Urgent Update: Sen. Heitkamp Says She’s Voting NO on Kavanaugh. Last Chance to Call!

The long-awaited vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh is finally about to happen. In case you haven’t heard, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp just announced that she plans to vote NO. Will you call her office today and respectfully ask her to reverse her position and vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh?

Her D.C. number is (202) 224-2043. If you can’t get through or would like to call additional offices, here are numbers to her in-state offices:  Bismarck: (701) 258-4648; Dickinson: (701) 225-0974; Fargo: (701) 232-8030; Grand Forks: (701) 775-9601; Minot: (701) 852-0703

In addition to calling (most important), please also send a quick message by email here, even if you have done so before.

The attacks on Judge Kavanaugh have been unprecedented and – as the FBI interviews reportedly confirm – unfounded. The Left opposes him for ideological reasons and for his demonstrated commitment to the Constitution. With votes likely starting tomorrow, it’s critical that the rest of us speak up, too.  Thanks for speaking up and spreading the word!

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “tell me a story”? For me, it’s the tune of Children’s Bible Hour and their theme song. “Tell me a story, tell me a story, tell me a story Aunt B…”. I loved listening to their Saturday night radio program that came on right around bath time. I still have fond memories of learning how to be a Christian right where I was: in school, home, church, playing with friends, etc. One brief story can be far more impactful than many words trying to convey the same point. But stories have their limitations.

For the past few weeks, stories have been the top headlines; specifically, the accounts/stories told by Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. As is often true, both of their stories have been impactful. They have each told very different stories of events that happened decades ago. Unfortunately, a seat on the Supreme Court has been focused largely on these stories.

Stories are told from a point of view, but what really matters in proceedings such as this are the facts: what is verifiable, can be proven to be true, and can be substantiated by witnesses. Facts are much more elusive than what you find in stories. It is my hope and prayer that the U.S. Senate will base their up or down vote on Judge Kavanaugh on confirmed facts.

Not unlike these confirmation hearings, we hear stories everyday about North Dakota candidates running for office this fall. Their stories are interesting, but I ask you to look at the facts. What are the facts concerning a candidate? What does their voting record show? How have they acted in the past that provides a factual account of where their priorities lie?

For example, has the candidate told you a story about how they values women’s lives, but the facts show they’ve supported the killing of thousands of baby girls? Has the candidate said they represent North Dakotans, but the facts say otherwise, with huge political campaign contributions from out of state? When a candidate says they “will keep fighting to keep our communities strong and safe”, but votes for laws that would ultimately allow men in your daughter’s locker room, the facts speak for themselves.

When you enter the voting booth on November 6, I trust you will vote on the facts. Stories are great, but when the future of your state and country hang in the balance, facts are what matter most.

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

 

Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, I found myself sitting with my wife Ruth in a hospital, waiting for a major surgery she needed. She was in good health and had talked to others who had experienced the same surgery. They recuperated quickly and were glad they had gone through with the surgery. Great, we were all set. I watched her being wheeled off to the operating room and then settled down in the lobby for the planned four hours of surgery. Little did I realize, that was when things started to go very wrong.

An hour later, I was unexpectedly called to meet with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Only an hour into surgery and two very somber looking doctors – I knew this was not going to go well. As I went to meet them, I remember praying over and over, “God let her be alive, God let her be alive…”

The doctors told me that all had been going well and the operation had started when Ruth went into anaphylactic shock from the antibiotics they administered. Her blood pressure plummeted to 39/30 and she was dying on the operating room table. If there was any good news in this, it was that Ruth was still alive, responding to questions (to check for brain damage), and slowly recovering. Epinephrine had done the trick and she was still with us. However, more than the drug, God intervened in a direct and powerful way that day and I still thank Him for the doctors’ knowledge and their quick response in preserving my wife.

I found out later that the surgeon stopped by and talked with Ruth in the recovery room. She told her point blank that, statistically speaking, she was lucky to be alive and advised her to buy a lottery ticket. She said that with her luck, Ruth was bound to win. In that moment, the spotlight was on Ruth and her response. Instead of agreeing, she told the doctor that was not a gambler and that God was the reason why she was alive, not luck. We don’t know where the doctor went from there or what impact Ruth might have had on her life. What mattered is that for a moment, the doctor heard the truth of who God is. Ruth didn’t ask for that moment, but was thrust into it and was a bright light professing her confidence in her Savior.

Some of the most challenging events in life give you the most attentive audience. The question is, what are you going to do when the spotlight shines on you? What do you do if you are Jack Phillips, the baker from Colorado, in that moment when a same-sex couple asks you to bake a cake that goes against your beliefs? How do you respond when you are asked to vote for a candidate who will allow the continued killing of innocent preborn children?

We all have these watershed moments in our lives. When one of these moments comes, will you stand up for what is right and speak the truth boldly and in love? I certainly hope so.

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect — I Peter 3:15

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Serena Williams holds the second-most Grand Slam singles titles of all-time, and the most in the modern era. She once held the No. 1 ranking for 186 consecutive weeks. She has earned hundreds of millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements. Her story of coming from Compton and competing with and against her sister, Venus, to become one of the most dominant athletes of all time is legendary.

Last week, in the U.S. Open final, a new chapter in the story was written.

Williams was facing Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old native of Japan, appearing in her first Grand Slam final. It was a dream come true for Osaka, whom the New York Times reports wrote a book report about Williams in third grade.

Osaka won the opening set easily, 6-2. In the second set things began to unravel. It began when chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued Williams a warning for receiving coaching, a violation. (Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, later admitted he was, indeed, coaching.)

Williams was indignant at what she perceived as an accusation of cheating. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose,” she told Ramos.

A few games later, after losing a crucial break point, Williams threw her racket down on the court, breaking it. An automatic code violation. Because of the prior violation for coaching, Williams was penalized and Osaka was awarded a point.

When Williams realized she had been penalized, she grew incensed. For the next several minutes, she verbally assaulted the chair umpire, calling him a liar, a thief, demanding apologies, and telling him he would never umpire a match of hers again.

Enough was enough. Ramos issued a violation for verbal abuse, awarding a full game to Osaka. Eventually, Osaka would win the decisive second set 6-4, though her championship was marred by jeers and boos from the crowd.

On the court and in her post-match press conference, Serena blamed sexism for how she was treated. “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff,” she said. “The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that want to express themselves, and want to be a strong woman. They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today.”

Former tennis great Billie Jean King agreed, writing, “women have a right…to speak out against injustice.”

Another former tennis champion, Martina Navratilova, offered a different view. Writing in the New York Times, she said, “I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of “If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.” Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?”

Navratilova continued: “There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket.”

Injustice is rampant in our world. Christians have a divine mandate to seek justice for all persons, especially the weak and marginalized.

But, increasingly, we are faced with the question of how to respond when we are the victims of injustice. America is becoming a place in which biblical Christianity is increasingly at odds with the norms of society. We see faithful believers facing this tension at school, work, and in the day to day life of their community, from children’s sports teams to programs at the local library.

One possible response is like that of Serena Williams. We can lash out, embrace a victim mentality, throw epithets at our oppressors, and demand our rights.

Another is more like that of Navratilova, in which we recognize injustice where it exists and seek to be the solution, while also recognizing where our own sinfulness may be at work. This approach involves holding ourselves to a biblical standard no matter what others are doing, knowing that, from an eternal perspective, our witness is more important than our rights.

Throughout scripture, we find examples of Christians who suffered persecution for their faith, like Daniel, John the Baptist, and Peter. I encourage you to go back and read their stories. Take note of their strength, dignity, and peace.

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President and Executive Director

 

 

This week, Stephen Hawking passed away. For many, he was considered among the most brilliant minds this world has ever known, and there is no denying his incredible intellect or the remarkable life that he lived. Despite suffering from a rare form of ALS, he and his work will be remembered for centuries to come.

Yet, despite all this, Stephen Hawking was an incredibly deceived man.

A theoretical physicist and man who studied the cosmos, Hawking was an avowed atheist who became increasingly hostile to the notion of a Creator.

While his intellect was undeniable, he said some of the most unimaginable things including, “spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing.” Such a notion- never witnessed, utterly irrational, and devoid of all logic- is seemingly inexplicable for a man whose IQ could run laps around mine.

Or, is it?

Scripture teaches us that we are spiritually dead and blind to even the most apparent truths unless made new by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual understanding comes not from intellect or study but only from divine revelation. So, when one of the world’s most brilliant minds spends a lifetime studying the cosmos- something that can only be explained by the existence of a Creator- it is only natural that he would draw every conclusion except the most obvious one.

Throughout his life Stephen Hawking combined intelligence and obliviousness, and this phenomenon is certainly present here in Georgia. When intelligent people bend over backwards to explain why a baby with a beating heart and human DNA is not really a person, it’s because they suffer from similar blindness. Same thing when the Left tries to argue that someone who is physically and biologically one gender is actually really another. Or, that the First Amendment of the Constitution which provides for the “free exercise of religion” actually means that you cannot live out your beliefs. Those making the arguments may be intelligent people, but they are utterly blind and ignorant.

So, where do we come in?

Well, I often write to you regarding political elections or lobbying activity, but my activity with the Family Policy Foundation of Georgia, our educational organization, is designed to equip believers to understand and articulate the truth.

In a hostile and blind world, we believe it is important the Christians articulate biblical truth on the vital issues of the day. Most adults choose to ignore the topics in public, and many of our young people are being sucked in by the leftist arguments- believing ridiculous ideas like gender is a “feeling” rather than scientific evidence of God’s design.

Many of our well-intentioned politicians also find themselves defenseless against the adamant points of a purely political, faithless agenda from the Left. This is why we founded the Statesmen Academy to equip godly legislators to know, articulate, and win others over to the truth.

Will you help us in these educational efforts with your tax-deductible gift?

My friends, intelligence does not necessarily mean an ability to see the truth. That’s why we are committed to helping Christians defend biblical principles from a hostile, ignorant, and sometimes “intelligent” world. Your support of our efforts could supply your pastor with much needed resources, your fellow congregant with biblical truth, your child with the science to back up what Scripture says, or your legislator with the facts needed to stand firm.

Thank you for your support. We could not do this without you.

In His Service,

ColeMuzio
President and Executive Director

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.

Today I am writing to you from Colorado Springs where I am attending the annual Family Policy Alliance FPC conference – gathering of our allies from all across the nation. I am so excited to be here, reconnecting and exchanging ideas with my colleagues.

As you may know, Family Policy Alliance serves as a uniter of organizations around the country. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is one of more than 40 similar state organizations, most all of which are represented at this year’s conference. We share the same ideas, challenges, and victories. We also have a great time of Christian fellowship and comradery. It is truly a privilege to gather with these leaders.

One particular benefit I receive by connecting with other state directors is sharing best practices. They have often faced some of the same challenges we face in North Dakota and can provide guidance on how to best integrate faith into our respective state political processes.

We were also privileged to have one of our own legislators from North Dakota, Representative Daniel Johnston, attend the Family Policy Foundation Statesmen Academy this year. Daniel and I took time to discuss his experience at the Statesmen Academy.

However, the most important aspect of the conference has been the unity of faith. Here are state directors, legislators and staff who share the same Christian beliefs. They value families and want to ensure that pro-family and pro-life legislation is passed. Our unity of faith is what binds us together. Whether I’m talking to someone from Washington, Georgia or Nebraska, we all share the passion to make our states ones where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. What an inspirational tie that binds us!

The one thing we definitely agree on is that we can’t do our work without the help of ministry partners like you. If you want to help advance pro-family and pro-life values in North Dakota, I encourage you to become a ministry partner.

There are many ways to do this. It may mean responding to our action alerts, praying for our ministry, or helping financially support our work. For all the great ideas and help I receive from our brothers and sisters in other states, your support enables us to fight the good fight in North Dakota.

Thank you for your continued support us as we advance our Christian values in the state Capitol in Bismarck and in the halls of Congress!

Sincerely,

Mark Jorritsma
Executive Director

The year was 1950. A newlywed couple boarded a large ocean liner sailing from Rotterdam, The Netherlands to America. They were leaving their families behind, with no idea when they might be reunited. They stepped out in faith and, with more than just a little foreboding, made the crossing.

That young couple was my parents. After a turbulent 11 days at sea with frightening storms, they finally landed in Hoboken, New Jersey, and traveled on to Kalamazoo, MI, where they made their new home. My father, an architect, had to take a job working in a hardware store. My mother cared for their firstborn, my sister Anne. Neither knew how to speak English. Times were tough and they missed their families terribly.

My father eventually worked as an architect for over a decade and then felt called into the ministry. They were again thrust into tough circumstances. Many weeks they barely had enough money for rent, and they often had to survive off food that neighbors and friends kindly provided. After his seminary training, my father spent 35 years experiencing the highs and lows of ministry. He and our family together shouldered the emotional and physical demands the role placed on a pastor and his family.

I often wondered why my parents endured all these challenges and heartaches. When I finally had the courage to ask, my father replied, “We did it for you and your sister, so that you could have a better life and all the opportunities and freedoms that America represents.” He related that a country founded on faith and liberty was a precious gift that we should always cherish.

Both of my parents have now gone to be with their Lord, but I often think of my father’s words. They sacrificed so much for us, their children.

So, what am I called to do? I am called to make that same commitment to my children; to preserve and protect the principles upon which this great nation was founded.

That is precisely why I feel blessed to be in this role at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. I am able to fight to preserve a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. I am asking you to join me as we unleash Biblical citizenship to protect the cherished principles that have always made America a land of opportunity, freedom, and faith.

Please pray for our efforts, rally behind us to protect these principles, and give generously so that we may make a difference for the kingdom.

I know that my father is looking down and is proud of my passion for these causes. I am also certain he would be grateful to you for preserving and fighting for what is right. Remember, we are doing this for our children, as my parents did, and there is no greater tribute and legacy than that.


Mark Jorritsma
Executive Director

When you cast your ballot, your vote is for more than just a president.

As Stuart Shepard explains in his Stoplight® commentary, your vote will also be toward a Supreme Court nominee. That selection will impact decisions regarding life, marriage and religious freedom for the rest of your life.

Thank you for sharing Stoplight with your friends.

Check out our voter guide page.

Some NFL players are protesting by kneeling during the national anthem. In his Stoplight commentary, Stuart Shepard sets aside the controversy for a moment and considers the important principles underlying that right to protest, and considers what they mean for Christians.

If you’re looking for some good reasons to get out to vote, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota has this encouragement for you.

Share this video at your church or on your social media channels.