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Dear Friends,For the first time since the 1930’s, the overall life expectancy rate in America has declined. Why? Because the suicide rate is increasing all over the country.There are a multitude of factors that have contributed to this increase. However, all of these factors can be boiled down to one primary cause: despair.From where is this increasing level of despair coming from? I would argue that one of the primary causes for increasing despair is increasing unbelief in God. The Pew Research Center reports that 23 percent of Americans currently describe themselves as “nones,” or those who consider themselves either atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular.” This number has been steadily rising since at least 1972, when “nones” made up seven percent of the population. In just the last 10 years, this number has jumped eight percent, from 15 to 23 percent.It has been statistically verified that those who attend religious services are far less likely to commit suicide: In a study of 89,000 people “between 1996 and 2010, those who attended any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide.” In another study, “of the 6,999 Catholic women who attended Mass more than once a week, none committed suicide” (emphasis mine).Without a belief system built on divine revelation, human beings will form their own belief systems around whatever suits them. The secular world is more than happy to fill this demand for what to believe—we are constantly bombarded by the news media and popular entertainment about what we should believe is right and wrong, what is good and evil, what is tolerant and intolerant, what constitutes equality and inequality, etc. If we don’t have religious belief that provides a moral framework grounded in absolute truths, we put ourselves in the risky position of having to ultimately trust in human beings for the ultimate answers. The inevitable culmination of purely human thinking is despair, because we are and never can be ends in ourselves. As discussed previously, we know where despair can eventually lead.Christ reveals an infinitely better way: divinely revealed truth. In Matthew 16:23, he rebukes human thinking: “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” As Christians, we must do all we can to turn back the tide of unbelief that is steadily rising in America, trusting not in the ways of man, but in the ways of God.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC Articles'Sanctuary Cities' Aren't Brave. They're Obstructing Law Enforcement. – Ken BlackwellWhen We Choose Love Over Fear, God Stretches Our Hearts – Dan HartTrump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bringing the hammer down on leaks – Ken BlackwellThe Decay of Liberty and the Rule of Law in 21st Century America – Peter JohnstonHuman Sexuality and the Goodness of Marriage – Clara Ramos and Shania BurchIran Heightens Its Crackdown On Christians – Dan HartAttention Millennials: True Religious Freedom May Make You Feel Uncomfortable – Mary Beasley Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareReligious Liberty Protection Kit for Students and Teachers – First LibertyCake Wars And The Coming Conflict Over Religious Liberty – Nathanael Blake, The FederalistThe Threat of Free Speech in the University – Roger Scruton, Ethics & Public Policy CenterChristian wins the right to refuse to photograph homosexual ‘weddings’ – Peter LaBarbera, LifeSiteNewsThe Continuing Threat to Religious Liberty – Ryan T. Anderson, National ReviewGoogling Moral Purity – R.R. Reno, First ThingsNo One Expects The Google Inquisition, But It’s Coming – Robert Tracinski, The FederalistPrayer Walks draw protest in Mississippi school district – Ron Maxey, USA TodayWyoming Judge Appeals To Nation’s Highest Court After Losing Job For Being A Christian – Jonathan Lange, The FederalistInternational Religious FreedomPray for the persecuted church in Sudan and South Sudan – Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionIran Punishes Religious Minorities with Lengthier Sentences – Elisabeth Doherty, 21st Century Wilberforce InitiativeSaving Christians From Genocide – William Doino Jr., First ThingsChristian Persecution in India Hits Record High in First Half of 2017 – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian PostLiu Xiaobo’s Stern Warning – Jianli Yang, National Review LifeAbortionAmerican Abortion, American Freedom – Miles Smith, Public DiscourseMore than half of women getting abortions also use contraception – Emma Court, New York PostWhy Life Is Winning – Jeanne Mancini, Heritage FoundationPro-Life Laws Do Not Lead to Poor Public Health – Michael J. New, National ReviewGoogle And Facebook Co-Sponsoring Protest Of Pro-Life Women’s Health Care Clinic – Peter Hasson, The Daily Caller"What kind of society do you want to live in?": Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing – Julian Quinones and Arijeta Lajka, CBS NewsAdoptionThe Changing Face of Adoption in the United States – Nicholas Zill, Family StudiesThe other Russia story we need to talk about is adoption – Mary Vought, USA TodayMom Walks in Door with Adopted Baby in Arms. Moment Daughters See Her, They’re Brought to Tears – Carolyn Marie, LiftableBioethicsHospital tries to force baby off life support, parents won’t give up fight – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsEuthanasia Used for 4.5 Percent of Deaths in the Netherlands – Maria Cheng, APStop Assisted-Suicide Opioid Abuse – Wesley J. Smith, First ThingsA Tale of Two Sams: You Should Not Actively Euthanize Your Baby – Aaron D. Cobb, Public DiscourseExplainer: American scientists “edit” human embryos – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionPlease don’t edit me out – Rebecca Cokley, The Washington PostFDA warns doctor not to promote ‘three-parent’ fertilization procedure – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNewsObamacareHow Obamacare Is Eroding Private Insurance – Jarrett Stepman, The Daily SignalThousands Visit Free Clinics In Barns And Fields: ‘We’re The Middle Class, And We’re Here‘ – Chris Togneri, The FederalistThis is How You Make Health Care Affordable – Jay Bowen, The StreamHere Are 7 Implications of Ending Obamacare’s Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments – Edmund Haislmaier, The Daily Signal FamilyEconomics/EducationWhen It Comes to Helping People, Facts Don’t Care About Your Intentions – Jacob Roth, The Daily SignalHow Should American Christians Help the Poor at Home? – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream4 Reasons To Pick A College That Doesn’t Want To Destroy Your Principles – Chandler Lasch, The FederalistWhy Men Are the New College Minority – Jon Marcus, The AtlanticPlay Hard. Work Maybe? – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family StudiesMarriageHalf of those thinking of divorce reconsider a year later – CBC NewsAmerica Abandons Marriage at Its Own Peril – Jerry Newcombe, The Christian PostParenting Is Not a “Job,” and Marriage Is Not “Work” – Jonathan Malesic, New RepublicThis incredible medical breakthrough could save the lives of millions of preborn babies – Cassy Fiano, Live ActionFaith/Character/CultureReligion and Politics at the Dinner Table: Challenging the Old Maxim – Christopher W. Love, Public DiscourseServing God and a woman in need at the Walmart – Patty Knap, AleteiaHave Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? – Jean M. Twenge, The AtlanticI Don’t Understand Christians Watching Game of Thrones – Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel CoalitionDoes Conscience Point Towards the Existence of God? – Matt Nelson, Word On FireGuys Need Bros – Bryan Stoudt, Desiring GodWhat Having a Ton of Kids Has Taught Me – Jared Zimmerer, Word On FireOn Fields of Praise – Robert Royal, The Catholic ThingThe Great Wall of Cotton: Why We Hit Snooze on God – Greg Morse, Desiring GodDon’t Let Politics Turn America Into Another Charlottesville – David Harsanyi, The FederalistHuman SexualityStudy finds more Americans are approving of polygamy – Catholic News AgencyTalking about sex with your kids: 5 things I’m learning – John Powell, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionExamining the History of Sexual Exploitation and the Fight to Eradicate It – Madeleine Ayers, National Center on Sexual Exploitation‘Gender Expert’: Boy Won’t Play With Trucks. Let’s Make Him A Girl. – Hank Berrien, The Daily WireThis debate is about gender dysphoria, not transgender military service – Jamie Shupe, MercatorNetWhy Are Lesbian Teens Having Two To Seven Times As Many Babies As Their Heterosexual Peers? – Glenn T. Stanton, The FederalistHuman TraffickingSenators: Alter Internet laws to hold Backpage liable for sex trafficking – Aamer Madhani, USA TodayAt Las Vegas’s Mayweather-McGregor Fight, Human Trafficking May Happen Right In Front Of You – Vinciane Ngomsi, The FederalistPornographyWhy Both Sides of the Aisle Can Agree that Pornography is a Public Health Crisis – Dawn Hawkins, Huffington Post
Fairfax County, VA is ground zero in the efforts to impose transgender ideology on American school children. The Fairfax County school system is one of the largest and richest in the United States, and its close proximity to Washington, DC has made it a target for the efforts to mainstream this radical ideology. Even after the Trump Administration revoked the Obama directive threatening the nation's public schools, the fight rages on at the state and district level.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Family Research Council (FRC) praised President Trump's decision yesterday to nominate Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to the post of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Created in 1998, the role has helped to highlight the issue of religious freedom around the world, but has had limited success in being able to shape foreign policy in a comprehensive manner. The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, signed into law last December, made changes which will result in the Ambassador-at-Large reporting directly to the Secretary of State. ...
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. - Today, the Senate agreed to proceed to a debate on H.R. 1628, the House-passed American Health Care Act of 2017. In order for the Senate to debate the important elements of Obamacare's repeal and replacement, senators needed first to support a procedural motion to begin consideration of H.R. 1628. Family Research Council (FRC) scored in favor of the motion to proceed to H.R. 1628. ...
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