When Justice Ginsburg passed away yesterday, it crystalized battle lines for this election.

Indeed, those lines were already pretty clear:

Furthermore, legal scholars have long believed that one more conservative justice could (finally) pave the way for the Supreme Court – without relying on John Roberts – to put an end to the legal “mass grave” Roe v. Wade has been for babies in the womb.

Justice GinsburgThis is why the passing of Justice Ginsburg marked a sea change in the dynamics of the 2020 election. Both the pro-life and pro-abortion sides felt the weight of the moment, with life and death more profoundly in the balance than ever before.

The abortion lobby, led by Planned Parenthood, is ruled by fear that their taxpayer gravy train and blood money might at last come to an end.

Pro-lifers, who have faithfully worked year after year to cut away at Roe v. Wade’s death grip, were already feeling the momentum of living in the most pro-life generation since the 1973 Roe decision. Now, at long last, overturning one of the gravest human injustices in world history could finally be only one President Trump Supreme Court nominee, one Senate confirmation, and one decision away.

Feel the weight of the moment.

In 2020, we must vote like their lives depend upon it—because they do.

You’ll see candidates’ names as you cast your votes this year, but life itself is really on your ballot.

Even as our nation faces pivotal decisions that will shape the Court and the country for generations, we ask that you engage in the process of politics like never before—not for the sake of any political leader or to over-spiritualize politics. But for the sake of the 60 million lives already lost to abortion and the mothers left at the mercy of the abortion industry.

In addition to your prayers for our nation, here are three very practical ways to engage now:

  1. Use our Voter Registration Tool to make sure you’re registered to vote—and send it around to your friends, family and church members as well. We know about 25 million Christians didn’t vote in the 2016 election, and we need the family of believers to change the tide!
  2. Work with your church to participate in one of the upcoming Voter Registration Sundays. You can use the same voter registration tool, and we have an easy downloadable guide for participating churches as well. Join on:
    Sunday, September 20th
    Sunday, October 4th
    Learn more here.
  3. Consider a gift to Family Policy Alliance’s election efforts this year and rest assured that your gift will be used to rally more voters to #VoteForLife.Donate now

#VoteForLife

For the lives depending on what we do in this critical moment,Autumn Stroup.jpg
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Autumn Leva
Vice President, Strategy

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It’s estimated that over 25 million Christians didn’t vote in the last presidential election in 2016. Even more troubling is the latest data showing that atheists are the most politically active “religious” group in America.

This means that while believers sit on the sidelines, the groups selecting the country’s political leaders are those who would be all too happy to throw religious freedom rights in the wastebasket, take the lives of more babies in the womb, and bring further harm to families. It’s no wonder some leaders pass laws that directly contradict God’s Word.

Believe us—we know politics can be messy. Our calling every day is to engage with government in a manner worthy of the Gospel. But we also know that our system of government is another mission field in which the Body of Christ must engage.

Not every believer may be called to serve in this mission field as an elected leader. But every believer is called to engage. If we truly believe that biblical values bring about good for everyone—both believers and nonbelievers—then how can we not cast a vote for leaders who will best advance these values and pass laws that do the most good to protect religious freedom, life, and families?

That’s why it’s critical that we reach those 25 million Christians.

At Family Policy Alliance, we’ve set aside 2 Sundays where you can help us do that. We are asking you (and other individual believers) to help us get Christians who aren’t registered to vote registered, and to help register as many Christians as possible in churches during two Voter Registration Sundays!

We know of many cases where half the church members or more are not registered in a given church! Will you help us reach those 25 million?

Join us on one or both Voter Registration Sundays:

Sunday, September 20th

If you live in AK, MT, RI, SC, or UT, you will need to participate in September to meet your state’s voter registration deadline. We also strongly encourage you to consider this option if you the following states, because these states require registrations to be postmarked immediately after the October date: AR, AZ, FL, GA, HI, IL*, IN, KY, LA, MS, NM*, NV*, OH, TN, TX (*state deadline falls on 10/6. All other listed states’ deadlines are 10/5. For both cases, we encourage you to choose September or to postmark/urge congregants to postmark registrations immediately on 10/5 should you choose the October option) 

Sunday, October 4th 

How can you participate? It’s easy:

  1. Visit our voter registration webpage to make sure you’re registered to vote, and share the link with friends and family!
  2. Download this short, accessible guide to hosting a voter registration at your church and be sure to share with your church leadership so your church can participate! The guide also includes printable postcards and posters with a QR code that individuals can scan to start the voter registration process!
  3. Join our Facebook event, and send an invite to your pastor, church members, and pastors/believers at other churches so they can join too! The page features all the must-know information, including the guide and a direct link to register to vote!
  4. Host your registration! Full details in our guide.

Not sure about starting a registration at your church? Whether you’re wondering about it yourself, or not sure how to talk to your pastor, we encourage you to watch and share this video on social media and especially with your church leadership and other church members:

 Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s be faithful to God’s call – by voting!

For citizenship worthy of the Gospel,

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Autumn Leva
Vice President, Strategy

 

Meridian BaldacciMeridian Baldacci
Meridian Baldacci
Policy and Communications Strategist

We’re excited to announce a first-of-its-kind event called “Answering the Call” ahead of this November’s critical election! Join us to rally with other believers and families to Answer God’s Call to engage in the public square and commit to the preservation of life and freedom!

This event is for you, your neighbors, your friends, your fellow church members, and, yes, your whole family – bring the kids! You don’t have to be super-political or a regular attendee of Party meetings or gatherings. All you need is a spirit that desires to honor God in how you stand for His glory in how you vote and in how you take a stand in these critical times.

We are hosting this event on October 11th from 5pm-7pm at the Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater and Pavilion in Newtown Park (Johns Creek).

Already, we have confirmed Senator Kelly Loeffler as a speaker, and we’ll hear from other great pro-family officials, candidates, and leaders. Dinner is provided, and the whole event is FREE – though we will encourage donations to help fight for our values this November!

To sign up for this great event, please visit FPAofGA.com/RSVP TODAY and please pass this invitation along to your friends and neighbors. We’d love to see them there!

 

The government telling the church what to believe and how to live out those beliefs is the worst kind of violation of the First Amendment. But, that’s what the city of Philadelphia has been trying to do to Catholic Social Services, an adoption and foster care agency in the city.

The Supreme Court recently announced it would hear oral arguments in the case, the outcome of which will have enormous ramifications for religious freedom. In Fulton v. Pennsylvania, the city of Philadelphia is attempting to force a Catholic Social Services to place children in homes with same-sex couples, in violation of the non-profit’s beliefs, or else go out of business and stop serving children in need.

This agency is fueled by its beliefs about marriage, family, and helping the less fortunate. They exist to help children in need, particularly hard-to-place children, find forever homes. They have many guidelines for the families who are receiving children in their homes – including that there be a married mom and dad in the home. These beliefs cannot just be separated from each other.

But that’s exactly what Philadelphia wants the agency to do.

The Court is considering the foundational question of whether an organization is allowed to define its beliefs and to consistently live them out.

As shown in the recent case Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey, in which the Court protected the right of a church to determine its hiring and firing practices, the Court has placed a lot of emphasis on the freedom of the church to actually be the church and live out its beliefs consistently.

Two lower courts have allowed Philadelphia to continue to co-opt the beliefs of the adoption agency. Ironically, Philadelphia cannot show any real harm arising from the faith-based agency’s existence. There are plenty of agencies who will eagerly place children in same-sex or single-parent homes. But, the sexual revolution will stand for nothing less than total surrender to their ideology. In their worldview, even one agency that does not comply is not acceptable.

Nine states, including my state of Kansas, recognized that this was a problem and passed an Adoption Protection Act. These laws reinforce that the First Amendment and state religious freedom laws protect faith-based adoption agencies from government discrimination. This ensures that agencies can live out their beliefs when it comes to marriage, family, and sexuality.

In states that don’t have this sort of law like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, and even South Carolina, agencies are under attack. These agencies are doing important work to help children, women in crisis pregnancies, and families that want to become a forever home for a child in need.

Watch our video here highlighting the work of faith-based adoption agencies:

Laws protecting faith-based organizations are at risk across the country during this election. This is evident in a state like Kansas where during the debate on the Adoption Protection Act, a leading Senate candidate, Barbara Bollier, declared that Catholic beliefs about marriage and family were “sick discrimination.” Activists, including the Governor, are constantly trying to undermine this law.

The losers in this political debate are the children. The push to shut down faith-based adoption agencies because of their faith ultimately harms the children who could have been helped by these agencies. Political leaders demonstrate that they would rather have children in need sleeping in administrative offices than allow a faith-based adoption/foster agency to exist to help place them with families.

Interestingly enough, the Court indicated that it knows that the question of discrimination against faith-based organizations matters to voters by placing oral arguments the day AFTER the election on November 4th.

Stand alongside us as we fight to protect laws like the Adoption Protection Act where it has already become law and pass it in states where it has yet to become law. Would you consider a generous gift to Family Policy Alliance today?

Standing for the freedom to believe,

 

 

Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas

You made a difference (again)! During June’s #SaveGirlsSports Week, you took action and asked President Trump and Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reject the Left’s demands to allow biological boys to compete in girls’ sports.  Thousands of you wrote to President Trump and Secretary DeVos with appreciation for their strong stand up to that point and a call to continue leading to ensure women’s sports were not destroyed on the mantel of political correctness.

At that time, we were encouraged by the Department of Education’s May 15 decision that said a Connecticut policy allowing biological males to play in female sports violated Title IX – the federal law that made women’s sports possible at the level we enjoy today.  However, we knew in June that the Trump Administration was under intense pressure to walk back its stand for female athletes in light of the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision which redefined “sex” to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” for purposes of employment law (Title VII).

On June 26 Family Policy Alliance sent a coalition letter to President Trump and Secretary DeVos on behalf of 46 pro-family organizations and ministries which echoed the call to action that so many of you responded to on the very same day.

We were very heartened this week to receive a reply from the Department of Education to our letter.  A direct response from an Administrative agency is rare – but a substantive, definitive letter of support from a department is nearly unheard of.  That is why we were so encouraged by the Department’s letter and wanted to share it with you.  Allow me to provide a few highlights:

Once again, let me say that YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE.  When pro-family Americans come together and make their voices heard, great things happen.  This is what biblical citizenship is all about!

Thank you for standing with us to defend God’s design for family, the inherent worth of every life – male and female, and our most prized freedom of religion.

For freedom and fairness,
Amanda Banks
Director, External Relations

 

P.S. The fight to #SaveGirlsSports continues!  We must protect the integrity of Title IX at the federal level as well as fairness in sports at the state level.  If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to sign our petition to #SaveGirlsSports by enacting laws in every state in the nation to protect female athletics by ensuring that only biological girls can compete in girls’ sports.

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Over the last few months, you helped pass the first law in the nation to reserve girls’ sports for biological girls. As you may know from our previous updates, there’s an ongoing lawsuit surrounding that important law. Last night, a federal judge issued an initial ruling in the lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know.

What law is at stake?

Idaho’s groundbreaking “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” championed by Family Policy Alliance of Idaho since its legislative inception, is designed to ensure that girls’ sports are reserved for biological girls. Without the law, biological males who identify as female were competing in girls’ high school and college sports—placing female athletes at a disadvantage.

What’s happening in the lawsuit?

The ACLU sued the state of Idaho over the law, seeking to allow males to play in female sports categories. Last night, a federal judge temporarily halted the law’s enforcement – but that’s not the end of the story.

The injunction is only a temporary measure while the lawsuit moves forward. Going forward, the state won’t be alone in defending this important law: the judge also allowed two female athletes from Idaho State University to intervene in favor of the law. The women, represented in court by Alliance Defending Freedom, were forced to compete against a biologically male athlete at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track & Field championships last year. All women in the event placed behind the biological male.

The law also has the backing of the Trump Administration.

The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued a ruling earlier this summer that a Connecticut policy allowing boys to play in girls’ sports violates Title IX (the law that ensures girls have access to equal educational and athletic opportunities with boys) and could result in loss of federal funding. Similarly, the US Department of Justice filed a motion in support of Idaho’s law.

How is Family Policy Alliance responding?

Even as the lawsuit continues in Idaho, Family Policy Alliance will continue to stand for fair sports for girls in Idaho and beyond. This morning, we issued the following statements to the media.

From Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance:

Autumn LevaA young girl should never be placed in the position of losing out on a championship or scholarship simply because a male was allowed to compete in the female sports category. Yet that potential outcome is held in the balance today in Idaho. The eyes of the nation are on Idaho as a federal judge takes steps to decide whether female athletes can count on a fair playing field – or whether years of work to advance female athletic opportunities will be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. In a court of law, where justice ought to guide the judge’s decisions, we hope the final outcome will uphold fairness. But as we await that decision – and whatever form it ultimately takes – Family Policy Alliance will continue to fight to Save Girls’ Sports wherever we have opportunity. Our daughters are counting on us.”

From Blaine Conzatti, Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho:

Blaine Conzatti.jpg“We know this law is constitutional, and we remain confident that ultimately it will be vindicated in court. The Trump Administration supports this law as essential to preserving the spirit of Title IX for future generations of girls. We know the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is on strong legal footing.”

What happens next?

SaveGirlsSports padded leftWhile we await further developments in the Idaho lawsuit, Family Policy Alliance is already looking toward advocating for similar laws in other states wherever we have opportunity to do so. This summer, we launched a nationwide “Save Girls’ Sports” campaign to build awareness around the issue of males competing in female sports. As part of that, thousands of you have signed our petition to state lawmakers asking for laws similar to Idaho’s.

And it’s no wonder that so many of you signed. Recent polling shows that a majority of Americans – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents – agree that female athletes should not be forced to compete against biological men.

Americans know that female athletes deserve a fair playing field in sports. There is nothing discriminatory about laws that protect equal opportunities for female athletes – and we firmly believe that protecting that equal opportunity is an important step for state legislators to consider in the time to come.

Family Policy Alliance continues to fight for these laws in Idaho and elsewhere!

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Autumn Leva

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Blaine Conzatti

And here’s why…

When the Supreme Court sided with the abortion lobby this month, we were all disappointed.

But the work of changing laws, hearts and minds on the abortion issue was never being done by the Supreme Court anyway—they’ve only messed everything up (think Roe v. Wade).

It’s really been we the people, by God’s grace, who have been hard at work to stop the relentless push by the abortion lobby to destroy the lives of women and their babies.

And the abortion lobby knows it.

Instead of savoring the spoils of their Court victory, they chose to pen an article in the Washington Post—to talk about how worried they are about you.

They believe you are “playing whack-a-mole” to pound out their abortion efforts in the states. And they’re right! You—and hundreds of thousands of others like you—are electing pro-life lawmakers, taking action, and funding efforts to stop the abortion lobby across the country. And it’s working!

In the article, they fretted that: “Relentless state-by-state attacks on abortion are only ratcheting up.” And they worried about these numbers:

450 state laws were passed to restrict abortion over the past decade

90% of U.S. counties have no abortion facility

9 states banned abortions at 6 weeks, the point when a baby’s heartbeat can be detected

6 states are down to the last abortion facility

The abortion lobby hates these numbers, but we are rejoicing and praising the Lord for His graciousness!

These numbers (the many times you—and the entire pro-life movement—have “whacked the abortion moles”) are made possible:

So in response to the abortion lobby, Family Policy Alliance says keep whacking those moles!

And believe me, there are a lot of moles to whack.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the abortion lobby has been attempting to skirt regulations for the chemical abortion pill and push for more “virtual abortions.” They convinced Nancy Pelosi to attempt to force taxpayer funding of abortion in the COVID stimulus packages. They continue to push for ever more radical abortion laws in the states—including removing protections for babies that have already been born. And, of course, they are investing millions of dollars to elect their chosen presidential candidate, Joe Biden, and a bevy of other candidates who will be beholden to their all-abortion, all-the-time agenda.

Between the 2020 election and when most state lawmakers get back to work in January, we have a lot of abortion moles to whack.  The abortion lobby knows that you are its greatest enemy.

Will you give $20, $50, $100 or even more to whack down the abortion moles? The abortion lobby is raking in millions in their desperation. The pro-life movement has to be ready to respond—not of out desperation, but out of our abundant trust in God’s provision to fund His good work.

I’m proud to be the abortion lobby’s greatest enemy! Are you?

For life,

Autumn Leva
Vice President, Strategy

With much fanfare, the Idaho Lottery observed its 30th anniversary last month, but is the occasion really worth celebrating?

Proponents of the Idaho Lottery trumpet the dividends it pays to Idaho K-12 public schools, which totaled $18.6 million in 2018. Yet that accounts for only 1.1 percent of the total state spending for K-12 public schools for the same year. Not exactly the windfall gain for public schools that supporters of the lottery make it out to be.

In truth, the Idaho Lottery creates victims and drains our economy. Gambling is accompanied by a host of social problems often exceeding any alleged benefits.

Most lottery tickets are purchased by the poorest Idahoans who can least afford it. A study conducted by Duke University researchers found that households making less than $25,000 annually spend more than double as much on lottery tickets as households with an annual income of more than $100,000. Researchers have also “found that the poorest third of households bought more than half of all weekly lottery tickets sold.”

Low-income lottery participants often redirect their spending from essential items (housing, food, education, and transportation) to purchasing lottery tickets. Despite the near impossible odds of winning it big, many of them see gaming as a ticket out of their financial difficulties, and the consequences of their gambling place an inordinate strain on their marriages and children.

While the state lottery brings in a negligible amount of funding for public schools and other government programs, it functions as a regressive tax on the poorest people in our state and discourages economically productive and socially beneficial behavior. As with most government schemes to wrest more dollars from the public, the problems caused by the lottery far outweigh any overstated benefits.

Through its lottery, the State of Idaho encourages poor financial decisions and behaviors that negatively affect families and communities. Certainly we shouldn’t be celebrating that.

Standing with you for families, life, and religious freedom,
Blaine Conzatti
Director of Advocacy

 

Broken Chain, Woman

Every summer, dozens of state legislators and officeholders from across the country come together at the Statesman Academy™, a project of Family Policy Foundation. Through this weeklong program, a rising generation of statesmen are trained and equipped to promote biblically sound policy with a message of inspired hope.

Because of your financial support for this project, three Idaho state legislators and city councilmembers have had the opportunity to attend the Statesman Academy. We plan for many more to attend next year.

Rick HogaboamRick Hogaboam, a Nampa city councilman and the most recent Idaho graduate of the Statesman Academy, has made local news headlines recently for his effort to end human trafficking in his city.

Hogaboam is taking on the illicit massage parlors that operate as fronts for prostitution operations. He believes that many of the women performing sex acts in these massage parlors are victims of human trafficking.

Massage parlors are the second most common location for human trafficking, according an analysis by Polaris, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing human trafficking.

We proudly stand behind the efforts of Councilman Hogaboam to work with Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling and Rep. Brent Crane to end this inhumane and barbarous practice, and we pray other Idaho cities and towns will follow suit.

You can read more about Councilman Rick Hogaboam’s fight against human trafficking at the Idaho Press website.

After a week in Atlanta for the 2019 Statesman Academy, I am proud to be back in the Land of Enchantment to share some of the highlights of our week.

At Family Policy Alliance, a critical component of our mission is equipping and electing statesmen, and our annual Statesmen Academy has become one of our nation’s premier training ground for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policy makers. Each year, the Academy provides rigorous training from world renowned thought leaders and experienced Christian legislators, and produces graduates bonded in an enduring fellowship of mutual encouragement, accountability, spiritual strength, and political wisdom. This year was no different.
Last week, we welcomed over 30 men and women from 15 states, including New Mexico. Among them were pastors and business owners; attorneys and law enforcement officers; educators and engineers; nurses and farmers; and others. But titles, careers, and backgrounds aside, these individuals all shared one very important characteristic—and that was their professed faith in Jesus Christ.

Our program included sessions with esteemed faculty members, including Dr. Wayne Grudem of Phoenix Seminary; Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College; and former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. We also heard from the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, who recently signed the “Heartbeat Bill,” which protects preborn children from abortion once a heartbeat is detected.

To say that the week was encouraging is an understatement. Besides the privilege of meeting and visiting with national leaders, I was most encouraged by the statesmen themselves—Christian men and women who are committed to advancing biblical truth in government, without the hyper-partisan, devisive tone that tends to dominate our conversations. In fact, one of the common themes and edifications that arose throughout the Academy was our biblical mandate to love.

During a devotional I had the privilege of leading with our statesmen, I shared a personal observation—that sometimes, it is easy for us to get caught up in our calling as public servants to promote good, that we neglect our responsibility as Christians to do good. However, given the character and dedication of our Statesmen Academy Class of 2019, I am more confident than ever that the good Lord is raising up honorable leaders in our states and nation who will not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, as we seek to fulfill His greatest commandments—to love Him and to love one another.

To our ministry partners who helped make our participation in the Statesmen Academy possible, I thank you again for helping us train and equip the current and future generation of leaders. I also thank you for allowing me to lead this local effort as we work for a state and nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

Sincerely,
Vince Torres
President and Executive Director