Times of transition often include opportunities to reevaluate and refocus. Such is the case with the North Carolina Family Policy Council over the last few months. With our first major leadership change in two decades, our organization has embraced the opportunity to evaluate, discuss, and remember our priorities, and why we do what we do. This issue of Family North Carolina is a result of that process.
The North Carolina Family Policy Council is dedicated to the preservation of the family and traditional values by providing the best quality research and education on public policy issues that impact North Carolina families. We are also committed to equipping citizens to be voices of persuasion on behalf of traditional family values in this State and society. In this issue, you will find articles that examine the values that influenced the foundation of America’s unique system of government, as well as articles that explore why our work focuses on the priorities of life, marriage, and personal responsibility.
The new president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, John Rustin, starts things off by sharing the story of how he became involved in the pro-family movement. He explains how God used a presentation about America’s founding, and the Biblical worldview of many of our Founding Fathers to open his eyes to God’s calling on his life, and to the importance of being involved in transforming the culture through public policy.
Life is the most fundamental human and natural right from which all other rights and privileges flow. In her feature article, attorney Mary Summa outlines why the promotion of the sanctity of all human life in public policy is a necessary foundation for just government. She provides an overview of several of the most compelling public policy issues of our day that hinge on the recognition of this foundational principle, including abortion, artificial reproduction, stem cell research, and euthanasia.
St. Angela Merici said, “Disorder in society is a result of disorder in the family.” In yet another powerfully researched article, Dr. Patrick Fagan explains why families, created through marriage, are the foundational building block of society. Lawmakers cannot afford to ignore the impact of public policy in the areas of cohabitation, divorce, marriage, and parental rights on the health and wealth of individuals, families, and society.
The story of America’s founding is a story of Christian virtue. Southeastern University History professor Dr. Alan Snyder explores how American society was intentionally designed to promote laws and a culture that honor God. A recognition of that intentional design provides the impetus for why the North Carolina Family Policy Council and Christians across North Carolina should be involved in public policy.
The success of American government, as envisioned by the founders and described in Dr. Snyder’s piece, relies upon an educated and virtuous citizenry. In “Freedom and Responsibility,” this editor connects the common threads between seemingly disparate areas of public policy upon which the work of the North Carolina Family Policy Council often focuses. The importance of individual liberty, coupled with individual responsibility, necessitates our work on issues such as gambling, alcohol and drug policy, school choice, and religious liberty.
Do not miss the “Briefs” section in this magazine, where you will find extensive coverage of recent battles over the definition of marriage at both the U.S. Supreme Court and in several individual states. An update on the controversial Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly homosexual youth to participate in BSA programs, as well as the Supreme Court’s consideration of a lawsuit related to prayer before government meetings are also included.
North Carolina Family Policy Council president John Rustin’s interview with Mary Eberstadt is both prescient and powerful reading. They discuss her new book How the West Really Lost God, which chronicles the connection between the breakdown of the family and the decline in religious belief.
Thank you for reading this issue of Family North Carolina. We hope that it provides you with a deeper understanding of what motivates us to do the work we do, and why the issues we emphasize are so important. We are proud to count you among our partners in this work. As you visit with family and friends, whether poolside, seaside, or at your other favorite vacation spot this summer, please share this magazine with them, and invite them to join us in our work to preserve and promote the values and policies that are most important to North Carolina families.
Brittany Farrell is assistant director of policy for the North Carolina Family Policy Council and editor of Family North Carolina.