Next Tuesday marks Constitution Day, a day of federal observance celebrating the signing of the U.S Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention on September 17th, 1787.
We often forget, however, that the Constitutional Convention almost failed spectacularly. The earliest days of the convention were fraught with contentious disagreements among the delegates, who together comprised an assembly of the greatest political minds of the founding generation.
Realizing that the increasingly fractious clashes risked breaking the convention apart, Benjamin Franklin offered his best hope for finding unity and agreement — recommending that they pursue God’s intervention and favor through prayer.
Bemoaning the “small progress” made during the first several weeks of the Convention as “melancholy proof of the imperfection of human understanding,” Franklin made a motion to hold morning “prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations” to be led by local clergymen:
In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings?
Harkening back to “the frequent instances” of God’s intervention on behalf of the Americans during the War for Independence, Franklin asked his fellow delegates whether they had forgotten that God was the reason for their previous success:
In the beginning of the [War for Independence], when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers were heard, and they were graciously answered…. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
While Franklin knew godly wisdom would lead to national flourishing, he worried relying on “human wisdom” alone would be disastrous:
We have been assured in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.
Thankfully, the delegates heeded Franklin’s wise words by humbling themselves in prayer and seeking God’s wisdom and favor. Benjamin Franklin later remarked that the Constitution they drafted was “influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in Whom all inferior spirits ‘live and move and have their being.’”
Steeped in biblical truth and full of courageous faith, the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention came together to petition God for guidance and unity as they framed the government under which we still live today. That, my friends, is worth celebrating this Constitution Day.
Celebrating with you,
Director of Advocacy
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 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.
This week, I was blessed to join pastors from across the country in Washington D.C. for CURE’s National Policy Summit. CURE is a non-profit think tank founded by Star Parker with a mission to fight poverty and restore dignity through the message of faith, freedom, and personal responsibility.
The theme of this year’s summit was “Rise Again”—an encouragement to pastors to speak up and serve as the voices of clarity and truth in our culture. As we all know, biblical Christian truths are under constant attack and if the Church does not engage, we will lose the culture war in America.
Come 2020, we will need to “Rise Again” in New Mexico to push back against the radical, progressive agenda of the far-left. We know their intentions—abortion up-to-birth, infanticide, assisted suicide, the sexualization of our children, and the erosion of our First Amendment rights. Without question, 2020 will be a pivotal year for our state and you will again play a critical role in what we can accomplish.
I know you may not think of yourself as being on the “front lines” of this battle, but you are. We all have a part to play, and every prayer, phone call, email, social media post, financial gift, conversation, and vote will help us advance our vision, bit by bit.
Are you ready to “Rise Again”?
Together, let’s take back our Land of Enchantment in 2020!
President and Executive Director
“Drag Queen Storytime,” which began in places like New York City and San Francisco, is now coming to Albuquerque.
Next Saturday, June 15th, Albuquerque’s Main Library is slated to host adult male entertainers, outfitted in makeup and outfits, using their “drag” names, reading to young children. And despite what the organizers of these events claim, there is nothing innocent or family-friendly about these events. Your help is needed to send a message to city and county officials today.
These story hours have a very specific agenda and the organizers have not been coy about the intent of the program. According to advertisements in other cities, “Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.”
Not only is “Drag Queen Storytime” being advertised on the Main Library’s official website and social media, but it is scheduled to take place during the Library’s “Family Fun”—an event for families and children ages 0-12.
Today, we are asking concerned citizens, parents, and taxpayers to speak up and encourage the Library to cancel this event. You can do so in three ways:
- Please click here to send a message to the Mayor, the Albuquerque City Council, and the Bernalillo County Commission.
- Please call the Library Director at (505) 768-5141 and leave the following message: “Drag queen programs are inappropriate for children and the library should not host or promote them.”
- Please share this message with your friends and family.
Thank you for speaking up!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
In case you missed it, our core issues at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico® have been in the news locally and nationally.
Family – Albuquerque’s Main Library to Host Drag Queen Storytime”
This Saturday, Albuquerque’s Main Library is slated to host adult male entertainers, outfitted in makeup and outfits, using their “drag” names, reading to young children. Not only is “Drag Queen Storytime” being advertised on the Library’s official website and social media, but it is scheduled to take place during the Library’s “Family Fun” event for families and children ages 0-12. There is no arguing the fact that drag queens are adult entertainers and that these events are inappropriate for kids. At events in other cities, children in attendance have been encouraged to participate in youth drag queen competitions, and in Houston, one of the drag queens was later found to be a registered sex offender. If you live in the City of Albuquerque or Bernalillo County, please click here to send a message to our elected officials telling them that, “Drag queen programs are inappropriate for children and the library should not host or promote them.”
Life – American Medical Association (AMA) Retains Opposition to Assisted Suicide
This week, the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians, overwhelmingly voted to retain its firm opposition to assisted suicide. According to the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, “Physician-assisted suicide if fundamentallyincompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” This past Legislative Session, Family Policy Alliance and our allies were instrumental in defeated legislation to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico.
Religious Freedom – Denver Baker Jack Phillips Sued for the Third Time
Jack Phillips, the Christian Baker from Denver, is now facing a third lawsuit for respectfully declining to provide a gender transition cake. Although there are dozens of other bakeries in Denver that would have provided the cake, Phillips continues to be targeted by radical activists hellbent on harassing and punishing him for operating his business in accordance with his faith.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished, and we are honored to be fighting for these issues at all levels—local and national. However, we could not do it without your prayers and support, so thank you from all of us!
Together, onward, upward, and in His service,
President and Executive Director
Every week, social media users use the hashtags #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT to share some of their favorite memories. This week, I took some time to reflect on some of the best memories I have had since launching Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico®. Fortunately for me and my memory, I did not have to think that far back for an all-time favorite!
#ThrowbackThursday this week takes us back just 3 months to March 14, 2019—the night when 8 Democrats joined 16 Republicans in the New Mexico Senate to defeat the radical abortion bill, HB 51. This was the night when the pro-life community of New Mexico went up against the abortion industry giant…and won!
Three months later, I am still reflecting on what we learned from that historic night.
We learned that the good Lord still answers our prayers.
We learned that people of faith can be a powerful force in New Mexico politics.
And we learned the importance of having pro-life men and women serving in our State Legislature.
Come January 2020, we need history to repeat itself. The Governor has already made public her intentions to bring back this legislation in order to maintain the status quo in New Mexico—which is abortion up-to-birth, for any reason.
My question is, are you ready to do this all over again?
We are! The 2020 Legislative Session may be seven months away, but our preparation begins now.
- Please continue to pray.
- Please prepare to speak up and act again.
- Please support our pro-life legislators and candidates.
Our vision is a New Mexico where life is cherished. Together, let’s make it happen.
Standing for Life,
President and Executive Director
P.S. If you want to help us train and support pro-life, Christian legislators and candidates, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our Family Policy Foundation® Statesmen Academy℠ today! Because of the unique and powerful nature of this program, generous supporters have stepped forward with a matching grant to DOUBLE your support. This doubled investment will yield results for YEARS to come, so please consider partnering with us today!
Today, I am writing to you from Atlanta, Georgia—host city for the Family Policy Foundation® 2019 Statesmen Academy℠!
The Statesmen Academy has become our nation’s premier training ground for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers. This year, we are proud to have over 30 men and women from 15 states, including New Mexico. Throughout the course of the Academy, these Christian leaders will receive rigorous training from world renowned thought leaders and experienced Christian legislative leaders, including former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and Dr. Wayne Grudem. Our distinguished faculty will provide instruction on the legislative art of patience and persistence, unwavering principles, and passionate, respectful advocacy.
Participating in the Statesmen Academy is a great privilege for our state and I want to personally thank the many of you who contributed to make this possible. This week, I will be posting photos and updates on Facebook and Twitter, so if you have not yet “Liked” or “Followed” us, please do so today!
God bless you and thank you again for your continued prayers and thoughtful support.
President and Executive Director
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.
President and Executive Director
On Saturday, our nation was rocked by not one, but two mass shootings that claimed the lives of at least 31 people. Within seconds, the finger pointing began as citizens and politicians rushed to social media to share their condolences coupled with thinly veiled political rhetoric.
As I scanned my feeds, I could not help but lament the impact of politics on our grieving. Sadly, political expediency has largely desensitized us to the loss of human life, evidenced by our obsession with the evil perpetrators versus the victims. Was the perp conservative or liberal? Was he white, black, or brown? Does he support Republicans or Democrats? These are the questions so many disingenuously ask in order to advance their political agenda. The result—exploitation and straw man accusations from many on the left, and soft-peddling and faulty comparisons from many on the right.
As Christians, however, we need not participate in the pandering and grandstanding. When tragedy strikes, it is our faith—not our politics—that should dictate our reaction and response. And our faith tells us that we should:
- Weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
- Love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:31)
- Bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
- Serve those in need. (Hebrews 13:16)
- Seek and promote justice. (Isaiah 1:17)
- And share the good news of the Gospel. (Mark 16:15)
While others point the finger at one another, we have an opportunity to point others to Jesus Christ—and not simply through our thoughts and prayers, but through our actions and reactions.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.’” -Matthew 25:40
In His Service,
President and Executive Director
By Vince Torres, Executive Director
Will New Mexico become the 12th state to legalize recreational marijuana? This is one of the more pressing questions heading into 2020.
Recently, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her intent to place recreational marijuana on the 2020 Legislative Session agenda. She also launched a “Working Group on Cannabis Legalization” to make recommendations and draft the legislation. The passage of such legislation, however, remains uncertain. Our State Legislature has consistently rejected recreational marijuana year over year—including this year—with Democrats and Republicans citing the risks, dangers, and consequences of recreational marijuana in other states.
In the coming weeks and months, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico will continue to make its case that recreational marijuana is wrong for New Mexico and we believe it is important that we understand the debate at hand.
First of all, we are not debating medicinal marijuana—we are debating recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana is already legal in New Mexico, with 70,000+ people enrolled in our state’s medical cannabis program.
Second, we are not debating marijuana criminalization—we are debating marijuana commercialization. This year, Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law legislation decriminalizing possession of personal use amounts of marijuana—an action previously enacted through municipal ordinance by the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Given these facts, we need to ask ourselves just one question: Would New Mexico benefit from recreational, commercial marijuana?
Based on what we have seen in other states, including our neighboring state, Colorado, the answer is “no.”
- Did you know that Colorado now leads the nation in first-time marijuana use among youth, and that marijuana-related ER visits by Colorado teens are on the rise?
- Did you know that between 2012 and 2014, the percentage of Hispanic teens arrested in Colorado increased by 29%?
- Did you know that marijuana-impaired driving fatalities in Colorado have more than doubled?
- Did you know that marijuana more than doubles the risk of developing opioid use disorder or initiating nonmedical prescription opioid use?
In New Mexico, we are already facing significant challenges related to crime, drug use, and poverty. We do not need new policies in place that will exacerbate these challenges, exploit our youth, and disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities.
For these reasons and others, we urge you to “Say NO to Big Marijuana” in New Mexico.