Our nation’s birth certificate – the Declaration of Independence – states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is a bold declaration of truth that must be remembered today, and always – God created us, and our rights come from Him. But we also have a responsibility to ensure those rights are protected.

On this Fourth of July, we have so much to celebrate: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness:


On June 24th, after nearly 50 years of American’s relentless prayer, hard work, volunteering, giving, and more, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision. God heard the cries of his people over the injustice that has taken place against babies in the womb, answering by overturning an unconstitutional U.S. Supreme Court ruling


Days ago, in a victory for religious liberty, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Coach Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach who lost his job after he prayed briefly at the 50-yard line. In the 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court held that Kennedy’s prayer was protected by the First Amendment.

Pursuit of Happiness

18 states have now passed Save Girls’ Sports laws. This is a movement with momentum to ensure American girls can pursue their dreams and opportunities through sports, without the fear of losing them to a male competitor.

As President Ronald Reagan stated, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.”

We still have much more work to do to protect freedom in our generation. With the overturning of Roe, the power has been returned to the states and federal government to determine what will happen to America’s most vulnerable children. Religious liberty is still under attack. And the Biden Administration is attempting to redefine “sex” through numerous federal policies.

But today, we remember our nation’s founding. We remember the precious freedoms we have been given by God’s grace. And we remember the sacrifices of so many brave men, women, and their families who have fought for freedom. Let us resolve to ensure freedom will not be lost in our generation. And may America remain a bastion of freedom, dedicated to protecting our God-given rights, for generations to come.

For Independence,

Nicole Hudgens
Government Affairs

Just this morning, the Supreme Court sided with the coach who lost his job for praying after football games.

Today, in a significant decision for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Coach Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach who lost his job at a public school in Washington state after he prayed briefly at the 50-yard line. In the 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court held that Kennedy’s prayer was protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and that it was not in violation of the same amendment’s Establishment Clause.

After the ruling was announced, Craig DeRoche, CEO and President of Family Policy Alliance, issues the following statement:

“Today’s decision is a monumental victory, not only for Coach Kennedy, but for every American who wants to live their faith. The U.S. Constitution has never, and will never, require Americans to abandon their faith. We applaud the six justices of the Supreme Court who today firmly upheld that truth.”

In March, Family Policy Alliance filed an amicus brief in the case together with 29 state family policy councils from around the country, including Pennsylvania’s Independence Law Center (which authored the brief). Family Policy Alliance is pleased to host this alliance of independent state-based family policy councils around the country. Together, the alliance represents more than a million people across the nation.

A copy of Family Policy Alliance’s brief can be found at the Supreme Court website here.

The case has drawn significant national attention, especially from people of faith. In April, Family Policy Alliance and Focus on the Family called on Americans to pray for Coach Kennedy on 50-yard lines near them in advance of the case’s Supreme Court arguments. Americans across the country participated in the event.


  • Establishment Clause: Modern Supreme Court cases have observed that the Constitution’s Establishment Clause is meant to foster a neutral approach toward religion.
    • Yet in Coach Kennedy’s case, the government’s approach was far from neutral.
  • Case background:
    • Today, teachers are permitted to make controversial statements on all kinds of topics, including critical race theory, sexuality, and other politically charged topics.
    • Yet Coach Kennedy’s short, individual prayer resulted in a “do not re-hire” recommendation from the school district.
    • Coach Kennedy began saying a brief prayer following games years ago. Initially he did so alone, but some students asked him what he was doing. When they asked if they could join, he responded, “This is a free country,” and “You can do what you want.”
    • When the school learned what he was doing, it demanded he stop, but he felt responsible to thank God for the games in that way. As a result, he lost his job.
    • This prayer hardly amounts to an establishment of religion, particularly when the school was clear that it had nothing to do with Kennedy’s activities.
    • Instead of neutrality, the school demonstrated hostility toward religion.
  • Lemon Test: Today the Court finally dispensed with the notorious “Lemon Test,” a deeply flawed, inhibitive legal doctrine that restricted American’s First Amendment rights. Instead, the Court has instructed that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted in the simple light of American history and tradition. This is an additional victory for Americans’ religious freedom rights.


The Family Policy Alliance Team

Have you been following the case of Coach Joe Kennedy? He’s a high school football coach from Bremerton, Washington who was fired simply for praying quietly by himself on the 50-yard line after games. On Monday, his case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, where our friends at First Liberty represented him.

Just ahead of those arguments, many of you gathered on 50-yard lines around the country to pray for Coach Kennedy, his lawyers, and religious freedom in America.

But now, with the arguments over, you may be wondering: what actually happened inside the courtroom? And how could the ruling impact YOU? We’re talking about this and more TODAY (April 27th) with Randy Wenger, Chief Counsel at Independence Law Center. Come get the full scoop!

You’re Invited

Am I Free to Pray?

What just happened at the Supreme Court

A Conversation with Randy Wenger, Chief Legal Counsel at Independence Law Center

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
1 pm ET / 12 pm CT / 11 am MT / 10 am PT

Watch on Facebook or YouTube

You know about Coach Kennedy and his case. Now, join us for an engaging conversation about what actually happened in the court room and what this case could mean for you. Plus, learn how leaders from around the country have been involved in fighting for YOUR religious freedom in this case – and find out if that includes leaders from your own state!

Randy Wenger, Esq. is Chief Counsel of Independence Law Center, the civil rights legal arm of Pennsylvania Family Institute (our state partner in Pennsylvania). Randy is a longtime leader in the pro-family and religious liberty movement. Among his cases was a companion case to the Hobby Lobby religious liberty win at the U.S. Supreme Court. In Coach Kennedy’s case, Randy was the author of a brief signed by state leaders across the country calling for religious freedom for Coach and for all Americans.

We can’t wait to see you on Facebook or YouTube! Don’t forget to join in the conversation during the video, and be sure to invite a friend!

Meridian Baldacci
Director, Strategy


P.S. Want to learn more about Coach’s case before the event? Catch our conversation with Coach Kennedy and one of his lawyers from First Liberty here: https://www.facebook.com/familypolicyalliance/videos/366130148784919


For years, Coach Kennedy would pray quietly on the 50-yard line following his games. Then, one day, the school fired him simply for praying by himself. 

TODAY his case has finally made it to the US Supreme Court, where our friends at First Liberty Institute defended his God-given right to pray.

This case isn’t just about Coach Kennedy, though. It’s about the right of Americans across the country – especially teachers and coaches – to be able to simply pray.

Meet Coach Kennedy!

We talked to him just last week and now you can hear straight from Coach Kennedy and one of his lawyers at First Liberty.

Learn how Coach got started praying after games (hint: he was inspired by a movie), how he got fired, what he’s learned in this process and why he’s standing up for the right to pray across the country.

Plus, learn what this case could mean for you and what you can do to help protect religious freedom.

Watch our interview with Coach Kennedy by clicking the image above or visiting us on Facebook or YouTube.

Prayer is a God-given right. No one should be fired simply for praying by themselves.


Meridian Baldacci
Director of Strategy

For years, Coach Kennedy would pray quietly on the 50-yard line following his games. Then, one day, the school fired him simply for praying by himself. 

Now, his case is headed to the Supreme Court, where our friends at First Liberty Institute will be defending his God-given right to pray.

This case isn’t just about Coach Kennedy, though. It’s about the right of Americans across the country – especially teachers and coaches – to be able to simply pray.

Want to show your support for Coach Kennedy and the right to pray? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Join us in a national day of prayer for Coach and his case.

Coach Kennedy was fired for praying on the 50-yard line. So, on Sunday April 24th, we’re calling on Americans around the country to gather on school 50-yard lines (or wherever you can) to pray for Coach, for his case, and for the freedom to pray in our country.

Invite your friends and family to join you! It’s easy with the information and free flyers at #Pray50, a joint project of Family Policy Alliance and Focus on the Family.

Plus, when you gather, be sure to share on social media by using #Pray50. Let’s show Coach Kennedy how many people are praying for him – and show the power of prayer!

  1. Meet Coach Kennedy!

Hear straight from Coach Kennedy and one of his lawyers at First Liberty. Learn how Coach got started praying after games (hint: he was inspired by a movie), how he got fired, what he’s learned in this process and why he’s standing up for the right to pray across the country. Plus, learn what this case could mean for you and what you can do to help protect religious freedom.

Prayer is a God-given right. No one should be fired simply for praying by themselves.

Will you join us in praying for Coach Kennedy and showing him our support?

Hope to see you soon!

Meridian Baldacci
Director of Strategy


P.S. Don’t forget to watch our livestream, then invite your friends to pray at a 50-yard line near you on Sunday, April 24th.




Dear Friends,

It’s been a busy few months here at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico and things are beginning to roll. Over the last few months, we have been gaining momentum that is now propelling us into what comes next, and we are excited; but we need your help!

What have we been up to?

2021 was met with many challenges as the search for an Executive Director was underway and ground that had once been gained in legislation was sadly lost as the left attacked our victories with repeals and bad policy in the 2021 legislative session. As we relaunched our New Mexico efforts in November, we set out to reconnect with many of you as well as establish new support for our vision of a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

As the year kicked off with a new legislative session, we advocated for good policy, challenged bad policy, supported allied legislators and activated like-minded New Mexicans all over our state. As the session closed, we kept moving full-steam ahead in calling out the progressive agenda of the PED’s new Social Studies curricula – and putting a plan in motion to introduce positive legislation that will protect parents’ rights in the classroom.

From a broader perspective, we know that when things happen at a federal level it sets a precedent for the states. We have, therefore, joined with many other state allies in filing an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court of the United States to fight the Biden Vaccine Mandate, from a religious freedom standpoint, in which the court ruled in our favor.

Most recently, we have joined with many allied states again in filing an Amicus Brief with SCOTUS to support Coach Joe Kennedy and his speech and religious rights. Here’s what American Family News had to say about our brief:

Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico also filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of Kennedy.

“We all suffer when our First Amendment freedoms are violated,” said Jodi Hendricks, executive director for Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico in a statement to AFN. “A free society should not single out a person’s religious speech for unfavorable treatment.”

American Family News, “Huddle for praying coach enlarges, encourages”, March 3, 2022

We’re also seeing exciting new developments for our organization. With the full support of the national Family Policy Alliance team, we have developed a new Board of Directors and have begun the process of filing with the state as an independent non-profit New Mexico organization. This process brings us one step closer to becoming a New Mexico home-grown, operated and 100% New Mexican supported family policy group, no longer dependent on our national allies.

Where are we now and where are we going?

When we said we were here to stand strong and make a difference, we meant it! And now we need you! In order to continue to stand strong in New Mexico and for New Mexico, we need to raise the necessary funds to support our needs for what lies ahead.

In the coming months we will:

It’s time for New Mexico to stand strong and show the Left that we will not sit back and watch as they mock our God, threaten our religious freedoms, attack the family, and devalue life. It’s time to stand, united, and kindle a movement of hope and strength for the future of the Land of Enchantment. Will you join the movement?

Standing Strong,

Jodi Hendricks


Dear Friends,

This week, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico filed a Supreme Court brief in support of Coach Joseph Kennedy – because religious speech should not be singled-out for punishment in a free and diverse society.

Joe Kennedy coached football at the Bremerton School District in Washington State. At the end of each game, he would briefly pray, on his own, at the 50-yard line. Curious about what he was doing, a couple of students came to him and when they learned that he was praying, they asked if they could join. Kennedy responded, “It’s a free country, you can do what you want.” Without the coach’s prompting, more students joined in the post-game prayer and eventually students and coaches from other teams joined in as well.

Nearly half of the team had joined Coach Kennedy when the school suddenly told him that he could no longer pray publicly. Despite initially obeying the order, Kennedy believed it violated his freedoms of speech and religion and therefore, chose to return to his post-game prayer tradition – a decision that eventually cost him his job.

The school claimed that they needed to fire Coach Kennedy so that they would not be in violation of the Establishment Clause, a clause in the First Amendment that prohibits the government from “establishing” a religion. That’s the same clause twisted by the Supreme Court to rule that prayer in schools is “unconstitutional”.

The Supreme Court’s modern interpretation of the Establishment Clause has been based on the idea that religious pluralism requires neutrality. But in reality, the effect at schools like Bremerton School District has not been neutrality, but rather a singling out of only religious speech as the only speech worthy of punishment.

A school should not punish a coach for a brief prayer at the end of a football game. Our constitution does not require us to abandon our religious traditions, and the Establishment Clause does not require schools to fire a coach like Joe Kennedy. But if Coach Kennedy can be silenced, do any of us really have freedom?

We must do better! The brief that we have filed with the Supreme Court calls to question whether the Establishment Clause, created to protect our religious freedom from government involvement, trumps Coach Kennedy’s speech and religious rights to pray briefly at the 50-yard line.

Will you pray with us? Pray that the United States Supreme Court will recognize the encroachment of freedoms of both religion and speech in this case. Pray that their decision will honor the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established and that so many have given their lives to protect. Pray that religious speech will no longer be singled-out as the only speech worthy of punishment.

Standing Firm,

Jodi Hendricks
Executive Director

A high school football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games is about to have his case heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. And you – through your support and engagement with Family Policy Alliance – are in the thick of the action as it heads to the Court.


When Joe Kennedy coached the high school football team in Bremerton, Washington, he regularly prayed alone briefly at the 50-yard line following games. At one point, a couple of his students asked if they could join. He responded that it’s a free country, and so they did.

Eventually, nearly half of the team had joined him, along with students and even coaches from the other teams. Suddenly, he was told by the school that he could no longer pray publicly. At first, he followed their order, but then he felt that his freedoms of speech and religion were being violated, and so he continued his prayers.

The school district fired him, saying that they needed to avoid violating the Establishment Clause. At issue in the case is whether Coach Kennedy has speech and religious rights to pray briefly in public.

With your support, Family Policy Alliance is engaging directly on this case. Today, we filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices regularly read such briefs and sometimes even cite them in their opinions.

Among other things, this powerful brief (which can be found on the Supreme Court website) points out that public schools allow all sorts of highly controversial beliefs, while singling out religious views for particular discrimination:

“[T]raditional religious beliefs are uniquely targeted for censure, while a host of comparable, religious-like beliefs receive a free pass or even endorsement. Rather than creating ‘neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,’ a reasonable observer would comprehend that traditional religion alone is being treated as poisonous and inappropriate in society.”

Family Policy Alliance filed the brief together with 29 state family policy councils from around the country, including Pennsylvania’s Independence Law Center, which authored the brief. Family Policy Alliance is pleased to host this alliance of independent state-based family policy councils around the country. Together, this alliance advocates on behalf of more than a million citizens across the nation.

Please pray for this critical case. And thank you for making this effort possible with your support.

John Paulton
Director of State Alliances


“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,” -Acts 4:19


Dear Friends:

The freedom of religion is a human right so fundamental that our founders preserved it as our first freedom in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. It gives us the ability to express, act upon and honor what we believe to be spiritual truth.

As we continue to examine each aspect of the vision of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we must return to an understanding of this guaranteed right and consider what happens when it is threatened. Only then can we grasp the fullness of the vision of a New Mexico where religious freedom flourishes.

In 2006, Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer, respectfully declined a request to photograph a same-sex ceremony on the basis that her participation would violate her deeply held religious beliefs regarding marriage. Although the same-sex couple was able to find another photographer, they nonetheless filed a complaint against Elaine with the Human Rights Commission, commencing years of legal action that would ultimately make it to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Elaine in one of the most unusual and unprecedented rejections of religious freedom to date. In a special concurring opinion, Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson conceded that the Court’s decision would have sobering results for people of faith, noting that Elaine and her husband were now “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Even so, Justice Bosson concurred with the Court’s decision, concluding that this compulsory compromise was “the price of citizenship” in New Mexico.

As Christians, we should be outraged by this blatant attack against the religious freedoms guaranteed to us by our U.S. and State Constitutions. A New Mexico where religious freedom flourishes would hold valuable the truth that “Nothing in the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act authorizes a government agency to burden a person’s free exercise of religion” (§ 28-22-5. Construction of Act). A person’s “free exercise of religion” “means an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief” (§ 28-22-2. Definitions). Yet, the Court’s ruling in Elaine’s case did the opposite. Elaine was not afforded the fundamental right to freely exercise her beliefs.

Yes, this is happening, and, yes, we must do something about it!

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we are dedicated to preserving our freedom to believe and live out our faith. We do this by promoting public policy that protects and enhances this freedom for individuals, families, churches, organizations, and companies. At the same time, we defend against policies that would erode constitutional protections for people of faith and the entities they operate.

Friends, we need your help in protecting our freedom to believe, as well as the freedom to freely exercise our beliefs. Will you join us in preserving this fundamental right?

If so, please continue to pray for us and spread the word about our ministry. You can help spread the word right now by forwarding this message to 5 friends and asking them to subscribe to our email list.

Picture this – a New Mexico where God is honored and religious freedom flourishes. Together, let’s “unleash citizenship” and not settle for Justice Bosson’s “price of citizenship” in New Mexico.

Standing for Religious Freedom and the Family of Believers,

Jodi Hendricks
Executive Director

I know it probably doesn’t feel like it, but 2021 has truly been an amazing year of wins—wins that you helped bring about! And we didn’t want to close out 2021 without pausing to thank you, and the Lord, for the incredible momentum in the family policy movement we saw this year.

Thank you for partnering with Family Policy Alliance this year and for making this Top 10 list possible! We are praising God for these 10 wins and invite you to join us!

10. Your voice inspired lawmakers to remove “woke” language from the national defense funding bill.

Our federal lawmakers’ top priority in Washington, D.C. should be the nation’s defense. Instead, this year, some lawmakers tried to take advantage of the all-important defense spending bill to add in “Equality Act” language (elevating the LGBT agenda in the defense bill) and requiring women to register for the draft.

You took action through the Family Policy Alliance action center and made your voice heard—empowering some brave lawmakers to speak out against this radical language. The result? This harmful language was removed from the bill, allowing the defense funding bill to move forward in a much cleaner form!

9. You stopped the radical Left’s push to pack the courts.

In the early days of the Biden Administration, there was a lot of talk about “adding judges” to the courts—basically creating a scenario where the far Left could guarantee a win on their radical policies in court because they pick their own judges. You made it clear that this idea was wildly unpopular among American families, and it has gained no traction—even in the President’s own commission formed to consider such a court-packing proposal.

8. You are forcing lawmakers to take a stand on whether they will protect babies who survive abortions.

Of course, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is blocking a bill that would protect babies who survive botched abortions. So prolife House members initiated a procedural move called a “discharge petition” that would force the bill to come forward for consideration. A record number of lawmakers signed onto this petition this year—thanks to your advocacy calling on them to take a stand for these precious babies fighting for their lives!

7. You made it a rough year for Twitter!

You may recall that Twitter cancelled our friends at Focus on the Family earlier this year, and you helped us rally to their defense. Your voice elevated the issue all the way to Congress and national media. Later, they canceled Statesmen Academy alum and prominent U.S. House member Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03). Focus on the Family’s and Jim Banks’s crimes? Correctly identifying a Biden cabinet pick as a biological male who identifies as a woman.

You raised your voice to help us launch a campaign in support of Focus on the Family and Representative Banks, send a petition to Twitter, and build a coalition to stand against these cancelling policies. Now, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has stepped down after a tumultuous year.

6. You set in motion the movement to save our kids from harmful “gender transition” procedures.

Just this year, Statesmen Academy alum Rep. Robin Lundstrum led the nation’s first successful effort to ban harmful and experimental “gender transition” procedures on children in her home state of Arkansas. It was a groundbreaking piece of legislation!

Your support for the Statesmen Academy, your advocacy in Arkansas, and your partnership with Family Policy Alliance and the network of state family policy council allies in standing for the truth that biological sex cannot change made this a win! Now, more states are ready to consider taking the same stand to protect children!

5. You are saving girls’ sports for our daughters and their daughters.

In 2020, you helped make Idaho the first state in the nation to reserve girls’ sports for only biological girls—as a matter of fairness. This year, over 35 states considered the same legislation to save girls’ sports—and a version of that bill is now law in 9 states! Plus, even mainstream media credits the movement to save girls’ sports (that you have made possible) as the reason the dangerous Equality Act is stopped in the U.S. Senate!

4. You stopped a far-Left takeover of elections nationwide!

The far Left made clear that legislation to “redo” elections (and thereby secure policy wins for their agenda) would be a top priority in 2021. Despite relentless attempts to take over elections at the federal level by one political party, these multiple bills have gone nowhere. No matter how many times they tried to bring forward these bills, you continued to engage and raise your voice, calling on them to vote NO every time. You are saving our country’s elections with generational impact!

3. You helped parents and families raise their voices—and change the future in their states.

It’s been a year where parents and families have faced unbelievable indoctrination in their children’s schools. Radical gender theory policies have touched the classroom, locker room, and sports field. Critical race theory has divided children and communities. And parents have been deeply concerned about the impact on their children.

After a number of deeply concerning incidents in Virginia—including sexual assault against a female student in the girls’ bathroom by a male student wearing a dress—parents had had enough. They raised their voices and voted against politicians that believe schools—not parents—should direct children’s education. They flipped control of their state from politicians who discount parents to leaders who pledge to honor the role of parents in their children’s education. It was a stunning win that caught the attention of the nation, especially ahead of the 2022 election.

We also recently learned that the National School Board Association, which has supported these radical curriculum proposals and treated concerned parents as “terrorists,” is at risk of losing millions as their own state chapters withdraw over the controversy.

You are changing the narrative and forcing lawmakers to return to considering parents and families before political agendas!

2. You stopped the #1 priority of the Biden-Harris Administration and the far Left.

The Biden Administration made clear that the Equality Act was their #1 priority for 2021—a “must-accomplish” in the first 100 days. Here we are in the waning days of the year, and the Equality Act has clearly been stopped in the U.S. Senate! Tens of thousands of you took action through the Family Policy Alliance action center calling on lawmakers to stop this bill.

We’ve identified this bill as the most dangerous piece of legislation we’ve seen come out of Congress because it would force the LGBT agenda into homes, schools, doctors’ offices, businesses, and nearly every area of law and life. THANK YOU for making clear to D.C. that this is a nonstarter for American families!

1. Life is winning!

And, for the #1 praise for 2021, at the end of the year and on the eve of the 49th anniversary of the deadly Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, we stand on the brink of seeing Roe overturned (perhaps even in 2022). This would give all of us in the states more power to protect the lives of babies in the womb than we’ve had in decades!

In addition, Texas passed a strong pro-life “heartbeat” law that, despite being challenged in court, has already saved thousands of lives. And  the Supreme Court allowed it to stay in effect by—despite the ongoing challenges against it by the abortion lobby and the Biden Administration. Life is truly winning in America.

As you and your family head into the Christmas season and wind down your year, we pray you are as encouraged by these wins as we are! And thank you for being an encouragement to us in our ministry! When you take action and raise your voice for family values, standing on biblical truth, you shine brightly—despite any level of darkness around us in our nation.

Thank you for your support and engagement that make these wins possible!

May God bless you and yours,

Craig DeRoche, CEO