It’s National Adoption Month. Here at Family Policy Alliance, adoption means a lot to us: it’s a critical part of who we are both as individuals and as an organization. Here are 3 reasons why.

  1. Adoption is an important part of our pro-life, pro-family vision.At Family Policy Alliance, we believe that every person has inherent value that is worth honoring from the moment of their conception till the moment of their natural death. That’s why we take a strong stand on both abortion and end-of-life issues: No person should be denied a fair chance at life, regardless of the circumstances of their conception, their physical ability, their sex, or any other characteristic. Every life matters. Period.But while many legislative battles happen surrounding the first and last years of life, we don’t only care about those two points in a person’s life. We sincerely believe that every person’s life matters – and that they should not only have a chance at life, but that they should have the chance to be loved by a family as God envisioned it. That’s what adoption is—giving a child the chance to be part of a loving family, regardless of the circumstances of the family they were born into. It’s an opportunity for love to transform both child and parent. And supporting it is one way we can tangibly be pro-life from conception through life to natural death.
  1. Faith-based adoption is at risk.Historically, Christians have led the way in adoption, seeing it as a privilege and as a Biblical command (James 1:27). In ancient culture, it was not uncommon for parents to abandon baby girls simply because they were girls. Often it was the church that rescued those precious infants. Over the centuries, Christians have continued to care for orphans in numerous ways, and that holds true today. One 2013 study revealed that practicing Christians were more than twice as likely to adopt than the general adult population.And there’s great need for adoption (and foster care) right here in America. As of April 2019, an estimated 443,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system. That’s significant. Those children could replace the population of Minneapolis. Of those, over 123,000 are considered to be available for or awaiting adoption. Each of those children is precious. And many Christians are eager to adopt or care for them!Sadly, though, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies are under attack. As some localities begin to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination laws, those laws can be used as a weapon against faith-based agencies and families, the very people who are statistically more likely to adopt than the general population. Why? Because as matters of faith and conscience, they may decline to tell a girl that she is a boy or they may try to place children in homes with one mother and one father. These simple principles – driven by faith and the best intentions for children – do not align with radical LGBT ideology, and local governments may ask agencies to either violate their consciences or stop serving children in their communities.That’s not right, and the issue is so important it went before the Supreme Court earlier this month. You can read a little about that case here. We pray for an outcome that affirms the right of these foster agencies and families to live according to their consciences while serving children in need.
  1. Adoption is critical to who we are as Christians.Most importantly, adoption is critical to our identity as followers of Christ. We believe that without the hope of the Gospel, we are spiritual orphans, eternally separated from God, and unable to get to him on our own, much less to participate in his kingdom or inheritance.Yet we rejoice that God, in his love and mercy, sent his Son to live and die on our behalf and to raise him from the dead so that we could be called children of God. As Paul says in Galatians 4:4-6, “…God sent forth his Son … so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’”By his grace alone, we can call God our father. We can share in the eternal inheritance and glorious kingdom he has for his children. We can live not as orphans, but as the fully loved children of God through his gift of adoption.That’s why adoption means so much to us. Some of us have taken part in an earthly adoption process. All of us rejoice in our spiritual adoption as children of God.

As you may know, we often like to conclude our emails with some call to action, often of a political nature. But this time, our call is a more contemplative one. In this National Adoption Month, would you prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you involved in adoption, whether spiritual or physical? Perhaps he’s called you to adopt a child or support a family or agency involved in that process. Perhaps he wants you to embrace the spirit of adoption that you have as a follower of Christ—to  know that you are fully loved and can live with the freeing knowledge that you will inherit a heavenly kingdom. Or perhaps, you realize that you can’t call yourself a child of God – and God is just waiting for you to ask him.

We praise God that he adopts us, and that we at Family Policy Alliance can share in that vision of adoption – both spiritual and on earth as it is heaven.

In Him,

Meridian Baldacci
Policy and Communications Strategist

Votes are still being tabulated for congressional races across New Jersey before the state legislature can certify the results. I am thrilled to inform you that our endorsed candidate for the New Jersey state senate seat in District 25, Anthony Bucco Jr., won his reelection campaign! He received more votes than any other person ever to run for a state senate seat in New Jersey under the current plan of 40 districts. Congratulations to Senator Bucco and all our ministry partners that invested in our Get Out the Vote efforts to contact thousands of pro-life, pro-family voters in his district through multiple mailers and digital ads.

The real battle for the soul and stability of our state is in 2021. Our state may have old voices heading to Washington, but we need a new vision in Trenton. This new vision should protect life and God’s design for family as the foundation of society—and especially the right of parents to direct their children’s education. Currently, these historical mainstream beliefs are fiercely opposed by those who hold the highest seats of power in our state government.

Together, we must stand firm against efforts to further undermine the moral fabric of our state in 2021. For that reason, two weeks ago we hosted Win Back NJ featuring Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. This virtual event highlighted the fight for parental rights, religious rights, and the right to life. Parents, pastors, and pro-life advocates joined us live in person and by video to encourage you to Win Back NJ.

If you have not yet viewed this event, please take the time this weekend to learn what is happening in your state and how Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey is serving you by protecting students in school, babies in the womb, and pastors in churches.

Finally, this virtual event replaced our normal year end Family Gala fundraising dinner. I must ask you to consider giving a gift today to help strengthen our efforts across the state. Whether it is a gift of $500, $100, $50 or your very best, please pray about what you can do to help Win Back NJ to your values.

Let’s make New Jersey better,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

Initially it was the Senate. It quickly moved to the Assembly. This past week it was the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Everyone is speaking up at different levels of state and local government in opposition to the new sex ed learning standards for New Jersey public schools.

These standards require curriculum so graphic that when I pasted the text in an email to government officials, the government email servers flagged and blocked my email as “pornographic.”

It’s no wonder everyone is speaking up.

Sylvia Petillo, a Family Policy Foundation® Statesman Alumni, serves on the Sussex County Board of Freeholders. That Board, too passed the resolution in opposition to the new sex ed standards. Sylvia told the press, “It is extremely important that parental rights are respected and included in all sectors of education in our public school.”

I agree, and so it seems, do many other leaders in our state.

The voices of New Jersey elected officials are becoming clearer and more committed to defending parental rights in education. The Senate resolution opposing the sex ed standards now has five sponsors: Senator Mike Testa, Senator Steve Oroho, Senator Michael Doherty, Senator James Holzapfel, and Senator Robert Singer. The Assembly resolution also has five sponsors: Assemblyman Harold Wirths, Assemblyman Parker Space, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin, and Assemblyman John Catalano.

I am grateful for their public position. I am reenergized by their bold leadership. I am optimistic that we can protect students from post-modern sexual ethics and high-risk sexual acts.

But I am waiting.

Waiting for an unstoppable and influential voice to speak – The Church.

We have volunteer legislative captains scheduling virtual meetings with legislators, but they often struggle to find other parents and pastors to attend these discussions with elected officials. Most legislators are not concerned about the voice of their colleague, but they are concerned about the vote of their constituent.

In other words, they must hear from you! If you have never made a phone call to a legislator, it might seem intimidating. Maybe you avoid disagreement at all costs. Let me reassure you, our meetings with legislators and their staff are not full of conflict but graceful conversation. If you are interested in attending a meeting with your legislator, please let us know by using our online form.

If there’s one voice that must speak out, it’s the Church. Will you help make that happen?

Thank you for taking action to protect the students of NJ!

Shawn Hyland
Advocacy Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educational freedom, a topic that has languished in the doldrums for far too long, finally caught a fresh breeze of hope this year. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a blow against “Blaine Amendments,” which have centralized education in Western states like Wyoming and have made secularism the de facto religious perspective of government funded schools.

In August, the Trump campaign released a 2nd term agenda themed, “Fighting for You.” One item stood out: a pledge to “Provide School Choice to Every Child in America.”

This theme hasn’t been just an item tucked away among a longer list. It was arguably the most consistent theme across the RNC Convention as well – seemingly mentioned in every speech.

It’s difficult to imagine something more transformative – culturally, for families, and for individual students – than empowering families to choose the school they believe will help their children. Enabling parents and students to choose the right fit for their individual needs would enhance competition, allow for values to be protected, improve results, and help students to flourish outside of a one-size-fits-all agenda.

For years, the major parties have been too afraid to tackle this tough issue, not because it’s wrong (it’s right!) and not because it isn’t popular (it is!), but because powerful political lobbies stand in opposition. It’s time for this era to end, and it’s why Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® is committed to leading our state into a new age in education.

We’re committed to breaking the logjam, removing the obstacles, and providing the resources to the pro-education freedom, pro-parent, pro-student, pro-family agenda – providing children with more options, more hope, and more opportunity.

Whether we achieve school choice is very much on the ballot – from the President of the United States on down to your State Representative and School Board – and the discussion will very much permeate the future of education conversation in Wyoming. It’s imperative that we elect the right leaders and have the right strategy to achieve our goals.

Changing children’s lives for the better has never been more opportune. Education freedom is wildly popular and is a key to victory. It’s also instrumental in changing lives, strengthening families, bolstering culture, and fueling prosperity. The time to act is NOW!

Because we stand with students and their parents,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director

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

Right now, families across America are managing the wild uncertainties of the new school year and facing difficult choices regarding the schooling of their children. Many families will be “virtual learning” for an indefinite amount of time. Others have chosen to pull their children out of public school and homeschool instead, and some are fortunate enough to return to a “new normal” of in-person private or public school. And, of course, many families are returning to homeschooling as usual. As families make different choices for their children’s education, no family is untouched by the effects of COVID on education in our country.

Millions of American parents have been compelled to decrease or stop working altogether to educate their children.  We can relate.  We both work outside the home, as do our husbands.  We are grateful to have our careers but very familiar with the incredible challenge of educating children from home while working and parenting fulltime.  It’s a lot to juggle, but we are the fortunate ones.  Millions of American parents don’t have the option of flexing time at work or decreasing the amount of time they spend working.  If they decrease their hours at work, their bills won’t be paid.  It’s not an overstatement to say that many, many American families are faced with whether to provide food and shelter or education for their children. That is a choice no family should be faced with.

Some say “virtual learning” or “online school” is not homeschool.  We agree – it’s not the same.  In virtual school, the school provides the lesson plans and assigns work to students.  However, the parents teach their young children how to use a mouse, open Google classroom, mute themselves, type into chat boxes, etc. –not to mention reading instructions to their children, helping them write and type assignments and ensure they are completed. In many cases, parents also absorb the financial costs of laptops, tablets, webcams, and high-speed internet service to participate in “virtual learning.”

Public schools receive thousands of dollars in state and federal funds per student enrolled in their school. Currently, public schools are receiving the same, full amount of per-student funding regardless of whether they are delivering in-class learning or “virtual learning” to students.  Many districts are actually receiving more funding than normal due to federal COVID relief.  So while parents are forced to work less or not work at all in order to home-educate their children, the public school system receives complete funding for their children’s education while the parents receive none.

This reality is not only unfair, but illogical and wrong.  Now more than ever, taxpayer dollars for education must follow the child.

You might be familiar with the phrase “money follows the child” when you hear people talk about “school choice.” Traditional school choice allows states to give money directly to parents for the education of their child. Most commonly, these programs are called Education Savings Accounts or ESAs. These savings accounts provide families complete control over the taxpayer funds allocated to their child(ren) to purchase laptops, curriculum, private school tuition, tutoring and other supplemental materials.

Families need and deserve access to education savings accounts today!

Many families are desperate to  access funds now to educate their children. If the public school is educating your child, that’s great. They should get the money. But if they aren’t, it is fundamentally unfair the school is getting paid while the families are getting the bill.

State legislators need to hear from families today.  Please take a moment to contact your lawmakers and urge them to make education savings accounts available to families immediately. (To find your state representative and senator if you don’t know them, click here.)

Also, stay tuned! In a few short weeks, Family Policy Alliance® will be releasing a national education guide for equipping parents with all they need to know about school choice, what’s going on in the public education system and how to protect children, and to help parents engage with policymakers impacting their children’s education at all levels.

For families,

Stephanie Curry
Policy Manager


Amanda Banks
Statesmen Academy Director

Earlier this week, the campaign for President Trump released a 2nd Term Agenda themed, “Fighting for You.” While there are many good nuggets in there, one item stood out: a pledge to “Provide School Choice to Every Child in America.”

And, it hasn’t been just an item tucked away among a longer list. It’s been arguably the most consistent theme across the RNC Convention this week – seemingly mentioned in every speech.

It’s difficult to imagine something more transformative – culturally, for families, and for individual students – than unleashing school choice in America. Empowering parents and students to choose the right fit for their individual needs would enhance competition, allow for values to be protected, improve results, and allow for students to flourish outside of a one-size-fits-all agenda.

For years, the major parties have been too afraid to tackle this tough issue – not because it’s wrong and not because it isn’t popular – because powerful political lobbies stand in opposition. It’s time for this era to end, and it’s why Family Policy Alliance of Georgia® is committed to leading our state into a new age in education.

We’re committed to breaking the logjam, removing the obstacles, and providing the resources to the pro-school choice, pro-parent, pro-student, pro-family agenda – providing children with more options, more hope, and more opportunity.

Whether we achieve school choice is very much on the ballot – from POTUS on down to your State Representative – and the discussion will very much permeate the State Capitol. It’s imperative that we elect the right leaders and have the right strategy to achieve our goals.

If you agree with speakers like Senator Tim Scott, Ambassador Nikki Haley, First Lady Melania Trump, and so many more, then we ask you to partner with us today.

This Administration priority is wildly popular and is a key to victory. It’s also instrumental in changing lives, strengthening families, bolstering culture, and fueling prosperity. The time to act is NOW!

Because we stand with students and their parents,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

Society fails to function properly outside of the structures and institutions so clearly defined in the Genesis narrative of creation. Humans inherited an intelligence and a safe environment to live out their purpose of work and production. The family unit, consisting of a father and a mother, was the foundational institution that God intended to secure a long-term prosperous society. If the Biblical family were dismantled, these dependent structures would inevitably soon collapse.

Today, many politicians build their campaigns on these destabilized structures that are vital to society as God originally formed it – schools, law enforcement and business. Let me be clear, I believe children should not have to suffer in failing schools. I believe our criminal justice system should be equally fair and firm, and at appropriate times even forgiving. I believe job creation, unrestrained by burdensome regulation and taxation, allows people to fulfill the plan of God to be productive and responsible. Teachers, policemen, and business owners are more than just local heroes. They are indispensable supports uplifting society and deserve our admiration and appreciation.

But these supports are only as strong as the foundation upon which they rest – the family unit. Incrementally over five decades, and more rapidly over the past decade, the sexual revolution has progressively damaged the definition of family. Well known political groups are now proudly stating their intention to demolish the male father and female mother family unit. Such warped ideology views God’s revealed creative order as oppressive and morally indefensible.

They have successfully pressured many fiscally and politically conservative minded people, including elected officials, to abandon their support of the traditional family unit to avoid being slandered with the unfounded and indefensible labels of hate and bigotry. The Left, now emboldened with political power, is using this same tactic (labeling police and business supporters as oppressive and bigoted) against those conservative elected officials who tried to avoid the conflict altogether. I hope moderate independents do not leave capitalism behind to align themselves with Marxism, just as some political conservatives left the traditional family behind for a post-modern world.

Christians have many priorities in government affairs and public policy, but nothing is more important than the family structure. Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® will continue meeting with state legislators to protect and repair society’s foundation to make NJ better.

Serving you,

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy

 

Don’t forget, tonight Thursday, August 13 at 7pm is our Home School Interest Panel This will be a live webinar featuring Darren Jones, attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association and Greg Golden, president of the North Jersey Home School Association. Register to participate or view live on our Facebook page.

With an increased likelihood that children might be spending time at home again this school year, this becomes a prime opportunity to take control of your children’s education.

Dear Friends,

Over the years at Family Policy Alliance, we’ve had the privilege of being entrusted with some of your (parents & grandparents) deepest concerns about your children. You’ve given us the privilege of praying for your children and of helping you decide how to best handle issues that have arisen affecting your children.

Through the course of this partnership with you, some of the saddest situations you’ve shared with us are what your children have been exposed to at school. And we’ve had the heavy responsibility to warn you about what is happening in schools across the nation.

Remember Planned Parenthood’s radical sex education curriculum that they’re pedaling in public schools or now through your children’s phones? We partnered with a diverse coalition to expose the transgender policies being sprung on children in schools, providing parents with a comprehensive guide to understanding and addressing concerns. We’ve helped rally parents to oppose a radical new LGBT curriculum requirement And lately, we’ve been fighting to save girls’ sports from becoming targets in the latest round of political attacks. And so much more.

Now we’re excited to invite you to attend a virtual eventThe Protecting Children in Education Summit

The virtual summit is a one-day-only event on August 12th, from 10:00AM – 12:00PM Eastern Time. The event is FREE, but you do need to register online!

Family Policy Alliance® is joining with our friends at The Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, California Family Council, Family Research Council, Family Watch International, and Massachusetts Family Institute to provide this first-ever event for parents and grandparents.

The first session will alert parents to state and federal—and even international—efforts to sexualize children using school curriculum. The second session will expose the curriculum itself and how it fails to meet legal standards.

This is sure to be an eye-opening event! And, you can watch and learn online from home or work.

RSVP NOW

We hope you’ll join us virtually!

For children,

Autumn Leva
Vice President, Strategy

Dear Friends,

Education is best left to local school boards and parents.

Textbooks have historically been approved and purchased by local school boards that are accountable to parents and community members. But now, state legislators want to remove you and your school board from the decision-making process regarding educational materials.

This new “state approved textbook database” would restrict school boards from purchasing textbooks from any vendor of their choice. They would be legally required to purchase textbooks from companies that publish LGBTQ-inclusive material. Academic excellence, accurate content and well-placed images and questions are no longer paramount.

This legislation will have the consequence of forcing publishing companies and textbook authors to elevate sexual attractions and gender identities in their publications in order to be approved by the state of NJ to sell books to your school district. Elected school board members in collaboration with parents serving in curriculum committees should decide what is best for their community, not the all-encompassing overreach of state government.

Your help is needed now to contact members of the Assembly Education Committee, urging them to oppose A3052, the “state approved textbook database”. This bill has already passed the Senate Education Committee and will soon be heard in the Assembly Education Committee.

Once you have sent your message to the Assembly Education Committee members, I will email you their phone numbers and a quick script you can use to follow up with individual phone calls, if you wish.

Please share the link with others. Thank you for spreading the word!

Sincerely,

Advocacy Director
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey