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The Word That’s Not in the Constitution

1 hour 21 min ago

by Stuart Shepard

You won’t find this word in our nation’s founding document. You can search every Article, every Section. It’s a word that, given the historical context and how common it was in the late 1700s, you would expect to be in there.

But it’s not.

I was sitting in a packed classroom with the men and women attending our second Statesmen Academy in July. Matthew Spalding, a professor at Hillsdale College, was highlighting the importance of governing with “prudence” and “principle.”

He asked the class what that missing word in the Constitution might be.

There were a couple timidly offered suggestions. Both were incorrect. I wondered aloud, “God?” He said, “No, it’s in there. It’s signed ‘In the Year of Our Lord.’ Anybody else?”

Then a state lawmaker a couple rows in front of me guessed it:

“Slave.”

I won’t pretend to be as brilliant as Dr. Spalding, but here’s the gist of what he said: The Founders meticulously avoided enshrining forever in our cornerstone document the idea of one human being owning another. Looking down the long hallway of history, they left open a path for the end of the slave trade in this very new United States of America.

And, sure enough, about 75 years later, it was done.

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Congress and the states followed up with the 13th Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

That path was made easier, thanks to the foresight of the Founders. Many of them knew slavery was wrong, but they also knew they couldn’t change it in their lifetimes. So, they left open a door for when the time was right, when the nation was ready.

This week, the question has been raised whether to topple statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. That raises questions about the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Do we dynamite Mt. Rushmore? Will we need to rename Washington, D.C.? And don’t forget all those U.S. cities and counties named “Jefferson.”

Here’s the question: Do we erase every memorial to the Founders because they failed to live up to our values? Or do we honor them as imperfect humans, living in a specific time in history, who brilliantly wove biblical truth into the framework of a nation? Including the timeless concept that human rights are bestowed by our Creator – equally – to every person.

The post The Word That’s Not in the Constitution appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Nebraska: 5 Important Religious Rights Every Student Needs to Know About

1 hour 26 min ago

Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Nebraska Family Alliance, one of our 40 state-based allies.

This month, 286,000 students are returning to public school in Nebraska. A question I am asked frequently during this season is, “what are my child’s religious rights in a public school?” Here are 5 religious rights that every student has in public school:

#1 The Right to Pray
Every student has the right to pray, discuss their faith, read Scripture, distribute literature, and invite fellow students to join their particular religious group as long as it is voluntary, non- disruptive or coercive, and it occurs during non-instructional time.

#2 The Right to Express Religious Views
Students have the right to express their religious views during a class discussion or as part of a written assignment or art activity as long as it is relevant to the subject under consideration and meets the assignment requirements.

#3 The Right to Form Religious Clubs
Secondary school students have the right to form religious clubs if the school receives federal funds and allows other non-curriculum related clubs to meet during non-instructional time.

Religious clubs must be student-led—a non-student cannot lead the club. Regular attendance by an outside adult may be prohibited in order to avoid the appearance of the club being initiated or directed by a non-student.

Teachers may be present at religious club meetings as monitors, but they may not participate in club activities.

Student religious clubs may have access to school facilities and media on the same basis that other non-curriculum related clubs do.

#4 The Right to Wear Religious Attire
Students have the right to wear religious attire required by their religion such as head scarves or yarmulkes in school. Students may also display religious messages on clothing or jewelry to the same extent that other messages are permitted.

#5 The Right Not to be Required to Violate Their Religious Beliefs
Students have the right to not be required to violate their religious beliefs.  Students also may be able to be excused from lessons that are objectionable to the student or the student’s parents on religious or other conscientious grounds.

Learn more about our allied group, Nebraska Family Alliance.

The post Nebraska: 5 Important Religious Rights Every Student Needs to Know About appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

You Can be a Follower of Jesus or a White Supremacist, But Not Both | Family Policy Briefing

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:05pm

What do we say about Charlottesville?

Racism, protests, murder. This is clearly not what God desires for our nation. But it’s definitely what everyone is talking about this week.

Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, says a person can be a follower of Jesus Christ or a white supremacist – but not both. He offers a biblical perspective connecting the dots from your pro-life beliefs to what should be preached in your church.

The post You Can be a Follower of Jesus or a White Supremacist, But Not Both | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Families Stop ‘Gender Identity’ Ordinance in West Virginia

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:02pm

In a win for families and small businesses, the Parkersburg, West Virginia, City Council rejected an ordinance that would have violated the privacy rights of moms and daughters. The ordinance would have created special rights to four new classes, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

If passed, the privacy and safety of Parkersburg’s women and girls would no longer have been protected, as any male willing to assert that he “identifies as female” would have had free access to girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and showers. In addition, Christian employers would have been open to lawsuits over hiring practices.

But families and business owners arrived four hours early and filled the chamber. Then they boldly shared their concerns with the council. Allen Whitt with our ally Family Policy Council of West Virginia was actively engaged in helping city leaders understand the issue.

“The message: Our third biggest city is on to you,” he explained. “We know the truth about SOGIs, and we courageously move to protect privacy, and defend businesses against the intentionally vague ordinance.”

After the vote, he heard an activist yell “I hope you die early!” at a Democrat council member who voted for women’s safety.

While the defeat of the ordinance is good news for the people of Parkersburg, the vote reminds us that people in cities large and small are wrestling with such laws and ordinances. State battles have garnered much attention, like in South Carolina and Texas, making it easy to forget city-councils are often at the front-lines of promoting a nation where God is honored.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is another city where a stand for truth is taking place at city hall. A small group of activists are trying to stop the city from partnering with a charter school to build a park and athletic facilities that would be open to the public. The reason: The school maintains that boys are boys and girls are girls.

The local level is where we can be most effective in protecting our families, schools, and small businesses. Let’s continue to stand together for liberty and truth both in the state house and city hall.

LEARN MORE
Ask Me First is a place to hear the stories of women and girls who have been affected by these misguided ordinances. And we invite you to share your own story.

The post Families Stop ‘Gender Identity’ Ordinance in West Virginia appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Missouri Pro-Life Law Will Increase Scrutiny of Abortion Sellers

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 2:51pm

A new, wide-ranging law in Missouri promises annual site inspections for abortion clinics, state-approved procedures in place for handling botched abortions, regulations effectively restricting the sale of the remains of aborted preborn babies, and new power for the state attorney general to prosecute those who break the law.

It was passed in a special session and quickly signed by the governor. It’s slated to take effect in October.

Mike Hoey, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, called it “the strongest pro-life law passed in many decades.”

Joe Ortwerth, executive director of Missouri Family Policy Council (MFFC), one of our 40 state-based allies, called the special session “extraordinary,” and was particularly impressed with the new inspection requirements.

“The investigation must be unannounced,” he explained, “and include a thorough review of the abortion clinic’s health and safety practices.”

MFFC revealed in 2014 that while existing state regulations had mandated an annual inspection of abortion clinics, state health officials had failed to conduct health and safety inspections in eight of the previous 14 years, citing “staff limitations.”

The post Missouri Pro-Life Law Will Increase Scrutiny of Abortion Sellers appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Assisted Suicide: The Valley of Death

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 2:48pm

Focus on the Family Citizen magazine offers an in depth look at the issue of assisted suicide.

A documentary filmmaker explains “what happens to a society that embraces and hastens the death of some of its most vulnerable citizens.” And learn about the status of legislation in the U.S. from experts across the country, including our own Autumn Leva.

“While we all care about the individuals who are suffering, public policy needs to take into account the needs of all of society,” she said. “What we decide about assisted suicide impacts how we understand the value of life, the medical profession, and many other areas of life.”

Read More at Focus on the Family Citizen.

The post Assisted Suicide: The Valley of Death appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Alaskans Move to Protect Privacy

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 2:50pm

Our allies at Alaska Family Action celebrated a huge success recently by gathering enough signatures to put a “bathroom-privacy” initiative on the 2018 ballot. The measure—originally named the Protecting Our Privacy Initiative—would protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women and girls in showers, restrooms and locker rooms by requiring intimate spaces to be segregated by biological sex as determined at birth rather than how individuals “identify.”

Supporters of the Protect Our Privacy initiative gathered close to 8,500 signatures — thousands more than the number required to certify a place on the 2018 ballot.

The ballot measure aims to blunt one of the many dangerous effects of a so-called nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Anchorage almost two years ago that included “gender identity” as a protected class.  The ordinance allows boys and men who identify as transgender to use women’s restrooms and other facilities designated only for females.

“That’s obviously a huge privacy and safety issue for women and girls,” said Jim Minnery, executive director of Alaska Family Action, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies. “Everyone is made in the image of God and should be respected and loved but not everyone should have access to any intimate space they want because of how they feel. It’s common sense.”

The Human Rights Campaign says there are more than 100 cities in the U.S. that have similar “public accommodation” ordinances that allow men who identify as transgender to use women’s bathrooms. That means privacy measures to protect women and girls—like the one championed by Alaska Family Action—are needed now more than ever.

Minnery said despite facing marked opposition from transgender-rights groups, including LGBTQ activists who threatened an harassed their signature gatherers, the effort enjoyed a large and ethnically-diverse coalition of support from people and churches across Anchorage.

If passed, the privacy initiative would protect against, for example, a boy using the girls’ locker room at a sporting event. Don’t think that could happen? Check out this Ask Me First video about how Alaska girls already were forced to compete against a young man who identified as male in the 2016 girls state track competition.

Voters will have a chance to approve the privacy measure in April 2018. Congratulations to Jim and the entire Alaska Family Action team!

 

 

The post Alaskans Move to Protect Privacy appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 2:36pm

Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Cole Muzio and Family Policy Alliance of Georgia, one of our 40 state-based allies. Cole has a great message about the importance of increasing education freedom in Georgia—and every state!

You can smell it in the air, can’t you? Can you feel it? The wonder, excitement, pure joy, and exhilaration that comes with the “most wonderful time of the year” … the beginning of football season!

This time of year is a much-treasured time in my family. NFL teams are suiting up for training camp, college teams have launched practice, and high school football will begin playing games in just a few short weeks. It’s a time that brings back many great memories, ushers in boundless joy, and makes me think of the day when my sons will update the record books (Hey, a dad can dream).

But, for many Georgia families, it’s a time of year best embodied by a closed door.

For those parents and children who have decided their best course of action is to homeschool, the road to athletic participation is closed. Regardless of the talent or passion of the student, Georgia is one of the few states committed to keeping those kids from participating in public school sports – which, by the way, are paid for by the tax dollars of their parents.

A system that penalizes those who exercise the right to be educated as best suits their family is broken. Denial of access and opportunity undermines choice, denies parental rights and harms Georgia’s students.

My friends, Georgia is lagging behind. Many states have already passed a version of a “Tebow Bill,” legislation that allows homeschoolers to participate in public school sports. Instead of encouraging participation and genuine school choice, our state is one of the most restrictive in the nation!

However, we are preparing to push back. Strong, pro-family leaders like Sen. Michael Williams – a candidate for governor – and others are partnering with us on this issue in the upcoming legislative session.

The freedom of families to choose the educational options that best meet their child’s needs is critical in Georgia, and every state. Making sure homeschoolers in every state can access athletics is one piece of Family Policy Alliance’s effort in increasing families’ freedom in education. We’ve made a quick-reference map so that you can see if your state is a state like Georgia that needs more freedom in education with a “Tebow bill” or if your state already secures this freedom for homeschooling families. We’re working to make sure every state on this map turns blue instead of gray!

States with Tebow Laws or Similar Provisions for Homeschoolers

Believe it or not, there are strong, well-funded opponents to equal access for homeschoolers. We need your partnership and financial support in order to build a nation where families, not the government, drive education needs and funding. Children’s dreams and successes shouldn’t be shackled by government interference and powerful teachers’ unions. Will you partner with us on education freedom today?

In His Service,

Cole Muzio
Executive Director
Family Policy Alliance of Georgia

The post It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

You Asked for Better Candidates – That’s Why We Created the Statesmen Academy

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 5:12pm

Last week, 30 up-and-coming policy leaders from around the nation converged on Colorado Springs for the second annual Statesmen Academy, sponsored by Family Policy Foundation.

Most of this year’s Statesmen are new state legislators — serving their first or second term in office — while a few are planning to run in the near future. But all of these outstanding men and women were selected because of their leadership potential for advancing pro-family principles in the public square.

One of those new state legislators is Sen. Patricia Rucker of West Virginia.  She legally emigrated to America at the age of six from Venezuela.  The current, grave attacks on liberty in that country fuel her passion to ensure that freedom and family values are upheld here in America, as she shared with fellow Statesmen and leaders of our state allies:

This year’s Statesmen heard from veteran pro-family lawmakers like former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka of Minnesota, and former Rep. Eric Turner of Indiana.  They used principles and countless examples to encourage attendees to stand strong in their beliefs, but also to conduct themselves winsomely and prudently.

They also heard from authorities on America’s founding principles like Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College, as well as issue experts like Clark Forsythe of Americans United for Life.

This year’s class came from every corner of the country, but their reactions by the end of the week were strikingly similar.

  • Northeast legislator commented: “That was easily the best conference I’ve ever been to.”
  • A newly elected state lawmaker from the Southeast remarked: “I can’t even begin to convey all the benefit I gained in the experience.”
  • “Excellent content and organization,” said a young lawmaker from the Pacific Northwest.
  • Meanwhile, a candidate-to-be from the desert Southwest summed up the powerful impact of the week in a single word: “Incredible!”

Learn more about the Statesmen Academy — and how you can support this investment in better lawmakers and better policy.

The post You Asked for Better Candidates – That’s Why We Created the Statesmen Academy appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Wisconsin: Favorable Court Decision for Wedding Photographer

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 4:13pm

Wisconsin Family Action is one of 40 state groups allied with Family Policy Alliance.

A Wisconsin judge says a work-from-home photographer does not have to comply with city and state “public accommodations” laws that might have forced her to photograph same-sex weddings.

“This is a huge win for free speech in Wisconsin,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “No one should be threatened with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor.”

Earlier this year Amy Lawson, a professional photographer and blogger who works out of her Madison home, filed what is known as a “pre-enforcement challenge” lawsuit against the City of Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, alleging that the city’s public accommodations ordinance and the state’s public accommodations law prohibit her from conducting her business, Amy Lynn Photography Studio, according to the dictates of her conscience and beliefs. Lawson argued the ordinance and law even force her to use her creative expression in support of activities she doesn’t agree with, including same-sex marriage and abortion.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Neiss determined in a court hearing in the case Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison that he would issue an order that declares Lawson and her home-based business are not subject to the city’s public accommodations ordinance or the state’s public accommodations law. Both the state and the city agreed to this resolution.

“What this decision means,” Appling explained, “is that creative professionals in Wisconsin and in Madison, those who, like Amy, don’t have storefronts, have the freedom to determine what ideas they will promote using their artistic talents. In other words, the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin can’t punish these professionals for exercising their freedom of speech artistically, even if the city or state disagrees with what they are saying.”

The post Wisconsin: Favorable Court Decision for Wedding Photographer appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Photo Essay: State Allies ‘Ready to Win’ on Policy Issues That Affect Your Family

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 3:06pm

Leaders from our 40 allied state family policy councils (FPCs) gathered for the 25th Family Policy Alliance FPC Conference held July 24-28 in Colorado Springs.

It ran concurrently with the Statesmen Academy, which is a project of our sister organization called Family Policy Foundation. More than 30 men and women, who are either in office or seeking to be in office, learned what it means to govern based on principle and to join a dynamic network of like-minded lawmakers.

Each group heard from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Sen. Tom Coburn, Rep. Joe Pitts, Rep. Daniel Webster, Matthew Spalding from Hillsdale College, and other experts who shared insights on everything from policy to technology to how to win. The theme for the week: “Ready to Win.”

Here are some photos to give you a window into these outstanding events.

The post Photo Essay: State Allies ‘Ready to Win’ on Policy Issues That Affect Your Family appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Former AG Speaks on Religious Liberty and Judicial Activism | Family Policy Briefing

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 2:45pm

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales offers his thoughts on protecting religious freedom and pushing back against judicial activism at a recent conference held by Family Policy Alliance.

Paul Weber, our president and CEO, also asks him about his latest book. Gonzales was visiting at our headquarters in Colorado to speak to a gathering of pro-family leaders from across America.

The post Former AG Speaks on Religious Liberty and Judicial Activism | Family Policy Briefing appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Why the Transgender Tweet Was Big News

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 5:01pm

by John Paulton

In this era of 24-hour headlines, the term “big news” is way overused. But President Trump’s announcement yesterday – that he was rolling back the Obama policy of opening the military to people who identify as transgender – was huge indeed.

Here are four reasons why the POTUS tweet was momentous, both for what it did and what it signaled.

First, it signals that, under a new Commander in Chief, the military is getting back to its purpose: winning wars.  Americans reside in an increasingly dangerous world, and we should appreciate a military that prioritizes readiness and effectiveness, not social experimentation.

Second, President Trump’s decision values the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.  Military facilities are, by nature, bereft of much privacy.  As the father of a cadet at one of our nation’s military academies, this issue hits home in a very real way.  But my child is just one of more than two million sons and daughters in the armed forces and reserves, each of whom deserves the basic right and common courtesy to not have to share showers and intimate facilities with persons of the opposite gender.

Third, as taxpayers, we should all appreciate the enormous savings of not having to pay for sex-reassignment surgeries and ongoing hormone therapy.  And all the more at a time when military budgets have been squeezed and vast numbers of ships, planes and other equipment are in need of replacement.

Finally, this decision also shows a beleaguered culture that the transgender agenda – which has run roughshod through America for the last couple of years – can be stopped where there is a will and where the truth is spoken clearly and respectfully.  In places like Texas, where a privacy bill hangs in the balance in a special legislative session, President Trump’s announcement is a breath of fresh air that gives renewed hope for passing common-sense privacy protections.

Please thank President Trump as well as Vice President Pence, who was reportedly very involved in this decision.  And please share with others so they can do the same and help to counter the enormous pressure that the Left is putting on the White House.  Click here to send a thank you email in just seconds from our Action Center.

John Paulton is Manager of Mobilization for Family Policy Alliance.

The post Why the Transgender Tweet Was Big News appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Minnesota: Schools told to stop using gender pronouns

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 2:59pm

The Minnesota Department of Education has just approved a transgender “toolkit” that will be distributed to all public and charter schools in the state.

The toolkit, which was authored by a number of transgender and gay-rights activists, directs schools to stop referring to students with gender-specific pronouns like he, she, him or her.  A decision to use a pronoun other than the ones preferred will likely be considered verbal harassment.

It also instructs schools to allow students to use the bathroom or shower facility of whichever sex they identify with, regardless of their actual sex.  In a nod to the extreme discomfort that such policies will produce, the toolkit advises schools to make single-user restrooms available—not to accommodate the rare transgender student—but for other students who feel uncomfortable sharing intimate space with a person of the opposite sex.

State Rep. Tim Miller, a 2016 alumnus of the Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy, took to the airwaves to address the situation on Fox & Friends.

Miller pointed to the hypocrisy of the transgender activists, noting that at one point they criticized him for speaking out against their agenda “since there are only a few (transgender) kids throughout the entire state of Minnesota.”  But now they claim that this broad, statewide policy is needed because there are so many transgender students.  “Common sense has sort of left the room,” said Miller.  You can watch a video of his appearance here.

“Though 67 Minnesota legislators authored a letter urging decision makers to prevent approval and distribution of the toolkit, they were ignored,” said Meredith Campbell, Policy Director for Minnesota Family Council.  “This irresponsible, disrespectful decision to ignore legislators’ recommendations is shocking, especially being that gender nonconforming issues remain unsettled in science, the courts and the Minnesota legislature.”

This is not the first time that transgender policy has been in recent Minnesota headlines. In May, we reported that a Minnesota kindergarten incorporated a transgender book, My Princess Boy, into its curriculum.  That’s because the parents of a 5 year-old boy—who has long blond braids, dresses in jumpers with tights and identifies as a girl—complained about bullying and asked school officials to proactively teach kindergartners about gender identity.

Family Policy Alliance is working with our state allies throughout the country to protect children’s privacy and uphold parental rights.  To support this critical work, please click here.

The post Minnesota: Schools told to stop using gender pronouns appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

“It is too late…”

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 2:54pm

We’ve been following the heartbreaking story of UK baby Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie, as they’ve fought for the right to bring Charlie to America for experimental treatment that may have helped him.

Yesterday, Charlie’s parents decided to end their legal battle after the latest medical reports showed that Charlie’s condition had deteriorated beyond an ability for any experimental treatment to make a difference. Now, they must face saying goodbye to their son. He will likely not make it to his first birthday on August 4th.

As Charlie’s family prepares to say goodbye, those of us here in America have a responsibility to pray for this family and to consider carefully what Charlie’s parents and their lawyer are saying in news reports: “For Charlie, it is too late…treatment cannot offer a chance of success.”

Charlie’s parents said: There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time … our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”

Charlie’s parents and attorneys believe that had they been given permission to get Charlie experimental treatment early on, he would not have deteriorated to this point.

We will never know whether the experimental treatment would’ve helped him, but that’s not the point. The point is that Charlie’s parents were willing to fight for his life, as any parent would, but they weren’t given permission to do so.

And this isn’t just a problem “across the pond.” We see parents’ rights being undermined here in America too. Just last year, our state ally in Kansas passed “Simon’s Law” to protect the right of parents to make decisions in life or death situations involving their children. The law is named after baby Simon who died after a “do not resuscitate” order was placed on his chart by a doctor—without his parents’ knowledge!

Parents in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C. can no longer get their kids basic help from a counselor if they are dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion—even if the children have been sexually abused. Meet our friend Rev. Jayson Graves, M. MFT, who shares why this counseling was personally so important to him.

As we work with our alliance of over 40 state family policy groups who speak up for families like yours in nearly every state across the country, we are seeing violations of parental rights occurring more frequently.

Government can set up systems with the intent to help children—like healthcare systems, and child welfare. But, government cannot love a child. God designed parents to fill that role because they are uniquely situated to do so. Parents are also uniquely situated to be children’s greatest protectors because love always protects.

As we work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, and state-based family policy groups to protect parental rights in every state, we hope your family will partner with us. We need the resources to prepare these godly legislators to fight for parental rights at every state Capital, so please consider giving here. We also need the partnership of families like yours across the country who are prepared to speak out for parental rights so that no family faces what Charlie Gard’s has, so please also consider sharing this story with your likeminded friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for news updates with us so that we can equip parents in every state!

God’s design for parents and families is good—we hope you’ll join with us in making sure it’s protected across our country!

The post “It is too late…” appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Love Always Protects – Saving Charlie Gard

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 4:35pm

by Autumn Leva, Director of Policy & Communications

UK baby Charlie Gard has captured hearts across the world as his parents fight for their right to bring him to the United States to see if an experimental treatment will help with his rare genetic disorder. Charlie’s parents were forced to turn to the courts when the hospital decided it would be better to end his life-supporting treatment — even though his parents had raised enough money to take Charlie to the U.S. and pay for the experimental treatment.

Two weeks ago, Charlie’s parents thought they had reached the end of their legal battle. The European Court of Human Rights rejected their final appeal — claiming it would be in Charlie’s best interest to let him die .

But just last week, Charlie’s parents were allowed to re-open the case to present new evidence that the experimental treatment would potentially help Charlie. A New York doctor arrived in London this week to assess Charlie, and the judge has promised to rule by July 25th .

But we now know that the lawyer appointed to represent Charlie (again, against his parents’ wishes) heads up a charity with deep connections to proponents of assisted suicide . Walk with me on this for a moment — this means the legal system decided a person who is not Charlie’s parent is supposed to represent Charlie’s best interests, and that person happens to believe that medical professionals should be able to help people kill themselves when they “no longer have quality of life.” That’s the problem with assisted suicide — bureaucrats should not be able to say that some lives have more quality than others.

Because I am a lawyer, I first started thinking about this situation legally — all the litigation and procedural hoops Charlie’s parents were jumping through to help their son, and the obvious conflict of interest with Charlie’s appointed lawyer. But then, I started seeing news reports on the hearing last week with Charlie’s mom begging the court to listen to them because “he’s our son,” and how both parents stormed out of the hearing in frustration. I started to imagine, what if Charlie were my son? What if it were my son being held hostage by my country’s healthcare and legal systems, telling me Charlie’s life is not worth fighting for, and that bureaucrats know better than my husband and me what’s best for our child?

You better believe I would fight for my child — and I know you would as well.

And the reason we would fight is a biblical principle: Love always protects.

Parents have God-given rights and responsibilities, and protection is both a chief right and responsibility.

At the end of the day, only Charlie’s parents really love him, and only Charlie’s parents will be without their only son if the court rules against them. This is why parents, who love their children and uphold their responsibility to protect them, are the ones who truly know what is best for their kids. Love always protects.

So, we hope you’ll join Family Policy Alliance as we pray for Charlie and his parents, Connie and Chris, as they await a ruling on their son’s fate. We also hope you’ll partner with us, because we promise this — we will always work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, state-based family policy groups, and families like yours to advance policies in your state that uphold parental rights, because we know that love always protects. We also promise that we will continue our successful fight opposing assisted-suicide policies and advocating for policies affirming that every life is worth fighting for. Assisted suicide was defeated in all 30 states where it was proposed, with the exception of Washington, D.C.

We hope you’ll join with us to make sure that what baby Charlie and his parents are facing doesn’t happen to any family here in America.

 

The post Love Always Protects – Saving Charlie Gard appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

TAKE ACTION: Ask Congress to Repeal Assisted Suicide in the Nation’s Capital

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 4:03pm

Congress is currently considering the future of assisted suicide in the District of Columbia.

The U.S. House has a say in what goes on in the District, so no matter what state you live in, your voice can have an impact.

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have voted to repeal the law. Now it’s critical that all members of the U.S. House hear from people who support the repeal when the bill moves to the House floor.

Jean Swenson has a unique perspective on such laws.

In 1980, her car was hit by a semi-truck. Her head went through the windshield, breaking her neck, and she was paralyzed from the shoulders down. This powerful video shares her thoughts on assisted suicide.

The House members who voted in committee to protect life understand that there’s no dignity in assisted suicide. As Jean explained: “I’m really grateful that people didn’t take my cries that my life was over seriously and they provided what I really needed – which was support, encouragement, prayers. … The road hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been good. And it’s definitely been worth fighting for.”

TAKE ACTION: Please take a few moments to send a message through our Action Center to your member of Congress. Ask them to support the repeal of D.C.’s assisted-suicide law.By calling on Congress to repeal DC’s harmful law, you help send the message that all lives, including Jean’s, are worth fighting for.

The post TAKE ACTION: Ask Congress to Repeal Assisted Suicide in the Nation’s Capital appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Our Weakness, His Strength: Finding Help for Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 9:07am

Jayson started struggling with same-sex attractions after being abused as a child. Thankfully, he was able to get professional counseling and coaching that continues to help him align his life with the heartfelt convictions of his faith.

But now, the ACLU and their allies are working to ban such professional counseling for minors. They want to make counseling on sexual orientation a one-way street — toward homosexuality.

Family Policy Alliance is fighting these bans and supporting our freedoms in state after state.

“This fight is for vulnerable kids — just like I was at eight years old,” says Jayson. “Family Policy Alliance is uniquely positioned to win, with 40 state groups and proven strategies to mobilize citizens effectively. I encourage everyone who cares about protecting children and parents’ rights to support the work of Family Policy Alliance.”

Support Family Policy Alliance.

The post Our Weakness, His Strength: Finding Help for Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

TAKE ACTION TEXAS: Student Privacy Battle Flares Again

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 6:00am

The battle for student privacy in bathrooms continues in Texas. Today was the first day of a special legislative session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to deal specifically with several key issues, including legislation to keep men out of girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and other intimate facilities.

Earlier this year, the Texas Senate passed the Texas Privacy Act that guarded students’ bathroom privacy. But Speaker Joe Straus blocked the bill from even receiving a vote in the Texas House. With Texas only holding legislative sessions in odd-numbered years, it’s paramount that this commonsense legislation is passed now.

Of course, the usual opponents – from the LGBT lobby to the ACLU to big business – are out in force with warnings of grave financial losses if Texas chooses to protect its children.

That’s why it’s critical that Texans – the vast majority of whom support student privacy – raise their voices in great numbers this week. Family Policy Alliance has made it easy. Send a message to your state senator and representative – urging them to support student privacy in this special session.

And whether you live inside or outside of Texas, please share this message with Texas friends and family and encourage them to take one minute to stand up for privacy and protect Texas children.

Thanks for making your voice heard!

 

The post TAKE ACTION TEXAS: Student Privacy Battle Flares Again appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

Illinois will squeeze money out of rocks to fund abortions

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 2:35pm

As you may have read in national news stories, Illinois continues to go through one of the worst state budgetary crises in history. The financial mismanagement is so bad that it’s taken the state over three years to pass a budget. Three years!

Despite a looming “junk status” credit rating, pension plans not being paid out, and hundreds of state employees being laid off, lawmakers have made it a 2017 legislative priority to increase abortion funding.

House Bill 40, if signed by Governor Rauner, will allow Medicaid coverage of elective abortions and give state employees access to abortions under the state’s health insurance plans.

With what money, you may ask? In all likelihood, it will just add to the already overwhelming debt burden on Illinois taxpayers. After all, Illinois is already carrying $251 billion in unfunded liabilities for its state pension plans – plus another $15 billion dollars in other unpaid debt.

One thing is certain, the Left is intent on ensuring abortion remains funded no matter what funding crisis may be at hand.

Other states are taking similar steps to protect Planned Parenthood’s resources in advance of the Republican healthcare bill. For example, the governor of Oregon has pledged to sign what will be the most intrusive health insurance coverage law in the United States. HB 3391, which has already passed the legislature, requires insurance companies to provide – at no cost – for any person (citizen or not) the following: contraceptives without a prescription, vasectomies, abortions and gender-identity related health services.

Christian business owners in Oregon will be forced to cover sex-reassignment surgeries and abortions for their employees.  And, because insurance companies would be forced to spread the cost of these “free” services over all insured, the reality is that every Oregonian will pay for them.

The good news is that many more states in the last few years have taken action to dramatically cut funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.  It’s evidence of something we say often here at Family Policy Alliance: “Elections matter.”  Thanks for your investment in FPA’s critical work to elect pro-life lawmakers.  And most of all, whether you live in a pro-abortion or a pro-life state, thank you for making your voice heard in support of life!

TAKE ACTION – Speaking of at last ending Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded gravy train, if you haven’t yet asked the Senate to make sure any Obamacare replacement bill they put forward cuts Planned Parenthood funding, please take just a few seconds to send an email to them instantly through our action center here.

The post Illinois will squeeze money out of rocks to fund abortions appeared first on Family Policy Alliance.

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