Friends,

Arkansas voters are being bombarded with misleading and confusing information regarding Ballot Issue 3.

Our allies in Arkansas at the Family Council Action Committee have provided the information below, and we wanted to forward it to you because it is important to cut through the misinformation and get to the truth.

Issue 2 has been endorsed by religious freedom proponents from across the nation and it is supported by our Arkansas Allies at The Family Council Action Center.

Please read the message below to learn more and then and share it with your friends and family. For more information please reach out to Family Council Action Committee.

Sincerely,

Autumn Lava, Esp
Director of Strategy
Family Policy Alliance

 

_______________________

 

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth even gets its pants on.”Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with religious freedom amendment Issue 3: Gossip and lies about the measure have made the rounds on social media much more than the truth has.Here is the truth about Issue 3:Issue 3 is a good amendment that will protect the free exercise of religion in Arkansas. That is why attorneys at Focus On The Family, Family Research Council Action, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel have endorsed Issue 3, and that is why liberals at the ACLU and atheists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation oppose Issue 3. The Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Family Council Action Committee also have endorsed the amendment.Unfortunately, some conservatives—including a few of our friends—on social media have claimed that Issue 3 will give the government more power to restrict religious freedom. A self-proclaimed constitutional expert from Florida has posted videos online making that claim.But stop and ask yourself: If Issue 3 makes it easier to restrict religious freedom, then why would the Freedom From Religion Foundation oppose Issue 3? They attack the free exercise of religion every time they have the opportunity.What seems to bother some people is that Issue 3 says the government may burden the free exercise of religion if it has a compelling governmental interest at stake and if it behaves in the least restrictive manner possible.I understand why some people would ask questions about this language, but here’s why Issue 3 contains that exception:Over the past 200 years, courts have had to address situations where cult leaders wanted to commit crimes in the name of their religion, where cities and counties denied building permits to churches, and where conscientious objectors wanted to avoid military service during times of war.In situations like these, courts traditionally asked two questions:First, does the government have a “compelling interest” at stake in this situation—like providing for national defense or protecting people from violent crime?And second, can the government protect that compelling interest while burdening the free exercise of religion as little as possible?Under this test, cult leaders who broke the law went to prison, conscientious objectors in the military were assigned to non-combat duties, and churches that were denied a building permit typically were allowed to build anyway.In the 1980s and 1990s courts began abandoning that standard and issuing rulings that made it easier for the government to run roughshod over religious freedom—even when it did not have a compelling interest at stake or could operate in a less restrictive manner.In response, states began passing laws like Issue 3 to protect religious freedom.In fact, Arkansas passed a religious freedom law similar to Issue 3 in 2015. Issue 3 simply improves on that good law, and it writes the protections into the Arkansas Constitution.If Issue 3 fails to pass this year, it probably will be because conservatives who did not understand the amendment sided with the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in voting against the measure.Normally when we disagree with our friends, we simply agree to disagree. In this case, I have to tell you why I am standing with the growing list of highly credible, Christian organizations that support Issue 3 and why I am voting for Issue 3 and urging everyone else to do the same.If you have questions about Issue 3, please feel free to reach out to me or my staff.

Sincerely,JerryJerry CoxFamily Council President

414 S. Pulaski, STE 2Little Rock, AR 72201(501) 375-7000

Dear Friends,

We have an urgent request for your help. In just days, the comment period will close for a radical rule the Biden Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pushing. If enacted, the rule would require any healthcare entity that participates in ObamaCare to provide abortions and gender transition procedures—and require federal health insurance plans to cover them. The rule modifies section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) by removing Trump Administration policies to force federal health insurance plans to cover abortion and elective gender transition procedures.

We need your help to stop this latest effort from Woke DC!

Your voice can make a difference! Right now, you can submit a comment on this proposed rule urging Biden’s HHS to rescind the rule.

TELL HHS YOU OPPOSE USING THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TO PUSH THEIR WOKE AGENDA.

The proposed rule also rescinds the Trump-era Conscience Protection ensuring that the rights of healthcare providers who oppose abortion and gender transition procedures on moral or religious grounds would not be violated. Biden’s HHS seeks to put these providers in their crosshairs with this rule and run roughshod over their First Amendment freedoms.

This comment period is only open until 11:59 pm ET Monday, October 3, so we need you to act fast!

Please submit a public comment opposing this dangerous rule! Tell the HHS you STRONGLY OPPOSE using our healthcare system to promote abortion and gender transitions (even on children)—and disregarding any providers who prefer not to provide those procedures.

We’ve provided some comments for you to use, but the more personal you can make your comments, the better! The federal rulemaking process requires the Administration to respond to “unique” comments, so use our sample comments to make yours as individualized and specific as possible!

For example:

Tell HHS how this will impact your doctor.

Tell HHS how this policy violates the conscience rights of healthcare providers.

Tell HHS how this will impact your healthcare.

Tell HHS how this will endanger women through the spread of abortion.

Tell HHS how this harm children through dangerous gender transition procedures.

Tell HHS that abortion and dangerous gender transitions are NOT healthcare.

Please SHARE this information with your family and friends–every comment can help slow down and may even stop this rule!

SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT OPPOSING BIDEN’S 1557 RULE NOW!

Standing with you,

Joseph Kohm

Joseph Kohm III
Director of Public Policy


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:

Life

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

Liberty

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.

Background

  • 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.

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

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