There were a couple of recent gatherings of business leaders that will directly affect how North Dakota embraces biblical values. Paul Weber, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance, and I recently met with groups of business partners and other members of the business community at informal get-togethers in Bismarck and Fargo. We had a wonderful time of discussion and fellowship at both events.
The purpose of these events is threefold: First, we want to connect with our business partners to update you on what we at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota are doing to protect your Christian values within the context of your business operations. This applies not only to what we accomplished during the last legislative session, but also to what we are currently doing between sessions.
Second, some of the most powerful change agents in our culture are members of the business community. We’ve seen this with global brands such as Disney, Target, the NFL and the NCAA impacting policy through their decisions associated with purchasing, business presence, event locations, hiring and even changing room policies. Businesses have unique opportunities to make huge impacts in our state, because you are naturally connected to other influencers and networks, are invested in our communities, and can marshal financial resources to get things done.
Third, these events allow us to discuss why partnering with Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is beneficial for all parties. Our ability to represent North Dakotan business partners gives us an advantage when we talk with legislators and other influential groups. Knowing that we speak for Christian businesses across the state provides us with a powerful voice. In addition, partnering with us means we can represent you in the best possible way, update you on important business-related legislative actions, and hear what issues are most important to you. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota wants to work with you to ensure you have the religious freedom to continue to act and conduct your business according to your deeply held beliefs.
For all these reasons, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota wants to hear from business leaders. We’d love to sit down with you at one of these events and share ideas. If you want to host or simply attend such a business get-together, please let me know by sending me an email. Together, with God’s blessing, we can do amazing things for North Dakota and its business community!
There are three key communities that will create lasting faith-based change in our state and nation: the Church, business and legislative communities. Last week, I spoke about the Church and issued a challenge to church leaders and congregants about speaking and engaging in political issues. This week, I’m addressing those in the business community.
Businesses have a unique and powerful role in American society. They are the engine of our economy, the places where we spend the majority of our waking hours, an extension of who we are culturally and the key source for supplying our material needs and wants. Because of all these important roles, businesses wield a great amount of power to change society.
As we well know, Christian business owners are under attack, from being forced by Obamacare to offer drugs that can sometimes cause abortions (e.g., Hobby Lobby), to being demonized and sued for running their business in harmony with their faith (e.g., Colorado and Oregon bakers, Washington florist, and countless others). Standing for business principles has never been easy – today, it’s much harder.
Nevertheless, there are many businesses who take an explicit stand for their Christian principles. Take Cole Papers in Fargo, one of our ministry partners, as an example. Aside from providing excellent products and services, they declare their faith on their website (see President’s Philosophy at http://www.colepapers.com/about/) and even employ a part-time Chaplain who periodically conducts voluntary office Bible Studies and devotionals. That takes boldness, and I applaud them.
Other Christian businesses may choose not to advertise their faith so publicly. However, all Christian business owners should use their influence to advance biblical principles in the policy arena. How can they do this?
- They can work as a group to influence policy; in effect, work as a business leadership council.
- They can collaborate with and support organizations such as Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota as we work to advance our shared values in Bismarck and elsewhere.
- They can coordinate gatherings to exchange ideas, encourage each other, and strategize on how to best represent our Christian values in the political sphere.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota engages in precisely these tasks. In particular, we will be holding informal business lunch meetings throughout the state starting this summer. We’d love to sit down and talk about these important issues. If you are interested in hosting or attending such an event, please contact us, and we’ll set something up for you and your fellow Christian business professionals.
Remember, you hold great power to influence our society. I encourage you to leave a legacy that demonstrates how you used that power to make an eternal difference.
TAKE ACTION: Feel free to forward this email to other business owners who may share our passion for integrating faith into policy activities.
A special session to be held to consider undoing a troubling city ordinance.
North Carolina lawmakers want to protect the privacy of women and children. They will hold a special session to consider undoing a troubling city ordinance. It could also stop other cities and counties from enacting similar rules.
In February, the Charlotte City Council passed a so-called sexual orientation/gender identity measure that allows men access to women’s bathrooms, changing rooms and locker rooms.
John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, urging him to stop these dangerous ordinances.
“These changes mean that men can enter women’s restrooms, shower rooms, bathhouses and similar facilities in any ‘public accommodation’ in the City of Charlotte,” he said. “This would place the privacy, safety and dignity of women, children, the elderly and others at great risk of physical, emotional and/or mental harms inherent with unexpectedly encountering an individual of the opposite sex in a facility that is deemed to be private.”
Similar ordinances have been used in other states to drag Christian business owners to court.
Rustin explained that they have forced “small business owners such as florists, bakers, photographers, bed and breakfast owners and others who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage and human sexuality to either conform to a government dictated viewpoint or face legal charges, fines and other penalties. The Charlotte ordinance directly violates the constitutionally protected right to religious liberty, which our Founders considered to be our first and most cherished right.”