council.

Australian Psychiatric Group Takes Important Step Towards Keeping Children Safe

by Jennifer Bauwens, Ph.D.

November 10, 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) recently issued a new position statement on the treatment of gender dysphoria (GD). This announcement follows recent moves by several European countries to amend their offerings of physiologically damaging procedures on minors who experience distress over embracing their biological sex.

Although the RANZCP doesn’t go as far as to ban transgender procedures on minors, their statement does echo a few noteworthy points raised by proponents of policies aimed at protecting children from these physiologically damaging practices. The RANZCP position paper:

  1. Acknowledged there is a lack of quality empirical evidence in the scientific literature on interventions for GD. In particular, there is a dearth of long-term research that shows a positive effect of these procedures on mental health outcomes. (Click here for more information on the scientific method.)
  2. Referenced studies showing an elevated risk for poor mental health outcomes among trans-identifying youth, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. Considering this, the RANZCP recommend multiple treatment options and a comprehensive assessment of the patient.
  3. Stated that the comprehensive assessment should evaluate other mental health concerns and not GD alone. The evaluation should also include an exploration into the circumstances that gave rise to GD and an examination into the personal and familial background of the patient.
  4. Admonished psychiatrists to give evidence of a minors’ ability to give informed consent. Additionally, an assessment of the risks and benefits of various treatments for GD was emphasized. (Click here for more information on ethics.)

The RANZCP’s statement is one more small step towards recognizing the problematic state of mental health care for minors suffering from GD. By including an assessment of the family and ruling out the existence of mental health issues among caregivers, their position appropriately affirms previously held approaches to mental health care with minors. Additionally, the RANZCP endorses the profession’s commitment to providing evidence-based practices, exploring multiple treatment options and contributing factors to psychological distress, and ascertaining whether the minor can truly give consent to care.

As we continue our battle to keep America’s children safe, it is heartening to see other countries and professional groups recognizing the flagrant gaps in the scientific literature and reaffirming that treatment should be informed by evidence and not uniformly given to popular treatment protocols. A decade ago, this statement would’ve seemed irrelevant to most mental health professionals, but today, we see that we cannot take for granted good practice standards. For now, we are grateful for one more stride toward keeping our kids safe.

A full review of the RANZCP can be found here.

Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan Oppress Another Victim

by Arielle Del Turco , Cristina Cevallos

November 10, 2021

Masih, an Arabic word meaning “messiah,” is a common family name among Pakistani Christians. One of them is Stephan Masih, a Pakistani man with a psychological disability. Sadly, Masih is one of too many Christians in Pakistan who has become a victim of the country’s blasphemy laws.

In March 2019, Masih and his family had a dispute with their Muslim neighbors. After the incident, a Muslim cleric accused him of committing blasphemy. The following day, an angry mob surrounded Masih’s home and set it on fire. Instead of arresting the assailants, local police filed a First Information Report against Masih for committing blasphemy and detained him.

Masih has remained in custody since June 2019 and has been denied medical treatment for his mental disabilities. The Lahore High Court is now scheduled to hear an appeal on his bail application (which was previously postponed) on November 10, 2021. Ahead of the hearing, a group of United Nations experts published a statement calling on the government of Pakistan to release Masih:

We call on the authorities [in Pakistan] to urgently review Mr. Masih’s case, and release and drop all charges against him, and ensure protection for him and his family… It is deeply alarming that a mere disagreement between neighbors could lead to the judicial harassment of an individual, based on his religious or other beliefs, and by the use of anti-blasphemy laws which may carry the death penalty.

Blasphemy laws, which prohibit perceived insults against Islam, can be enforced with harsh punishments. Section 295-A of the Pakistani penal code prohibits insulting “religious feelings.” Section 295-B states whoever “defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an” can be punished with life imprisonment. Section 295-C states that insults against the Prophet Muhammad and his family are punishable by life imprisonment or death. These laws are often abused in Pakistan to settle unrelated disputes with non-Muslims. Pakistani Christians, who account for just three million of the country’s 207 million population, are common targets.

Yet, it is not just the Pakistani legal system that uses blasphemy accusations to harm people. Even in cases where charges are not filed, mobs have formed to punish perceived violators of blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, at least 75 people have been murdered by mobs or individuals due to blasphemy allegations since 1990.

In Pakistan, extremists often interpret “insults” to religion to include questioning any tenets of Islam or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, including condemning Pakistan’s blasphemy law. This motivated Mumtaz Qadri—the bodyguard of Governor Salman Taseer—to assassinate his own employer after Taseer spoke up on behalf of Christian blasphemy law victim Asia Bibi and condemned Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Islamic extremists then proceeded to threaten the life of Taseer’s surviving son for continuing his father’s advocacy for Asia Bibi, saying that by doing so, he was “equally involved in the crime.” 

One of the casualties was Pakistan’s minister of minorities affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti. After raising concerns on this issue, he stated, “I was told I could be beheaded if I proposed any change, but I am committed to the principle of justice for the people of Pakistan… I am ready to die for this cause, and I will not compromise.” In 2011, two Taliban assassins sprayed the Christian official’s car with gunfire, striking him at least eight times, before scattering pamphlets that described him as a “Christian infidel.”

Blasphemy laws are a global problem. A report by Family Research Council found that at least 70 countries have blasphemy laws. The Pew Research Center found that in 55 percent of countries with blasphemy laws, the government also discriminates against religious minorities. In Pakistan alone, at least 17 Pakistanis were on death row for a blasphemy charge as of 2019. And once charged with blasphemy, it’s difficult for victims to prove their innocence and be released. In fact, because the death penalty is afforded to certain types of blasphemy, courts reject most bail appeals, citing the “severity” of the crime.

So, what can be done to press for the repeal of blasphemy laws and help the victims?

As a part of the United States’ tradition of advocacy for human rights and religious freedom, the U.S. government should prioritize the repeal of these laws. The State Department should also mobilize the Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to release religious prisoners of conscience wrongly imprisoned for blasphemy charges.

Individuals can support organizations that advocate for these causes or directly send letters urging the authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of the accused, speed up their trials, and bring to justice those responsible for the extrajudicial executions.

Blasphemy laws continue to destroy the lives of hundreds of people just like Masih. The free world should not stop advocating until all blasphemy laws are repealed, and everyone is free to live out their faith and express their beliefs.

Arielle Del Turco is Assistant Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council. Cristina Cevallos is majoring in law at the University of Piura in Lima, Peru.

Pregnant College Students Need Support, Not Abortion

by Joy Zavalick

November 9, 2021

The road to obtaining a college degree is filled with many difficulties as it is, but statistics show that women suffer numerous added tolls. On average, college women experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than their male peers. One reason for these higher stress levels is the prevalence of sexual assault. A study published by the Association of American Universities found that one in four female undergraduate students surveyed had experienced sexual assault during their college years and that fewer than 30 percent of women who had been assaulted sought assistance from their school or filed a report against their aggressor. To make matters worse, female students faced with unplanned pregnancies are often led to believe that their only options are to get an abortion or risk failing academically.

The pro-abortion group Advocates for Youth recently launched new posters for their Abortion Out Loud campaign that encourage pro-abortion students on college campuses to advertise information about where their peers can undergo an abortion in their local community. The posters have fill-in-the-blank boxes in which students can write the address of the closest abortion facility, how students can find transportation to get there, and whether student health insurance covers the cost of an abortion. The posters also openly refer to pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) as “fake abortion clinics” and caution students to avoid specific PRCs in their area.

This campaign, created in time for Advocates for Youth’s “Week of Action” from November 7-13, is intended to culminate in a “National Health Center Call-In Day.” On this day, students are encouraged to call their college health centers demanding access to abortion on campus.

For pro-abortion extremists, it is not enough that college-aged women can travel to an abortion facility—they want academic institutions themselves to offer abortion access. Meanwhile, they never mention also providing resources for women who do not want an abortion. It is clear that the so-called “pro-choice” movement believes abortion to be the only right choice for women in college.

Best Colleges, a website that primarily exists to offer information about college rankings, recently published an article advertising the perceived “need” for abortion for college-aged women. The article describes a 2019 study of women who were pregnant in college, with one group receiving abortions and the other group giving birth. Although Best Colleges admits that women in both groups stayed in school at similar rates, the article states, “only 27% of the women denied an abortion earned a college degree, while 71% of those who received an abortion became college graduates.”

The argument Best Colleges is making is that women are more academically successful when they undergo an abortion rather than give birth. What Best Colleges fails to realize, however, is that this academic disparity exists because of a lack of resources and support for female college students who desire to give birth to their child.

The abortion industry thrives on manipulating vulnerable women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies into believing that their only real option is abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 42 percent of abortions are carried out on women between the ages of 18 and 24. The many young women on college campuses that have been traumatized by sexual assault deserve better than having their bodies further abused through abortion.

In July, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced the Protecting Life on College Campus Act in coordination with Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). This legislation, which seeks to protect women on college campuses from undergoing dangerous “do-it-yourself” chemical abortions, generated helpful discourse on the best ways legislators could support women who become pregnant while in college.

According to Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action, “Students who find themselves pregnant should be lovingly embraced by their campus communities. Our schools and legislators should invest in creating resources, programs, and support for pregnant women, enabling them to achieve their academic and career goals.”

Abortion on college campuses is a band-aid solution to the deeper issue of irresponsible sexual activity or the tragedy of sexual assault. Rather than coercing young women to bury their trauma and abort a child, colleges ought to provide counseling services and extra support for pregnant students so that they can achieve their dreams without subjecting themselves and their children to abortion.

PRCs Alleviate the Stress of an Unplanned Pregnancy

by Joy Zavalick

November 8, 2021

The first week of November marked International Stress Awareness Week. Stress levels in the United States are at an all-time high. The American Psychological Association’s 2020 survey found that two out of every three adults (67 percent) experienced increased levels of stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Undoubtedly, Americans are stressed and need resources to combat the sources of their anxiety.

Perhaps one of the most stressful events women commonly experience is an unplanned pregnancy. In 2018, 45 percent of the six million American pregnancies were unplanned or unintended. Roughly 40 percent of those unplanned pregnancies ended in abortion. Tragically, this means that only one out of every three unplanned pregnancies in the United States results in a child being born alive.

Thankfully, pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) exist for the sole purpose of supporting women needing assistance during their pregnancies. The approximately 3,000 PRCs spread across the nation seek to combat the stress and anxiety that women face as a result of an unplanned pregnancy.

The impact of PRCs is immense. In 2019, pro-life pregnancy centers provided $266 million in free services (such as counseling, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STI testing) and material resources (such as food and clothing) to women.

The need for PRCs has only been augmented by the enactment of pro-life laws, such as the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8) that prohibits elective abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected (around six weeks gestation). Since the law went into effect on September 1, PRCs in Texas have been inundated with women seeking their assistance and resources. Thankfully, the state has been well-equipped for years to meet the demand. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “Pro-life pregnancy centers provided nearly $33 million in total services, materials, and support at virtually no cost to Texas women and families in 2019 […].”

PRCs not only provide children the opportunity to be born, but they also improve the conditions in which children are born by seeking to minimize the stress that mothers face during pregnancy. According to a Columbia University study, one in three women (33 percent) experience psychological or physical stress during pregnancy. Women who experience stress during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely, and their children are more likely to have slower central nervous system development.

For all of the benevolent services that PRCs offer, the pro-abortion movement is nevertheless intent on eradicating all alternatives to abortion businesses for women seeking reproductive assistance. A quick internet search of “pregnancy resource center” will drudge up countless articles hailing PRCs as “fake abortion clinics” or “fake women’s health centers.”

PRCs are not “fake abortion clinics.” Rather, they are an entirely different type of organization that recognizes both the struggles of mothers facing unplanned pregnancies and the inherent human dignity of the unborn children in their wombs. In every pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned, there are two key players—the mother and the baby. Abortion businesses offer a “solution” that stops a child’s heart and breaks the mother’s. Conversely, PRCs provide substantive care to both the mother and her child.

Pregnancy resource centers provide meaningful, practical assistance that helps mothers follow the counsel of Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Consider supporting your local PRC today. You can locate the PRCs near you by clicking here.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of October 31)

by Family Research Council

November 5, 2021

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

1. Update: The Night Is Youngkin

Parents are not just caretakers on behalf of the state. They are the men and women entrusted by God with the nurturing—physical, mental, and spiritual—of the little ones they raise. That’s why public schools are designed to serve families, not the other way around. That is why Virginia moms and dads across the state decided they’d had enough.

2. Update: Big-City Mandates Hose Firefighters

As vaccine mandates kick into effect in places like New York, the time everyone was dreading is here. Firefighters, ambulance drivers, police, and even waste management employees will have to prove they’ve been at least half-vaccinated or be forced into unpaid leave. While Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) insists that he isn’t having “second thoughts” about the dictate, plenty of locals are.

3. Blog: Why the Rush to “Reassign Gender”?

In the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in pushing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and reassignment surgeries on minors. But why the rush? Are there any associated health risks for children, and if so, what are they? In the insightful documentary, Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender?, the filmmakers reveal the pressure children are facing from the transgender agenda.

4. Blog: Thinking Biblically About Freedom

What is freedom? It’s a question at the heart of the American experiment. Our national anthem dubs us “the land of the free.” In a country where everyone is free to decide for themselves what the definition of freedom is, how long can that country maintain some semblance of unity before devolving into either fascism or an anarchy of moral relativism?

5. Washington Watch: James Lankford, Chuck Grassley, Jeff Barrows, Josh Hawley

Tony Perkins was joined by James Lankford, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, to discuss the Marine Corps’ announcement that marines who refuse the COVID vaccine will be discharged after November 28, and his new memo detailing how the Democrats’ spending bill would expand using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator from Iowa, talked about the Beth Robinson confirmation vote and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo targeting parents. Dr. Jeff Barrows, of Christian Medical & Dental Associations, discussed the American Medical Association’s newly released document saying that doctors should use language inspired by critical race theory. And, Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator from Missouri, shared how liberals’ attacks on masculinity are driving men to pornography and video games.

6. Washington Watch: Thomas Catenacci, Louie Gohmert, Heather Hacker, Jim Lee, Brent Keilen

Tony Perkins was joined by Thomas Catenacci, a reporter for the Daily Caller, who shared what’s happened at the COP26 climate change conference. Louie Gohmert, U.S. Representative for Texas, unpacked what would happen if the Biden administration moved forward with making $450,000 payments to illegal immigrants who sued the Trump administration. Heather Hacker, Partner at Hacker Stephens LLP and former Assistant Solicitor General of Texas, shared what happened during the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments on the Texas Heartbeat law case. Jim Lee, CEO and Founder of Susquehanna Polling & Research Inc., talked about a new NBC poll showing 71 percent of Americans believe the country is on the “wrong track.” And, Brent Keilen, Vice President of FRC Action, discussed the Virginia gubernatorial election and how the education issue is shaping the race.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Praying for a Post-Roe America

On this episode of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Leslie Rutledge, Abby Johnson, and Roland Warren to discuss and pray over the two major abortion cases heard by the Supreme Court this term. There’s more speculation than ever that the days of Roe v. Wade are numbered, and Christians must be prepared to ramp up their outreach to mothers in crisis.

Thinking Biblically About Freedom

by Dan Hart

November 5, 2021

What is freedom?

It’s a question at the heart of the American experiment. Our national anthem dubs us “the land of the free.” Our Declaration of Independence proclaims that America “ought to be Free and Independent States.” Our Constitution’s stated purpose is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

In a certain sense, America has been seeking the meaning of freedom since the country’s founding. In asserting our independence from Britain, we declared that all people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It was an extraordinarily bold statement, but it also left the fundamental concepts of “liberty” and “happiness” open to interpretation. Perhaps that was Thomas Jefferson’s intention in writing those words, to set forth an ideal that America could eternally strive to define and reach for, and in doing so, create the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever known.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Great American Paradox

Jefferson followed up his declaration of man’s unalienable rights with these words: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Consent of the governed was not a completely new idea; the king of England ruled with the consent of Parliament, which represented the people. However, our Founders took this principle of consent even further by establishing a constitutional republic—foregoing a monarch and entrusting lawmaking to representatives elected by the people.

This leads us to the central paradox of the American experiment. By choosing to define civic freedom in this way, America took a great gamble—it bestowed governing power to a majority, trusting that that majority would decide against tyranny. Ever since then, an uneasy and terrifying possibility has lingered in the back of the American consciousness: If a majority of Americans are somehow convinced that freedom should be abolished, they could in theory “freely” choose tyranny.

A modern iteration of this paradox is currently playing itself out in our culture. On one hand, a sizeable portion of Americans believes that freedom is the ability to do whatever one wants whenever one wants, usually with a vaguely defined caveat that one’s free choices should not “harm” somebody else. But on the other hand, another large portion of Americans believes that freedom is innately tied to virtue and responsibility—in other words, an authentically “free” choice must be not only for one’s own good but also for the general welfare of society at large.

At first glance, there may not seem to be much difference between these two views. But there’s a crucial difference: The first view sees personal autonomy as the highest good, whereas the second view sees personal virtue as the highest good. Here again, we come up against a fundamental paradox and an open question. In a country where everyone is free to decide for themselves what the definition of freedom is, how long can that country maintain some semblance of unity before devolving into either fascism or an anarchy of moral relativism?

The True Source of Freedom

As Christians, we know that true freedom can only come when we freely choose to live in accordance with God’s law. The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church concisely states this truth well:

By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” [Romans 6:17]

In America, we see a culture that is awash in the abuse of freedom. In the name of “freedom of choice,” the lives of unborn babies are extinguished in their mothers’ wombs, often due to pressure from fathers and family members. In the name of “freedom of expression,” pornography clogs the internet and sweeps up millions of Americans into the slavery of addiction. In the name of “freely choosing one’s identity,” children are indoctrinated, speech is restricted, and people are canceled. The list goes on and on.

One of the greatest tragedies of the Christian life is to witness others make wrong and poor choices about freedom that lead to enslavement to sin and, ultimately, spiritual death. But herein lies the golden opportunity for American believers. As faithful Christians, we have discovered the only true source for happiness, contentment, and true freedom: faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His laws. Thus, by “always be[ing] prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), we can help spread a true understanding of freedom to our family members, friends, coworkers, and anyone else in our circles of influence, always remembering to “do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).

A Moral and Religious People”

By God’s grace, America has remained a flawed but free country for 238 years, arguably the longest-standing democracy in the world. But, as former President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Indeed, we are seeing authoritarianism creep its way into American life as we speak.

This is why for Christian citizens, American freedom will always be bittersweet. We treasure our freedom to believe and live out our faith in our daily lives, but we also know that it could vanish if enough of our fellow citizens make terrible choices. Consequently, believers ought to not only share their faith with boldness and work to educate their friends and neighbors on the values of civic freedom, but we should also bear witness to what will truly set the human heart free: to do what one ought to in accordance with God’s law. As our second President John Adams wisely observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Despite the precarious nature of American freedom, there is a silver lining in it. The very fact that our country remains free only by the choice of its citizens is a stark reminder for Christians that our true home is not here. As brilliant as our Founding Fathers were in establishing our constitutional republic, it is impossible for fallen human beings to create a system of government that will deliver a utopian paradise (despite what some believe). The paradox of American freedom reminds believers that there is only one truly free place—the heavenly kingdom ruled by our Creator. And while we are called to be good citizens of both the City of God and City of Man (Phil. 3:20), we are nevertheless “sojourners and exiles” in this world (2 Peter 2:11).

To be a Christian citizen of America is to be a person of trust. We harness the opportunities that American freedom gives us by witnessing to the gospel and leave the rest up to God. What could be more freeing than that?

House Democrats Want to Fund… Companies That Oppress Uyghurs?

by Arielle Del Turco

November 5, 2021

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have released their latest version of President Biden’s budget-busting reconciliation bill, taking it from bad to worse. This bill, nearing $1.75 trillion in new spending, covers programs that will fund abortions, imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to childcare, and now includes new language that would allow taxpayer funding to subsidize Chinese companies that engage in human rights abuses.

A previous version of the bill included a provision titled “Forced Labor Prohibition,” which stated:

None of the funds provided in this title may be used in awarding a contract, subcontract, grant, or loan to an entity that is listed pursuant to section 9(b)(3) of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (Public Law 2 116–145).

So, what type of “entities” are being referred to here? The provision above points to a section of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 that sought to identify Chinese companies that construct or operate the Xinjiang internment camps (which currently hold approximately 1.8 million Uyghur Muslims) or companies that provide or operate mass surveillance technology in Xinjiang.

The above provision would have blocked funds in the bill’s science, space, and technology program funding from going toward Chinese companies directly involved in oppressing the Uyghur people in Xinjiang. This is the region in China where the United States has officially determined that the Chinese government is committing an ongoing genocide against Uyghurs. The latest version of the reconciliation bill removed this provision.

Needless to say, blocking U.S. government funds from going to companies that are logistically facilitating the Chinese government’s totalitarian oppression in Xinjiang would have been a very good thing. It is also common sense.

But this isn’t Democrat’s first failure on this front. Reports indicate that the Biden administration is having fierce internal debates between those wanting to press China on human rights issues and those wanting to keep quiet in favor of securing China’s cooperation on climate change. This is deeply concerning. We should never be pressured into silence regarding the things that matter most.

The fact that this provision was removed is hardly the only thing wrong with the current reconciliation bill. But it’s problematic enough on its own.

Why anyone in the House would want to remove such a provision—and thereby possibly allow funding to go towards human rights abuses—is baffling. American taxpayers should never be made to fund foreign companies that are facilitating atrocities. The American people deserve better, and their representatives in the House should be looking out for their interests.

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