40 Days for Life Meridian begins this week—and you have the opportunity to get involved as a pro-life prayer warrior.
The movement began in 2004 when concerned residents of Bryan, Texas, came together to pray and fast for an end to abortion after seeing an abortion clinic open in their community. Soon after, other communities began imitating the prayerful and peaceful approach modeled by those faithful witnesses standing for life in Bryan.
The first nationwide 40 Days for Life campaign began in 2007, and its annual campaigns have been remarkably successful. As a result of campaign efforts, over 16,000 women decided not to get an abortion and more than 100 abortion centers have closed.
Nearly 200 abortion workers have quit their jobs, too—most notably, Abby Johnson, the director of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, who now prays with other 40 DFL volunteers outside of the clinic she left. Abby Johnson is the subject of the blockbuster movie, Unplanned, which has touched the hearts of millions of Americans and changed the minds of untold numbers of people who were formerly pro-abortion.
I talked with Emily Naugle, who shares the coordinator role for the Meridian campaign with her husband, Scott. Emily recalled a heartwarming encounter she had a couple years back while participating in the 40 DFL vigil outside the Meridian Planned Parenthood clinic.
As Emily tells it, a woman driving down the adjacent road pulled over and approached Emily. The woman shared that when she was in high school, she had made an appointment to receive an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic in California. She arrived at the clinic, only to see 40 DFL volunteers praying outside. The woman couldn’t bring herself to go ahead with procedure. Now, years later, she was showing pictures of her six-year-old son to Emily—a reminder that all the praying and fasting was not in vain.
How Can I Get Involved?
Participate in the prayer vigil. The 40-day prayer vigil runs from September 25th to November 3rd on the public right-of-way outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on Franklin Road in Meridian. Sign up for hour-long shifts (between 7am and 7pm) on the 40 DFL Meridian page.
The 40 DFL Meridian coordinators are praying for full coverage during all hours this campaign, so please consider participating! For those who haven’t done something like this in past, feel free to contact the campaign coordinators. They can set you up with experienced prayer warriors if schedules allow.
Pray and fast wherever you are. For those unable to attend the prayer vigil, don’t worry—your prayers and fasting will be used of God wherever you are! 40 DFL publishes daily devotionals to help guide your prayer time. And consider committing to some type of fast during the duration of the campaign. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:17).
Please consider participating in this ecumenical effort to pray and fast for the end of abortion!
Standing with you for life,
Director of Advocacy
The last several weeks have brought a lot of encouraging news in the quest to protect life, as several states have taken bold steps to greatly limit abortions.
While those new laws in places like Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri are being challenged and put on hold in the courts, it’s still an encouragement to see lawmakers moving in the right direction. It was especially positive to see the Democrat governor of Louisiana put his signature on the pro-life bill there.
But sadly, we’ve also seen a march in the other direction. New York got everyone’s attention early in the year, and other liberal states have followed suit.
Probably the most stunning example just happened in Illinois, where a few days ago the state senate approved a bill that legalizes abortion through all nine months and strips away all limitations, including repealing the state’s ban on gruesome partial-birth abortions. The governor of Illinois is fully expected to sign it.
So where does Idaho stand in all of this?
Every year, the national pro-life group, Americans United for Life (AUL), does a comprehensive legal analysis of each state’s legal protections for human life from conception to natural death. This year, Idaho ranked as the 21st most pro-life state – right behind Virginia and just ahead of the Carolinas.
Idaho lawmakers – with the help of people like you – have passed a lot of good, pro-life measures over the years.
- These include making abortion illegal after viability, when a baby is able to live outside the womb.
- They have also enacted laws requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortion.
- They have instituted measures to ensure that women seeking abortions are informed about their baby’s development and what really happens in an abortion.
- Idaho also requires a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion.
- In the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions, four new pro-life laws were enacted, including a requirement that women seeking chemical abortions receive information about ways to potentially reverse such an abortion once the first medication has been taken.
- And just this year, the state tweaked its ban on partial-birth abortions to satisfy court concerns and make it enforceable.
Studies show that many of these laws significantly reduce the number of abortions in a state, so it’s reasonable to assume that they played a role in the more than 20 percent reduction in Idaho abortions over the last decade or so.
But the 1,285 annual abortions in Idaho, as of 2017, remind us that we have lots of work to do, including passing other laws that have been enacted by the 20 states that rank ahead of us on the AUL list. Yes, some of those laws will be challenged and end up in the notorious Ninth Circuit. But Arizona, which is also in the Ninth Circuit, ranks number one on the AUL list – proving that we can still accomplish a lot, with hopes that an improving judiciary will open up the window of possibility even more.
Choosing when, where and what legislation to run is a serious chess game with lots of strategic implications. It calls to mind the multi-faceted strategic decision-making in which President Abraham Lincoln engaged as he sought to free the slaves – keeping his eye on the courts, the political situation in Congress and even the status of the war. He recognized that rash actions could jeopardize the entire effort, and yet he needed to be ready to move when the opportunity opened.
May God grant us that same strength – and great wisdom – in this critical life-saving mission.
Director of Advocacy
Last December, you received an email introducing me as interim head of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho®. For these past six months, it has been my immense privilege to serve you at the capitol and throughout Idaho, even as we searched for the permanent director.
Thankfully, these six months have been a time of progress. With your help, we have won important issue battles, and we have laid the groundwork for even more success to come.
To build on this foundation, I couldn’t be more excited to tell you about Blaine Conzatti, who will be taking over as Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho.
Blaine has a proven track record of success in the family policy movement. Before joining Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, Blaine previously worked for Family Policy Institute of Washington, one of our partner organizations. He is eager to represent our shared values in the Gem State. With Blaine helming the ship in Boise, I will be able to give full attention to my role as Manager of Mobilization with Family Policy Alliance in Colorado Springs.
Please keep Blaine in your prayers as he joins our team. I know he will steadfastly continue our mission of unleashing biblical citizenship by equipping citizens to understand the issues, mobilizing voters who share our values, building alliances with churches, and working with policymakers to promote sound policy rooted in eternal principles.
I look forward to introducing Blaine to many of you, and then – along with the rest of the Family Policy Alliance team – working to build an Idaho where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
With your continued partnership, I can’t wait to see the great works of God in Idaho and our nation!
Sir William Jones, the renowned eighteenth-century English jurist and scholar, once remarked of his native England, “We live in the midst of blessings till we are utterly insensible of their greatness and the source from whence they flow.”
Sadly, the same could be said of the American people today. We are blessed to live in the most prosperous, secure, politically stable, and free nation in the history of the world. Yet too many turn their backs on our national foundations, indignantly sneer at the biblical morality we once shared, and speak with contempt of the founding fathers and other faithful men who have—by their vigilance and sacrifice—secured, maintained and preserved our republic for future generations.
What was, to paraphrase Sir William Jones, the source from whence our blessings of liberty, prosperity, and security flowed? What was the source of our national greatness?
In his first Thanksgiving Proclamation, President George Washington unequivocally answered: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”
That, indeed, was the unanimous opinion of the founding fathers who appended their names to the Declaration of Independence exactly 243 years ago. In fact, Independence Day in early America was celebrated as a day of national thanksgiving to God.
Our founders attested to God’s intervention on our behalf during the War for Independence and His goodness in guiding them as they created a nation rooted in the idea of liberty under God’s law and built upon His unchanging Word. They believed the American people should come together to extend gratitude and worship to God for His protection, favor, and blessing.
Writing to his wife Abigail immediately after joining with his fellow delegates in voting for independence, John Adams presciently foresaw both the importance of the event in which he had just taken part and the traditions that would be celebrated by successive generations of Americans:
“I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations [fireworks] from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Yes, John Adams predicted that Independence Day would be celebrated with fireworks, parades, sports, and guns! How’s that for a prediction come true?
But also notice that John Adams says Independence Day ought to be celebrated by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. God, who is the source of all blessings, deserves our worship and thanksgiving today. He has given us our liberty, and He has allowed us to live in a nation that has done better than any other in offering opportunity to all and empowering everyone to exercise their rights freely.
As you celebrate Independence Day, take a few minutes to pray with your family, thanking God for all he has done for the United States of America. Join with me in following the wisdom of President Washington, who over two centuries ago encouraged his countrymen to acknowledge God’s providence and authority, obey His law, be grateful to Him for the blessings we have been given, and humbly ask him for his continued protection and favor.
Standing with you this Independence Day,
Director of Advocacy
“We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.”
Like many of you, I cherish our federal constitution. Remarkably, not only has it produced the most free and prosperous society in human history, but it has outlived every other constitution adopted by other nations. During the 230 years our constitution has been in effect, France has had 15 constitutions, Brazil has had seven, and South Korea has had four. There should be no doubt that the U.S. Constitution is indeed “exceptional.”
Much of the reason for its success can be found in the “self-evident truths” that informed those wise men who framed our founding documents. These first principles, deeply rooted in divine truth as revealed through God’s Word and right reason, provided our founding fathers with a framework that would enable them to create the most just and enduring government the world has ever seen.
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, recognized Christianity as the source of these first principles. He said, “The authority of law, the right to equality, liberty, and property under American institutions, have for their foundation reverence for God.”
But did you know these same transcendent truths also served as the foundation for the Constitution of the State of Idaho, which was ratified by the people in 1889?
The opening line of the Idaho Constitution begins with the unashamed declaration that the people of Idaho are “grateful to Almighty God for our freedom.” From the very beginning, Idahoans and their state government recognized God’s providential role as the Author of our freedom. They joyfully gave thanks for the ways He has blessed the people of this state with the ability to enjoy their inalienable rights. How great is that?
For what purpose was constitutional state government instituted in Idaho? The Preamble answers that question: the people of Idaho have framed a constitution that will empower them to “secure [the] blessings” of our freedom and “promote our common welfare.”
Additionally, the framers of the Idaho Constitution recognized the equality of all people and sought to ensure that inalienable rights would be recognized and protected. “All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety.”
One of the most fundamental of these inalienable rights is religious freedom. Idahoans are constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty: “The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions.”
If our state government stays true to the eternal truths exemplified in the Idaho Constitution, we will remain a happy and prosperous people. Idaho families will flourish, and our children will enjoy the blessings of freedom.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho works on your behalf to advocate faithful adherence to these proven principles. We are on a mission to unleash biblical citizenship in the Gem State by equipping citizens to understand the issues, mobilizing voters who share our values, building alliances with churches, and working with policymakers to promote sound policy.
Our vision is an Idaho where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
Will you join with us in making this a reality for generations to come? We invite you to partner with us by making a gift of $25, $75, or $250 today.
Standing with the family of believers in Idaho,
Director of Advocacy
Boise State University’s “diversity, equality, and inclusion” initiatives have generated lots of news recently. One such initiative, “Rainbow Graduation,” offered a special graduation event and ceremony just for LGBT students. The ceremony was emceed by a “transqueen” who had previously competed in Boise’s Next Drag Superstar. Rainbow honor cords and “ally” pins were distributed to students who attended.
As Idahoans, we desire to see all people treated with dignity. As taxpayers, we want all students at Boise State University to receive a quality education.
Diversity and inclusion events at BSU are a distraction from these goals. These initiatives are offensive to our shared values and a waste of limited school resources.
Sadly, the problem isn’t limited to just one graduation event. Other diversity and inclusion programs include interactive workshops and movie screenings that foster an environment of prejudice toward students holding Christians beliefs.
Let Boise State University President Marlene Tromp know you think their radical social agenda is divisive and a distraction from providing a quality education to all students.
Director of Advocacy
Greetings from the City of Trees! Here are a few stories we wouldn’t want you to miss:
ACTION ALERT: Boise State University
Last week Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R – Idaho Falls) and 27 other state legislators sent a letter to Boise State University voicing their concerns with its recent diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Programs and events hosted by the BSU Gender Equity Center include “Rainbow Graduation,” a special graduation event and ceremony just for LGBT students. They also screened a documentary film, For the Bible Tells Me So, which attacks biblical doctrines of gender, sexuality, and marriage and portrays those who subscribe to Christian truths as hateful, prejudiced, and ignorant.
Please visit our Action Center to send a message to BSU President Marlene Tromp. Let her know you think these radical social initiatives are offensive to our shared values and a waste of limited school resources. And please pass this along to others so they can make their voices heard, too!
Can the Supreme Court Revisit and Overturn its Past Decisions?
Vince Torres, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico®, recently wrote a compelling article answering the question, “Is Roe v. Wade settled law?”
Torres invokes the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, a since-overturned decision in which the Supreme Court upheld “separate but equal” racially segregated public facilities, as an example that “no Supreme Court decision is beyond further review or an overturning.”
“As the Supreme Court has appropriately done in years past, it should once again move to correct injustice by overturning Roe—one of its most fallacious and appalling decisions in history.”
Don’t forget to “like” Family Policy Alliance of Idaho on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter! It’s the best way to communicate with us and other like-minded Idahoans and keep updated on our work at the seats of local government across the state.
Standing with you for families, life, and religious freedom,
Director of Advocacy
By April 1777, John Adams—then a delegate in the Continental Congress—felt a sense of growing despair. Facing the realization that American success in the War for Independence was anything but certain, he grew concerned that his countrymen were losing their resolve to fight in the face of consecutive military defeats and that they were growing wearisome of the sacrifices necessary to secure independence and liberty for all.
Distressed but still clinging to the hope that God would come to the aid of his fledgling nation, the future president wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, in which he made this startling declaration:
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”
Perhaps the most treasured of these freedoms is religious liberty. Called the “first freedom” because of its place as the first inalienable right protected by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, religious freedom is also protected by the Idaho Constitution, which forcefully affirms:
“The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions.”
Despite its legally protected status under our federal and state constitutions, religious liberty is under attack today.
Here are four reasons Christians should be concerned about preserving religious freedom:
- Our ability to openly preach the Gospel is at stake: As historian Bill Federer astutely puts it, “Our most important job is to preach the Gospel. Our second most important job is to defend our right to preach the Gospel.”
- Religious freedom is biblical: The Bible tells us that we are accountable to God for our religious beliefs and the actions that flow from those beliefs. Romans 14:4 says, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall.” The Bible makes clear that civil government should neither infringe on our duties to God (Acts 5:17-42) nor coerce someone to believe or act contrary to their conscience (Daniel 1, 3, 6).
- Our right to live, and raise our children, according to the dictates of our faith is in jeopardy. And not only living out our faith just at home or church, but at work and in school and in public, too.
- Love for neighbor: We should work to ensure religious freedom is preserved not only for ourselves, but for our neighbors as well, whatever their faith may be.
Our founding fathers warned that a government willing to infringe religious liberty will soon begin violating other dearly held rights. James Madison, the ‘Father of the Constitution’ and our fourth president, rightly cautioned:
“There is not a truth to be gathered from history more certain than or more momentous than this: that civil liberty cannot long be separated from religious liberty without danger, and ultimately without destruction to both.”
The founding generation sacrificed much to secure our freedoms, as have generations of soldiers, statesmen, and citizens since. Christians today must take seriously their duty to preserve religious liberty for their neighbors and children, and for future generations.
For their sake and ours, let us recommit ourselves to this righteous cause, protecting our freedom to share the Gospel and our right to live, work, and raise our families according to the precepts of God’s Word.
Standing with you for religious liberty,
Director of Advocacy
We want to let you know about an upcoming opportunity for you to become involved in the process of determining what children are taught in public schools.
In 2011, Idaho adopted the Idaho Core Standards. These standards are tied to the controversial Common Core Standards.
Many parents have contacted us, asking what they can do to make their voices heard.
They’re concerned the Common Core Standards reduce local and state control over curriculum choices, making it harder for parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards to choose the best curricula for their local communities.
When the national Common Core Standards were implemented here in Idaho, the power to craft education standards was taken out of the hands of the state legislature and local school boards. These standards were developed by national organizations and educational companies unaccountable to parents and school boards and unresponsive to their concerns.
Over the past few months, hundreds of people have signed petitions and sent emails requesting public hearings on Idaho Common Core Standards.
In response, the Idaho State Board of Education scheduled four public hearings. These hearings offer parents and community members with a forum to share their perspective on this important topic and potentially influence education policy.
Public hearings will be held at:
- Nampa (August 19): The College of Western Idaho, Academic Building, Room 102 E
- Twin Falls (August 21): The College of Southern Idaho, Hepworth Building, Room 108
- Coeur d’Alene (August 22): North Idaho College’s Student Union Building, Lake Coeur d’Alene Conference Room
- Idaho Falls (August 27): The College of Eastern Idaho Building 6 (Health Education Building), Room 150/152
Standing with you,
Director of Advocacy
In many ways, you could say Family Policy Alliance of Idaho® is wrapping up its biggest year yet.
Last year, Family Policy Alliance of Idaho achieved many victories on behalf of Idaho families.
Most importantly, perhaps, was the effort led by Family Policy Alliance of Idaho to ward off an LGBT “Add the Words” compromise that would have undermined religious freedom. Forward progress also was made in the areas of preserving the sanctity of life and protecting parental rights.
We believe God has even more victories in store for Idaho families next year—and Family Policy Alliance of Idaho will be in the vanguard, promoting policies that make Idaho a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho will be concluding its fiscal year on September 30th, and I would like to finish strong so that we can have an even greater impact next year. We have $42,000 to raise before this current fiscal year closes. If we bridge this gap, we can begin next year in the best position possible.
Will you help me raise the remaining $42,000 so we can ensure that biblical values are upheld in Idaho now and for generations to come? Your support today will help us reach our goal so that we can continue standing firmly to defend life and freedom in the Gem State.
Standing for you and your family,
Director of Advocacy