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The Daily Signal: Culture is central because it affects everything else. Francis highlights that a “throwaway culture” harms both social and physical ecology: “When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities—to offer just a few examples—it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.”
Public Discourse: Millennials who stand up for family, marriage, and the foundational institutions of civil society make possible a new cultural counter-revolution. The question is, will you join it?
First Things: Those of us who know Ryan Anderson have certain adjectives that come naturally to mind when we think of the country’s most visible and effective under-40 defender of the truth about marriage. (And if I thought about it, I might drop the “under-40” qualifier.) Fearless, composed, tenacious, rational, persuasive . . .
National Review: Christianity is in decline. The “Nones” are ascendant. And Millennials are the driving force for the entire demographic disruption. So says the prevailing coverage of the latest Pew Research Center survey released in May.
Life News: This week at our office we received our 13th missive from Glitter Bombs for Choice, an loose association of abortion advocates that has made something of a name for itself in the past few months.
The Gospel Coalition: In the last few decades we have witnessed a massive moral shift in Western culture, not least in the realm of sexuality. How should we think about it? And how should we respond? To help, Albert Mohler talked with TGC’s Mark Mellinger.
First Things: Tony Campolo has become the latest evangelical leader to declare for gay marriage. It is perhaps not a surprise: Campolo has been a gadfly in the evangelical world throughout his career and his adoption of this cause is of a piece with many of his other pronouncements over the years.
Christian News Network: A new dating app launched last month to provide a means for Americans to be “liberated from the confines of conventional, old-fashioned, repressed ways of loving” and engage in relationships with multiple partners.
Baptist News: A Southern Baptist leader expressed sadness but not surprise at Tony Campolo’s announcement June 8 that he supports full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the life of the church.
First Things: At the March for Life this past January, I saw a teenage girl holding a sign that read, “She could be the next Beyoncé!” the “she” referring, of course, to the baby inside the womb.
The Stream: At one point, there were upward of 50 gender options available for users to choose on Facebook. Things must have changed, because when I checked this morning, it was down to three: male, female and a write-in custom option.
The Stream: At a moment when many on the left are desperately trying to conjure up enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first woman president, others on the left want to turn the word “woman” into a term of exclusion and oppression.
The New York Post: As for the broader issue of whether gay and lesbian relationships are even morally acceptable, only 40 percent said yes in 2001. Today that number stands at 63 percent.
First Things: In thirty years as a professor, of graduate seminars, academic conferences, committee meetings, lunches and dinners, and conversations short and long, I have heard God mentioned rarely, and when he is mentioned he is never talked of in a way that assumes his reality.
The Federalist: Can gays and Christians co-exist in America? As the saying goes, “Can this marriage be saved?” I still hope the answer is yes. But for now, it is very much up in the air—and the answer is no longer in Christians’ hands.
Family Studies: The future of the Healthy Marriage Initiative, which funds relationship education classes and related programming for low-income families, is at risk.
The Federalist: For years, a major aim of the sexual revolution has been to deconstruct gender differences as being “social constructs,” mere cultural projections of what maleness and femaleness are and mean. This critique evacuated gender of any physical meaning and reduced it to an existential feeling—a feeling of being male or female, regardless of one’s sexual biology.
Public Discourse: Because it reduces the human person into a mere vehicle for abstract rights, liberalism has no language to express the transcendence and sacrifice of human sexuality.
Canon and Culture: The 1950s and 1960s marked the beginning of sweeping societal upheaval in the United States. The most sensational headlines have always gone to sex (the sexual revolution), drugs (the pharmacological revolution), and rock and roll (the musical revolution), but alongside this well-known triumvirate the Baby Boomers also brought us fast food and frozen dinners (the culinary revolution). These revolutions are all related. They have cross-pollinated one another and they share common dependencies. They all endure, with any of the four of them likely to steal the headlines on any given day. They have not, however, progressed all at the same pace.
Public Discourse: If we really are pro-women, and if we really want a cultural conversation on abortion, we owe it to post-abortive women to say, “You are not alone, and you deserve healing.”
The Gospel Coalition: Since the early 2000s, Gallup has tracked Americans’ views of the moral acceptability of various issues and behaviors. The overall trend clearly points toward a higher level of acceptance of a number of behaviors that the Bible clearly condemns. In fact, notes Gallup, the moral acceptability ratings for 10 of the issues measured since the early 2000s are at record highs.
HuffPost: Science magazine officially retracted a major study on same-sex marriage and public opinion on Thursday without the consent of the lead author, UCLA graduate student Michael J. LaCour.
Public Discourse: Candida Moss’s book on the history of Christian persecution is a case study in how scholarship gives way to politicized polemic—but it’s also an important reminder for contemporary Christians.
Russell Moore: We hear a lot these days about America being “post-Christian.” This sort of language has accelerated in recent weeks, with the Pew Center survey demonstrating a spike in the numbers of Americans who claim no religious affiliation.
The American Conservative: You may welcome these changes. You may reject these changes. What you may not plausibly do is to deny the revolutionary nature of these changes, and of this historic moment in the history of the West.
Public Discourse: I’m attracted to people of the same sex, and I’m glad that I was raised by a devoutly Christian mom and dad. My dad’s acceptance of me as a man, with full knowledge of my attraction to other men, was his gift to me. And though it was late coming, I am utterly thankful for it.
The Stream: For many of us, National Review is indispensable daily reading. It hosts many of conservatism’s most gifted writers. Indeed, The Stream is proud to publish columns by such NR stalwarts as Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry and Kathryn Lopez. This is why the publication of a long essay defending same-sex marriage by National Review’s managing editor Jason Lee Steorts is so distressing.
Mere Orthodoxy: There’s a sort of American Christian (almost always white and middle-to-upper class) who seems to think that the American church’s biggest problem at the moment is the previous generation of the American church.
Christianity Today: Whether we admit it or not, many evangelicals in America believe, deep down, that the church in America is the hope for Christianity and the spread of the gospel worldwide.
National Right to Life: How many times have you heard a pro-abortion person say that abortion should be rare? The oft-repeated words, notably spoken by pro-abortion president Bill Clinton are “safe, legal, and rare.”
National Right to Life: The Millennial Generation has grown up with an explosion of technology — the expansion of the Internet, the invention of the iPhone, the birth of social media, the advent of Skype. But the 21st century could also be known as a time of great progress against abortion.
The American Conservative: The point is that the times we’re entering are going to do away with Moralistic Therapeutic Deist parishes and denominations. We know this. We are going to need something strong and clear to stay on the straight path through this dark wood.
The Legal Intelligencer: Federal regulations requiring producers of pornographic material to keep records of their models’ ages don’t violate the First Amendment, but the warrantless searches they authorize do violate the Fourth Amendment, the Third Circuit has ruled.
First Things: During World War II, German doctors euthanized disabled babies and adults. As Robert Jay Lifton reported in The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, no one forced these doctors to kill.
First Things: A few weeks ago, I assigned the article “What is Marriage?” to the students in my gender theory class, which I teach at an evangelical university.
Life News: Alliance Defending Freedom explained their “services” like this: “Planned Parenthood doesn’t hand out birth control or abortion inducing drugs for free either. Planned Parenthood ALWAYS COLLECTS COLD, HARD CASH from their CLIENTS and AMERICAN TAXPAYERS for the birth control it doles out. Planned Parenthood’s websites show that it charges between $15 and $800 for hormonal birth control, up to $70 for early-abortion pills, and up to $1000 for IUDs. At the very minimum, it charged low-income women $90 million for contraceptives in fiscal year 2011, and collected more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money in that same year.”
The Christian Post: Christians who have so far avoided controversial “culture war” issues will likely be pulled into those battles as their religious freedom becomes threatened due to gay marriage, Dr. John Inazu warned Monday.
The Atlantic: I swore I’d never write publicly about this issue. It always felt too personal. Better to avoid it and focus on what my sister and I have in common.
The Christian Post: According to Nick’s complaint filed with the Los Angeles County court, it’s not a matter of Sofia or Nick arguing over who gets the kids during future holidays, it’s whether these two children should be even given a chance to live at all.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): The alarm over our crumbling religious liberty in America, the land of liberty, is growing painfully loud.
Religion News Service: My deepest identity will always be “child of God.” But identifying as a lesbian is a succinct way to honor my experiences in gay communities. In these places, I learned a lot, confronted my own privileges, and met some amazing people. I don’t want to reject those people or experiences. I also always think of the teenager just starting to acknowledge his or her feelings. Almost everybody in that position is going to think in terms like, “Wait–when people say ‘gay’ I think they mean me….” I want those people to know that there’s a life and a future for you within Christianity.
The Washington Post: Men in Iran wanting to get a spiky haircut, a tattoo or a good ol’ eyebrow plucking from barbers are out of luck. Officials have banned such styles, describing them as “devil-worshipping” and “homosexual.”
Public Discourse: In the old America, there were laws regulating sexual conduct, but freedom of association was largely unimpeded. In the new America, there will be no laws regulating sexual conduct, but freedom of association will be limited in defense of sexual liberation.
Breakpoint: Chuck Colson always said we Christians must make our arguments winsomely. What happens if we get shouted down — again and again? We keep going. Winsomely.
The Gospel Coalition: “Imagine if Christians took a year off from the culture wars and just did works of mercy in our communities,” a prominent pastor recently said. This is not a new sentiment. Evangelicals have been making such proposals for several years now, perhaps most eloquently articulated in James Davidson Hunter’s book To Change the World.
Russell Moore: The villain had a messiah complex, complete with some cribbed lines from the actual Messiah. But what surprised me the most was the jarring centrality of the family in this film. And by family, I don’t mean the elastic, redefined concept of “families” but an undercurrent of pining for the stability of the natural, nuclear family.
Aleteia: “I don’t believe the seeds for 1968 were planted in 1776,” said Robert P. George in a Facebook discussion. The McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton, he’s the conservative Christian academic whose name is recognized by New York Timesreporters, and the most hopeful Christian public intellectual I know.
National Review: Bobby Jindal, in an act of real leadership, went deep into enemy territory to make an announcement: He will not retreat on defending our right to make a living, even if we disagree on marriage — my right and yours, too, although yours (if you support gay marriage) is not really in question right now.
PBS: Same-sex marriage is already legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, but the Supreme Court will soon hear oral arguments that could make it legal in every state. “Christianity requires you to push back against the world,” says Collin Hansen of the Gospel Coalition. But author Matthew Vines suggests that once even some evangelicals are willing to change their position, then “it starts to significantly shift the dynamic.”
The Week: Today, it is simply taken for granted that the innocence and vulnerability of children makes them beings of particular value, and entitled to particular care. We also romanticize children — their beauty, their joy, their liveliness. Our culture encourages us to let ourselves fall prey to our gooey feelings whenever we look at baby pictures. What could be more natural? In fact, this view of children is a historical oddity. If you disagree, just go back to the view of children that prevailed in Europe’s ancient pagan world.
Aleteia: In culturally conservative circles, for example, we find it easy to speak firmly against homosexuality and to condemn homosexual people who act on their desires. We have no problem advising those who want to live by the Church’s teaching on the high standards they must maintain. These people can become subjects for culture-warring. They are Them, and they live a good ways away.
Salon: If you truly support equality, you have to support the right of people whose ideas are different from yours to have those ideas and to express them.
The Federalist: Some children of gay parents, just like some gay people, do not support gay parenting or gay marriage. Male and female biology each provide something every child needs—together.
Russell Moore: If we are a free people in a constitutional government, we should expect our government to leave consciences free. We will work for liberty and justice, for all. But that means that we should also expect many free people to jeer at us as crazy or stupid. We will walk with Jesus and bear such reviling, without reviling back (1 Pet. 2:22-23). As citizens, we should expect freedom of religion. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect freedom from ridicule.
Crisis Magazine: In a recent Crisis magazine column, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse—a valued leader in the pro-marriage and family movement—contends that “religious liberty arguments aren’t working” in the effort to retain marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In fact, she says the religious liberty argument in the marriage arena “weakens our case.” Instead, Dr. Morse argues, we should “argue against the Sexual Revolution because it has hurt people.”
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Did you see the Honey Maid commercial during last Saturday’s NCAA Final Four game between Duke and Michigan State, the one with two men who call themselves married with two children? Rather than simply trying to get people to buy its graham crackers, Mondelēz International, which owns the brand, is pushing an agenda with its “This Is Wholesome” campaign.
The Sun: What does court precedent in New York state say about the notion that opposition to same-sex marriage is simply about prejudice? That charge, after all, is being widely made by opponents of Indiana’s religious-freedom law.
Aleteia: This utter lack of understanding directly affects the coverage of the marriage debate and other issues involving the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t occur to them that Christians might be listening to a higher authority than ever-changing public opinion.
Mere Orthodoxy: Now that our “insane national freak-out” about Indiana’s religious liberty bill has subsided a little, it’s worth stepping back to reflect on what happened and what the drama might mean for religious conservatives. Ross Douthat said nearly everything that needs to be said in his two posts; I note up front that I agree with his substantive analysis of the law completely, and am inclined to agree with him on the question of making cakes.
Conservatives to Apple, Inc.: Stand up for LGBT community, cease operations in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria
National Review: If Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is troubling, perhaps he should consider a few of the foreign locales where his own company does business.
Albert Mohler: The vast high-velocity moral revolution that is reshaping modern cultures at warp speed is leaving almost no aspect of the culture untouched and untransformed.
Religion News Service: Throughout Christian history, friends have made promises to each other. Because I accept the traditional Christian view that marriage is about male and female coming together in a lifelong covenant and raising children, I wouldn’t want to see vowed friendships become a covert way of promoting same-sex sexual intimacy in the church. But I do think that committed, permanent friendships may be one way for gay and lesbian Christians to practice celibacy.
Patheos: There is much to be said about this argument, but I must admit to being a bit stunned by the popularity of this post. In the fallout over Indiana’s RFRA law Kantrowitz, a free-lance editor and part-time nanny, penned a blog that went viral, competing with the reach of those of us who do religious liberty for a living.
National Review: The conventional wisdom is that moral opposition to same-sex marriage will eventually evaporate — that even orthodox religious communities will learn to accommodate new cultural realities, and those few who don’t will ultimately be irrelevant, living on the margins of society. Evangelical churches will cave.
Aleteia: The “national freak-out” about Indiana’s religious freedom law is telling. It shows where Christians in America stand in an age-old cycle that the world has put us through repeatedly.
Life Site News: I’m a designer. I love the shiny silver products created by Apple. But when those products become philosophical pontifications in Op-Eds and news media campaigns of misinformation, I want to dump my Apple tech in the trash can where Tim Cook’s “dangerous” religious freedom propaganda belongs.
First Things: Texas is a big place, and as Robert Wuthnow has recently reminded us in Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, it has an oversized role in matters of religion and politics. That is one reason why the recent Texas Monthly cover story of falling head over heels for gay marriage struck me as significant. Now, a month later, the reviews are in. The April “Roar of the Crowd” letters section describes a “voluminous inrush of response,” often including the magazine itself, returned in protest. The staff seems likely, however, to take the rebuke as a badge of honor.
Family Studies: The bigger weakness with Yglesias’ argument is that he doesn’t seem to have the foggiest recognition of one of marriage’s core social functions: attaching men to the children they help to bring into this world.
Public Discourse: Last week, a young friend of mine attempted to defend the truth about marriage among a group of peers at a secular university. She presented a meaningful argument about families, social stability, and gender complementarity. None of her classmates refuted her arguments. Instead, they accused her of being a bigot and a homophobe, called her intolerant, and changed the topic to something less intellectually taxing.