When we die, each of us will give an account of how we lived our lives. We will face the question, “What did you do for the least of these?” Certainly, unborn children — the most vulnerable among us who truly have no voice — will be included in “the least of these.”…
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether it’s sex discrimination for the government to require only men to register for the draft when they turn 18…
IMAGINE THAT? The Republican Party pioneered the right of women to vote. In 1870, the Massachusetts Republican State Convention seated two women delegates.
American Minute with Bill Federer
Women’s Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Frances Willard, Emma Willard, Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In the U.S. Capitol Rotunda is a sculpture of women suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott…
Most of us have heard of and remember Paul Revere, Joh Paul Jones and of course George Washington. All hero’s of the American Revolution, but how many women of that same conflict can you name?
American Minute with Bill Federer
Women of the Revolution
Courageous women have always played a vital role in American history.
Addressing the Daughters of the American Revolution, April 19, 1926, President Calvin Coolidge stated:
"The importance of women in the working out the destiny of mankind ... As there were fathers in our Republic so there were mothers ...
By their abiding faith they inspired and encouraged the men; by their sacrifice they performed their part in the struggle out of which came our country …
New Science a Game Changer on Trans Sports
by Tony Perkins
One of the very first things Joe Biden has promised to do as president is abolish girls’ sports. It’s a ludicrous thing to make a priority, but the former Obama VP insists — like most liberals — that “transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.” It’s the fair thing to do, Biden argues. But is it? New research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says no…
The Collapse of the Traditional American Family
The Joint Economic Committee of Congress has just produced an important new study titled “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home.”
The report exhaustively presents data showing the shocking collapse of marriage and traditional family in America and then explores possible explanations for why it has happened.
In 1962, 71% of women ages 15-44 were married. By 2019, this was down to 42%.
In 1962, 5% of women ages 30-34 had never been married. By 2019, this was up to 35%.
Mental Health Support for Women Veterans
“For You,” a new public service announcement from Make the Connection, highlights these challenges and the support to help women Veterans cope.
Remember this site has resources for all active military, veterans and their families. The obvious goal is to eliminate military and veteran suicides
but they offer so much more!
Responding to Concerns and Questions
JOHN STONESTREET WITH MARIA BAER
Recently, prompted by the news that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and his homosexual partner paid a woman to carry a child for them, my colleague Maria Baer and I released a BreakPoint commentary on the serious ethical problems of surrogacy. Surrogacy intentionally breaks the mother/father/child connection, commodifies both babies and women’s bodies, and puts both women and children at risk of exploitation. That this immoral practice is now normal is, as we said, another chapter in the bad ideas of the sexual revolution and its victims.
A few readers and listeners wrote in to ask whether our concern that surrogacy intentionally severs the bond between mothers, fathers, and children also extends to adoption.
In short, the answer is no. Adoption repairs a fracture. Surrogacy creates one.
God’s design for the family is that a man and wife become one flesh and raise children together. The Fall frustrates this design in different ways. Families can break. Couples may find that their sexual union is infertile. Biological parents find themselves unable to care for their children for various reasons. A sexual act, disordered toward illegitimate pleasure or even selfish violence, produces a life unintended and unexpected.
Whatever the brokenness, adoption offers a means of restoration. Implicitly, the act of adoption recognizes that something is not as it should be, whether or not someone is morally culpable. A family break of some kind, typically at the beginning of the procreative act, is addressed and, many times, even restored by a new family. As open adoptions become more common, there is even, to some degree, a merging of families or of biological parents into the new family.
In all of these ways, adoption portrays God’s relationship with us. Adoption is among the many marriage-and-family metaphors used in Scripture to describe how God relates to His people. Paul, in Ephesians, calls Christians “adopted” sons and daughters of God, though Jesus Christ. The fracture created in the Garden and extended by our own brokenness is repaired by Jesus. As a result, we are adopted children of God, with all of the rights and benefits and status involved.
In the comments we received about the previous commentary on surrogacy, some questioned whether a woman’s relationship to the children she bears is really all that important. This was asked by adoptive moms who are just as emotionally and spiritually connected to their children as any biological mother could be. In our view, that’s obviously and beautifully true, and not something we questioned in our commentary.
What we did say is that women who bear children do have an inherent connection to the children they bear. This is true whether or not she enters into a surrogacy situation or an adoption contract. When a mom relinquishes her right to raise a child, which in some adoption cases is a wise and selfless thing to do, she is still a mom. Adoption recognizes that reality and attempts to, at some level, redeem the brokenness. Surrogacy intentionally creates the brokenness. A mother-child relationship is created only to be knowingly and intentionally severed.
Adoption is proof that physically bearing children is not the only way a woman becomes a mother. Among the darkest evils of surrogacy is that it treats a mother as less than a whole person, wanted for her procreational parts that are increasingly treated as consumer products, especially as commercial surrogacy becomes more common (driven as it is today as part of the LGBTQ remaking of marriage and sexuality). Surrogacy also treats children as consumer products, instead of as gifts.
We received other feedback on the surrogacy commentary, too. Unfortunately, it confirmed the concern that led us to take on this issue in the first place. Surrogacy has been so normalized, even in the Christian world, that speaking against it is quite controversial.
It shouldn’t be. In our fallen world families break, but we should never break them on purpose.
How We Rebuild a Culture of Commitment
JOHN STONESTREET WITH SHANE MORRIS
Economic factors do, of course, affect marriage rates. Even before COVID closed everything down, single breadwinners could find it quite difficult to support a growing family. In recent decades, the “marriage gap,” the different marriage rates between upper and lower income Americans, has become more pronounced, with marriage becoming more and more a luxury of the wealthy.
At the same time, it’s a worldview mistake to think that economics alone can explain what’s happening to marriage. As Bradford Wilcox with the Institute for Family Studies reminds us, “there was no marked increase in divorce, family instability, or single parenthood at the height of the Great Depression.” By contrast, Cornell sociologist Daniel Lichter points out that some of the biggest drops in marriage rates, at least in recent years, have occurred during economically prosperous times.
The bigger factor here is not money but culture.
Exhibit A: As marriage has receded, cohabitation has increased in both numbers and social acceptability. Pew reports that a quarter of unmarried young adults are living with a partner. That’s the highest percentage since our record-keeping began.
The rise of cohabitation has followed not only a shift of attitudes about out-of-wedlock sex, but about the institution of marriage itself. Several years ago, another Pew study found that more than half of young people in America thought marriage was “obsolete.” As one pastor remarked on Facebook, young people who pursue the skills necessary for marriage are often treated as if they’re wasting their “real” potential, and those who get married in their early or even mid-twenties can inspire a level of shock and shame that was once reserved only for couples “living in sin.”
Even worse, our culture’s current portrayal of the “good life” involves career-minded singles living in chic urban apartments, sowing their wild oats on casual dating and hookup apps, and leading lives incompatible with a spouse, much less children.
The road to rebuilding a culture that values marriage will be long and arduous, but we do have some clues about what works when it comes to creating and preserving that kind of culture. The Institute for Family Studies reports that, contrary to a popular but mistaken talking point, the institution that remains the single best refuge for marriage is the Church. It is still true, even today, that among the surest predictors that a couple will get and stay married is how regularly they attend religious services. That’s why bringing people to God and bringing people together are so often a package deal.
Even so, the Church simply must first embrace her God-given task of re-catechizing His people about what marriage is. Too often, the Church is trying to put a band-aid of sexual morality on the gaping wound of bad Christian thinking about marriage that is often no different than the larger culture: That marriage is either a lifestyle accessory, a waste of youth, or an institution of personal happiness. We won’t know what marriage is, or how to do it, unless we know what God created marriage for.
Hint: Though companionship is certainly a wonderful side-benefit of a healthy marriage, God didn’t create marriage to solve Adam’s loneliness problem. Check the text again: He created marriage to solve Adam’s aloneness problem. It’s an important distinction that not only explains what marriage is for, but sets the groundwork for all of the moral expectations God gives us about sex and marriage.
Even after the wedding, the Church is still the best place to strengthen marriages, a necessary task if we are to see the kind of culture where people think of lifelong marriage as part of the good life. Recently, J. P. DeGance joined me on the BreakPoint Podcast to talk about a unique, data-driven approach to help pastors identify struggling marriages and then works to help save them in their communities. Working with pastors and churches in Jacksonville, Florida, DeGance’s organization, Communio, saw the divorce rate drop 24 percent in just three years. That’s many times faster than the national average.
Saving existing marriages is essential to encouraging new ones. How many young people are out there that have never seen a single marriage work? How can we expect them to trust an institution that, in their view, not only consistently fails but also causes so much pain and heartbreak when it does?
J.P. DeGance will join Katy Faust, Pastor Bob Fu, and Student for Life president Kristan Hawkins for Module 5 of our upcoming “Truth. Love. Together” virtual event. He’ll be talking about how the Church can help restore a marriage culture. The Truth.Love.Together event is absolutely free. Sign up and learn more here.