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Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:1. Update: Biden Isn’t Fueling Anyone with His Useless AgendaJoe Biden wants to be FDR, but he may be a Jimmy Carter. The lines for gas up and down the east coast were so long that the traffic jams spilled onto the main streets. Along the southern border, the state of emergency hit a fever pitch when the surge hit a two-decade high. In Israel, Arab terrorists are on the verge of “full-scale war” and what is the president’s response? “This is progress.”2. Update: Biden’s Big Government Works Overtime for UnemploymentThe evidence of it is everywhere—at restaurants, factories, and construction sites. A couple in Chattanooga couldn’t even go out to dinner without being greeted by a sign that read: “We are short staffed. Please be patient... No one wants to work anymore.” Employers offer to pay more, give night and weekend incentives, and still—they can’t seem to find any applicants.3. Blog: Thinking Biblically About Cancel CultureOver the past few years, “cancel culture” has overtaken social media platforms with language urging us to “cancel” someone or declare that they are “over.” Whether the context is politics, sports, entertainment, or business, no one seems safe from the reach of the so-called cancel culture movement. How should Christians think about “canceling” people, institutions, or ideas?4. Blog: God Is the Solution to a Declining Birth RateThe Centers for Disease Control released new data showing the American birth rate in 2020 fell to its lowest point in history, continuing the general trend that began in 1971 of American birthrates falling below the replacement level. Certainly, instability caused by COVID-19 impacted the birthrate, but COVID-19 did not cause the instability—it simply magnified a problem that already existed.5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Jason Smith, Chip Roy, Dan CeliaTony was joined by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN News, who shared the latest on the rocket attacks against Israel. Jason Smith, U.S. Representative for Missouri, gave his take on President Biden’s spending proposals. Chip Roy, U.S. Representative for Texas, talked about the House Republicans’ upcoming vote to recall Rep. Liz Cheney as House GOP Conference Chair. And, Dan Celia, President and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, detailed what the April Jobs Report and President Biden’s spending proposals mean for the economy.6. Washington Watch: Jackie Walorski, Roger Severino, Ken Harrison, David ClossonTony was joined by Jackie Walorski, U.S. Representative for Indiana, to answer the question: are unemployment checks keeping people from finding work? Roger Severino, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, responded to the Biden administration’s redefinition of sex discrimination. Ken Harrison, Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers, reacted to a USA Today columnist calling for the cancellation of a Promise Keepers rally. And, David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics & Biblical Worldview, shared how followers of Christ should respond in situations like the one faced by Promise Keepers.7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: What You Need to Know About Biden's “American Families Plan”On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Joy Pullmann, Mary Szoch, Charmaine Yoest, and Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-Mo.) to discuss President Biden’s massive and far-reaching proposal that will usher in a government takeover of childcare and education.
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, and Communication.Over the past few years, the language of “cancel culture” has become ubiquitous in our society. Social media platforms are cluttered with hashtags and campaigns urging us to “cancel” someone or declare that they are “over.” Whether the context is politics, sports, entertainment, or business, no one seems safe from the reach of the so-called cancel culture movement.However, many people are increasingly becoming wary of it. When asked about cancel culture in a recent interview, comedian Dave Chappelle quipped, “I hope we all survive it.” Chappelle’s passing comment points to a growing awareness that a movement that might have begun with good intentions has taken on a life of its own, resulting in a variety of unintended consequences.What is cancel culture? How should Christians think about the notion of “canceling” people, institutions, or ideas?A thirst for accountability. Broadly speaking, “cancel culture” refers to a coordinated effort to silence, shame, and sideline (i.e., “cancel”) an institution or individual on account of views, opinions, or beliefs that someone else (the cancelers) deems socially unacceptable. One online dictionary defines cancel culture as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.”In other words, cancel culture encourages people to withdraw their support from and actively oppose public figures or organizations that step outside what the mainstream—or a sizable faction—of society thinks is socially acceptable. Seen in its best light, cancel culture is an attempt to hold people with large audiences and platforms accountable when they do or say bad things. However, cancel culture has a dark side.A lack of forgiveness. It is important to hold people accountable. When public figures misuse their power or platforms, it may be appropriate to speak out publicly against their ideas or decisions. However, cancel culture (as it is being practiced today) does not merely encourage people to reconsider their biases or apologize for past actions. Nor does it help people thoughtfully handle disagreements. Rather, the impulse behind cancel culture is to impose a figurative capital punishment on the reputation of anyone who holds political, cultural, or religious beliefs deemed offensive to the cancelers. Cancel culture seeks to exclude the canceled from future participation in the public square, with little to no hope of reprieve.Consider a few recent examples. Last summer, Boeing Communications Chief Niel Golightly was forced to resign after a colleague complained about a 1987 article he had written, in which he had stated that women should not serve in combat. Despite Golightly having since changed his opinion on the subject, Boeing forced him out of the company.J.K. Rowling, the celebrated author of the Harry Potter series, faced intense backlash in July 2020 after tweeting her belief that biological sex distinctions are real.Just last week, Promise Keepers CEO Ken Harrison faced criticism for explaining that his ministry supports a biblical understanding of marriage and human sexuality. A USA Today editorial castigated Harrison for his comments and called upon AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys to rescind the ministry’s contract for an upcoming event.Issues related to marriage and human sexuality usually provoke some of cancel culture’s strongest reactions. Moreover, a common theme in these examples is the extreme vitriol thrown at those whose views are deemed outdated or bigoted. In other words, if you disagree even the slightest bit with cultural progressivism (see the J.K. Rowling example), you are at risk of not only being canceled but also being labeled as hateful.How should Christians think about all of this?Christians should not be surprised when their churches, ministries, or beliefs are the object of criticism or outrage. According to recent research, only six percent of Americans hold a biblical worldview, which means most Americans do not think about issues such as marriage and human sexuality from a perspective influenced by the Bible. Thus, those who retain a biblical worldview are increasingly viewed by our society as being different, old-fashioned, or even dangerous.Christians should expect to face opposition or marginalization for holding views in line with the Bible. Jesus forewarned us that there would be opposition. In his final extended conversation with His disciples before being betrayed, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The apostle Paul affirmed, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). Furthermore, Paul explained that the gospel is a “stumbling block” and “folly” in the eyes of the world (Rom. 9:33, 1 Cor. 1:23). Thus, Christians should not be surprised when their biblically informed beliefs are mocked or dismissed. However, we also ought to regularly examine ourselves against Scripture and make sure the reason we are being opposed is due to godly, not sinful, behavior (Mat. 5:10, 1 Peter 2:20).The Bible teaches that no one is without sin. Scripture tells us that sin is wrong and that our actions have consequences. It also teaches that no one is without sin except for God. As Paul explains, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). In other words, all humans deserve to be “canceled.” Scripture also tells us that human beings are not qualified to pronounce ultimate judgement upon one another. None of us can determine that someone else is irredeemable. God, not us, is the judge (Mat. 7:1-5). Whereas cancel culture elevates the passing whims of an outraged mob to the role of judge and jury, Christians recognize that God is the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong.The Bible teaches that no one is beyond hope or forgiveness. Scripture teaches that “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This is in direct contrast to cancel culture, which usually denies the possibility of forgiveness, even when repentance is present. Christianity not only teaches that sinful people can receive forgiveness from God but that we also receive, through the Holy Spirit, the power to forgive each other. This is why Paul says in Colossians 3:13 to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”Cancel culture is incompatible with a biblical understanding of sin and redemption. Cancel culture teaches a message antithetical to the gospel. It denies the possibility of grace, forgiveness, and redemption. It rejects God’s role as judge of human hearts and actions. In almost all recent examples, it singles out biblically based beliefs for scorn and censure. As Christians, we are called to be part of the ministry of reconciliation, not cancellation (2 Cor. 5:11-21).
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a now-famous speech to the Illinois Republican Party as he accepted their nomination for the U.S. Senate. In this speech he referenced Matthew 12:25, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Indeed, the nation would quite literally split in half a little over two years later. But less than 100 years prior, we nearly ceased to be a nation.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.The convention dragged on for weeks amid the stifling heat and humidity of the Philadelphia summer. There was fierce debate among the delegates regarding representation in the new Congress. Delegates from the small states favored equal representation, known as the New Jersey Plan. Delegates from larger states, on the other hand, favored a more proportional representation based on population, known as the Virginia Plan. Apparently, there was such vigorous debate that it sometimes descended into a shouting match. Some delegates left and never returned. By late June, it was an open question whether an agreement could be reached to save the young nation.It was at this point that the aged delegate from Pennsylvania offered his sage advice. Benjamin Franklin, now 81 years old, was a frail figure compared to his younger self who spent years frolicking in France as the U.S. ambassador. In fact, he was now so weak and feeble that he often had to be carried into the convention on a sedan chair. Additionally, he would write out his speeches and have a fellow Pennsylvania delegate deliver them in his stead. What makes this speech unique is that Franklin actually rose from his chair and delivered the speech himself.Mr. President:The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection.—Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service. As a result of Franklin’s speech, the rest of the Convention proceeded smoothly. Although a chaplain was never appointed, likely because the Convention couldn’t afford to pay one, the delegates gathered a few days later on the anniversary of our independence at the Reformed Calvinist Lutheran Church for a sermon and prayer. A few weeks later, the delegates reached a compromise, known as the Connecticut Compromise, that gave birth to the House and Senate prescribed in our Constitution today. On September 17, 1787, the U.S Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates. While there were still great disagreements among the delegates, they chose to put aside those differences for the greater good. The “miracle at Philadelphia” was birthed through prayer. The new Constitution also honored Franklin’s request—a chaplain was appointed for both the House and Senate. To this day, both houses of Congress are opened in prayer by a chaplain before they proceed to business.While Franklin was publicly a professed Christian, privately he did not believe in Christ’s saving work on the cross. Franklin believed he could live a virtuous life and perform enough good works to gain Heaven. Again, this makes his call to prayer at the Constitutional Convention even more unique. Over 240 years later, Benjamin Franklin’s call to prayer is just as relevant today. Perhaps we are even more divided today than we were in 1787. Have we forgotten “that powerful Friend” who gave this nation our independence? Have we thought of “humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings”?James 5:16 says that “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” We need Christians to offer up prayers for our nation, that our leaders would set aside their differences for the common good. Prayer literally saved our nation, and it can do so again today.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new data showing the American birth rate in 2020 fell to its lowest point in history, continuing the general trend that began in 1971 of American birthrates falling below the replacement level. The Brookings Institute has predicted that in 2021, Americans should expect 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births, a 12-14 percent decline from 2020. The social and economic impact of the rapidly falling birthrate cannot be overstated. Fewer children means rising loneliness, fewer consumers, isolation in old age, a dwindling economy, and overall, less happiness. Americans recognize this and actually want more children. Forty-one percent of Americans say three or more children is ideal, while just 1 percent say zero, but in reality, the fertility rate for American women is just 1.7.Around the world, countries like China, Japan, Germany, Spain, and Italy are facing an even more drastic trend with experts predicting as many as 23 countries will find their population has halved by 2100.Many blame the COVID-19 pandemic for the dramatic decline in births, arguing the 14 percent decline predicted in America for 2021 is the result of the pandemic. This decline is much steeper than countries have seen before, but it would be naïve to think that this decline is more than an exaggerated data point in a general trend.Currently, government leaders around the world are working to reverse this trend. China expanded their one-child policy to a two-child policy in hopes of increasing the population, but it has failed to do so. Various countries have implemented maternity leave and childcare policies but failed to find a panacea. Without an accurate diagnosis of the problem, efforts to correct it will continue to flounder.Without a doubt—the conditions created under the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a dramatic decline in births. Throughout American history, during times of economic decline, the fertility rate has also dropped. Fewer births in 2020 are attributed to the instability caused by COVID-19. But an examination of what happened during the lockdowns across the country points to another, major cause.During the pandemic, in the name of keeping people safe, weddings were postponed, couples decided not to have children, students did not go to school, loved ones died alone, ICU patients were denied the presence of a priest, multiple churches were ordered to close or limit attendance—even at Christmas. Of course, in many cases, precautions were prudent and, in some cases, necessary. Still, the message “Be afraid of yourself and be afraid of others. Do not make any commitments or take any risks—even for the sake of love (especially not love of God)” was incredibly damaging. Sadly, this message was just a magnified version of what society has been preaching for years: “Be afraid. Don’t commit. Don’t take any risks—even for the sake of love.”Today, the world is one where technology allows us to cancel plans even minutes before they were scheduled; where it is possible to find out everything about a person before going on a first date; where instead of committing to marriage, the norm is to “try things out” by moving in together; where commitment to moral principles has been replaced by a “commitment” to whatever makes people feel good; and where instead of practicing a religion, people identify as “spiritual” but not religious or as “nothing.”The inability to commit points to an inability to love, which requires commitment, vulnerability, and risk taking. Ultimately, the inability to love indicates a rejection of God who is love. As the birthrate has declined in the United States, so has Christianity. In fact, among Millennials, four in 10 people identify as religious “nones.” It is not surprising that the rejection of God and the rejection of the self-sacrificial love required to fall in love, get married, and bring a child into the world go hand in hand.The pandemic and the restrictions implemented as a result proved many things—human beings need social interaction; in general, people follow rules; work is a huge source of self-esteem; fear motivates drastic actions; and most importantly, spending time with God is essential for human flourishing.Certainly, instability caused by COVID-19 impacted the birthrate, but COVID-19 did not cause the instability—it simply magnified a problem that already existed. The antidote to this instability is a return to God. He is the only being not surprised by anything in the future. In Him is ultimate stability—and with that, the courage to fall in love, get married, and have children.
Contemporary debates over proposed legislation like the Equality Act and over COVID-19 church restrictions draw attention to the so-called “first freedom” listed in the Bill of Rights—religious freedom. This core right in the U.S. Constitution has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and passed down to contemporary Americans intact.But as debates over how Christians and those of other faiths should live out their faith in the public square increase, questions about religious freedom will remain relevant. Understanding how religious freedom became a core value of the American Founders is critical to understanding its place in the United States today.Here are four reasons that Americans in the Revolutionary era valued religious freedom and protected it for future generations:1. The truth concerning religion is deeply important.In advocating for religious freedom, its proponents did not embrace moral relativism. Isaac Backus, a Baptist preacher, argued that it is precisely because there is objective truth concerning religion that every individual deserves the freedom to discover that religious truth for themselves. Backus wrote:The true liberty of man is, to know, obey and enjoy his Creator, and to do all the good unto, and enjoy all the happiness with and in his fellow-creatures that he is capable of; in order to which the law of love was written in his heart, which carries in its nature union and benevolence to being in general, and to each being in particular, according to its nature and excellency, and to its relation and connection to and with the supreme Being, and ourselves.For Backus and others of his day, part of the definition of liberty itself is the freedom for an individual to “know, obey and enjoy his Creator.” Thus, policies protecting the ability to seek religious truth were a natural extension of this understanding of truth and the freedom to pursue it.2. Respect for individuals’ consciences.Former diplomat Tom Farr argues that human nature “impels us to seek answers to profound questions about ultimate things. If we are not free to pursue those answers… we cannot live a fully human life.” Many of the American Founders understood religious freedom in much the same way.The Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1776, was drafted by George Mason and was influential when Tomas Jefferson was drafting the Declaration of Independence. The Virginia Declaration of Rights stresses the importance of religious freedom to each individual’s conscience:That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.The declaration affirms the importance for all individuals to choose their religious beliefs for themselves, according to the “dictates of conscience.” This highlights how the lack of religious freedom is a very personal assault on the rights of every individual. It is wrong for the government to try to control what goes on in someone’s head, heart, or soul.John Leland, a Baptist minister, argued for robust conscience protections and asserted that the state had no right to be involved in religion in part because every individual must make himself right with God and no government can answer for the souls of men. In 1791, Leland said:It would be sinful for a man to surrender that to man which is to be kept sacred for God. A man’s mind should be always open to conviction, and an honest man will receive that doctrine which appears the best demonstrated; and what is more common than for the best of men to change their minds?Creating a political order with a state-established religion is not fair to the children and grandchildren who will come later because it may violate their conscience, which was not free to choose their faith since it was mandated by the government.3. Establishment of religion is harmful for religion.Many early American pastors were at the forefront of societal protests against the establishment of religion. They did so not for secular but religious reasons. Backus famously argued that a legally established religion or church corrupts “the purity and life of religion.”Many religious leaders promoted religious freedom not just because the freedom to believe affects the conscience of individual Christians, but because the state establishment of religion can have negative affects on the established religion itself. When a state forces religious practice, it waters down churches with individuals who do not truly believe but rather are practicing the faith externally because they are compelled to do so.Utilizing the force of government to require individuals to practice a religion is ineffective at making true religious believers. In 1675, William Penn said, “force makes hypocrites, ‘tis persuasion only that makes converts.”Religious persecution doesn’t only harm those outside the religious majority, it harms the authentic practice of the majority religion. This makes the establishment of a state religion not only pointless, but also oppressive and detrimental to the religion the government associates with.4. All people are equal under the law.George Washington affirmed the inherent natural right to freedom of religion in a letter to a Jewish congregation. While president, he told the congregation, “For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” Washington strongly repudiates religious persecution and emphasizes the equality of all religious groups and believers under the law.***The embrace of religious freedom has contributed to what makes the United States unique in the world. Wherever religious freedom is not protected around the world, oppression and misery clouds society.The world is better off because of the successful example of religious freedom that the United States has set. America’s promotion of international religious freedom has released religious prisoners, rebuilt religious communities devastated by genocide, and offered hope to the oppressed. This serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining religious freedom here at home. Our Founders enshrined robust religious freedom protections into law because they believed everyone’s right to seek the truth and live according to their beliefs was deeply important. This is worth protecting—for ourselves, for future generations, and for those around the world relying on our advocacy on their behalf.
Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:1. Update: Dems Race Awareness of Hypocrisy with Scott SmearThanks to Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), we finally found all of those racists Joe Biden keeps talking about. They’re on the Left, right under the president’s nose. After Scott’s inspirational response to the president’s speech, in one of the most vile displays of hypocrisy, Democrats have apparently decided that it’s okay to be prejudiced—as long as the black man is a conservative.2. Update: Voters Have a Vax to Grind with DemsThe New York Times wasn’t laughing at Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. But the host of the paper’s podcast was laughing at how popular the president’s team thinks it is. In a sit-down with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the former candidate estimated that “20 or 30” Republicans might vote for the president’s $2 trillion joke of a public works bill.3. Blog: H.R. 1: A Religious Test for Redistricting?Tucked away in H.R. 1, a bill intended to enact sweeping election reforms, is a problematic religious test for public service—this time on redistricting commissions set up by the bill. H.R. 1 requires states to establish a nonpartisan agency in the state legislature. This nonpartisan agency will establish an independent redistricting commission to organize electoral districts.4. Blog: The Staggering Reach of Billionaire Transgender ActivistsThe first billionaire we have to thank for pushing trans propaganda on our children is a man named James Pritzker. Pritzker came out as transgender in his 60s and now goes by the name Jennifer. The Pritzker family has been on the Forbes magazine Top 10 list of “America’s Richest Families” since 1982. And now it’s the medical industry where the Pritzkers have staked a lot of their current investments.5. Washington Watch: Scott Perry, Tom Cotton, Andy Barr, Kelsey BolarTony was joined by Scott Perry, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania, on President Biden’s proposed spending of more than $4.3 trillion. Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, discussed foreign policy in the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Andy Barr, U.S. Representative for Kentucky, shared his call for an investigation into John Kerry after audio surfaced of him leaking sensitive intelligence. Kelsey Bolar, Senior Policy Analyst at Independent Women’s Forum, weighed in on the problems with President Biden’s daycare plan.6. Washington Watch: Mike Rounds, Paul Coleman, Greg Steube, George BarnaTony was joined by Mike Rounds, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, on a possible deal between the United States and Iran. Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International, discussed a bishop in Finland who was charged for hate speech for sharing what the Bible teaches about human sexuality. Greg Steube, U.S. Representative from Florida, highlighted hostilities to religious expression here in the United States. George Barna, FRC’s Senior Research Fellow for Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview, discussed worldview formation and what parents need to do to counter the indoctrination that is accelerating in our culture.7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Praying For Our FoundationsOn the eve of the National Day of Prayer, Tony Perkins was joined by two top leaders in the Trump administration, Reince Priebus and Jennie Lichter, who worked to protect religious liberty, and Ronnie Floyd to lift up our nation in prayer and pray for President Biden and his administration, believing that the Lord can turn hearts toward Him.
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, and Religious Freedom.Sadly, the polarization of the country seems to be polarizing the church as well. While factions are nothing new within the Christian church, new fault lines appear to be forming based on a host of tertiary issues including immigration, critical race theory, and Donald Trump. Unfortunately, those differences seem to be affecting the way we treat each other and speak to each other.Even within the Family Research Council community, evidence of these divisions have appeared in the comment sections of our social media pages as people who claim to love Jesus speak to each other in ways that are clearly unloving.Caring deeply about issues is a good. Ideas matter to God, which is why Paul instructs us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). As Abraham Kuyper described it, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” While it is appropriate to have opinions about immigration, critical race theory, and Donald Trump, it is even more important to make sure that our thoughts are motivated by the Spirit and not the flesh.Ideas matter because ideas can be lethal. As James explains, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Death is often the result of a malignant idea that has had the time to mature.Nevertheless, the seriousness with which we should take the battle of ideas should not blind us to the fact that there are rules of engagement God expects us to honor. After all, “life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Our words have the power to give life: “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24). In the same way, harsh words spoken in anger can leave wounds that never fully heal.The power of the tongue is one of the reasons our ability to control our tongues is foundational to a surrendered life. As James explains, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Solomon tells us in Proverbs that “the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs12:18).An important question for every Christians to ask is this: do my words bring healing? Fortunately, there is no shortage of instruction in Scripture on this point: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). Also, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ecclesiastes 4:29).These reminders do not mean that God forbids direct communication or saying things that will bother people. Jesus referred to the Pharisees as a brood of vipers (Matthew 12:34) and “whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27-28). He also told them that their father was the devil (John 8:44).While these are hard truths, they were spoken for the benefit, not the harm, of the hearers. Jesus was not speaking out of anger, pride, or frustration over who they voted for but out of a desire to help them see their situation as it really was so they could repent.In contrast, though we may speak truth, we do not always speak truth in love. Instead, we are often motivated by a desire to win the argument, exact a rhetorical pound of flesh, or silence someone who has become bothersome. But as Proverbs 29:11 reminds us, “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”This is the difference between us and Jesus.The call to speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) is challenging because it is impossible to fake love. What we feel about someone will inevitably reveal itself in our interactions with them. As Jesus reminds us, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).Whether we are speaking to other Christians with a different perspective or people who are hostile to the gospel, the key to speaking truth in love is to actually love the people we engage with—even if we disagree with them about everything. In many cases, this requires us to change the way we see the people we engage with. If we see someone primarily as a heretic or political enemy, we will inevitably treat them that way. If we see someone as a threat to our children and our way of life, we will treat them as if they are a threat. However, if we see them first and foremost as people made in God’s image—whether they are deceived or not—we will see them as loved by God and therefore deserving of love from us. From this perspective, we will see people who may disagree with us not as a roadblock to our goal but as the goal itself. After all, Jesus came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).If we win the argument but lose the person, have we really won anything? In addition, showing grace and kindness to those we disagree with makes it easier to admit our mistakes when it turns out we were the one in the wrong. If we act pridefully, it’s much more difficult to admit mistakes.But even when we are right, our highest goal should not be to prove it. The reason we care about ideas is because we care about the impact that ideas have on people. That means people are the priority. The way we treat people, online or otherwise, should always reflect this truth.
The Great Firewall allows the Chinese government to censor any content it feels does not suit its purpose. Their latest target is the Bible. Bible apps have been removed from the App Store in China. It now requires the use of a virtual private network (VPN) to download Bible apps in China.Popular Christian accounts on the Chinese app WeChat were also recently removed. Users who tried to access the social media pages saw a message that the pages had violated “internet user public account information services management provisions.” Others report that Bible apps have been entirely removed from the platforms of Chinese tech companies Huawei and Xiaomi.Physical Bibles are also unavailable for purchase on Chinese websites. In March 2018, China’s largest online stores, including Taobao, Jingdong, Amazon.cn, and others, suddenly stopped showing results for searches for the Bible.In December 2020, four Chinese Christian businessmen from Shenzhen were tried in court for selling audio versions of the Bible online. The businessmen were arrested as part of a campaign to “eradicate pornography and illegal publications.”Earlier that same month, Christian businessman Lai Jinqiang was tried in Shenzhen on charges of “unlawful business operation” for his business which sold audio Bible players. His company, the “Cedar Tree Company,” reported the highest sales of audio Bible players in China, distributing around 40,000 units per month.Instead of allowing people to choose what they will read and how they will access their religious texts, China requires that all Bible sales be funneled through official channels only. Bibles can be purchased at state-approved church bookstores regulated by the government.Even worse than suppressing the Bible is the Chinese government’s attempt to change the Bible. As a part of its five-year plan to sinicize religion and make it more acceptable for the goals of the government, one strategy is “reinterpreting the Bible and writing annotations for it” from a socialist viewpoint.Though the full text has yet to be revealed, the Chinese government’s previous manipulation of the Bible has been bizarre. In one textbook at the government-run University of Electronic Science and Technology, John 8 was shamefully distorted.In the biblical version, an adulterous woman is brought to Jesus, and her accusers ask if she should be killed by stoning for her sins. Jesus disperses the angry crowd with his response, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (ESV).The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) version states that the crowd leaves, yet Jesus tells the woman, “I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead,” before stoning her himself. This retelling of a famous biblical passage proves what should be obvious—communists can not be trusted to re-translate the Bible.Former communist countries have a long history of hindering access to the Bible. Missionaries like Brother Andrew famously served persecuted believers living under communist repression in the Soviet Union. Now, the CCP continues the legacy of communist crackdowns on the Bible.As its attacks on the Bible continue to mount, the Chinese government should know they will never succeed. No earthly forces can crush the power of the gospel and the hope it has brought to millions of Chinese believers. As the Chinese government continues in its futile and oppressive efforts, American leaders should be bold in articulating that it is unacceptable for any government to control, suppress, or manipulate its people’s access to the Bible.
Last week, during his address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, President Joe Biden acknowledged the historic nature of a female vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives sitting on the dais, and said, “we need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women.” Unfortunately, he has done exactly the opposite in his first 100 days in office by making good on his promise to push gender identity ideology—which seeks to erase the vitally important genetic and physiological differences between men and women.Last June, in Bostock v. Clayton County, the U.S. Supreme Court radically re-wrote Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by holding that sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the statute’s prohibition of sex discrimination in matters of employment. Sex non-discrimination laws are meant to protect biological women, and the Court’s insertion of gender identity ideology flips the law’s intent on its head. On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order requiring that the Bostock re-definition be adopted across the federal government.In this order, President Biden specifically mentioned Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which provides equality for women in sports. He also signed another executive order that effectively undid the previous administration’s good work in the education space, further entrenching the LGBT agenda into schools and obliterating women’s sports and private spaces.The previous administration had responded to Bostock by issuing a memo that affirmed biology and equality in regard to Title IX—the Department of Education (ED) under Biden has since archived that memo. The Department of Justice issued a memo on Bostock’s application to Title IX, indicating that it did apply. Further, ED has withdrawn the previous administration’s letter of findings against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and its member schools regarding its violation of Title IX for allowing biological boys to compete in sports designated for biological girls.Additionally, President Biden has used the phrase “all genders” in various memoranda and proclamations. One of the most egregious references is contained in the proclamation for American Heart Month. The president said that heart disease affects “all genders” and merely acknowledged that “the symptoms of a heart attack can be different for men and women.” He didn’t acknowledge the importance and need for further sex-specific study. The world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital notes that it has only been in recent non-male-focused studies that this differential has become more known. Johns Hopkins has its own Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center that provides education, comprehensive treatment, and diagnostic services to prevent and manage heart disease in women. A National Institute of Health listed study from 2010 entitled “Gender differences in coronary heart disease” concluded that, “A greater awareness of the differences in presentation […] between men and women, with gender-based interpretation of diagnostic tests, is mandatory […] to improve therapeutic strategies and outcomes in women.”This necessity extends across the medical field. Medicine must be based in science and the patient’s physiological makeup, yet President Biden’s actions have made it clear that he disagrees. He nominated Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services despite his having no relevant experience. His only credentials are being radically anti-life and anti-faith and advocating for radical sexuality ideology. For assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, Biden nominated Rachel Levin, who severely failed to properly handle the COVID-19 pandemic while serving as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health. Levine has an alarming record of prioritizing the radical sexuality agenda over public health and advocates gender transition for children, which is extremely harmful. Sadly, young girls are a particular target of this agenda.Furthermore, legislation that the president has supported in both official statements and his joint session speech are detrimental to women. He called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, a massive bill that would overhaul our federal civil rights framework to, among other things, mandate acceptance of gender identity ideology, leaving women and others to suffer the consequences. If enacted, the bill would go much further than allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, thereby unfairly penalizing female athletes. It would also obliterate women’s private spaces like bathrooms, locker rooms, and battered women’s shelters. This would be especially devastating for battered women who need a safe and private space to heal because biological men would be allowed to enter their shelters.President Biden also called for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and made official statements praising H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2021. VAWA was indeed enacted in 1994 to improve the criminal justice response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and increase the availability of victim services. Unfortunately, the 2021 reauthorization bill would undermine VAWA’s purpose by further traumatizing battered women by allowing biological men into shelters designated for women. It would also reduce resources for battered women, given its mandated acceptance of gender identity ideology, which creates onerous burdens and litigation. The 2021 reauthorization would also allow organizations known to cover up abuse and sex trafficking to access VAWA grant funds. Lastly, it would put incarcerated women at risk of abuse by allowing biological males, sex offenders included, into women’s prisons if they say they identify as a woman.While all of this looks bleak for women’s rights, privacy, and safety, fortunately, there is hope. Little traction exists for the Equality Act, and there is both federal and state legislation to protect women in various areas like sports, shelters, and medicine to hopefully stop the administration’s harmful agenda. This fight is just beginning. We will have to see how it plays out over the next four years.
A new report by Aid to the Church in Need found that religious freedom was not respected in 32 percent of the world’s countries. Furthermore, approximately 5.2 billion people live in countries that experience serious violations of religious freedom, including populous countries such as China, India, and Pakistan. Christians in all three countries face a certain amount of risk for simply living out their faith in the public square. Such concerning numbers warrant attention. Yet, we can tend to take concepts like “religious freedom” for granted and fail to grasp the full significance of this fundamental human right.At its core, religious freedom is the freedom to choose and change one’s religion and to live in agreement with those beliefs. Attacks on religious freedom target one’s conscience—the very core of their being, making it uniquely important that religious freedom be protected.Protecting religious freedom is essential not only because it is a fundamental human right but also because it is a vital component of respecting human dignity.Humans are inherently drawn to seek out answers to life’s biggest questions and to find meaning beyond this temporal existence. As a being with an innate sense of right and wrong, man is led to continuously search for truth. Seeking truth is an expression of freedom, which is what makes man unique. While man cannot be forced to contemplate truth, humans are unique precisely because no other creature has the ability to do so. Though some may choose not to embark on the quest to find truth—all men have a right to do so. Allowing a person to live according to his pursuit of truth is fundamental to acknowledging that person’s participation in the human species—respecting the search for truth is foundational to respecting a man’s dignity. To do otherwise would be to treat man as less than human. Man’s determinations regarding truth lead to both interior and exterior expressions of deeply held beliefs. While the path to discovering truth is certainly, at times, a personal journey—it is not exclusively so. The connection with others who are also pursing truth is a natural and necessary component of this journey. Thus, the answer to the question, “what is truth?” is often found through religion.For Christians, the concept of Imago Dei, taken from Genesis 1:27, refers to the fact that every human person is created in the image of God—who is Truth. Because we are created in the image of Truth, we long to find truth. While only Christians identify this search for truth as a component of being made in the image of God, this reality extends to people of all faiths as well as those of no faith. All people, because they are made in the image of God, possess inherent worth and deserve to be treated as such. For a government to fully affirm the dignity of the human person, it must allow individuals to live out their faith in the public square according to their conscience without government restrictions or social harassment. As James Madison expressed, man’s duty to search for truth, man’s duty to God, comes before man’s duty to government; thus, the government has the duty to respect man’s pursuit of truth.Christians should advocate for religious freedom for all people because any effort to coerce individuals to believe or abandon any faith violates the conscience of a precious person created in God’s image who is deserving of respect.In the United States, we are fortunate to have robust constitutional protections on religious freedom and founding documents that affirm basic rights. The Declaration of Independence recognizes the God-given equality of each and every human person, and the “unalienable rights” that flow from that. Let’s pray that human dignity is advanced through the expansion of religious freedom to people of all faiths in all countries of the world.
This is the final part of a 3-part series. Read part 1 and part 2.To beat the billionaire boys’ club at their game we must first reject their end goal of disembodiment. They seek to eliminate human physical limitations in favor of a new hybrid form of humanity. They are simply beginning this march toward madness using the construct of gender. (For much more on this topic, look up the work of Jennifer Bilek.)Money’s ideas on “gender identity” should be rejected, not lauded. They should be exposed for what they are: a bag of linguistic tricks used by a man who needed to be covert in his attempt to sexualize young children. Rothblatt and Pritzker must also be called out for what they are: two men who decided to create an intricate legal framework to take their sexual proclivities mainstream while adding billions to their bottom lines. We must remember that those who control the language control the narrative. This is why the idea of “preferred pronouns” was introduced. The outlandish concept, while clearly a bastardization of the English language, is the ideal way to get an unsuspecting public to willingly utter outright lies that serve the goals of the trans medical industrial complex. The media conglomerates are already slaves to these goals. That’s how we end up with a Time magazine cover featuring the actress Ellen Page as a supposed man who goes by the name Elliot. Time must lie like this to appease the medical/pharmaceutical industry and the billionaires in charge of it. You, on the other hand, do not have to lie like Time. We lose the battle for humanity and sanity every time we help Pritzker, Rothblatt & Co. advance their cause by using their made-up language. If we don’t stand up and stop playing their game now, it will soon be too late. Trans advocates are calling for prison for those who “misgender” or “deadname” someone (two other made-up words in the ever-evolving trans lexicon). People in the UK have been sent to jail (see here and here) for violating hate speech laws that require people to use “preferred pronouns” on social media. A Canadian man went to jail in March for using the pronoun “she” in reference to his daughter (his ex-wife claims the girl is actually a “he”).Some trans advocates claim the concept of a gender reveal party actually “promotes violence” because it involves parents imposing their ideas of gender onto a helpless unborn baby. More and more trans activists are calling for puberty blockers to be mandated for all children worldwide so each can pick their gender of choice on a timeline they decide. (Tumblr currently offers its users 121 genders to pick from. Go check them out to see what the billionaires have in store for our future.)If you’re bold enough to refuse to cave on the pronoun posse, you will be immediately attacked by all those who’ve been indoctrinated by trans ideology. They will usually pick a fight with you by throwing down what I call “the story card.” This involves telling a personal story about a friend or a friend of a friend who was supposedly so unhappy until the day he/she/they realized that he/she/they is actually transgender. This friend eventually transitioned and now he/she/they is the happiest he/she/they has ever been.In response to a story like this, all one need say is: It ain’t over until the well-proportioned individual who may or may not still identify as a lady sings.Many people who identify as trans who first claim to be thrilled with their transition end up living to regret it. A profound sadness often sets in after the hormone honeymoon wears off. (People who go on cross-sex hormones typically feel an immediate boost in mood. This is, in part, why so many depressed teenage girls are seeking them out.)Every day, more and more people who once bought the lies perpetuated by Money (and money) are now de-transitioning back to their God-given sex. People like Elle Palmer, Charlotte Evans, Walt Heyer, Keira Bell, and Linda Seiler are just a few of the many vocal de-transitioners now dedicated to speaking the truth about the trans-medical industry and its insatiable need for victims (and victims’ money). Websites like DetransVoices.org and SexChangeRegret.com are gaining in popularity even as they’re suppressed or outright banned by Google and its subsidiaries. Videos and books featuring the personal stories of de-transitioners abound, although Americans are currently forbidden from viewing many of these people’s videos on YouTube or buying their books on Amazon. The issue of how transitioning has ruined the lives of millions will surely reach a fever pitch in years to come. So the next time someone throws down a trans “story card” then follows it up by explaining how “trans people need the support of their cisgender peers,” stop them right there. First, tell them you will not dignify the use of the term “cisgender.” This is yet another made-up word brought to us by all the usual suspects. Cisgender supposedly means a person who identifies as the gender related to his or her biological sex. In other words, it’s everyone who isn’t trans. Using this word gives those of us who have not succumbed to Money’s lies our own brand of pathology related to gender identity.The billionaire boys’ club desperately needs everyone to use their nonsense words (like cisgender) because it tricks the public into thinking their grift has gravitas. A 2011 U.S. study found that 41 percent of transgender participants reported attempting suicide in comparison to 1.6 percent of the general population. Is this because people aren’t accepting of them or because they have mental health problems the rest of the population does not? The Centre for Suicide Prevention says on its website that transgender people experience mental illness at a much higher rate than the general population. While 6.7 percent of the U.S. general population suffers from depression and 18 percent grapple with some form of anxiety, nearly half of all people who identify as transgender experience one or both of these issues. Telling these people that they should try to change every single part of their physical bodies in order to feel better is abhorrent. Their problem is not in the body, it’s in the mind. If we instead begin celebrating people who break traditional gender stereotypes (instead of telling them to get a series of surgeries), we would start to make progress where mental health is concerned. We should applaud any boy who has personality traits or interests typically considered feminine. We should encourage any girl who demonstrates more traditionally masculine qualities or an interest in boys’ sports or hobbies. But of course the trans medical complex doesn’t want us celebrating these individuals because the moment we do, they can no longer herd them into their gender clinics. If my 8-year-old told me she felt like she might be a mermaid, I wouldn’t take her to a doctor and ask him to amputate her legs and replace them with a tail. Yet our new Assistant Secretary of Health believes that minors should be able to determine their own gender without parental consent. There are currently many trans activists advancing the idea that a child should be taken away from his or her parents if the parents refuse to let him or her transition. All it takes is a confused teenage girl stopping by her school counselor’s office and mentioning that she doesn’t feel totally at ease in her body (what teen girl does?) to get a reference to a gender identity specialist who can then send her directly to Planned Parenthood for cross-sex hormones. She can change her name and pronouns and “come out” to friends and family as transgender the very next day. And all this can happen without parental consent.For the sake of our children, we can no longer be silent. We must collectively commit to never use the words that pedophile advocate John Money and the billionaire boys’ club came up with. We must start referring to people by the pronouns associated with their biological sex. We must not care about what names we get called or what relationships we lose in the process. We must stop perpetuating the idea that calling people by their “preferred pronouns” is somehow virtuous. Taking care not to offend through speech is not a virtue. Telling the truth is. We must tell others about the origins of the gender identity movement (before Google memory holes everything having to do with John Money). We must tell others about the billionaires who decided to take their fetishes mainstream in order to make bank.We must advocate for people who identify as transgender so they can get help for their very real mental health issues instead of getting more surgeries that usher them deeper into their delusions.We must explain to everyone that transgenderism is but a temporary stop on the road to transhumanism. By speaking these truths, we have a chance at saving our culture from the lie that is transgenderism.
Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:1. Update: A Word of Warming on the Border CrisisIt’s been blamed for everything, so it makes sense that if the White House needs a scapegoat on immigration, global warming would fit the bill! America’s supposed border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, blamed the cause of the surge at the border not on Joe Biden’s ridiculous open-borders policy, but on the environment.2. Update: Red States Get Seat Revenge in CensusThere’s more than one way to get good government: move to it! According to the latest Census data, that’s what a massive number of Americans who are sick of higher taxes, lockdowns, and regulations are doing. Many are moving from states like California and New York, to freer, cheaper states like Texas.3. Blog: Big Money Is Driving the Transgender TrendThe children’s section in Barnes & Noble recently featured a display table of books written by or about “notable women.” Included in the display is the book I Am Jazz. Author Jazz Jennings is a transgender teen (boy) who authored a picture book to explain to preschool age children that their gender identity may not match their biological sex.4. Blog: Texas Takes a Stand for Religious BeliefLiberal states have been attempting to demand total adherence to their ideology for a while now. The Left is no longer interested in co-existing, but rather in demanding every person adheres to their views on sexuality and marriage. The latest target? Texas. But California should know better than to mess with Texas. The Lone Star State is fighting back.5. Washington Watch: Claire Culwell Emphasizes the Importance of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors ActClaire Culwell, twin abortion survivor, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the importance of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Check out Claire’s new book, Survivor: An Abortion Survivor’s Surprising Story of Choosing Forgiveness and Finding Redemption.6. Washington Watch: Michael Burgess, Ron Johnson, Roy Blunt, Jerry BoykinTony was joined by Michael Burgess, U.S. Representative for Texas, on President Biden’s address to Congress and Senator Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) response. Ron Johnson, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, discussed his assessment of foreign policy in the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Roy Blunt, U.S. Senator from Missouri, examined President Biden’s domestic agenda. And, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, FRC’s Executive Vice President and former commander of the U.S. Army's Delta Force, broke down President Biden’s address to Congress.7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Mike Pompeo & Dr. Ben Carson Reflect on Biden’s First 100 DaysPresident Joe Biden has now been in office for over 100 days. Tony Perkins, Mike Pompeo, Dr. Ben Carson, and Michele Bachmann reflect on Biden’s 100 days and the direction this White House is driving America’s policies, at home and abroad.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in a case challenging restrictions California imposed on houses of worship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monday’s order marks the sixth time that the Supreme Court has ruled against unfair restrictions that treated California churches more strictly than secular businesses.For months, California churches faced particularly complicated and onerous restrictions that limited church attendance and inhibited religious exercise. In multiple cases, churches and pastors faced fines or the threat of imprisonment for holding indoor worship services. However, following Justice Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court in October 2020, California churches have started to experience relief. As of April 23, 2021, California’s guidance for houses of worship states that “location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended. Additionally, the restrictions on indoor singing and chanting are recommended only.”The Supreme Court’s willingness to defend religious liberty is a welcome development. Because of the Court’s guidance on this issue, more and more states are relaxing their worship restrictions. As of April 26, 2021, 41 states impose no restrictions on in-person indoor worship. Only nine states and the District of Columbia still impose a percentage-based limit on indoor worship. D.C. is the last remaining jurisdiction that imposes both a percentage limit and a numerical cap on the number of people who can congregate for indoor worship services. However, these restrictions were enjoined by court order in March 2021, and the D.C. government has announced it will remove the numerical cap beginning May 1, 2021.What follows is a timeline of the six times the U.S. Supreme Court has issued opinions or orders upholding the rights of churches against California’s COVID-19 restrictions.1. South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. NewsomOn February 5, 2021, the Supreme Court enjoined California’s total ban on indoor worship in Tier 1 counties (i.e., those where the risk of COVID-19 transmission was said to be widespread). The Court’s decision allowed churches in these counties to reopen at 25 percent capacity but left the state’s ban on indoor singing and chanting in place. In a separate statement, Justice Gorsuch, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito, noted that “California has openly imposed more stringent regulations on religious institutions than on many businesses.”2. Harvest Rock Church v. NewsomOn the same day, the Supreme Court partially granted an injunction that prevented California from enforcing its total ban on indoor worship services against Harvest Rock Church while the case was being resolved in the lower courts. The decision allowed Harvest Rock and other churches in Tier 1 counties to reopen at 25 percent capacity, but it kept California’s ban on indoor singing and chanting in place. Although they joined the majority’s order, Justices Thomas and Gorsuch stated that they would have granted the injunction against the capacity limits and the ban on singing and chanting as well.3. Gish v. NewsomOn February 8, 2021, the Supreme Court vacated a California district court’s dismissal of a case that challenged various state and local orders banning indoor worship services. The Supreme Court directed the lower court to reconsider the case in light of its recent South Bay decision.4. Gateway City Church v. NewsomOn February 26, 2021, the Supreme Court granted an injunction that prevented enforcement of California’s restrictions against Gateway City Church. Noting that the “outcome [was] clearly dictated by [its] decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom,” the Court admonished the lower court, saying its “failure to grant relief was erroneous.”5. Tandon v. NewsomOn April 9, 2021, the Supreme Court granted another injunction against California’s restrictions. This time, the Court addressed California’s requirement that at-home religious gatherings could not contain more than three separate households. In its opinion, the Court emphasized that “government regulations are not neutral and generally applicable . . . whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.” The Court added that some secular activities being treated worse than religious ones is not a defense. It also stressed that the government bears the burden of showing “that measures less restrictive of the First Amendment activity could not address its interest in reducing the spread of COVID.” Because California “treat[ed] some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise” and the lower court did not find that religious activities posed more of a threat than the secular activities, the Court found that the “[a]pplicants [were] likely to succeed on the merits of their free exercise claim” and that an injunction was warranted. 6. South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. NewsomOn April 26, 2021, the Supreme Court returned to South Bay United Pentecostal Church’s case. The Court vacated the judgment of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of its decision in Tandon v. Newsom.It is unfortunate to have seen so much discrimination against religious gatherings over the past year. For a full list of such instances, see here. May we continue to work and pray toward the protection of our freedom to gather as believers and live out our faith during this time.
This is part 2 of a 3-part series. Read part 1.The first billionaire we have to thank for pushing incessant trans propaganda on our children is a man named James Pritzker. Pritzker came out as transgender in his 60s and now goes by the name Jennifer. The Pritzker family has been on the Forbes magazine Top 10 list of “America’s Richest Families” since the list began in 1982. The Pritzkers founded the Hyatt Hotel chain. They also own an airline, a cruise line, and a tobacco company (which they sold in 2006 for $3.5 billion). The Pritzkers sold their largest holding company (with 60 corporations) in 2010 to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.5 billion. But it’s the medical industrial complex where the Pritzkers have staked a lot of their current investments. After Pritzker announced he was a trans woman, he donated $6.5 million to the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota and just under $6 million to the Palm Center (an LGBTQ thin tank to study trans people in the military). He donated $2 million to install the world’s first “Chair of Trans Studies” at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and he donated another $1 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a Gender and Sex Development Program.Pritzker, along with fellow trans-identifying billionaire Martin Rothblatt (who now goes by Martine) began throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at both cultural and educational organizations around the globe on the condition that those groups would, in turn, indoctrinate people with Money’s ideas on gender identity. Way back in the ‘90s, Rothblatt hired three trans activist lawyers to create an “international, legal framework for the cultural acceptance of sexual identities not embodied in biological reality.” In other words, what we are watching unfold in our country right now has been in the works for decades. Boys being allowed to compete in girls’ sports and take away their scholarships was conceived long ago with the legal framework being laid long before LGB ever recognized the T. But the trans agenda coming from the billionaire boys’ club doesn’t end with laws that embolden people who swap out one gender for another. The mission that Pritzker and Rothblatt have embarked on is far greater.Rothblatt used to work for NASA, and he is the founder of Sirius Satellite Radio (worth $26 billion). He also founded the pharmaceutical company United Therapeutics ($4.5 billion). United Therapeutics is the world’s largest cloner of pigs. In fact, Rothblatt wrote his doctoral dissertation on xenotransplantation which is the transplantation of living cells, organs, or tissues from one species to another. (Can you see where this is going yet?)Rothblatt doesn’t just identify as transgender; he also identifies as transhuman.Rothblatt’s Terasem Foundation seeks to promote technological immortality via mind uploading and nanotechnology. The four pillars of Terasem include: 1) Life is purposeful; 2) Death is optional; 3) God is technological; 4) Love is essential.Rothblatt believes humans are capable of living forever and has created an organization dedicated to extending human life through cryogenics and cyber consciousness. His website Lifenaut allows people to save a “digital back-up” of both their mind and genetic code. He even commissioned a humanoid robot to be made using his wife as the model. This robot has made many speaking appearances and been interviewed by numerous newspapers, including The New York Times. In the Journal of Evolution and Technology (Vol. 18, May 2008), Rothblatt wrote an article called “Are we Transbemans Yet?” He identifies a “beme” as a unit of someone’s character or nature that behaves like a gene but is not bound to a physical location. Under the section of the article entitled “Reinventing Our Species” Rothblatt says, “We can replicate life without DNA…while it is true that without DNA there will be no flesh, that does not mean that there will be no self. Expressing the bemes of our consciousness in a computer substrate is still an expression of us.” He goes on to say, “Just as human DNA gives rise to humans, human BNA gives rise to bemans.” He talks about new kinds of bodies we will soon have and new kinds of laws that will be needed as a result.Rothblatt says there is a direct correlation between the acceptance of a person’s right to alter their gender and the acceptance of a person’s right to become transhuman (or transbeman). He says what we need is a total reimagining of what it means to be human.In other words, transgenderism is only the tip of a much larger iceberg. Now numerous LGBTQ organizations funded by the billionaire class are insisting on new public school curriculum that will spread their ideology to children in grades K-12. It began with requiring schools to teach “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” in history textbooks. One of the first states to adopt this was Illinois where James Pritzker’s cousin, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, signed it into law.New teaching at the K-12 level will be far more extreme. The California Department of Education has a plan to teach kindergarteners that there are 15 different genders to choose from. Because insane ideas such as these are already being taught in parts of Europe, we now have elementary schools reporting a skyrocketing rate of students seeking to transition. One teacher in a British school revealed she knows of 17 students in the process of switching genders. She claims many of them were vulnerable kids with autism or mental health issues who were tricked into believing they were born the wrong sex.You see, if people like Pritzker and Rothblatt can confuse a child about gender before he or she hits puberty, it means greater financial gains for them. Because both men have a stake in the trans-medical industrial complex, if they can confuse children when they are very young (elementary school age), they can profit off puberty blockers in addition to life-long hormone treatments and countless surgeries at the gender clinics they’re invested in.Remember, a single trans customer will pay for many surgeries over a lifetime (vaginoplasties, facial feminizations, vocal cord reconstructions, breast implants, Adam’s apple shavings, even “womb transplants” for men). This all adds up to big bucks in these billionaire bank accounts.Once Planned Parenthood saw how much money there was to be made in the trans medical business, they too rushed in to provide people with cross-sex hormones under what they call “gender affirming therapy.” They are now the second largest provider of this service.The entire trans industry works like this: First, create a false problem (confuse kids through teaching them about gender identity). Then introduce a solution to the false problem (come fix your problems at one of our gender clinics where you’ll be a life-long customer).The billionaire boys’ club knew they needed to brainwash the masses to accept the new gender ideology in order for their business plan to work. Several key changes in the cultural lexicon were first necessary in order to shift people’s thinking at a subconscious level. To start, the word “transexual” had to be done away with so people wouldn’t associate the trans movement with sex (even though there is most definitely an association). Many so-called “trans men” are males who have a bizarre sexual fetish called “autogynephilia.” Autogynephilia is the objectification of women to the point of wanting to embody a female oneself. (See Dr. Ray Blanchard’s research for more on this.)Both Pritzker and Rothblatt appear to meet the standard definition of an autogynephiliac: a man who enjoys cross-dressing so much that he develops a sexual fetish around it. In the past decade, there has been a massive, concerted effort by trans activists to normalize this fetish by taking it public. But the word “transexual” was conveniently replaced with the more respectable sounding “transgender”—a word that inherently implies a person has no choice in what “gender identity” they become. They were simply “assigned the wrong gender” at birth. Altering language this way is a classic John Money tactic. Money was the person responsible for shifting everyone away from using the term “sexual preference” to the term “sexual orientation.” To have a sexual preference implies a person has a say in who they desire to have sex with. A sexual orientation, on the other hand, implies the person was born with those desires and they, therefore, remain totally out of their control. (Can you see why a pedophile might prefer option B?) (It should be noted that the subject of “gender identity” is not the only arena where Money’s language tactics are used. The Scientific American recently announced they would no longer be using the words “climate change” but would instead substitute the term “climate emergency.” Other publications rushed to follow their lead.) Stay tuned for part 3 on May 3.
President Biden has allowed more taxpayer funding to be used for abortions or by abortion businesses then any president before him in their first 100 days. So far, FRC has tracked down almost $480 billion under the Biden administration that can be used to subsidize abortion and abortion businesses. It is unlikely that all of this funding will in fact be used to fund abortion. However, these funds expressly exclude existing prohibitions on abortion funding, allowing what could be for the first time in decades direct taxpayer funding for elective abortions.Since 1973 when Congress passed the Helms Amendment (the first congressional prohibition on taxpayer funds which specifically prohibits foreign assistance funds from paying for abortion overseas), there has been a longstanding bipartisan agreement that the federal government should not subsidize the practice of abortion. In the 48 years since then, the federal government has taken further actions to directly prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion and health plans that cover elective abortion domestically and abroad.The first breach of this longstanding consensus was the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The ACA was the largest breach of this consensus as it directly bypasses current restrictions on abortion funding. But even President Obama, who also repealed the Mexico City Policy and subsidized employer health plans that cover abortion as a response to the 2008 recession, did not subsidize the abortion industry to this degree this soon into his presidency.President Obama did repeal President Bush’s Mexico City policy, which prohibits family planning funds from going to international organizations that commit abortions during his first months in office. However, the expanded version of the Mexico City Policy put in place by President Trump which Biden repealed on January 28 covered nearly $8 billion in global health funds, which freed up a far greater amount of funding for international abortion businesses then Obama did in 2009.The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 response package that President Biden signed on March 11 is where the vast majority of the funds for abortion and abortion businesses comes from. And in that package, Biden not only expanded upon President Obama’s policies that subsidize abortion but went to far greater lengths to include program funding that lacks any substantive prohibitions on abortion funding.President Obama signed a stimulus package early in his first term that would cover 65 percent of Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health plans for the newly unemployed to remain on their employer sponsored health plans, many of which cover elective abortions. This subsidy was extended into May 2010, so the overall costs were not determined, but initial cost estimates came in at $24.7 billion. Biden likewise approved a COBRA health subsidy as part of his COVID relief package, but his subsidy went further to cover the full 100 percent of COBRA health plans, which was estimated to cost $35.095 billion.Obama cemented his legacy with his signature health care victory in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law created permanent subsidies for health plans that cover abortion, to the tune of $13 billion in 2020. While the ACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010, it was not fully implemented until 2014—well into Obama’s second term. Biden, however, took early advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to dramatically expand these tax subsidies that fund ACA plans that cover abortion. These expanded ACA subsidies are estimated to cost $45.624 billion.The largest source of Biden’s funding that can be used for abortions is the $350 billion in funds for state and local governments to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, without a single reference to prohibiting the use for abortion or abortion businesses. While the funds must be used under the general requirement of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has already been made clear by the abortion industry that they are treating abortion as both a health and economic response to the pandemic. In 2019, New York City created its own abortion fund with local dollars, and now with billions being sent out to states with minimal guardrails, many other cities and states could follow suit—all on the backs of federal taxpayers. We may never know how much of these state bailouts go to line the pockets of the abortion industry, but we do know that the Biden administration left the door wide open for these funds to do just that.Additionally, the Biden administration has directly ignored the congressional intent of the Paycheck Protection Program to exclude Planned Parenthood from being eligible. Instead, since taking office, his administration has already approved four new loans totaling $6.7 million for various Planned Parenthood affiliates. A direct line of federal funding for Planned Parenthood to use on salaries, health benefits, and equipment in his first 100 days is something President Obama could have only dreamed about.Tragically, the use of taxpayer funds for abortion will not stop here as President Biden has already taken several actions to further subsidize the abortion industry. The Department of Health and Human Services has already proposed new regulations that would once again send millions of Title X Family Planning Funds to abortion businesses, with many more actions to promote abortion underway.President Biden has come into office at an unprecedented time in history, one in which the country is facing a global pandemic and Americans appear more divided then ever. There are few more unifying policies then prohibitions on direct taxpayer funding of abortion, a policy that has garnered a majority support from Americans for years. Instead of maintaining these unifying policies that he himself has supported as a senator, Joe Biden is cementing himself as the largest financial supporter of the abortion industry that has ever occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
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, and Identity.Last week, Montana joined 21 other states in passing legislation that requires the government to have a compelling reason for violating its citizens’ sincerely-held religious beliefs. Montana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—like the federal version passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1993—says that when the government must restrict religious expression, it may only do so using the least restrictive means possible.Lawmakers in Montana, including Gov. Greg Gianforte, were criticized for approving the legislation. This is not surprising; recent attempts to pass RFRAs in other states, such as Indiana in 2015, have elicited passionate responses. Although it received relatively little national attention, Montana’s RFRA was still opposed by over 250 businesses, including national corporations like Google, Amazon, and Verizon.Why are efforts to protect religious freedom encountering so much opposition nowadays? The political left’s opposition to RFRA laws has become predictable. However, a well-known pastor and seminary chancellor recently stunned evangelicals when he called religious freedom “idolatry.” The United States of America was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution, but it seems our society’s understanding of the value of religious freedom has been lost.How should Christians think about religious freedom? Is religious freedom worth defending? Moreover, does the Bible provide a rationale for a policy of broad religious freedom?First, it is important to define our terms. Religious freedom is the freedom to hold religious beliefs of one’s own choosing and to live in accordance with those beliefs. Religious freedom protects individuals’ ability to come to their own conclusions about matters of utmost importance—such as God, the world, and themselves—free from government coercion.An important implication flows from this definition: religious freedom does not privilege one religion over the other. Religious freedom protects people of every faith and people with no faith affiliation. Although its detractors often characterize religious freedom advocacy as the attempts of a dominant faith group (e.g., American Christians) to acquire more power or rights, this is simply not the case. Properly understood, religious freedom levels the playing field and protects the conscience rights of everyone.Now that we have established what religious freedom is, we must ask ourselves: is it biblical? Can a biblical case be made for policies that protect religious freedom? In short, yes. Although no one verse in the Bible expressly demands religious freedom on its face, I would argue that the concept is implicit on nearly every page of Scripture.How did I reach this conclusion? First, it is important to recall what Christian theology teaches about the interior nature of faith and the futility of coercion in matters of religion. Consider someone’s relationship with God. Although outside forces can certainly influence a person’s perception of God, a person’s inner beliefs are ultimately only known to the person himself (and, of course, to God). The spiritual nature of faith makes it impervious to outside control. This is why an aggressor can torture, abuse, and persecute a believer’s physical body without affecting that believer’s core beliefs. External pressure may be successful in producing outward conformity, but external forces can never change inward belief.Scripture passages that underscore these truths include Jesus’ parable of the tares (Mat. 13:24-30) and the story of the rich young ruler (Mat. 19:16-30). In the parable, Jesus explains that the wheat (representing believers) and weeds (unbelievers) must be allowed to grow together. Although the unbelievers do not belong to the community of faith, they should be left alone because God’s judgment is eschatological (i.e., it will happen at the end of days). At the end of the age, God will root out the weeds (unbelievers) for their unbelief. Likewise, in the story with the rich young ruler, Jesus allows a potential disciple to walk away instead of coercing or scolding him. By honoring the man’s choice, Jesus underscored the personal nature of faith.Further evidence that the Bible supports religious freedom is the persistent language of appeal and persuasion in evangelism. For instance, Paul reasons and debates with his listeners in Athens (Acts 19:8, 26). Throughout his ministry, Paul never attempted to force anyone to believe the gospel; he knew such a move would be futile and counterproductive. Rather, he used the means of persuasion and pleaded with people to follow Christ. Paul sought to be faithful with the gospel without being confrontational in encouraging conversion.In short, the Bible can be said to support a broad conception of religious freedom.As secular society increasingly misunderstands religious conviction, a growing number of people are content to restrict religious liberty protections. This is reflected in the opposition to the RFRA legislation passed last week in Montana—legislation modeled after a federal bill that once passed Congress with strong bipartisan support. Thus, there is an urgent need to explain to our society why protecting everyone’s ability to believe and live out those beliefs without consequence or restriction serves all people—religious and non-religious.For a more extended treatment of the Bible’s teaching on religious freedom, visit frc.org/belief.
Liberal states have been attempting to demand total adherence to their ideology for a while now. The Left is no longer interested in co-existing, but rather in demanding every person adheres to their views on sexuality and marriage. The latest target? Texas. But California should know better than to mess with Texas. The Lone Star State is fighting back.This case arose from the following string of events: California banned state-funded or state-sponsored travel to Texas. Why? Because Texas respects the religious beliefs of those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that a mother and father is best for children. Texas acknowledges the religious freedom of faith-based child welfare providers within its own border. California is so bothered by Texas allowing its own citizens to freely live out their faith that they have decided that nobody can travel there if their travel is being sponsored by the state. It’s unclear if California would allow any state-funded travel to China, where an actual genocide is occurring. Yet, California is taking a hard stance again Christians living out their faith in Texas.Texas went straight to the Supreme Court to file a complaint against California’s unconstitutional action. Texas was not alone, as 19 other states joined an amicus in support of Texas standing up to the demands of the woke. While the Supreme Court denied what is known as a “bill of complaint” earlier this week, Texas did not fully lose the case. The Court’s denial simply means that Texas needs to go through the lower courts first, as the Supreme Court did not have the proper jurisdiction at the moment—a point with which Justices Alito and Thomas disagreed. No justice commented on the merits of the case, but Alito and Thomas would have accepted the case without it working its way through lower courts.For now, Texas lives to fight on another day, and we can expect to see this case and the issue it deals with arise again in the future.
*Editor’s Note: This is part 1 of a 3-part series. The author wishes to remain anonymous.The children’s section in Barnes & Noble recently featured a display table of books written by or about “notable women.” Included in the display is the book I Am Jazz. Author Jazz Jennings is a transgender teen (boy) who authored a picture book to explain to preschool age children that their gender identity may not match their biological sex.Jennings claims that when he was the ripe old age of 2 years old, he was already able to articulate the fact that he wanted to be a girl. Of course, toddlers want to be all sorts of things (superheroes and princesses come to mind); but most parents are wise enough not to encourage their toddler to spend the remainder of his/her life ingesting dangerous hormones and getting a series of surgeries to help them look more like the character they imagine. Yet that’s precisely what Jennings’ parents did. They helped him start a YouTube channel about his transgender journey which led to his book being published. He eventually landed a deal to star in his own E! reality TV show, chronicling his sex reassignment journey at the age of 13.Jennings was the first case of the trans machine attempting to push its propaganda on young children nationwide. It opened the floodgates for what had been pre-planned from there.Now trans propaganda is everywhere we turn. We pull up Google to do a search and see the message “Happy Black Trans Pride Day!” printed below the search bar. We walk into Target and pass bathroom signs showing a male wearing a dress. We turn on Netflix’s popular kids’ show Babysitter’s Club to find the babysitters caring for a trans 6-year-old. We scroll through Twitter to find that even Oreo cookies feels the need to remind us “Trans people exist.”How did we get here? When did insanity go mainstream? And why are they forcing it on our children? I believe the answer to these questions can largely be summed up in one word: Money.It all began with a man ironically named John Money, and it spiraled down from there thanks to money of several billionaire transgender activists. John Money first came up with the idea of a “gender identity” back in the early ‘60s. Money was born in New Zealand in 1921 and later emigrated to the U.S. where he earned a PhD from Harvard. He became a professor of pediatrics and psychology at Johns Hopkins University where his unique ideas on gender led to him establishing the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic in 1965. It was the first clinic of its kind in the world.After the clinic opened, Money was introduced to the Reimers—parents who had twin boys named David and Brian. After a doctor had badly botched David’s circumcision, Money encouraged the Reimers to give the baby a full sex reassignment surgery at his new gender clinic. He also recommended they start David on hormone treatments and raise him as a girl, changing his name to Brenda. With Money’s impressive credentials, David’s parents were persuaded and did as he suggested. For the 25 years that followed, David’s case was used by Money and others to prove that changing a child’s “gender identity” was not only possible but beneficial. Money published numerous papers touting the success of David’s sex reassignment. As a result, Money’s views on gender identity became the primary viewpoint among doctors for the next three decades, resulting in thousands of sex reassignment surgeries. Money went on to receive 65 honors, awards, and degrees.But the truth about John Money, the father of the gender identity movement, is that he was a huge pedophile advocate. He said pedophilia is not a disorder, it is simply caused by a “surplus of parental love that becomes erotic.” He is quoted as saying, “If I were to see the case of a boy aged 10 or 11 who’s intensely erotically attracted toward a man in his 20s or 30s, if the relationship is totally mutual and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual…then I would not call it pathological in any way.”Knowing this helps us understand why Money performed numerous “research experiments” on both David and his twin brother Brian. According to David, Money forced the boys to perform sex acts together, claiming he was trying to help them develop a healthy gender identity. He instructed David to play the part of the woman and Brian to play the part of the man. At age 14 when David found out he was really a boy, he was devastated. He changed his name from Brenda back to David and underwent surgery to reverse all his female bodily modifications. He later said in an interview, “I’d give just about anything to go to a hypnotist to black out my whole past. Because it’s torture. What they did to you in the body is sometimes not near as bad as what they did to you in the mind—with the psychological warfare in your head.”David’s twin Brian eventually developed schizophrenia and later died after overdosing on anti-depressants. David shot himself in the head at age of 38. David’s parents have said that Money’s methods were directly responsible for the deaths of their two sons.By the time the boys died, Money’s “gender identity” lie had gone mainstream, and once several billionaires realized that Money’s ideas were quite literally money… it was game over.For all the diversity touted by the LGBTQ community, at the end of the day, the entire transgender movement was instigated by a few rich white men. You see, the buying power of the LGBTQ population currently stands at $3.6 trillion, so businessmen recognize an opportunity when they see it.Stay tuned for part 2 on April 29.
Family Research Council wrapped up another busy week as your voice for life, family, and religious freedom on Capitol Hill. Here are some highlights from what FRC worked on in Congress this week.House Passes an Unconstitutional Bill to make D.C. the 51st StateYesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 51—a bill that aims to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state—by a vote of 216-208. It was met with fierce opposition from Republican members. No members of either party broke rank, making H.R. 51 a purely partisan bill.Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican to represent the state of Maryland in either chamber, voiced his strong opposition to H.R. 51, citing his home state’s initial ceding of land to create the District. He outlined the constitutional problems with making the federal enclave into a new state, especially when land used to create D.C. was once a part of Maryland.H.R. 51 now heads to the Senate, where only 44 of the 50 Democrats support the bill. FRC will continue engaging with both chambers of Congress to inform members of the constitutional and practical problems posed by D.C. statehood.Check out FRC’s new resource outlining seven key things you should know about the current campaign for D.C. statehood.Congress Seeks to Protect Big Marijuana Businesses, Without DebateThe marijuana industry continues to expand as more and more states begin legalizing recreational marijuana. Now, big marijuana businesses have partnered with the banking industry to push Congress for special legal protections. The SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1996) would maintain the current federal prohibitions on marijuana drug use for recreational or medical purposes; however, it would create a special carveout for businesses that buy and sell marijuana to have access to banking and other financial systems.This bill passed the House 321-101 with virtually no hearing, debate, or amendments allowed to be offered. The FRC team worked diligently to inform House members and their staff of the detrimental impact this bill would have, including propping up the marijuana industry and further exposing families and children to pervasive drug use. Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) lead the opposition to this bill, giving an excellent floor speech outlining how its passage would affect families and children. Unfortunately, many members who typically champion socially conservative issues voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act, placing business interests ahead of the interests of American families.This bill now moves to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to unveil a full marijuana legalization bill soon. Fortunately, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the Senate Banking Committee chairman, has come out in opposition to the SAFE Banking Act and has maintained a constant opposition to marijuana legalization. FRC will work with his office and other senators to ensure that this bill does not reach the president’s desk.Other Notable Items FRC Tracked This WeekThe Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine voting rights legislation. Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) each gave great testimony and asked questions to counter claims that voter integrity laws are discriminatory.The House Judiciary Committee hearing on enforcing the Voting Rights Act. North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, Mark Robinson, gave a rousing defense of election integrity efforts in North Carolina and across the country.The House Ways and Means Committee hearing on paid leave and child care. Representative Nunes (R-Calif.) brought up the importance of faith-based childcare providers and asked how they could be more involved in addressing childcare needs.
Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:1. Update: Troubled Waters: California Rep. Eggs on RiotersRep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) doesn’t represent the people of Minneapolis. In fact, when she stands in front of a crowd and spews dangerous rhetoric, she doesn’t even represent Los Angeles County. When she travels to Minnesota to tell the mob to “stay in the streets” and “get more confrontational,” she only represents one thing: the fringe Left.2. Update: A Border Boiling OverWhen the 10 Republican lawmakers arrived before midnight to tour the migrant holding facility in Donna, Texas, they were shocked by what they saw. In March, border guards encountered 172,331 unaccompanied minors, family units, and single adults on the southern border, and the flood keeps on coming. And yet, Democrats still insist: there is no crisis.3. Blog: Urgent Prayer Alert: Six Somali Christians Face Life-or-Death Trial for their FaithThe East African country of Somalia is infamous for many reasons, one if which is for hosting the vicious Islamist al-Shabaab terrorist group. And now, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List, Somalia is the third worst persecutor of Christians in the world.4. Blog: Terrible News for Nigeria’s Christians as Violence IncreasesThe stories that emerge from Nigeria are always terrifying and similar: heavily armed jihadis suddenly appear in the dead of night. They attack house after house, breaking down doors, shouting “Allahu Akbar.” They shoot the elderly and able-bodied men. Women are raped or murdered. They kidnap young boys and girls. Then they torch houses, schools, and churches.5. Washington Watch: Michael Waltz, Jeff Duncan, Ken Blackwell, Larry TauntonTony was joined by Michael Waltz, U.S. Representative from Florida, on President Biden withdrawing troops from Afghanistan; Jeff Duncan, U.S. Representative from South Carolina, on Major League Baseball removing the All-Star game from Georgia; Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance and former Ohio Secretary of State, on concerns about violence ahead of the Chauvin verdict; Larry Taunton, Executive Director of the Fixed Point Foundation, on the Marxist takeover of big business.6. Washington Watch: Marsha Blackburn, Jason Johnson, Rand Paul, John McLaughlinTony was joined by Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator from Tennessee, on the annual report released by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Jason Johnson, former Deputy Police Commissioner for Baltimore and President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, on the verdict in the Chauvin case; Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, on the letter he and a group of GOP senators sent to the Department of Justice and the Small Business Administration urging an investigation into Planned Parenthood; and John McLaughlin, Pollster for McLaughlin and Associates, on his survey showing that 78 percent of all voters support voter ID requirements in elections.7. Washington Watch: John Boozman, James Comer, Quena Gonzalez, David ClossonTony was joined by John Boozman, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, on his legislation that increases penalties for those who attack law enforcement officers; James Comer, U.S. Representative from Kentucky and Ranking Member on the House Oversight Committee, on the U.S. House of Representatives approving D.C. Statehood legislation; Quena Gonzalez, FRC’s Director of State & Local Affairs, on recent state legislation impacting faith, family, and freedom; and David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview, on the media criticizing evangelicals for vaccine hesitancy.
Saturday, April 24 marks Armenian Genocide Memorial Day. And, reportedly, U.S. President Joe Biden is preparing to formally acknowledge that the systematic murder and deportation of millions of Armenia’s Christians by the Ottoman Empire more than a century ago was, in fact, genocide.At the time of this writing, no official acknowledgement has occurred. And if Biden makes that declaration, he won’t be the first world leader to do so.During a Sunday sermon in April 2015, Pope Francis referred to the 1915 Turkish mass killings of Armenians as the “first genocide of the 20th century.” Unsurprisingly, this papal declaration instantly flared into a diplomatic uproar. It absolutely infuriated Turkey’s Islamist President Tayyip Erdogan, who “warned” the Pope against repeating his “mistaken” statement.Pope Francis was not mistaken. Those early 20th century massacres cost 1.5 million Armenian Christians their lives, along with another million Assyrian and Greek believers. Thanks to the Pope’s pronouncement and Erdogan’s outrage, the rest of the world was once again effectively reminded of the genocide’s terrors.The tragic story began on April 24, 1915, when Turkish authorities arrested hundreds of Armenian professors, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, and other elites in Constantinople (now Istanbul). These revered members of the community were jailed, tortured, and hastily massacred.After killing the most highly educated and influential men in the community, the Turks began house-to-house searches. Ostensibly they were looking for weapons, claiming that the Christians had armed themselves for a revolution. Since, in those days, most Turkish citizens owned rifles or handguns for hunting and self-defense, of course the Turks would find arms in Armenian homes. And this served as sufficient pretext for the government to arrest enormous numbers of Armenian men who were subsequently beaten, tortured, and murdered.The family members who survived these home invasions—mostly women, children, the ill, and the elderly—were forced to embark upon what has been described as a “concentration camp on foot.” They were told they would be “relocated.” Instead, they were herded like animals with whips and cudgels. And at gunpoint, they were sent on a death march to nowhere.The captives were provided with little or no food or water. Old people and babies were the first to die. Women were openly raped; mothers were gripped with insanity, helplessly watching their little ones suffer and succumb; more than a few took their own lives. Eyewitness accounts and photographs remain today, and they are heart wrenching. Corpses littered the roads; nude women were crucified; dozens of bodies floated in rivers.On Jan. 5, 2015, Raffi Khatchadourian published a personal essay in The New Yorker about his Armenian grandfather, who somehow survived the Armenian Genocide. He described the brutality:Whenever one of them lagged behind, a gendarme would beat her with the butt of his rifle, throwing her on her face till she rose terrified and rejoined her companions. If one lagged from sickness, she was either abandoned, alone in the wilderness, without help or comfort, to be a prey to wild beasts, or a gendarme ended her life by a bullet.Some Turks claim that World War II-era Armenian Christians had aligned themselves with Russia and were therefore a threat to Turkish security. But although the excuse that Armenian Christians were “enemies of the Turkish State” is still bandied about, German historian Michael Hesemann has carefully documented that it was not only a genocide of Armenians, but also an extermination of the Christian element in the Ottoman Empire. It was an ethnic and religious cleansing.In fact, the Armenian Genocide has been described as a jihad in numerous accounts. Armenian women were even told they would be spared if they would convert to Islam. It is noteworthy that at the genocide’s beginning, on November 13, 1914, a call to jihad—a holy war against Christian “infidels”—was officially announced by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V Resad. The carnage began just days later.And in the eyes of some Armenians, it has never stopped. I learned in October 2020—during a conversation with a friend in Yerevan—that Azerbaijan’s ongoing invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh was perceived by many Armenian Christians as the continuation of that same Islamist jihad against them.Last October, the combined armies of Azerbaijan and Turkey, supported by Syrian mercenaries, ferociously attacked Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian enclave. Historic churches, ancient carved cross-stones called khachkars, monasteries, and other Christian shrines and properties were defaced, demolished, and dispossessed. Meanwhile, an estimated 100,000 refugees frantically fled across Armenia’s border. It is a well-known story but worth repeating that in 1939, as he planned his “Final Solution” to rid the world of Jews, Adolf Hitler notoriously said, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”Hitler was very wrong indeed. The world certainly will remember that annihilation on Armenian Genocide Memorial Day. Countless voices will speak out in remembrance of Turkey’s murdered Christian population. Will one of those voices be that of the President of the United States, Joe Biden?If Biden has chosen to be the first U.S. President to officially declare that the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians was historically a genocide, he will most certainly deserve our thanks and applause.
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, and Loyalty.So many of our political debates are rooted in the concept of identity that there’s now an entire category called “identity politics.”Some women’s rights advocates argue for “equal pay for equal work,” while others fight for female athletes’ right not to compete against biological males in sports. And although most people agree that racial equality ought to be the goal, there is significant disagreement about what that means. Terms like “white supremacy” and “Asian hate” assign oppressor and oppressed status based on who people are rather than what they have done.At their core, these political debates flow from conversations about identity. How should we see ourselves? How should we see other people? Of course, identity is complex. Our identity is likely a combination of our country of origin, country of citizenship, the family we were born into, our race, sex, or even our athleticism or ability to sing. Some people define their identity primarily in terms of who they are attracted to.For Christians, identity should begin with the fact that every person is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). The American experiment was built around a similar presupposition articulated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” For Christians, our creation is where our identity begins, but it is not where it ends. In the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesian church, the apostle Paul describes the identity of a Christian. Paul explains that believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing; we have been chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, grace-lavished, and unconditionally loved and accepted. We are pure, blameless, and forgiven. We have received the hope of spending eternity with God. In Christ, these aspects of our identity can never be altered by what we do (Eph. 1:3-14).This is what it means to be a Christian, but it is not all that it means to be human. Some of us are male, others are female. We are different races, different sizes; we have different hair colors and eye colors, different abilities, types of intelligence, and interests. But for Christians, those characteristics are of secondary importance. As Paul notes in his letter to the Galatians, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28, ESV). While not unimportant, Paul believed identity markers such as sex, occupation, and ethnicity were subservient to one’s identity in Christ.When we make the mistake of making our secondary identity primary, we inevitably create divisions. If I believe the most important thing about me is my sex, I will see those of the opposite sex as primarily different than me. The same is true if my primary identity is determined by my race, athletic abilities, or political affiliations. But if I see myself primarily as someone created in the image of God, I will identify with others by what we have in common. Beyond that, the goal of equality is impossible unless our identity is rooted in our creation. There is no other basis on which one could reasonably argue that all people are equal. Consider this: in all other ways, we are different. We are not equally intelligent, talented, attractive, or capable. If our identity, value, and equality are not endowed by our Creator, they are nonexistent. The only other way of assessing human value would be based on our merits—our ability to perform a task, solve a problem, or contribute something meaningful to humanity. In these respects, humans are decidedly unequal. Once our identity is detached from our creation, it becomes easy to identify those who are different from us as not just different but inferior.Misplaced identity explains, in part, why the most vicious and violent governments in history have also been the most secular and explains why eugenicists, past and present, have argued that the lives of people with disabilities are less valuable than the lives of those who have none. If our value comes strictly from our productivity and what we can contribute, those with disabilities are less valuable because they cannot contribute in the same ways other people can. Moreover, those with physical or mental disabilities require more resources from the community. However, if our value is inherent in our creation, those who devalue people with disabilities are tragically and fatally wrong.The Nazi’s “Final Solution” was made possible by a naturalist, Darwinian worldview that allowed them to identify an entire race of people by how they were different. The Chinese Communist genocide against Uyghur Muslims happening today is made possible because the Communist Party leaders identify Uyghurs first and foremost by the ways in which they are different.One of the few things that seems to unite Americans today is the belief that we are divided. Part of our division may lie in the way we see ourselves and others. It’s much easier to remain divided if we divide the world in terms of blue or red, black or white, gay or straight. Let’s take God’s advice and start seeing each other primarily as image-bearers of God and see how that goes.It’s hard to imagine it would get worse.
The East African country of Somalia is infamous for several reasons:For hosting the bloodthirsty Islamist al-Shabaab terrorist group.For being the site of the well-known “Black Hawk Down” battle which devastated U.S. military personnel and American efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the country.And when it comes to human rights, poverty-stricken and war-torn Somalia has another particularly ugly mark against it: According to Open Doors’ World Watch List, Somalia is the third worst persecutor of Christians in the world.Right now, April 19, 2021, a trial is taking place in Hargeisa, Somaliland that could cost the lives of six Somali Christians – all of them courageous converts from Islam who have been accused of “crimes” that may carry a death sentence.Please pray with us for these Christians now and in the days to come:1- Mohamed Abdillaahi Nuuh (Age 35)2- Hayat Aaden Abdi (Age 26)3- Jama Kayse Hussein (Age 35)4- Osman Abdi Omar (Age 39)5- Khadar Abdillaahi Ali (Age 38)6- Yuusuf Bahiir Xirse (Age unknown)According to court documents, the accusations against these believers include the following:“…disrupting the religious activities of the republic of Somaliland (Islamic religion), uniting and inciting against the law…because you have all been involved in spreading the Christian Protestant religion in Somaliland, and disrupting the faith of the Muslim community in the Republic of Somaliland by proselytizing and encouraging them to leave Islam and convert to Christianity…”The court’s evidence for these life-and-death accusations includes:Two books about Christianity and written in Somali that were taken from the house of accused;A book written in English called the “Heart of Christian Leadership” that was taken from the house of the accused;A letter written in Somali about the Christian religion;Five Bibles written in English and three Bibles written in Amharic;Numerous other books and extensive data from the defendants’ computers.For Christians under such circumstances, the threat is not insignificant. As the U.S. State Department 2020 report explained regarding the situation in Somalia:“Al-Shabaab continued to impose its own interpretation of Islamic practices and sharia on other Muslims and non-Muslims, including executions as a penalty for alleged apostasy in areas under its control, according to media and UN sources.”I wasn’t particularly surprised to learn that Christians were attacked in Somalia. More amazing to me was that after so many battle-scarred years and violent incidents, any Christians remained there at all. And not only do they remain, but according to reports, there are hundreds of new believers who continue to worship in secret underground churches – small gatherings comprised entirely of brave and faithful local converts from Islam.Please take time today to pray for these brave and bold Christians who are facing a potentially painful future. Join us as we thank the Lord for their courage and remarkable faith. And ask the Lord to guide, protect and intervene for them – today and in the days to come, in Jesus’ name.
On Friday, April 16, the Washington Post reported that tens of thousands of Nigerians have fled deadly attacks by armed groups, making the shocking statement that "the latest rebel attack on Wednesday drove out as many as 80% of the population of Damasak, according to the U.N. refugee agency, who said up to 65,000 people were on the move. . . . Assailants looted and burned down private homes, warehouses of humanitarian agencies, a police station, a clinic, and also a UNHCR facility. . . ."Trying to verify this almost unbelievable story, I wrote to my Nigerian Christian friend Hassan John – who actively reports about the ongoing tragedy in his country. He replied, "Yes, the attack on Damasak and surrounding villages has been intense in the last two weeks. Most Christians have fled in the last four weeks as the intensity of the fight increased. Boko Haram has now taken over control of most of the region around Lake Chad up to the Cameroonian boarders. They are now moving in towards Mauduguri."Family Research Council continues to actively document the deteriorating security situation here, as explained in our full report on Nigeria updated earlier this year. The report explains, "1,202 Nigerian Christians were killed in the first six months of 2020. This is in addition to 11,000 Christians who have been killed since June 2015. Such violence has reached a point at which expert observers and analysts are warning of a progressive genocide—a 'slow-motion war' specifically targeting Christians across Africa's largest and most economically powerful nation."The stories that emerge from Nigeria are always terrifying and similar: heavily armed jihadis suddenly appear in the dead of night. They attack house after house, breaking down doors, shouting "Allahu Akbar." They shoot the elderly and able-bodied men. They rape, mutilate, and murder women. They kidnap young boys and girls, often using them as slaves and concubines. They torch houses, schools, and churches.Some villagers manage to flee into the bush. Too many of them are never seen again, while in following days it's difficult to say for sure who is still alive, who has fled, and who has been kidnapped. Photos of survivors' faces reflect the agony of trying to remember just what happened, exactly when the screaming and shooting began, and how they managed to escape with their lives after seeing friends and loved ones murdered or mutilated.Beyond a doubt, there is a surging bloodbath in Nigeria. Murderous incidents are acted out with accelerating frequency and have long been attributed to two terror groups—Boko Haram and Fulani jihadis. Unfortunately, that picture is changing and worsening. The terrorist groups in Africa that enjoy major funding and notoriety are successfully reaching further into the continent, unifying their forces, absorbing other groups, and gaining greater power.Olivier Guitta, Managing Director of GlobalStrat, ominously predicts the dawning of a new Caliphate. He writes:Islamic State's historical strong franchises have included the spinoff of Boko Haram in Nigeria that is part of Islamic State in West Africa Province. More recently the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has made huge progress almost supplanting al-Qaeda as the top dog in the region . . . the future looks unfortunately bright for Islamic State in a continent with lots of fragile, corrupt quasi-failed states that could allow the birth of a Caliphate in mini territories in Mozambique, the Sahel and possibly Nigeria.Nigeria is Africa's largest state and its most prosperous. The population is 53 percent Christian. And the Christian community is often intentionally targeted because of its religious faith. In many rural areas, residents report that they never go to sleep at night assured that they will not be attacked and murdered before sunrise. Those who have survived attacks report that the perpetrators shouted "Allahu Akbar" as they killed and destroyed.Meanwhile, while nearly daily reports of kidnappings, murders and massacres continue to appear, WSJ explains that Islamic State is transforming itself into a different kind of enemy by "embracing an array of militant groups as if they were local franchises. After its dreams of imposing draconian Islamist law in a self-declared state in Syria were crushed, Islamic State successfully injected itself into localized conflicts in Nigeria, Libya and across the Sahel, the semiarid belt running east-west along the southern edge of the Sahara."As American Christians, we often focus our attention solely on our own country and its increasingly anti-Christian leadership and legislation. However, as we watch, pray and respond to opportunities to push back against ungodly forces in our homeland, let's also keep in mind that there never has been a more dangerous and deadly time for Christians all across the world.Britain's Guardian reports that "more than 340 million Christians—one in eight—face high levels of persecution and discrimination because of their faith, according to the 2021 World Watch List compiled by the Christian advocacy group Open Doors. It says there was a 60% increase over the previous year in the number of Christians killed for their faith. More than nine out of 10 of the global total of 4,761 deaths were in Africa."As we pray and lift up America's present concerns, we ought also to remember to lift our eyes beyond our borders. Let's pray for those who are endangered in faraway places—like long-suffering Nigeria—as if we were suffering with them.
Family Research Council wrapped up another busy week monitoring activity in Congress that affects life, family, and religious freedom and being your voice on Capitol Hill. Here are the most important Hill items FRC worked on this week.Discharge Petition Filed to Bring Born-Alive Bill to the FloorYesterday, one of the newly elected pro-life women in 117th Congress, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), filed a procedural motion known as a "discharge petition" in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act up for a vote. If 218 members of Congress sign the petition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be required to hold a vote on the bill. In the previous Congress, Pelosi refused to bring this legislation up for a vote over 80 times.So far, 205 members have signed the petition, with several more Republican members expected to sign in the coming days. By collecting over 200 signatures in a day, the petition broke the previous record of most signatures. You can track which House members have signed the petition here.The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is an important bill that would require medical practitioners to provide the same level of care to an infant that survives an abortion as they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. Currently, there are no federal protections or mandates to protect these young lives. FRC has worked hard to inform House members about this important issue. In the nine states that require reporting on abortion survivors, FRC found at least 203 cases in which an infant survived a failed abortion.It is past time for Congress to pass a federal law that protects the lives of infants who have survived abortion. FRC has been monitoring the states that have passed protections and has found that federal law and 32 states do not adequately protect the lives of abortion survivors. We will continue to monitor this issue and push for full legal protection for abortion survivors.See FRC's resources for more information on the Born-Alive issue:Issue BriefOne-Page GraphicBorn-Alive MapHHS Secretary Doubles Down on Abortion Policies in First Committee HearingThe secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra, appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to testify on the FY22 budget request. During this hearing, Democratic members raved about how excited they were to see their colleague of 24 years, known for his pro-abortion record, serving as HHS secretary. The FRC team monitored this hearing and applauded those members of the committee who took a stand for the unborn. This includes Congressman Ben Cline (R-Va.), who grilled Secretary Becerra on his abortion record.Representative Cline urged Becerra to support the Trump administration's policy banning the use of fetal tissue for federal research. Cline also set the stage for bipartisan support of the Hyde Amendment. After getting Becerra to admit his belief that Roe v. Wade is settled law, Cline reminded the secretary that Hyde, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion, was passed only three years after Roe, and should similarly be considered settled law. It is more important than ever to stand up in defense of life, especially considering the Biden administration's pro-abortion actions just this week.Just this past Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they would not be enforcing the safety requirement that chemical abortion pills only be distributed in person. These requirements were put into place to protect women from severe health complications that have been known to arise from the use of abortion pills. Now the Biden administration has taken action that prioritizes pro-abortion ideology over protecting women's health. On Thursday, HHS followed up on the FDA's announcement by proposing the removal of pro-life protections in the Title X Family Planning Program. Removing these protections would allow pro-abortion entities that refused to abide by them (entities like Planned Parenthood) to receive Title X funding.The Biden administration's intent to dismantle federal law that protects life was on full display this week, but do not be dismayed. The pro-life community has many opportunities to hold this administration accountable.See FRC's resources for more information on Becerra:Talking PointsBlogPaycheck Fairness ActThe U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) by the slim margin of 217-210. This bill undermines its well-intentioned goal of creating fair wages for men and women by redefining sex in a way that is harmful to women and ignores the biological realities of men and women.In the Equality Act and women's sports debates, we are already seeing the harm gender identity ideology poses to women's rights, privacy, and safety. If it were to become law, the Paycheck Fairness Act could mandate employers to fund hormones or surgeries as a "treatment" for gender dysphoria and abortions as a benefit to employees. The FRC team worked quickly to inform members about the negative implications of this bill before the vote this week.Other Notable Items FRC Tracked This Week:The Senate Judiciary Committee held a nomination hearing on the nominations of Kristen Clarke to be the associate attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Clarke has perpetuated the left-wing narrative that Bible-believing Christians are bigoted and discriminatory. Her pro-LGBT efforts in law underscore her disregard for the First Amendment right to religious liberty.The Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Andrea Joan Palm to be a deputy secretary of HHS and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Both nominees have close ties to Planned Parenthood and have been endorsed by the abortion industry for their forceful support of abortion.The House Oversight Committee held a markup of H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which seeks to make D.C. a state. This effort has a host of problems, primarily that it does not reflect our Founders' intention for the federal seat of government to be independent of any one state in the Union. This markup sets up a likely vote on this bill next week.

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