The Social Conservative Review: September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

Dear Friends,

In a pivotal scene from the new film adaptation of Ben-Hur, Judah (Ben-Hur) comes upon Jesus as He carries His cross toward Golgotha. As Judah watches in bewilderment and horror, Jesus collapses in exhausted agony under the weight of the cross. Judah rushes forward with a cup of water to offer Him, which mirrors Christ’s offering of water to Judah near the beginning of the film after he was arrested and led on a forced march by the Romans. As Judah bends over the fallen Jesus with the cup of water, begging Him to drink, a Roman soldier strikes Judah with a whip, shouting, “No water for him!” Just as Judah grabs a rock to retaliate against the soldier, Christ grasps Judah’s arm and whispers “No, please… My life, I give it of my own free will.” Judah can only stare back at Him, dumbfounded.

The scene is powerful in a number of ways, but I was struck by one thought in particular. The time in which Christ’s life and Ben-Hur takes place was a brutal one, dominated by the mentality that every wrong must be avenged at all costs, and every crime (whether real or perceived) must be ruthlessly punished. Christ’s witness was in full contradiction of this ethos, and during that time was seen as nothing short of an insane scandal. To not only stop retaliating but to forgive, and beyond that to sacrifice one’s own life freely—it seemed like madness to many, and many rejected it. But many also saw its truth, and the joy, happiness, and peace that it brought to their lives. It was a revolution of the human heart, and from it, Christianity was born.

Since that time, everything has changed… or has it? Outward appearances would indicate that we live in a far more civilized time, one where most of the developed world exists in a legal system free of mob rule and summary executions (at least, of those outside of the womb). But what of the human heart? In reality, nothing has changed. We wake up every morning still half asleep, fully in need of the Savior. We bitterly cling to our old, selfish ways, refusing to let go of wrongs that have been done to us and justifying feelings of self-entitlement. Christ has invited us to imitate Him by letting go. Let go of the bitterness and find healing by practicing forgiveness, mercy, and love. This must begin in our own families first and foremost. Old wounds won’t heal until we forgive our parents, siblings, spouses, and children for their transgressions, just as we beg them to forgive ours. Only then can we bring Christ’s mercy to the wider world.

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.


Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council


FRC Articles

Religious voices add reason to public discourse, stave off the zealotsTravis Weber

The Hypocrisy of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Southern Poverty Law CenterKen Blackwell

How can Christians oppose same-sex marriage and yet pray and care for the LGBT victims in Orlando at the same time?Travis Weber

Parents Fight Back in Fairfax CountyCathy Ruse

LGBT Activist Lobby Responds to Report in The New Atlantis: Only Mockery, No EngagementCathy Ruse

Ending the Secular Witch HuntPeter Sprigg

The New Thought PoliceTravis Weber

Five Things to Know About “Gender Dysphoria” in ChildrenPeter Sprigg

Religious Freedom at Home and AbroadTravis Weber

Schooled by StudentsBethany Demmin


Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

How Trigger Warnings Silence Religious Students – Alan Levinovitz, The Atlantic

NY Firefighters Ordered to Remove Old

Red Cross Tells Off-Duty Cop He Can’t Pray With Flood VictimsKayla Brandon, Independent Journal

A College Strikes Back Against Safe SpacesKatrina Trinko, The Daily Signal

Christian Identity in the WorkplaceElliot Milco, First Things

Funeral home buries federal govt in Michigan religious freedom caseAlliance Defending Freedom

International Religious Freedom

Christian Leader Arrested in Russia as Law Banning Evangelism Outside of Churches Goes Into EffectStoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

House church rejects orders to stop religious activitiesQiao Nong, China Aid

Military Religious Freedom

Officer Cleared in Military Bible ComplaintTodd Starnes, Fox News




Yes, I’m Pro-Life, But I’m Not a Stereotype – Reagan Barklage, Glamour

Extreme Position of Pro-Choice Politicians Contradicts American ConsensusCarl Anderson, The Daily Signal

A Celebration of DeathAlexandra Desanctis, National Review

Black Pastor: How Can Black Lives Matter When 20 Million Black Babies Have Been Aborted?Clenard Childress, Life News

A New Front in the Abortion Wars: Democrats for Life Undermine Church Teachings from WithinAnne Hendershott, Washington Times


Why Do More People Choose Abortion Over Adoption?Micaiah Bilger, Life News

U.S. Olympic Champion Saves Cousin’s Baby From Abortion: ‘I’ll Adopt Her’Katie Yoder, NewsBusters

Keeping Children in the Family Instead of Foster CareAlysse ElHage, Family Studies


What Opponents Can Learn from Assisted Suicide AdvocatesAshton Ellis, Public Discourse

A spade is a spade: why correct language is so important in debates over assisted suicidePaul Russell, National Right to Life

Adult Stem Cells: The Best Kept Secret In MedicineDavid Prentice, The Daily Caller


Reminder: Obamacare Is Still A Giant Cronyistic DisasterDavid Harsanyi, The Federalist

5 States, Nearly 700 Counties Don’t See ‘Choice and Competition’ Promised by ObamacareFred Lucas, The Daily Signal

Her Health Plan Was $257 a Month. Now Her Obamacare Plan Could Be $650 a MonthMelissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Republican states file lawsuit against ObamaCare transgender ruleSarah Ferris, The Hill




Marriage Reduces Child Poverty, but Our Welfare System Penalizes Marriage – Paul Draper, Rachel Sheffield, The Daily Signal

Millennials’ Aversion to “Dealing with People” a Greater Threat to Fast-Food Workers than Any Minimum Wage Hike – Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon

The Sneaky Way Obama Is Hiking Death Taxes – Curtis Dubay, The Daily Signal

3 Ways Obama’s New Overtime Rule Will Hurt Employees – Rachel Greszler, The Daily Signal


A Father’s Presence in the HomeJohn Cuddeback, Principles

The Marriage ImprintRhonda Kruse Nordin, Family Studies

The Impact of Deployments on Military MarriagesThomas E. Trail, Family Studies


McDonald’s worker in Needham retires after 32 years at the french fry station – Eric Moskowitz, The Boston Globe

Women Should Appreciate Masculine VirtuesRachel Lu, Crisis

Our Faith Is Historically Verifiable—Or It’s NothingKathy Keller, The Gospel Coalition

The Abolition of God and the Annihilation of ManRegis Martin, Crisis

Restoring the Political-Moral CenterShimon Cowen and Arthur Goldberg, Public Discourse

Human Sexuality

Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences – Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh, The New Atlantis

Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is WrongRyan Anderson, The Daily Signal

Why Is Transgender An Identity But Anorexia A Disorder?Moira Fleming, The Federalist

Burrowing InPeter Leithart, First Things

LGBT Rights vs. Religious FreedomJohn Stonestreet, The Stream

Human Trafficking

Driven by pro-life beliefs, missionary in Thailand shares true love with sex trafficking victimsJosh Shepherd, Live Action


This former porn star is exposing porn’s secrets: and it should make you very, very uncomfortable – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Married couples who view adult material double the risk of divorce – Glen Keogh, The Daily Mail

The porn problem: Prayer isn’t enough – Caitlin Bootsma, Aleteia

Let’s Treat Porn as the Public Health Hazard It is – Cordelia Anderson, The Stream