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Religion News Service: Americans have less confidence in organized religion today than ever measured before — a sign that the church could be “losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture,” a new Gallup survey finds.
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?
Aleteia: Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer led the movement to enact pro-life legislation in the 19th century and in so doing saved millions, including your ancestors, explains Frederick Dyer in his interview with Aleteia.
Breakpoint: June 15th marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta—a document that has been called “the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”
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.
One News Now: Birth control pills were approved for general distribution in this country in 1960, though American Life League’s Rita Diller claims most people know little about the history of the Pill.
National Review: On the Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett presents what he calls a “defense of judicial equality”—which turns out to be his euphemism for the judicial-supremacist claim that the president and Congress must abide by a federal judicial determination that a federal law is unconstitutional.
National Review: Ramsey seems to argue that Lincoln’s actions in defiance of the Dred Scott ruling didn’t “truly challenge judicial supremacy as [Ramsey] would define it.”
National Review: The myth of judicial supremacy is logically incompatible with the supremacy of the written Constitution. According to the myth of judicial supremacy, the Constitution means whatever five Supreme Court justices claim it means and all other governmental actors are duty-bound to abide by that supposed meaning—even if it is in clear conflict with the actual meaning of the Constitution—until such time as five justices revise it or a constitutional amendment overrides it.
The Stream: The beginnings of the transgender movement have gotten lost today in the push for transgender rights, acceptance, and tolerance. If more people were aware of the dark and troubled history of sex-reassignment surgery, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to push people toward it.
CNS News: The number of American babies who have been aborted in the years since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has already exceeded the entire population of the United States as recorded in the 1880 Census.
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.
ERLC: In 1776, long-persecuted Baptists hoped that the American Revolution would not only secure America’s liberty, but bring about full religious freedom.
Commentary Magazine: A friend of mine, a minister, recently asked me about the concept of being on the “right side of history.” His concern is that being on the right side of history, as many people generally understand it, is not necessarily being on God’s side.
Christianity Today: Shocked viewers across Armenia watching the Azdarar TV news channel on April 11 could hardly believe their eyes and ears.
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.
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.”
Religion News Service: Whenever people today say that Christianity needs to update and adapt its moral standards for the 21st century, I hear echoes from 100 years ago. Back then, the calls for change had less to do with morality and more to do with miracles. But the motivation was similar, and the results are instructive.
Public Discourse: Monica Lewinsky has reappeared on the national stage and is speaking out against cyberbullying. Perhaps she should consider addressing the breakdown of the American family instead.
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.
The Christian Post: To affirm these sacred rights, a national law virtually identical to Indiana’s new law was passed by a near unanimous Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Thirty-three states have adopted similar religious liberty protections. Indiana’s law makes it the thirty-fourth state to do so.
The New York Times: Same-sex marriage is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Its status in a 37th state, Alabama, is unclear because of conflicting state and federal court orders. The court will hear arguments on April 28.
The Federalist: Cruelly, the Lord of Social Justice wouldn’t grant us a cause, at least not an easy one. Sure, we could march against Roe v. Wade and defend the unborn. But opposing abortion would have required us to adopt sex lives consistent with that position. No more hookup culture, no more consequence-free sex, no more placing our own desires over the needs of children. Opposing Planned Parenthood would never be our cause. It would have cost us too much fun.
Public Discourse: The ACLU is trying to deprive other organizations of freedoms that it would insist upon for itself. Their work is not a defense of equality—it is an effort to impose a certain view of morality on the country by law.
The Gospel Coalition: The centuries-old, universal consensus among Christians, Jews, and Muslims—that God gave sex for marriage between one man and one woman—is being questioned not only by secular society, but within Christianity itself.
Mic: The irony of the pill is that it was tested on women, specifically women of color — many of whom were forced to undergo sterilization — before later being marketed predominately to white women in America as a symbol of independence.
Christianity Today: In the past 100 years, the government’s official position on contraception has shifted from “immoral and illegal” to “unremarkable and mandated.” Today the law overwhelmingly favors individual choice. The rise of abortion convinced the church to reverse its laissez-faire attitude about contraception and take a decidedly pro-life stance.
Public Discourse: Sexual orientation and gender identity are conceptually different from race, and beliefs about marriage as the union of man and woman are conceptually and historically different from opposition to interracial marriage. Adapted from testimony delivered on Monday March 16 before the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Juicy Ecumenism: It’s a struggle, isn’t it? As Christian women we aim to be humanitarian and compassionate towards everyone. When we read about poor women in Malawi, ill from attempting to perform abortions on themselves, we hope to provide a solution. But if, in the process, we whitewash moral truths, historical facts and health effects, we ultimately cause more harm than help.
BBC News: Lawmakers in the US state of Virginia have agreed to pay compensation to people who were forcibly sterilised by the authorities decades ago.
Public Discourse: After decades of efforts to be emancipated from religious influences, the toleration of political liberals is still only an impoverished relative of its classical cousin.
BBC News: Islamic State (IS) militants have begun bulldozing the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, Iraqi government officials say.
Juicy Ecumenism: Baptists have long been champions of religious freedom, recounted mega church pastor Rick Warren and Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore, in a panel moderated by Judge Ken Starr, president of Baptist affiliated Baylor University.
Public Discourse: Lincoln’s second inaugural address, 150 years old today, is as pertinent as ever. It reminds us that we must resist the poisonous temptation to see those with whom we disagree as bitter enemies even as we vigorously defend the moral truths that ought to guide our public life.
First Things: Washington Hall at the University of Notre Dame was packed to the rafters. In a few minutes a physician and his wife would walk onstage and begin a presentation to hundreds of students and faculty about a new issue on the national scene. The topic was abortion and the year was 1972. The phrase “a storm is coming” has come into frequent use of late. But that was certainly the case more than four decades ago—a storm was indeed coming and few understood just how sweeping it would be.
Public Discourse: The structure and logic of the legal arguments made for nationwide judicial imposition of same-sex marriage are remarkably similar to the arguments made by those who argued for the judicial imposition of slavery nationwide. Will the Republican Party produce another Lincoln to stand against them?
Commentary Magazine: To be sure, the Bill of Rights lay out certain rights the people are entitled to against every government on earth. But to understand where those rights come from, what their source is, one needs to turn to the Declaration of Independence.
The Week: Every group of people has a worldview, and every worldview is based on stories that are at least partly mythical. For example, a key part of the progressive worldview is the idea that social change driven by appeals to science and reason is (a) good and (b) irreversible.
Pew Research: The U.S. Constitution famously prohibits any religious test or requirement for public office. Still, most of the men who have been president have been openly religious, with many belonging to some of the country’s most prominent Protestant denominations.
First Things: Seven years into his addiction to online porn, John wrote to tell me of his struggles. His addiction began when he misspelled a word in an online search and was taken to a hardcore porn site. When I received his letter, he was nineteen. If anything, his exposure to pornography at the age of twelve was later than some: studies reveal our children’s first exposure is even younger.
CNS News: It may be more convenient to Cuomo’s political philosophy that a select few are empowered to grant rights to the masses, but it certainly is not part of this country’s foundation.
Christianity Today: It’s not news that politics can be dreary and dysfunctional. For this reason, as we begin another long season of presidential election politics, many Christians are running for cover, eager to avoid politics as much as possible. The reasons for withdrawal have become predictable. Some suggest politics is too broken, too corrupt, for Christians get involved in without sacrificing faithfulness. Others claim politics is a distraction from more spiritual pursuits. These are both long-held, persistent ideas, each with their own merits, but they are ultimately incomplete.
Doug Wilson: Look. Racial bigotry is a sin. Sexual perversion is a sin. The fact that the respective players in these two battles were and are Alabama and the Federal Government is completely beside the point. Those who glibly point to that as though it settles everything are like those who think that a son who once participated in an intervention over his mother’s alcoholism has thereby earned the right, twenty years later, to pressure her into committing tax fraud. No, no. Let’s go over this carefully. Drunkenness is a sin. Fraud is a sin. They are both sins. Whoever is championing the sin is the sinner.
Religion News Service: With measles outbreaks in 14 states and health authorities imploring parents to weigh the minimal risks of vaccines against the ravages of preventable disease, some Christians are raising an objection of a completely different sort: the abortion connection.
ERLC: The recent debates about whether Christians should vaccinate their children have once again raised questions about the use of vaccines that have been morally tainted by the use of cell cultures derived from aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing of vaccines. This is such an important issue and we felt it warranted its own article to address some of the questions around the science and morality of the use of fetal tissue in vaccines.
The Economist: FOR anyone who believes in freedom of thought, worship and speech, John Locke must rank as a towering genius. In an era when Europe had been torn asunder by warfare between Catholic and Protestant kings, he set out the revolutionary idea that the state should hold back from adjudicating or enforcing religious doctrine. A century later, his ideas had a decisive influence on America’s founding fathers. And to this day, he is provoking some rich intellectual debate, among Muslims as well as Christians.
Red State: In the nineties, the Clinton Administration formed a bipartisan coalition to pass the federal “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or “RFRA.” Nineteen states followed suit. The legislation came in response to a Supreme Court decision that had seen an American Indian suffer legally for having used a drug during a well established American Indian religious ceremony.
Public Discourse: It isn’t too late for America’s noble experiment to succeed. But that depends on the courage and commitment of American people of faith. Adapted from a homily delivered on January 15, 2015, at the Red Mass of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Stream: “Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” declared a congressman from Colorado during the debate over health care. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.” He was upset that the Catholic bishops had insisted that the health care bill not include abortion.The Church should just shut up. Christians had no right to speak, as Christians, in public affairs.
Alliance Defending Freedom: I like comfort. There’s something about a soft pillow, a warm blanket, and a nap on a Sunday afternoon. It’s nice when my 2-year-old son plays quietly, my family gets along, and I face no traffic on my way to work. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s peaceful. But even with all this comfort, there’s a problem.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: 1. The March for Life is an annual pro-life event held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade. The overall goal of the march is to overturn the Roe decision.
First Things: Catholic schools have kept generations of immigrant children in the bosom of the Church while helping to lift them to economic success. But that legacy is at risk. The children of Hispanic immigrants have drifted away from the Church and fallen behind in economic terms. The fact that Catholic schools have failed to serve them may be to blame.
Fox News: I was a young nurse at a hospital in Maryland when the Supreme Court handed down its 1973 verdict in Roe v. Wade.
The Washington Post: In recent years — especially with the debate about Hobby Lobby — I’ve seen lots of people assert that religious exemption regimes are a conservative invention. That’s just not the case, and I thought I’d briefly explain why.
The Christian Post: The history of human knowledge as it relates to the human body is a fascinating and terrible thing. In every age, the ability for physicians and other medical practitioners to effectively treat wounds or combat disease has been constrained by the technology – or lack thereof – available at the time. In the past, people often died from illnesses or injuries that are quite treatable today. Over the centuries, we’ve come a long way. Our understanding of human physiology and biology has enabled us to improve quality of life and extend life expectancy beyond anything our ancestors could have imagined.
Life News: This month is the forty-second anniversary of the legal decision, Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court eliminated the abortion laws of all 50 states. Here are five facts about the plaintiff behind the case that transformed America.
Baptist Press: In 1979, Larry Lewis picked up a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and saw a full-page ad listing the Southern Baptist Convention among denominations that affirmed the right to abortion.
Phys Org: The 21st Century dad – as defined by celebrity fathers such as David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Jamie Oliver – isn’t a new phenomenon according to research from the universities of Manchester and Leeds.
The Federalist: Over the last week and a half, leaders of nations, dignitaries, Hollywood actors, and flocks of ordinary people posted and tweeted “Je suis Charlie” pins and posters. The “Je Suis Charlie” campaign attracted praise and ire; pundits and writers voiced their opinions in favor and against the slogan and its hashtag version. Fierce arguments broke out over its meaning, use, and potency. But one thing was certain: no American who “suis Charlie” feared arrest or government persecution. Why?
One News Now: When the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion arrives January 22, a pro-life group is calling on people to draw attention to it in a different fashion.
First Things: Forty years have passed since the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision, on January 22, 1973, and our country has never been the same since. Abortion is the worst domestic crime ever sanctioned by America, and the statistics become more grim by the year: nearly 60 million unborn children have been legally murdered since Roe.
First Things: I am often asked for interviews by students who are writing papers about the assisted suicide issue. I am always happy to oblige. Most ask why I oppose assisted suicide and whether I think guidelines can prevent the slippery slope. But, the other day, I was contacted by a high-schooler writing a paper about something I had never considered: the historical significance of Jack Kevorkian.
National Right to Life: Pro-lifers are nothing if not creative. Over the decades, they have produced thousands upon thousands of “visual aids,” from the simplest black and white one-sheeter to full-blown movies—and everything in-between.
Public Discourse: Jonathan Eig’s new book tells the story of the invention and popularization of the contraceptive pill. A pleasant, biographically-inflected history, the book repeats standard post-sexual revolution rhetoric, untroubled by too much complexity.
First Things: Human equality clearly cannot rest on qualities such as wealth, virtue, and intelligence, which are unequally distributed among us. So, what is it that makes all of us equal?
Life News: Anybody paying attention to what has happened in our nation, and worldwide for that matter, regarding the lack of reverence for the dignity of life, is probably aware of the advances the culture of death has made over the past several decades.
The Atlantic: Jane Austen’s classic is 200 years old, but longtime spouses and relationship experts alike stand by the principles it presents.
Aleteia: One of the earliest attempts at Christmas censorship occurred in 1969, after the crew of Apollo 8 read from the Book of Genesis during a telecast of their moon orbit on December 24, 1968.
First Things: What is the basic libertarian understanding of religious liberty in United States law and society? Libertarians would like the state to have nothing to do with religion, either by hindering it or by supporting it.