This Christmas season, more than ever, my husband and I have a sense of expectation. We are expecting our firstborn any day now—in fact, I am writing this to you on my due date—and we are wondering when our daughter will make her appearance. We’ve named her Aurora, which means “light.” Our prayer is that her life will always reflect the True Light coming into our world that we celebrate each Christmas season.
And yet we wait for her to arrive.
Waiting to enter the Promised Land. The world awaiting a Savior. Children waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. Waiting on medical results. Waiting on answered prayer. Waiting to end the devastation of abortion in America.
As Christ followers, all of us are familiar with seasons of waiting.
And, as Christ followers who pray, seek and even take action in the areas of policy and politics to see a nation where life is cherished, sometimes the waiting can feel as though nothing will ever happen. But I bet the world felt that way waiting on Immanuel, too.
Something is happening.
Pro-abortion groups are buzzing about a new report from a network of independent abortion providers—those not associated with abortion mega-giant Planned Parenthood. These independent providers are responsible for over half the nation’s abortions, with Planned Parenthood and doctors’ offices comprising the rest. The report bemoans that in the last seven years, nearly one-third of all independent abortion providers have closed down.
This didn’t happen overnight. This type of result has been decades in the making—following the prayers of believers, churches and pregnancy centers ministering to babies and their mothers, strong prolife laws and advocacy in states across the nation, and vigorous work in elections.
We saw more states than ever advancing Heartbeat bills this year—policies that ban abortions after a preborn baby has a detectable heartbeat, usually around six weeks gestation. With more heartbeat bills and laws emerging, this shows that states are more and more determined to protect preborn lives.
Most states now have laws strengthening the access to information about abortion that a mother must receive prior to an abortion procedure. These laws often include a requirement to offer to show the ultrasound to the mother.
And a new type of “information access” law for mothers is now in effect in eight states. This law requires that mothers be informed that a chemical abortion (abortion by pill) may be reversible—a truly life-saving law since many mothers regret their decision to abort.
Finally, at the federal level, the Trump Administration continues to prove itself as the most action-oriented prolife Administration we’ve seen. Among many other steps the President has taken to protect life, his Administration stopped taxpayer-funded family planning grant money from going to abortion-providers. His Administration is also working to protect medical professionals from being forced to provide abortion services when they have a faith-based or moral disagreement with the procedure.
Again, these amazing advances to protect the lives of preborn babies and their mothers didn’t happen overnight. They are the result of God’s work through decades of prayer and dedicated action and partnership. Thank you for the role you have played—and for your partnership with Family Policy Alliance® to cherish life!
Yes, there’s still so much more work to be done to end abortion in America. And yes, Roe v. Wade is still in effect (and has been for over 40 years, much like when God’s people wandered in the wilderness.)
But, as I wait for Aurora – rejoicing that God has a purpose for her life – I pray you will join Family Policy Alliance and me in rejoicing over all God has done in the decades since Roe to show that He hears the prayers of His people who are desperate to cherish life in America.
“God with us” began as a preborn baby, which is all the more reason we are confident that He is not neutral or silent on the issue of life—and that all life can truly be cherished in America.
With great expectation,
Vice President of Strategy
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance®
Our culture today seems obsessed with “dirty politics.” Cover-ups, power grabs, constant division and name-calling, obsessing over every poll and potential election outcome, leaders finding themselves caught up in some scandal—sadly, usually one that destroys their family. It’s almost as if the country wants to turn Netflix’s ultimate dirty politics show, “House of Cards,” into our reality.
That’s one vision for America, and there’s no sugarcoating it. That’s where we’re headed. I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds exhausting. And, playing those games may win a few elections, but it’s ultimately a losing strategy.
Family Policy Alliance believes that Christ-followers can cast a different vision for America—and that we’re called to do so as Americans placed by God in the United States at this time. We believe that this different vision can not only win elections, but ultimately win what really matters from a biblical perspective.
In a “House of Cards” America, voters send brand-new elected leaders to state capitols and Washington, D.C. with no preparation—never bothering to care whether these leaders have been truly equipped to serve in the “mission field of public office” and withstand the pressures of politics.
Christ-followers can do better than that. That’s why Family Policy Alliance believes we were called to create, through our sister Foundation, the Statesmen Academy™. This Academy educates elected leaders in the practice of effective politics to carry on the fight for godly values, preparing them to maintain a biblical worldview even in public office.
In a “House of Cards” America, when these leaders are elected, we say “good luck” and leave them to figure out the ins and outs of policy and the political process for themselves—hoping they might someday do some good.
I can’t imagine a church or ministry that would send its missionaries off to the mission field without providing them ongoing support and resources. Likewise, we believe we’re called support our elected leaders serving in the ministry of public office. Family Policy Alliance and our network of state-based family policy allies provide ongoing support and lobbying at the state and federal levels. We equip politicians with the best resources available to advance good public policy on prolife issues, religious freedom, parental rights, strengthening families, and more. We testify at hearings on bills that impact families, equip legislators to understand and advocate for these issues, and alert Americans when their legislators are considering bills that relate to family policy. We believe this helps all of us work together to make each state, and our country, a better place for all.
In a “House of Cards” America, politicos sweep in a month before the election and barrage homes with an onslaught of political ads and mailers (prepare yourself for this in October)—leaving Americans confused about the facts and who they can trust.
Family Policy Alliance believes that building relationships of trust with candidates and elected leaders, as well as voters, year-round is critical. We want to earn your trust as a voter so that when we advocate for a candidate, you know that we’ve put in the effort to thoroughly vet the person we’re asking you to vote for—and why. Similarly, we want to earn the trust of elected leaders and candidates. We want them to know we will treat them fairly as men and women made in the image of God—and that we will also speak truth about the policies they stand for, the good and the bad, without apology.
And, in a “House of Cards” America, winning those elections matters only for the sake of winning. It’s the ultimate game for power where the winner becomes the new “king” until someone else can pull off a “checkmate.”
To be clear, we want to see pro-family candidates win elections—and we invest strategically to help them do that. But we believe God’s vision for a system of government that aligns with a biblical worldview is so much bigger than winning at the ballot box. You see, the true winning is what happens when good elected leaders don’t hang their hat on an election-day victory and then take a break till the next election. True winning happens when those leaders work tirelessly to pass strong prolife, pro-family, pro-religious freedom laws that build a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Now that is what we call winning.
So, if you agree that believers can cast a better vision for America than “House of Cards,” we hope we can count on you to partner with us in this 2018 election—and year-round—to prepare, serve, minister to, and elect good leaders who will pass godly laws in your state and in D.C.
And next week, all primary elections will be concluded across the country. This means we can report back what results you helped achieve in bringing more pro-family leaders into public service! I’ll give you a hint…just 9 people who showed up to vote in one race made a big difference for religious freedom in one state!
For winning what really matters,
VP of Strategy
Family Policy Alliance’s Director of Policy & Communication, Autumn Leva, wants to thank you for helping convince Congress of how important the adoption tax credit is for children who need forever homes!
Earlier this week, we told you that the Adoption Tax Credit – which has helped vast numbers of children find “forever homes” – had been eliminated in the GOP tax-cut bill. We asked you to speak up to Congress, and you did! Your response through the Family Policy Alliance Action Center was part of a national outpouring that encouraged Rep. Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, to restore the Adoption Tax Credit. What’s more, the Senate legislation that was just introduced also includes the credit.
Leaders on Capitol Hill listened to you, and now it’s time to say thank you! We’ve made it easy for you to sign on to a thank-you letter to Rep. Brady through our Action Center.
Congress will consider whether to stop the use of federal tax-exempt bonds to finance construction of abortion clinics. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican from North Carolina, introduced the bill on Wednesday.
The need for this bill became apparent in recent years, as states, counties and cities issued federally tax-free infrastructure bonds for the purpose of building abortion clinics.
For example, in 2012, New York City issued a tax-free, $15 million bond for renovation of Planned Parenthood’s national headquarters. Planned Parenthood has also been the beneficiary of tax-free bonds for clinics in Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts.
Rep. Pittenger, in a speech on the House floor this week, explained how a well-intended program is being leveraged by Planned Parenthood.
“These tax-free bonds are intended to finance schools, hospitals and infrastructure, not abortion clinics,” he said. “This legislation applies the spirit of the Hyde Amendment to the tax code, by preventing tax-free bonds from going to abortion providers.”
Pittenger’s bill already has early momentum, as a bipartisan group of more than 50 congressmen have joined in as co-sponsors.
Family Policy Alliance and 36 of our state allies signed on in support of the No Abortion Bonds Act this week.
“We are grateful for Rep. Pittenger’s leadership in advancing legislation that prioritizes the value of human life, life-affirming investments in women’s health, and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” said Autumn Leva, Director of Public Policy and Communications at Family Policy Alliance. “Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar organization. In a time of massive federal deficits, reasonable people on both sides of the abortion debate should be able to agree that subsidizing this abortion giant is not a national priority.”
Please urge your member of Congress to support the No Abortion Bonds Act. We’ve made it quick and easy for you to send a message through our Action Center.
After eight years of mostly bad news for pro-family values coming out of Washington, we’ve been hearing a lot of surprisingly good news in just the past week.
Autumn Leva, Director of Policy for Family Policy Alliance, highlights recent positive advances on the life issue, religious freedom and the rule of law.
You can send a message to your U.S. Senators quickly and easily through our Action Center.
That’s also where you can send a thank you note to President Trump.
College students are shouting down conservative speakers, breaking windows and smashing cars. NFL players are taking a knee during the national anthem, wanting their protest to be seen every week on national television.
Whatever you may think of these highly publicized protests, it says something about America, and it also says something about your freedom to speak up and bring about change – whether as an individual, a business owner or a church.
Paul Weber, president and CEO of Family Policy Alliance; Tom Minnery, our president emeritus; and other members of our team made this video to encourage you to exercise your right to free speech, to engage the debate and to unleash your citizenship.
by Autumn Leva
What if we said: Pastors should be free to follow their conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit as they lead their congregations.
We’d all agree, right?
But what about “controversial social issues” such as the sanctity of life or marriage? Okay, what about political candidates and where they stand on issues important to the church?
People often feel squeamish when pastors talk about these issues. But why? The Bible speaks clearly about life, marriage, godly civil leaders and many other issues facing us today. The reason people feel more squeamish about pastors speaking out is something called the “Johnson Amendment.”
For more than 60 years, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment as a ominous threat to keep pastors from preaching freely from the pulpit. Under the Johnson Amendment, First Amendment rights have become bargaining chips to be exchanged for a tax status. Pastors who share biblical truth that overlaps with modern day politics could risk intrusive IRS audits, incur steep fines, and even jeopardize their church’s tax-exempt status.
We understand that not every pastor will choose to engage on these topics, but the larger point is this: Shouldn’t the pastor be free to choose? If a pastor is deeply convicted to talk about the Bible’s position on “controversial social issues” such as life and marriage, shouldn’t the pastor be free to do so?
It’s time to fix the Johnson Amendment. We’re proud to partner with our allies at Alliance Defending Freedom in supporting the Free Speech Fairness Act, a bill that would fix the Johnson Amendment and restore First Amendment freedoms to our pulpits — and, ultimately, restore the freedom of choice for pastors.
We’re also proud to partner with our state-based family policy groups who serve on the front lines in more than 40 states — working to advocate for religious freedom for local churches at state capitols, help churches in your state know the law, and to fight bad bills that would strip churches and pastors of more freedoms.
And here’s how you can help end the Johnson Amendment and support religious freedom for churches in your state.
- Please take a minute to send an email to your elected leaders in D.C., asking them to pass the Free Speech Fairness Act, today. Simply add your name to the letter here.
- Have you connected with your state’s family policy group? Find your state here.
Thank you for partnering with our alliance to strengthen religious freedom in every state across the country!
They’re helping Texas families after Hurricane Harvey, but FEMA will not help them. Why? Because of their faith.
So now, three churches are going to court with the help of our friends at Becket.
Autumn Leva, our Director of Policy and Communications, explains why churches and other Christian non-profits should be treated the same as anybody else who was impacted by the storm. In fact, the key legal question has already been decided by the Supreme Court.
Photo by Stephen Theis, father-in-law of the executive director of Delaware
Family Policy Council, an ally of Family Policy Alliance.
by Autumn Leva, Director of Policy & Communication
“Let there be light,” and then there was light. And it was good.
God separated the light from the darkness, and there was “day” and “night.”
God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. And God saw that it was good.
There are some truths that are so self-evident that even we humans, try as we may to ignore them or claim that “truth is relative,” can’t obscure them. We see this play out during those times that unite our nation, touch our soul, and leave us forever changed.
This week’s eclipse was one of those times. Millions drove for miles to be in the “path of totality.”
The Guardian reported viewers’ reactions such as “life-changing,” “worth everything” and “awestruck.” At the end of the total eclipse, one person said, “I’m not religious but I think it’s something very like when God says, ‘Let there be light.’”
God made light and darkness, the Sun and the Moon, and called them “good.” He governs their paths perfectly, so that we neither freeze nor burn. The heavens declare the majesty of God. We saw this week that this is a truth that cannot be obscured.
Just as the awesome heavenly display united us as a people and boldly declared the truth of God’s authority and majesty over Creation, there are other more sobering times that bring us together and reinforce truths.
Charlottesville was one of those times. We saw racism on display, and we reject it as evil. Just like we rejected the Holocaust and brought its architects to justice.
Good and evil. Light and darkness. These themes wage against each other in varying forms in each generation with Truth always on trial and yet always prevailing, eventually.
In our time, Truth is on trial once again as it relates to:
- Life: All humans made in His image — making every life worth fighting for, from conception to natural death and worthy of dignity and respect in between.
- Family: Male and female united for life, raising Godly offspring (Genesis 1:27-28).
- Parental Rights: Parents’ rightful role in their kids’ lives as the primary directors of their education, values, faith and upbringing.
Try as we may, these are truths that cannot be obscured. And, these truths are why Family Policy Alliance exists. Our alliance strives to be your family’s voice declaring these truths at state capitols around the country, and we work to advance public policy that reflects these truths.
Even in elections, we work to train and then elect state and national leaders who will not just talk about these truths in order to win an election — but will truly live them out whether they serve at your state capitol or in Washington, D.C. And, we also equip pastors and church leaders to speak these truths to a nation searching for meaning, answers and Light.
In other words, our heart is to help you, your church and your elected leaders be the light in the often dark world of politics and policy. If you too believe that that our laws and elected leaders should reflect unshakeable biblical truths, we hope you’ll partner with us. The easiest way is to make Family Policy Alliance part of your regular monthly giving.
Also, if you’re already connected with us by email, please make sure we have your street address. When something important happens in your state, like a major pro-life bill or legislation that could limit your parental rights, we send special alerts specific to your state and district. Accurate addresses help us make sure these alerts go to the right place. Make sure your address is correct here.
Imagine, as we all work together to restore biblical truths to the laws and politics in our state — we can then say with one voice “and then there was Light.”
Focus on the Family Citizen magazine offers an in depth look at the issue of assisted suicide.
A documentary filmmaker explains “what happens to a society that embraces and hastens the death of some of its most vulnerable citizens.” And learn about the status of legislation in the U.S. from experts across the country, including our own Autumn Leva.
“While we all care about the individuals who are suffering, public policy needs to take into account the needs of all of society,” she said. “What we decide about assisted suicide impacts how we understand the value of life, the medical profession, and many other areas of life.”
Read More at Focus on the Family Citizen.