Congratulations to the new Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought!

Mr. Vought’s confirmation is a win for all people of faith, and especially those who supported his nomination and asked their senators to support it.

Thanks to each of you who responded to our call to action last month urging senators to confirm Russ Vought!

The Family Policy Alliance Team

Cancel culture have you down? Whether it’s a cancelled event due to COVID-19 or a “cancelled” public figure, 2020 has certainly been the year of the cancellation. But here’s one thing that hasn’t been cancelled: the fight to protect families and freedom across our nation. In spite of the difficulties of COVID-19, we praise God for some amazing victories for religious freedom and the family.

Today, here are 7 victories people of faith can celebrate during COVID-19:

1. The Trump Administration included non-profit and faith-based entities in COVID relief.

In the thick of the pandemic’s economic fallout, it would have been easy for leaders to forget about – or intentionally ignore – non-profit and faith-based entities in their financial relief response. Thankfully, leaders made sure to include them, with even President Trump himself tweeting out, “The Paycheck Protection Program is up and running! The program is open to nonprofits as well, so banks be sure to sign up our Great Religious and Veteran Organizations that need help!”

2. Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey led a coalition of pastors to get churches on the Governor’s reopening plan.

As states began to reopen after initial closures, many included provisions for houses of worship. But not New Jersey! Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey joined with other local leaders and pastors to persistently ask Governor Murphy to allow churches to reopen. It’s a stunning story – but the good news is that thanks to the work of citizens, the Governor ultimately allowed  churches to open on a limited basis.

3. The Supreme Court handed down three wins for religious freedom in recent decisions.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue: The Supreme Court affirmed that families in Montana should be free to choose the education that best suits their children—including in faith-based schools, that the old Blaine Amendment used to invalidate the scholarship program is bigoted and discriminatory, and that faith-based schools can’t be disqualified from a school choice program just because they are faith-based. Thanks to our friends at Montana Family Institute for their great work in making this win possible!

Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru:  Our Lady of Guadalupe centered around a Catholic school that simply made an employment decision about one of its teachers – and got sued for it. The case asked whether the First Amendment prevents courts from interfering in situations like the one faced by the Catholic school. Ultimately, the Supreme Court took a stand on the side of freedom for religious institutions.

Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Pennsylvania: The Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of nuns who take a vow of chastity and provide care to the elderly poor. When Obamacare regulations would have forced them to pay for contraception (to which they objected on religious grounds), the nuns were faced with a choice to pay a large fine or violate their consciences. They chose the third option: go to court. After an extended series of lawsuits, the Supreme Court’s recent decision hopefully settled the nun’s case for good. And it’s good news: they don’t have to pay for contraception to which they have a religious, or moral, objection!

4. COVID ChurchAid proved a fantastic resource for pastors and churches navigating COVID’s uncharted waters.

Thanks to our friends at Florida Family Action for creating COVID Church Aid, a website filled with COVID-19 resources for church leaders, including resources on the Paycheck Protection Program. It was invaluable as pastors and churches made decisions about finances, reopening, and pastoring during a pandemic.

5. A federal judge recently ruled in favor of churches in New York

When houses of worship were targeted with capacity restrictions in New York, a federal judge disagreed – and prevented the targeting from being enforced. He noted that while New York Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor de Blasio have both supported protest gatherings, they continued to restrict religious gatherings. We’re glad the judge saw the irony!

6. Family Policy Alliance of Kansas played a key role in three major wins for religious freedom in the state.

In the words of Advocacy Director Brittany Jones, “During height of the impact of COVID-19, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas never stopped working to protect the God-given freedoms of Kansans. We worked with legislative, grassroots, and policy leaders to push back when Governor Kelly targeted churches for unfair treatment. Her actions were eventually strongly rebuked by a federal judge. We were a key part to standing alongside legislators as they worked through an all-night session to correct Governor Kelly’s overreach into schools, businesses and churches and rein in her power as we continue to deal with COVID-19. Further, we worked with legislators and grassroots leaders to defeat multiple Medicaid expansion attempts that did not include important pro-life protections.”

7. In Wyoming, the Governor changed his public health order to allow churches to fully open despite COVID.

For freedom-loving people, this is a big win: churches are fully open in Wyoming! Of course, no one’s being forced to go to church or encouraged to not take important precautions. But we are glad that the state’s governor recognizes the importance of religious freedom, and your support of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming helped make this possible!

We were encouraged by these wins, and hope that you are, too. Most importantly, we hope that you’re encouraged to keep up the fight. Many of these wins were not easy – for instance, getting the New Jersey Governor to put churches in the reopening plan at all. And we know that we have future battles to fight: The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and their political allies continue to push their radical abortion and transgender agendas with no regard for people of faith. We’ve seen it even in places like North Dakota, where the legislature has defeated three religious freedom-threatening bills in two legislative sessions!

But when that happens again – as we know it will — we’ll keep fighting so religious freedom never gets cancelled.

Sincerely,

Meridian Baldacci
Policy and Communications Strategist

Earlier this month, a successful entrepreneur with an incredible personal story and a likeable persona announced his intentions to devote his company’s resources to aiding in the current crisis facing our nation…

And, he was hated for it.

The talking heads and the liberal media vilified this patriotic American, Mike Lindell (aka “the My Pillow guy”), because he dared to use his platform to talk about his faith, to thank the Lord for President Trump, and to call for spiritual renewal. Quickly, he became the target of the never-ending supply of venom from the Left.

We see it all the time, though, right?

President Trump himself was quite popular with the media while he was a playboy, entertainer, and mogul. Then, he became a pro-life, pro-freedom candidate and leader. And, now they hate him – despite his stellar leadership of our nation to new heights and then through this horrible crisis.

We see it time and again. Those – even those doing great things from a secular perspective – become hated for standing for Christ.

So, how should we view this?

First, we shouldn’t be surprised. Matthew 10:22 promises that we will be hated for Christ’s sake, knowing that persecution comes from being different than the world. Second, we should live with love, knowing that our persecution isn’t being directed because of something inherent about us – instead it comes because of He who is being shown through us. And third, we should be comforted to know that going out-of-our-way to avoid the hatred will only result in denying what makes us worth hating: Christ.

If even a man providing aid during a time of crisis is hated because he wears his love for Jesus on his sleeve, we should feel emboldened to let our light shine. If you live out your faith, there is nothing you can do to make the world not hate you. So, embrace that fact. Live in love, kindness, and compassion, but let your light shine in the knowledge that the promised persecution is a sign of your faithfulness.

As we enter this election season, we are looking for candidates willing to be hated for the right reasons – willing to be hated for His name’s sake.

Please keep our state and national leaders in your prayers. Our President and Vice President, Representative Cheney and Senators Enzi and Barrasso as well as many of our state leaders are leading us incredibly well despite the venom being thrown their way. Please keep our organization in your prayers as our stand for Life, Religious Freedom and Families will bring forth hostility from those opposed to these core American values. And, please keep great Americans like Mike Lindell in your prayers as these leaders form the backbone of our society while also bringing glory to Him.

Sincerely,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director

This week a successful entrepreneur with an incredible personal story and a likeable persona announced his intentions to devote his company’s resources to aiding in the current crisis facing our nation…

And, he was hated for it.

The talking heads and the liberal media vilified this patriotic American, Mike Lindell (aka “the My Pillow guy”), because he dared to use his platform to talk about his faith, to thank the Lord for President Trump, and to call for spiritual renewal. Quickly, he became the target of the never-ending supply of venom from the Left.

We see it all the time, though, right?

President Trump himself was quite popular with the media while he was a playboy, entertainer, and mogul. Then, he became a pro-life, pro-freedom candidate and leader. And, now they hate him – despite his stellar leadership of our nation to new heights and then through this horrible crisis.

Governor Kemp was never liked by the media or the political Left, but he became their ultimate villain when he promised to sign Heartbeat legislation and then dared to actually follow through. Now – even as his leadership of our state through this virus has been transparent, freedom-preserving, and life-saving – he is hated and attacked at every turn by those who oppose our values.

Senator Loeffler was a universally acclaimed business executive… until she became the pro-life, pro-freedom Kemp appointed US Senator. Now that she’s the leader they’ve long-feared – a wildly successful businesswoman willing to fight for life and be a bold champion for our values – they are pulling out all the stops to see her defeated.

We see it time and again. Those – even those doing great things from a secular perspective – become hated for standing for Christ.

So, how should we view this?

First, we shouldn’t be surprised. Matthew 10:22 promises that we will be hated for Christ’s sake, knowing that persecution comes from being different than the world. Second, we should live with love, knowing that our persecution isn’t being directed because of something inherent about us – instead it comes because of He who is being shown through us. And third, we should be comforted to know that going out-of-our-way to avoid the hatred will only result in denying what makes us worth hating: Christ.

If even a man providing aid during a time of crisis is hated because he wears his love for Jesus on his sleeve, we should feel emboldened to let our light shine. If you live out your faith, there is nothing you can do to make the world not hate you. So, embrace that fact. Live in love, kindness, and compassion, but let your light shine in the knowledge that the promised persecution is a sign of your faithfulness.

As we enter this election season, we are looking for candidates willing to be hated for the right reasons – willing to be hated for His name’s sake.

Please keep our leaders in your prayers. President Trump, Governor Kemp, and Senators Perdue and Loeffler are leading us incredibly well despite the venom being thrown their way. Please keep our organization in your prayers as our strong position continues to bring forth hostility from those opposed to our values. And, please keep great Americans like Mike Lindell in your prayers as these leaders form the backbone of our society while also bringing glory to Him.

Willing to be hated,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends:

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump launched a 15-day national effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19. (The details can be found at the bottom of this email.) Locally, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state leaders have also taken steps to curb the spread and assist those directly impacted by the virus.

This is what you need to know:

HEALTH & SENIOR SERVICES

The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging all New Mexicans to practice social distancing and to stay home, especially if you are sick. If you exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19—such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath—please call your healthcare provider or the COVID-19 hotline immediately at 1-855-600-3453.

Seniors in need of healthcare, meals, or medical transportation should call 1-800-432-2080.

EDUCATION & CHILDCARE

Last week, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that K-12 public schools would close for three weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Schools and USDA-approved meal sponsors are now employing efforts to continue feeding children. Many school cafeterias will remain open and workers will prepare meals that parents or students can grab and go at specified times. Other districts are arranging delivery by school bus or National Guard to students in remote areas. The newmexico.gov website is being updated in real time. Families can click on the “Information About Education” tab for a list of sites that will provide breakfast and lunch to students between March 16 and April 6.

To help families find child care, the state has established a Child Care Resource and Referral line at 1-800-691-9067. Families can also contact the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to let them know they need full-time care. In addition, all parents receiving child care assistance will have their copays waived during the public health emergency.

JOBS & THE ECONOMY

This week, the state extended eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits to workers affected by COVID-19. To file a claim, impacted workers can visit jobs.state.nm.us or call 1-877-664-6984.

The state of New Mexico has also adjusted its business loan guarantee programs in order to make capital available to business owners whose operations are severely impacted by COVID-19. Information on the programs is available on the COVID Business Assistance page on the EDD website.

We hope this information helps!

If there is one thing we can be certain of—it is that our God is still on the throne. We all know “this too shall pass” and to that end, we will continue to pray and trust in Him as we anxiously await the brighter days which lie ahead.

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state and nation where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. And though we find ourselves in challenging times such as these, we will never waiver in our efforts to turn that vision into reality.

On that note, and on behalf of my family, thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. They mean more to us than words can express.

God bless you,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

There are moments in life when you know you are witnessing history unfold.  My first such recollection was 34 years ago today.  I recall vividly when my elementary school principal came over the intercom and told us the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded just after takeoff.  A few years later, I watched Operation Desert Storm unfold from the T.V. in my living room.  And, of course, none of us will forget watching the twin towers fall on 9-11.

It’s more difficult to recall positive history-making moments of my lifetime, but as of last Friday, there is one such event I am certain never to forget: when President Donald J. Trump addressed the national March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

On Jan. 24, 2020, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. president ever to deliver a speech at the March for Life.  And to my amazement, I stood beside him.  More specifically, I was one of 19 women asked to stand with the president as he delivered his historic speech to the 47th annual March for Life.

This year’s march honored the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.  Many suffragist leaders were pro-life; they did not believe abortion to be beneficial to women.  These women included Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, who considered abortion the “ultimate exploitation of women.” It was humbling to remember these courageous female pioneers as I stood there — women who would no doubt smile and cheer at the sight of their sisters standing on that stage.

As I stood feet from the president, overlooking tens of thousands of pro-life men, women and children (estimates are 60,000 to 70,000 attended the rally, and a total of 350,000 joined the march itself), I was overwhelmed.  I couldn’t see the end of the crowd, nor could I imagine the end to what this would mean to pro-life Americans.  To say the president’s speech galvanized the pro-life community would be an understatement.  It electrified us, gave us a shot in the arm unlike any other pro-life address could.

President Trump encouraged us with statements including “Young people are the heart of the March for Life — and it is your generation that is making America a pro-family, pro-life nation,” and made powerful declarations like “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.”  I personally appreciated his words to women and mothers: “Today, millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the first right in the Declaration of Independence — the Right to Life,” and “To all of the moms here today: we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes.”

Undergirding his strong rhetoric were many examples of his commitment to pro-life policies.  President Trump recounted his Executive Order to reinstate and expand the Mexico City Policy, his support of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, his commitment to veto anti-life legislation, to protect faith-based adoption agencies and the rights of pro-life college students to speak freely.  One of the loudest applause lines came when he recalled his appointment of 187 federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices.

The president did not simply “give a pro-life speech.”  He delivered one of — if not the — strongest pro-life speeches I’ve ever heard.  Moreover, his speech was God-honoring, including lines like “When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation,” and reminding us of Psalm 139, that “each person is wonderfully made.”  Perhaps strongest of all was his concluding remark: “Every human soul is divine, and every human life — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of Almighty God.”

On the slight chance that this article makes it to the president, I would like him to know how profoundly grateful I was, and will always be, to have stood with him as he boldly and unashamedly proclaimed the unalienable right to life and the inherent dignity and value of every human life.  It was an honor I will never forget, and a historic moment for which millions of Americans will forever be thankful.

Standing for life,

Amanda Banks
Director of External Relations

November is National Adoption Month, and as believers and Americans who care about families, we have the opportunity this month to help. Please take a moment to learn what’s going on and then lend your voice to help children awaiting adoption!

The answer probably seems obvious if we asked:  When it comes to policies on adoption, should kids or politics come first? With nearly 125,000 children in the United States awaiting adoption and the average adoption wait time for a child in foster care at 31 months, of course the answer is that children should come first.

But, sadly, for many years the policy of our federal government put politics over children. It all started when the Obama Administration issued a last-minute rule saying that even faith-based entities working with the government to help children find forever homes had to comply with the Administration’s sexual agenda. In other words, the Obama Administration said that faith-based entities had to agree with the Administration on LGBT issues (even though LGBT classifications aren’t part of federal law) or—in many cases—shut down their ministry.

Faith-based ministries often specialize in placing hard-to-place children in forever homes—older children, special-needs children, and more. So, sadly, already-vulnerable children are those who suffer most when politics gets in the way of good adoption policy.

Thankfully, the Trump Administration is now prioritizing adoption—and working to keep kids first. His Health and Human Services Department (HHS) just issued a proposed new rule that protects faith-based adoption ministries—ensuring they will not be forced to choose between their faith and their service to their community’s children. This means that more agencies will be able to help children find a home—which makes the most sense when it comes to adoption policy.

Thousands of you have already thanked President Trump for prioritizing children and adoption in this way! Thank you so much!

But, more help is needed. The next step to ensuring that President Trump’s proposed rule becomes official adoption policy is called a “public comment period.” This means that the HHS Department will collect comments from the general public about whether or not to finalize the rule. You can be sure that they will hear from activists and others who want to keep the Obama-era policy that puts politics over children.

So, please join us in submitting as many comments as possible from believers, churches, families, and those who simply care about putting children first in support of President Trump’s proposed new rule!

Leaving a comment is very simple. Just click here, complete the simple form (comment and name) and click “Continue”. On the following page, just confirm and submit.

To make it even easier, here are some talking points to use when you write them—even a short paragraph is a huge help!

Please submit your comments in support of the proposed rule before December starts so that we can all celebrate Adoption Month together!

For Keeping Kids First,

Autumn Leva, Esq.
Vice President for Strategy

Don’t Forget: TODAY IS ELECTION DAY!

Every day of the year, Family Policy Alliance works to promote biblical citizenship—engaging with our form of government and leaders from a biblical perspective.  Today – Election Day – is perhaps the most important day of the year to this end.  We count it a privilege to live in a free country with democratic elections where all people can make their voices heard at the ballot box.

Won’t you be part of biblical citizenship today by voting and praying for those who will be elected?


On Friday, President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new proposed rule to allow faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to receive federal grants without compromising their religious beliefs.

The new rule will roll back harmful regulations from the Obama Administration that forced faith-based providers to choose between helping vulnerable children and birthmoms, or following their faith.

In 2016, just days before President Obama left office, HHS added “sexual orientation” as a protected class to a rule governing adoption agencies.  Therefore, adoption and foster care providers could not continue to place children in need with married mothers and fathers only based on their biblical beliefs about marriage and sexuality.  Their choice was to give up their beliefs in order to serve or else stop serving children and birthmothers altogether. And many did close their doors because they couldn’t violate their faith.

While the Obama rule sought to punish faith-based agencies into compliance with a radical political agenda, the real victims were children waiting for their forever home and birthmoms whose choices were limited.

With more than 440,000 children in foster care in the U.S., and at least 100,000 waiting for adoption, this misguided rule demanded attention.

The Trump Administration responded.

The new rule will allow adoption and foster care agencies to once again provide much-needed child placement services while maintaining their religious beliefs.  Rather than force them to comply with politically motivated “sexual orientation” rules, providers will only be required to comply with nondiscrimination laws passed by Congress and signed into law, as well as applicable Supreme Court decisions.

According to a White House press release, “The proposed rule represents the Trump Administration’s strong commitment to the rule of law―the Constitution, federal statutes, and Supreme Court decisions. These require that the federal government not infringe on religious freedom in its operation of HHS grant programs and address the impact of regulatory actions on small entities.”

This announcement represents one of several steps taken by the Trump Administration to protect religious freedom in America and restore common-sense in federal agencies.  The Administration has also taken action to protect medical workers who have conscious objection to abortion and assisted suicide, and it has ensured that faith-based businesses can opt out of insurance plans that include contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

We are delighted that the Department of Health and Human Services has issued this new rule to protect religious freedom and advance the work of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies.  President Trump and his administration deserve our thanks.

If you are encouraged by this announcement, won’t you take a moment to personally thank President Trump for his leadership to protect religious freedom in our country? We have made it easy to send to send him a message in our Action Center – it only take a few seconds.

Thank you for standing with us to promote and defend pro-family public policy.  And thanks in advance for unleashing biblical citizenship today by voting!

Sincerely,

Autumn Leva, Esq.
Vice President of Strategy

In a surprising move, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California is now actually upholding President Trump’s Protect Life Rule and allowing it to go into effect. The Protect Life Rule requires that facilities that receive Title X federal family planning funds cannot be housed in the same building as abortion service providers and cannot refer for abortions. This rule will eliminate at least $60 million in Title X family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood’s piggy bank. The rule was supposed to go into effect months ago, but lower courts had blocked its enforcement.

With the court removing the injunctions, the administration has moved forward in implementing the Protect Life Rule. Planned Parenthood promptly announced that they won’t agree to the new rules and will continue providing or referring for abortion services. The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that it will give them more time to certify that they aren’t performing abortions. Planned Parenthood is still refusing to comply.

This clearly shows to their commitment to abortion – they would rather lose government funding than change their practices. The abortion industry has, for years, said that they just want to provide healthcare for needy women. The recent ouster of Leana Wen as the head of Planned Parenthood (for not maintaining a sufficient focus on abortion policy) demonstrates however their true intention is in fact abortion – not women’s healthcare.

Title X family planning funds were always intended to help low-income families with things like cancer screenings and sexually transmitted infection treatment. For many years the funds were not allowed to go to abortion providers at all – a rule the Supreme Court has already upheld.

During the Clinton Administration, this changed and the program has largely been used as a slush fund for the abortion industry ever since. The recent Ninth Circuit ruling is much more consistent with the legislative intent of Title X – as it begins to ensure that facilities receiving funds are truly helping families with health concerns. It adds another safeguard to ensure that our tax dollars are not being used to fund abortions.

This also is a sharp reversal for the 9th Circuit, affectionately known as the 9th Circus, because it has a reputation for routinely overruling state legislatures and overturning anything that does not agree with its liberal agenda. This difference is occurring largely because of several appointments to the court by President Trump. This new bent in the Court doesn’t reflect conservative or liberal politics but is rather about upholding the rule of law – what the courts were always intended to do.

We thank the Trump Administration for taking this bold step to draw a bright line between abortion and actual medical care—as well as for his ongoing commitment to appoint judges who uphold the rule of law.

We will continue to encourage the President and his administration to stand strong on this issue because all lives are precious and worthy of protection.

For life,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Policy Manager

By Brittany Jones, Esq.

Last week, we told you about the letter that Family Policy Alliance – along with over 40 pro-life organizations – sent to Alex Azar, who heads the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We asked Secretary Azar to cancel a contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources that procured aborted baby parts for research in mice.

The response was swift! In response to the letter we sent, HHS rescinded the contract. This is a huge win for the pro-life movement and shows that our voice can and does make a difference. By your support, we are able to use our collective voices to affect departmental policies like this. Importantly, the Press Release from the department states:

“[The Advanced Bioscience Resources’] contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal-tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”

There is still much more to be done. HHS is still doing research using aborted babies, just not with this specific company. It is important that you ask them to end all research that requires aborted babies. They are investigating their practices, which will hopefully lead to them banning all research of this nature. However, they need to hear from you.

Please thank Secretary Azar for cancelling this contract and call on him to end all research using aborted babies. It only takes a moment on our Action Center.

Let him know this not how the HHS should be using your tax dollars, but rather these funds should be used to fund ethical alternatives. This is a fantastic first step and shows that the Trump Administration is listening. But there is more to be done to protect the dignity of the pre-born.

 

Brittany Jones, Esq., is policy manager for Family Policy Alliance