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Thanks to Pastor Edgar Carlisle for sharing this.
Thanks to Pastor Edgar Carlisle for sharing this.
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Dear Friends,In discussing the “problem of pain,” author Joe Heschmeyer recently wrote that “…the whole story of the Fall is that things aren’t how they ought to be, how they aren’t how they were intended to be, and how we’re the ones who screwed them up. You can read that story in Genesis, or watch it on the nightly news.” Bishop Robert Barron summed up this state of affairs concisely: “The human race is best characterized as a dysfunctional spiritual family, all of us having been marked from birth by the effects of sin. Sin has found its way into every aspect of human life, personally and institutionally. We would be hopelessly naïve to think otherwise.”Atheists often argue that it is absurd to believe in God when there is so much “dysfunction,” suffering, and pain in the world. But as Heschmeyer points out, if there is no God, what can possibly account for all of the beauty in the world? He illustrates this by quoting the musician Joanna Newsom as she discussed what she was going through while recording an album:“The thing that I was experiencing and dwelling on the entire time is that there are so many things that are not OK and that will never be OK again,” says Newsom. “But there’s also so many things that are OK and good that sometimes it makes you crumple over with being alive. We are allowed such an insane depth of beauty and enjoyment in this lifetime. It’s what my dad talks about sometimes. He says the only way that he knows there’s a God is that there’s so much gratuitous joy in this life. And that’s his only proof. There’s so many joys that do not assist in the propagation of the race or self-preservation. There’s no point whatsoever. They are so excessively, mind-bogglingly joy-producing that they distract from the very functions that are supposed to promote human life. They can leave you stupefied, monastic, not productive in any way, shape or form. And those joys are there and they are unflagging and they are ever-growing…”This is part of what makes our Creator so amazing. Not only did He give us “a Savior, someone who can break into our dysfunction from the outside and heal us” (Bishop Barron’s words), He also gives us moments of “gratuitous joy” as we make our way through this earthly life. May we be forever thankful for this gift freely given to us, and may we freely give of ourselves in return.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesCan a Christian Serve as a Judge Anymore? – Travis WeberHow the Left Uses Fake Science to Advance Its AgendaWill FEMA Treat Churches Fairly? – Travis WeberThe Rights that Students and Parents Have to Challenge Transgender PoliciesAdvice for Parents On Challenging Transgender Policies in Public SchoolsMasterpiece Cakeshop Attorneys File Merits Brief with the Supreme Court – Travis Weber Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareWhy religious liberty matters for creativity – Jason Thacker, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionFaith groups provide the bulk of disaster recovery, in coordination with FEMA – Paul Singer, USA TodayWhat It’s Like to Be Smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center – Carol M. Swain, The Wall Street JournalSenate Democrats show off their anti-religious bigotry – Michael Gerson, The Washington PostMedia should not embrace far-left 'poverty' law firm – Colorado Springs GazetteWill the IRS investigate the SPLC on taxes? – Judson Phillips, The Washington TimesNon-Profit Leaders Call on Media to Stop Citing Southern Poverty Law Center – Liberty McArtor, The StreamCalifornia bill seeks to punish ‘misgendering’ with jail time – Mary Rezac, Crux3 Texas Churches Sue FEMA Over Policy Banning Churches From Receiving Harvey Disaster Relief – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostDemocratic Congressman Says He's Introducing A Bill To Punish Campus 'Hate Speech' – Emily Zanotti, The Daily WireUK Speaker: Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Be ‘Proper’ Until Churches Can’t Opt Out – Tyler O’Neil, PJ MediaU.S. Senators Revive Anti-Catholic Bigotry To Intimidate Religious People – Paul C. Binotto, The Federalist'Attacks on Religious Liberty' in US Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years: Report – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post"Free to Believe"Judge Suspends City’s Ban of Farmers Over Their Marriage Views – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal4 Key Arguments We Are Making to Defend Jack Phillips at the Supreme Court – Sarah Kramer, Alliance Defending FreedomThey Serve Gay Clients All The Time. So Why Won’t They Cater A Same-Sex Wedding? – Josh Shepherd, The FederalistYour Beliefs Are No Longer Allowed – Taylor Lewis, American ThinkerProfessors told to report students who make campus ‘less inclusive’ to Behavior Assessment Team – Andrew Johnson, The College FixInternational Religious FreedomWhat’s changed in Britain since same-sex marriage? – David Sergeant, The Spectator AustraliaCatholic Priest Released After 18 Months’ Captivity – Elise Harris, National Catholic RegisterFulani herdsmen kill 20 Christians in Nigeria – Onize Ohikere, WORLD LifeAbortionWhen Planned Parenthood closes, women find real health care at hundreds of other clinics – Rebecca Downs, Live ActionPodcast: Pro-life apologetics; Arguments from reason that align with scripture – Scott Klusendorf, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionRed State-Blue State Abortion Divide Deepens – Brian Fraga, National Catholic Register5 new scientific discoveries that show what’s happening to the child in the womb – Kristi Burton Brown, Live ActionCan We Stop an International Roe v. Wade? – Stefano Gennarini, Public DiscourseU.S. Blasts UNFPA Support for China’s Birth Control Policy – Susan Yoshihara, C-FamWhy the pro-choice side is afraid of giving women the choice of abortion pill reversal – Marcie Little, Live ActionOne last chance to defund Planned Parenthood may lie in the Senate’s hands – Susan Michelle-Hanson, Live ActionAdoptionPodcast: Are you mentally healthy enough? Preparing for adoption’s hardships – Sharen Ford, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionBioethicsThe American Medical Association vs. Human Nature – Philip Hawley, Jr., Public DiscourseDoctor wants D.C.’s assisted suicide law repealed: A ‘right to die’ soon creates a ‘duty to die’ – Cassy Fiano, Live ActionThe Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion – Arthur Goldberg and Shimon Cowen, Public DiscourseObamacareAfter Experiencing British And U.S. Health Care, This Family Says Single-Payer Is Abominable – Jayme Metzgar, The Federalist FamilyEconomics/EducationAs Workers Expect Less, Job Satisfaction Rises – Lauren Weber, The Wall Street JournalThis is why a growing number of teachers want more lessons on religion in school – Kelsey Dallas, Deseret NewsHow a Democratic New York City Councilwoman Became a Crusader for School Choice – Eva Moskowitz, National ReviewA Debt Crisis Is Coming, and We’re All to Blame – Walter E. Williams, The Daily SignalFive Facts About Families and Poverty – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesMarriageNew research says this kind of daily prayer can change your marriage – Calah Alexander, AleteiaHow to Align Your Dreams as a Couple – Greg Smalley and Erin Smalley, Focus on the FamilyAre You ‘Not Yet Married’? – Marshall Segal, Desiring GodThe Infectious Effects of Divorce and Marriage – Luma Simms, Family StudiesAs U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens – Kim Parker and Renee Stepler, Pew Research CenterFaith/Character/CultureWhy Our Obsession With TV Antiheroes Is Destroying Our Souls – Georgi Boorman, The FederalistThe Secret Power of Family Work – Jenet Erickson, Family StudiesDoes The Immaterial Exist? – Joe Heschmeyer, Word On FireWhy religion is not going away and science will not destroy it – Peter Harrison, AeonOvercoming Our Smartphone Addiction – Christopher O. Blum and Joshua P. Hochschild, CrisisIf You Want to Live Truly, Learn to Die Daily – Liz Wann, Desiring GodHuman SexualityOversexed ed – Emily Belz, WORLDParents pull children from prestigious school after transgender ‘indoctrination’ in kindergarten – Bradford Richardson, The Washington TimesHow The Transgender Crusade Made Me Rethink My Support For Gay Marriage – Bethany Mandel, The FederalistMislabeled sex ed – Emily Belz, WORLDWhy I Don’t Use Female Pronouns For My Transgender Brother – Michael Booker, The FederalistSex, Sanity and Beliefs That ‘Live Loudly’ Within Us – Archbishop Charles Chaput, National Catholic RegisterWhat science really has to say about sexuality and gender – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHuman TraffickingHuman-Trafficking Fighters Hope for Lift From Proposed New Legislation – Peter Jesserer Smith, National Catholic RegisterGoogle and Sex Traffickers Like Backpage.com – Nicholas Kristof, The New York TimesA Pivotal New Goal: Shedding Light on the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Men – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyWhat I told my 7-year-old when he asked what porn was – Matt Fradd, AleteiaDr. Sharon Cooper, MD Discusses How Pornography Harms Children – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual ExploitationWhy Watching Porn Leaves You Feeling Lonelier Than Before – Fight the New Drug
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) along with the North Carolina Values Coalition have submitted a joint amicus brief in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case arose when Masterpiece Cakeshops' owner, Jack Phillips, was sued after respectfully declining to decorate a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony....
A measure legalizing assisted suicide in Washington, D.C., which was recently passed by the city council and signed by the mayor, has now officially taken effect as of July 17. Thankfully, the federal government has jurisdiction over the District’s laws, and the House Appropriations Committee has advanced a measure that would repeal the assisted suicide law. Republican congressman are currently working to include this measure in an upcoming must-pass omnibus bill that will ultimately need House and Senate approval and a signature by President Trump before D.C. can once again return to sanity on this issue.D.C. now joins six states (California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) that have legalized assisted suicide. In a culture increasingly awash in the narcotic of moral relativism, let’s review why assisted suicide is such a grievous blow to our shared humanity and to common sense in general.1. New cures and treatments for diseases are constantly discovered. Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) made this point while proposing the amendment to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide measure: “New, stunning cures in medicine occur each and every day. Encouraging patients to commit suicide deprives them of the opportunity to potentially be cured by new treatments that could ameliorate their condition and even add years to their lives, if not cure them completely.”2. Taking lethal drugs is cheap and easy. Committing assisted suicide is a much cheaper alternative (about $300 on average) to often highly expensive (and sometimes experimental) medical treatments and procedures that can potentially extend the lives of (or cure) those who are gravely ill. It should go without saying that money should be no object to extending or saving someone’s life. But apparently it is, according to health insurance companies in states where assisted suicide is legal, who would rather cover cheap lethal drugs than more expensive medical treatments that could potentially extend or save lives.3. Doctors are often wrong about predicting how long a patient has to live. As with assisted suicide measures in other states, the D.C. law stipulates that only those with six months or less to live can get a lethal medication prescription. But doctors admit that it is very difficult to precisely determine how long a patient has left to live, and they are often surprised by how long patients outlive their diagnoses, or in some cases recover completely. It is also important to note that there are numerous types of cancer that will immediately mean that a patient has “six months to live” if the cancer is left untreated. In other words, many patients with six-month diagnoses could just as easily be cured from their cancer after treatment, meaning that assisted suicide creates a whole patient subset who do not have a terminal illness that can still legally commit suicide.4. It corrupts the patient-doctor relationship and the Hippocratic Oath. Every patient deserves to have trust in their doctor that they will do what’s best for their health. When a doctor recommends suicide, it is an inhuman violation of the implicit trust that a patient should have in their caretaker. In the Hippocratic Oath commonly taken by doctors, the primary rule is to “do no harm.” Committing assisted suicide is the most grievous breach of this oath.5. Assisted suicide limits patients’ access to high quality care. Rep. Wenstrup related the story of one Oregon resident with prostate cancer who applied for an expensive form of chemotherapy through the state-run healthcare system that his doctor had recommended. He was denied the treatment; he instead received a letter from the state of Oregon offering to pay for his assisted suicide.6. It preys upon the weak and vulnerable. Those who are terminally ill are understandably in a very fragile mental state. This makes them more vulnerable to give in to the “compassionate” advice of family members and doctors to end their lives, convincing them that they are creating a monetary and psychological “burden” on their families. Assisted suicide also gives those people who value money over the lives of their family members a convenient way to kill them off.7. It is a violation of equality before the law. As Ryan Anderson has written, “Classifying a subgroup of people as legally eligible to be killed violates our nation’s commitment to equality before the law—showing profound disrespect for and callousness to those who will be judged to have lives no longer ‘worth living,’ not least the frail elderly, the demented, and the disabled.”8. Comforting those who are dying is actually life-affirming. Numerous accounts of families drawing closer together around the bedside of a dying family member abound. Here is just one that I found particularly moving. Here is another one from a woman who worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, illustrating the fact that standing up against assisted suicide does not have to be a partisan issue.9. “Until the day we take our last breath, we have something to offer.” Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Oh.), a doctor, learned this lesson when he examined an AIDS patient in 1985, who died the next day. “He taught me something for a lifetime on his last day,” he said. The man told Wenstrup that he was the first person to fully examine him, because everybody else was too afraid to because of his mysterious disease (at that time). Wenstrup learned a valuable lesson about the dignity of every human life from this man, and what it must feel like to be cast aside and rejected by your fellow man.10. Human life is cheapened in the minds of everyone. When we declare a certain category of people as not worthy of life, we as human beings begin to doubt the value of human life in general. This phenomenon has been verified statistically in a study in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, where assisted suicide is legal. After these laws were passed, the suicide rate amongst the general population went up in all three states.11. Everyone is needed. In the words of Rep. Wenstrup (who gave a superb policy lecture about assisted suicide at FRC headquarters): “With laws like this [assisted suicide laws], we promote the idea that you just aren’t needed here, and I think that’s hurting America across the board … As we go forward, we have to continue to discuss how important every life is, and the positive effects that you can have even in your struggles, not only for yourself, but for those around you. Life brings us together, and so does death; and I believe that until you take that last breath, you continue to give. And then who you were continues to give, forever—that will never perish. We need to take a long hard look at who we are as a society and what we want to be, where we want to go, what’s important to us. I imagine everyone that’s listening today hopefully feels that they have some value. You do have value. You need to feel necessary. We need to talk to each other, and tell each other how necessary each one of us is.”In concluding his lecture, Rep. Wenstrup related a true story he read in which the author was offered a sandwich by a homeless man while he was hitchhiking. “[The author] didn’t know what to say. He accepted it … What that [homeless] gentleman was doing was making himself needed. Everyone is needed. Everyone plays a part in our lives, and we need to respect that, and hopefully [on the issue of assisted suicide] we can drive that home, because we’re all better served if we value human life and emphasize its importance each and every day.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hostility toward religion has continued in Colorado according to Family Research Council's recently released Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America, a report documenting dozens of new incidents of government hostility to religion in America in just the past three years. The updated report, with 69 cases added since 2014, finds a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations since the first edition. The report is available as a free download at www.ReligiousHostility.org. ...
Hot, dry weather forecast for Thursday could stoke a fast-growing wildfire in central Arizona that firefighters are struggling to contain, authorities said.
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