2014 Year in Review

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Family

On a wall of our offices at Focus on the Family we have a Bible verse prominently posted. It reads:

“All the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.” – 2 Chronicles 29:36

That verse comes to mind every December when our public relations team compiles a news release of the year’s highlights.

It’s amazing to look back and realize what God has accomplished for His glory and for the benefit of families… all “quickly,” in a year.

Why We Share the Blame for the Redefinition of Marriage

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Husband/wife wedding rings

Facts are stubborn things,” wrote John Adams. “Whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

And so, by that measure, there’s been a lot of conjecture and spin surrounding the push to redefine the sacred institution of marriage.

But what are the facts? Where does the issue concerning same-sex marriage currently stand?

Consider:

Same-sex marriage is now legal or nearly so in 35 states.
 

From Chick-fil-A to the U.S. Senate

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Tim_Scott_Official Portrait_113th_Congress

By now you likely know that  South Carolina’s Tim Scott has become the first African-American Republican from the South to be elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

Logic dictates that he won the seat because more people voted for him than voted for his opponent.

But there’s more to the story.

Isn’t there always?

How Tim got to the night of November 4th is a tale almost too good to be true.

But it isn’t.

Five Things Last Night’s Election Taught Us

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Girl holding American flag

Let the spinning begin.

Pundits and analysts from both sides of the political spectrum are deciphering, interpreting and calculating the impact of last night’s mid-term elections. Our own public policy analysts were up late into the night closely watching the returns from across the country.

What’s our take?

I’ve lived long enough and seen enough to subscribe to the old adage that rarely is anything as good as you hope for – or as bad as you fear.

Two Women, Two Views on Dying with Dignity

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Light pouring through an opening door

Two weeks ago, Brittany Maynard’s op-ed, “My right to die with dignity at 29,” ran on CNN.com. In it, she shared about her diagnosis of brain cancer just a year into her marriage. Doctors told her she had only six months to live.

I can’t imagine receiving such a diagnosis at age 29. My heart breaks for this young woman and her family.

After talking with doctors and her family, she declined palliative care.

Why are These Pastors Being Threatened with Fines of $1,000 Per Day?

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Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post Chapel. [CREDIT: ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM]

Meet Donald and Evelyn Knapp.

Both in their late 60s, the Knapps have owned and operated the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since 1989. In that time, they’ve performed more than 34,000 weddings. The chapel is conveniently located across from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses.

The Knapps are more than wedding chapel owners, though. They’re also ordained ministers from the Foursquare Church, an evangelical denomination. They take the tenets of their faith and denomination seriously, including the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Pastors’ Sermons Subpoenaed in Houston

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Church

The city of Houston has subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It’s a chilling turn of events for those of us who practice our faith and value the self-evident right to religious freedom recognized by the First Amendment.

The reason why this subpoena is being made is especially ominous: It targets high-profile pastors who opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which, among other things, gives people who identify as transgender the right to file a discrimination complaint if they’re barred from accessing a restroom.

Firsthand Account of Christians Fleeing from ISIS

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Middle East on Globe feature pic

We’ve all heard the horrible stories of persecution in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). The radical militant group is targeting people of various faiths and ethnic backgrounds with violence, including area Christians, forcing these people to flee their homes to save their lives.

Thanks to the generosity of many Focus friends, Sami Yacoub, the regional director of Focus on the Family Middle East, and his team have been helping the refugees.

Adrian Peterson: A Good Parent?

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Man in thought

Adrian Peterson was back in court yesterday, but the USA Today headline from last week jumped out at me:

“Associates of Adrian Peterson only see evidence of ‘a good parent’”

The embattled former Minnesota Vikings star running back was indefinitely suspended last month after charges of child abuse against him were made public. He’s admitted to disciplining his son with a switch, although he suggests he never intended to harm the boy.

The pictures of the bruises suggests a much different and sordid story.

How Should We Respond to the Ebola Outbreak?

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Operating room

Are you worried about the Ebola virus? Daily headlines about the disease are generating more than a little fear and anxiety in our culture. When Ebola was confined to the other side of the world it didn’t seem like a pressing problem to many people in the U.S., but after an infected man brought the disease from Liberia to Texas in late September, a lot more Americans began paying close attention. Today news outlets are reporting the sad news that the infected man, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died.