By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
Yesterday was an amazing day for children and families in two states—and for the Christian and other faith-based adoption agencies who serve them.
Late last night, the Kansas Legislature passed the Adoption Protection Act, making Kansas the ninth state to protect the right of faith-based adoption agencies to continue their good work. Kansas followed Oklahoma, which also passed a similar measure yesterday.
You may be wondering why we need laws to protect faith-based adoption agencies. The reason is that radical Leftist activists like the ACLU and leading LGBT activist groups want to see faith-based adoption agencies shut down across the country. They believe that agencies whose mission is to place children without a family in a loving home with a mother and a father is “discriminatory.” They’d rather see these agencies forced to close down—resulting in less opportunities for children to find a forever family—than to let them continue to live out their faith in their adoption ministry.
This just further underscores how the Left values its political agenda over what’s best for children.
But, unlike states such as Massachusetts and Illinois that have already actively pushed out faith-based adoption providers, Kansas and Oklahoma joined the growing trend to protect faith-based agencies and the children they serve.
Eric Teetsel is President of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, our ally in the Sunflower State, who helped lead the efforts on the Adoption Protection Act in Kansas. He shared with us what the bill means for his state:
“While other states shut down faith-based providers by establishing a radical, left-wing sexual litmus test, Kansas has made clear: everyone is welcome here.”
Eric also described how God worked in an amazing way to make the bill’s passage possible—even after the nation’s leading LGBT advocacy group falsely claimed that over 80 businesses opposed protecting faith-based adoption agencies and sent its president personally to the state to lobby against the bill!
“Getting the Adoption Protection Act over the line was a battle from the beginning, and – on the final day – needed four separate votes to pass.
On the first of those votes, we got the 60 we needed, but knew we had to get to 63 on “final action.” Weeks and weeks of work and we had just a few hours to find 3 more votes. But, do you know what yesterday was? National Day of Prayer.
And – get this – just before the critical House vote, a troupe of bagpipers and drummers began to play under the Capitol dome. The tune? Amazing Grace.
Isn’t that incredible?
We give God all the glory for the victories in Kansas and Oklahoma!
You can help!
If you would like to join us in helping faith-based adoption agencies, we are looking for Believers to urge their U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to pass a federal bill that will protect these incredible and selfless faith-based adoption providers across the country!
Through our Action Center, you can send an instant message to your own lawmakers.
Thank you for your help as we work together to keep kids first!
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of over 40 state-based Family Policy Alliance allies.
Eric Teetsel, President of Family Policy Alliance’s ally in Kansas, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, recently introduced a resolution to the Kansas Republican Party platform that affirms God’s design for male and female.
The resolution received a lot of media attention in Kansas—and opposition from both the Left and some Republicans. But, it ultimately passed. Isn’t it stunning that stating the obvious biological fact—there are two sexes—can be met with such backlash?
Read more in World News.
By Eric Teetsel, President & Executive Director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies
A common challenge voters face in an election is figuring out who a candidate is really. Politicians and their staffs are experts in communicating to different groups what they want to hear without boxing themselves in with meaningful commitments. This is most true when it comes to controversial topics, and those of us who care about the dignity of life, family, and liberty often have the most difficulty distinguishing between the champions and the chumps.
That’s why on Saturday, November 4th, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas hosted “Beyond Sound Bites and Stump Speeches,” an event featuring a series of 30-minute, one-on-one conversations with candidates for governor. More than 40 of our ministry partners listened as I asked each candidate specific policy questions. They were also given the chance to ask questions of the candidates, too!
Topics included the proper response to an impending state supreme court decision that might find a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution, whether to sign legislation allocating money to groups like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions, and preserving student privacy in public schools. It was refreshing to dig deep on policy, but perhaps even more illuminating was the opportunity to listen and watch as the candidates described their political philosophy and reasons for being pro-life. Our attendees could tell if the candidate meant what they said.
This was a first of its kind event for Family Policy Alliance, but with its success we hope to repeat the event in states nationwide. Be on the lookout for a similar forum in your state!
What do we say about Charlottesville?
Racism, protests, murder. This is clearly not what God desires for our nation. But it’s definitely what everyone is talking about this week.
Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, says a person can be a follower of Jesus Christ or a white supremacist – but not both. He offers a biblical perspective connecting the dots from your pro-life beliefs to what should be preached in your church.
Facebook: Charlie Gard #CharliesFight
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Eric Teetsel & Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of our 40 state-based allies.
Last night, my wife and I fought a battle. It was an hours-long struggle of sweat and tears that left us bruised and exhausted, but we endured and won, eventually.
Our two-year-old went to sleep.
You know what? When she awoke a few (short) hours later, bright-eyed and asking for eggs, we still loved her.
This is a familiar story experienced by millions of parents for thousands of years. There exists a bond between parents and their children that defies logic and rationale. Children are expensive, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Why do this to ourselves?
Because it’s a Holy calling.
When God created the world, He made man and woman and gave them two jobs: cultivate the Earth and fill it with children. In God’s plan, man and woman come together as husband and wife to fulfill their calling to create new life, their children.
In His perfect plan, God takes this mandate and turns it into a blessing:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)
The precious relationship between children and their parents is also enshrined in the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,” (Exodus 20:12).
In our time, as societies choose to move further and further from God’s plan, respect for the relationship between parents and children is diminishing. The latest example comes from the United Kingdom, where baby Charlie Gard has been condemned to die by the government.
Charlie’s parents know that he is worth fighting for – and so does Family Policy Alliance. Stories like this are a reason we fought to pass Simon’s Law in Kansas, legislation which gives parents alone the right to make decisions about their children’s medical care in emergency situations.
The fight to preserve parental rights is not limited to health care. Family Policy Alliance is advocating across a range of public policy issues, including the right to determine a child’s education, preserving family structure in child welfare cases, and more.
Thank you for standing with us.
Will you take time to do two things this week?
First, pray for Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie.
Second, Kansas—and every state in our nation—needs families like yours willing to be salt and light, boldly standing up for God’s design for parents and families. Will you tell your friends about the Family Policy Alliance policy ally in your state, perhaps by sharing our Facebook page with them or forwarding this email and having them subscribe to receive it?
Social media and our email updates are the best ways we can communicate with you quickly when policies that impact parental rights in your state come up.
P.S. In Kansas, we were able to pass Simon’s Law, protecting parent’s rights over children’s medical care in emergency situations, because families partnered with us and insisted that this was right. Please make sure we’re connected with you in your state—and with your loved ones who care about God’s design for families.
When your state legislature is flooded with bills, how do you discern which are worthy of your support?
Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, shares from personal experience how he makes that sometimes difficult decision. His insights are true for every state in the country.
Learn more about Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.
David and Jason Benham share how their faith cost them a spot on HGTV, because they dared to voice an opinion.
Paul Weber talks to them along with Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, at our event near Kansas City. They offer their opinions on religious freedom in the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs ruled Missouri’s laws establishing health and safety standards for abortion clinics are likely unconstitutional. Sachs cited last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which said states cannot place restrictions that create an “undue burden” for women.
Missouri’s attorney general has vowed to appeal the ruling.
Joe Ortwerth, executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 state-based allies, sponsored one of the laws as a legislator and said the ruling has emboldened Planned Parenthood.
“Judge Sachs has demonstrated through this ruling his callous and cavalier disregard for the health of women who find themselves at the mercy of slipshod abortionists,” he said. “The laws struck down by Judge Sachs have been on the books for three decades in our state, and are consistent with reputable medical standards for outpatient surgical facilities. Missouri currently has only one full-time abortion clinic that can meet those safety standards. Now, we will see four new abortion clinics open in our state where the operators will have no obligation to provide responsible care to women who will often be victimized by unsafe and unsterile procedures.”
The ruling seems out of step at a time when more and more pro-life bills are being passed at the state level. Eric Teetsel, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, worries the ideology will spill over into his state.
“In the last several years, the Kansas Legislature has passed, and Gov. Sam Brownback has signed, at least 18 pro-life laws” he said. “Clearly, honoring the dignity of the unborn, safeguarding the health and safety of women, and preserving the rights of parents is of foremost importance to the citizens of our state. Yet, all too often, unelected judges have imposed their personal politics upon the voters. Such acts of raw judicial power are unjust and un-American.
“I stand with Gov. Greitens, Attorney General Hawley, and the people of Missouri as they push back against an example of such judicial activism in their state. May they prevail and provide a warning to judges elsewhere that the people will not stand by and watch as their will is ignored and undermined.”
Your support is strengthening and expanding Family Policy Alliance’s network of state- based allies across the nation. In just the past year, three new state organizations have launched or relaunched—to protect your family and your values.
“This focus on the states and not on Washington—well, I think that’s what the Founders intended, and it’s refreshing to see a national group, Family Policy Alliance, take that intention seriously,” said Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute and member of the Family Policy Alliance Board of Directors.
Since 1987, God has allowed Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota (formerly North Dakota Family Alliance) to accomplish much for North Dakota’s families. We have always been there fighting for your core beliefs: protecting life, religious freedom and pro-family values.
Thanks to your support, we made clear the importance of our legislators, our laws and our state recognizing that preborn babies have heartbeats, strongly advocated for abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, supported a 20-week ban on abortion based on the preborn baby’s ability to feel pain, and drove the effort to ban abortions based on gender.
Your support protects state residents from being persecuted based on their religious convictions, and helped defeat a bill that would have required North Dakotans to recognize same-sex marriages. Finally, your support enabled us to engage in many House and Senate races in the last election, including one where the pro-family candidate won by 37 votes!
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer, grassroots activism and financial support. As it says in Philippians 1:27, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” So let’s stand firm together and continue praying that God will bless our partnership, for His glory!
President & Executive Director Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota
I joined the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas team in December. And I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to stand with you in support of the principles we hold most dear. I’ve been in the fight for these truths for many years, including previously serving as director of Faith Outreach for Marco Rubio for President and executive director of the Manhattan Declaration. I’m now honored to focus on the fight here at home, in Kansas.
Kansas is where my wife and I chose to plant our roots. This is where we will raise our children. In response to Jeremiah’s call to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7), I’m committed to making our state the best place for our families to flourish.
There is so much that we can accomplish if we join forces and work together. Kansas is in the crosshairs of those who wish to prohibit faith in the public square, redefine our most basic understanding of human identity and devalue lives they deem unworthy of living. Events of recent years have awakened us to the reality of these threats. This is a time for vigilance, wisdom and faith as we press back—which is only possible because of your faithful support.
President & Executive Director Family Policy Alliance of Kansas
Last year, Georgia legislators attempted to pass a basic religious freedom bill. It simply confirmed that religious leaders don’t have to perform same-sex marriages that violate their sincerely held beliefs. Governor Deal vetoed this bill after pressure from LGBT activists and companies like the NFL and Disney.
Clearly, Georgia needed a strong organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom, as well as families and the sanctity of life. And thanks to your support, Family Policy Alliance of Georgia launched in November to give Georgia families a voice at the state capital. Because of you, Georgia families have the opportunity to see meaningful religious freedom protections advance in our state—and to hold our elected officials accountable when they fail to protect men, women and children of faith.
I’m thankful for your support of Family Policy Alliance of Georgia. Through your partnership, you’ll protect life and improve the quality of life for all Georgians—because every life is worth fighting for. Abortion activists feel more threatened than ever and are fighting hard to maintain their funding.
Meanwhile, death activists are fighting to abandon our most vulnerable—those with serious illnesses, the elderly and the disabled— to hopelessness and death in the form of assisted suicide. Together, we can advance policy that instead sends the message that the most vulnerable in Georgia are worthy of hope and protection.
President & Executive Director Family Policy Alliance of Georgia
by Eric Teetsel, president, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas
I was put to shame last week.
This is what happened. A friend told my wife that a doctor had given a talk at her women’s group at church on transgender issues. My wife mentioned it to me. Curious, I asked for more details.
I learned that the speaker was Beth Sonneville, a chaplain at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The purpose of her presentation was to make a biblical argument in favor of transgenderism.
Her argument included Genesis 1:27, which says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Apparently, per Sonneville, this passage says that God contains both male and female, and since we are all created in God’s image, we each have male and female within us.
Sonneville also used Galatians 3:28 – or part of it anyway. The passage she used was, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one”.
It’s a lie. Like the serpent in the Garden, Sonneville twists God’s word to further her pernicious influence.
Genesis 1:27 is fundamental in the Bible’s instruction on human sexuality, but it is not the only word on the subject. A proper understanding of any verse must take into account the full counsel of God’s word. In this case, the Bible provides a fuller account in Genesis 2, and fuller explication of Genesis 1:27 from both Paul and Jesus Himself in Matthew 19, among other teachings.
Genesis 2 provides “the rest of the story” of the creation of Adam and Eve. Here we find Adam in the Garden alone. For the first time, God’s pattern of creation and affirmation is interrupted. Whereas before the LORD surveyed everything He made and saw that it was good, in response to Adam’s loneliness God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him,” (18).
God says a creation in which man is without woman is “not good.” We are complementary pieces. At the close of chapter 2, the Bible says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” (24).
In his letter to the Church in Ephesus, Paul quotes this verse from Genesis and reveals that the one flesh union of husband and wife is a living picture of a magnificent spiritual reality. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church,” (3:32).
Contrary to Sonneville, the implication of the Imago Dei for human sexuality is not that each of us contains male and female, but rather that the duality of male and female was instituted by God as part of a created order that brings distinct halves together in marriage in demonstration of God’s love for His Church.
Sonneville’s twisting of Galatians 3:28 is even more obvious and damnable. She simply left out the crucial clause at the end: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added.)
Put aside for a moment the male and female aspect of this verse. What exactly does Sonneville think Paul was saying about Jews and Greeks? Slave and free? If you apply the logic of her conclusion, Paul was not only eliminating sexual distinctions but ethnic and class distinctions as well. That would be odd for Paul, who later relies on his dual citizenship as both a Jew and a Roman in his appeal to Caesar (Acts 25) and who exhorts bondservants to obey their masters and masters to be good to their slaves (Ephesians 6).
Clearly, Galatians 3:28 is not the literal elimination of every differentiating human characteristic. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the reality of those differences. Paul’s point is not that differences don’t exist, but that they do exist but shouldn’t preclude Christians from fellowshipping together under the banner of the one ultimate characteristic they share: devotion to Christ.
My friend says Sonneville has done several of these presentations in the Kansas City area. She says women rave about the talk. Unfortunately, no one was there to rebuke her false teaching and correct it. The Church has been asleep while the proponents of an anti-biblical sexual ideology have methodically been making their rounds.
For this I apologize. I won’t allow these voices to go unchallenged any longer.
The Family Policy Alliance of Kansas will begin building a network of churches and ministry leaders committed to upholding biblical truths on matters of life, human sexuality, and religious freedom.
We do this to ensure the integrity of the Gospel, yes, and because we understand that the Gospel is desperately needed throughout the world. We will engage opposing voices in person and in print, speaking, preaching, debating and testifying because we know that if God’s word is true than it is good, and if it is good then it is necessary if our neighbors are to thrive.
Will you help me?
Here’s are three things you can do:
First, pray. Please don’t mistake this for some lame head fake towards holiness. Our appeals to the Creator of the Universe are a proclamation that there is an authority higher than any school board, legislature, or Congress. Prayer is, therefore, a political act. And a radical one.
Second, get in the game. This isn’t as daunting as it may sound. Identify your state representative and state senator. (Here’s a tool that makes it easy: Action Center.) Email them and invite them to join you for a coffee. Get to know them. Tell them about yourself. Tell them you will be praying for them. Over time, email them to encourage them and congratulate them. And, when the time comes, tell them what you expect them to do. Remember, they work for you.
I can’t emphasize too strongly the power of such an effort. Almost nobody bothers with their local representatives. Most people don’t even know their name. If you establish a positive, respectful relationship you will influence them.
Third, we need to know your stories. This session, we are working closely with legislators to craft a Student Protection Act. This commonsense bill will require public schools to limit bathrooms, locker rooms, and other similar spaces to members of one sex. It also instructs school leaders to provide reasonable accommodations for students who are not comfortable in such a setting, for whatever reason.
Make no mistake, despite our efforts to provide a safe, fair environment for all students this law will be attacked as hateful, bigoted, and mean. Its supporters will be held accountable for the bullying, depression, and even suicide of LGBTQ students. It’s already happening.
The best way to counter these narratives is to speak up for the safety and wellbeing of their children.
Learn more about Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.