As I shared with you last week in “Are We Stuck in a House of Cards America?”, winning an election doesn’t matter for the sake of winning an election. When our preferred candidate wins an election, the real winning is what happens when those good elected 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.
That’s also why I want to share with you the story of what you helped bring about in primary elections across the country.
But first—what is a primary election anyway, and why does it matter?
Too often, many of us—myself included—have voted only in the general election in November, and maybe only then if it’s a big presidential election year. But the truth is, sometimes the biggest difference can be made in the primary election, especially at the state level.
This is because primary elections are where the members of the major political parties, Democrats and Republicans, select a candidate who best represents their values for that district. The winner will go on to the general election in November. Primary elections are why many in the Democratic party, for example, are seeing more and more of their candidates with socialistic ideas—because those candidates are being selected at the primary level in districts that tend to lean Democratic. On the other hand, many Republicans are seeing candidates called “RINOs,” or Republicans In Name Only. These candidates claim membership in the Republican party but reject some of the platform’s key components, such as being prolife.
In other words, if we want to see more conservative, prolife, pro-family leaders represent us, then we need to vote for the more conservative, prolife, pro-family candidate in whichever party we belong to in the primary election. Primary elections are why it’s also helpful to belong to a party—so that you can vote in the primary election and send the more conservative candidate onto the November election. In many states, you must declare a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary election.
Now onto the great results you helped achieve in the 2018 primary elections, which just concluded this week!
Your partnership with Family Policy Alliance helped 39 stronger pro-family candidates win critical primary elections in 8 different states.
To influence these 39 races, we communicated with voters nearly 850,000 times through knocking on doors, phone calls, email, targeted digital ads, and good old snail mail!
I can’t thank you enough for making the country, state-by-state, more conservative and family-centered by voting for the more conservative pro-family candidate in these key races!
I now want to share with you two examples of how your involvement in the primary election is writing a new story in two different states.
9 votes. We often hear “well my one vote doesn’t matter anyway.” And, it’s easy to think that when you consider the large number of voters in your state, and certainly in the country. But a race in Kansas was won by only 9 votes!
Our ally in Kansas, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, identified five key primary races there. In these five races, the incumbent Republican legislators had voted against one of the biggest wins for religious freedom from this year—a simple law that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies can continue to run their ministries in a way that aligns with their faith. The law is necessary because groups like the ACLU are trying to shut down Christian and other adoption agencies that believe children do best when placed with a married mom and dad—leaving birth moms and children with less opportunities and choices
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, with the help of pro-family Kansans, helped the pro-religious freedom candidate win in 4/5 of those races! Candidate Paul Waggoner was one of those winners—he’s the candidate who won by 9 votes. That means that because nine people showed up to vote in the primary election, Kansans in that district will now have the chance to elect someone in November who will stand strong for them on religious freedom.
And in Georgia, our ally Family Policy Alliance of Georgia supported three primary candidates who were attacked by business associations in the state for supporting religious freedom and other pro-family legislation. Business associations spent big money to try to defeat these good legislators, and no other pro-family groups in Georgia stood up to support these four candidates.
Despite well-funded opposition, all four won their primary elections! Two of these legislators attended our sister Foundation’s Statesmen Academy training program for Christian legislators, and we know that all four will go on to lead the way with pro-family policies in Georgia.
So thank you for supporting pro-family candidates in the primary elections!
And congratulations to all those who now head to the November 6th general election!
We ask now that you prepare for November 6th. We saw many good candidates achieve victory in the primaries. Now we need these pro-family candidates to carry that momentum into November 6th, winning their elections, so that we can go on to see the real winning—where these leaders will pass policies that restore an America where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Make sure you know who your candidates are and where your polling place is.
If you’d like to help pro-family candidates win on November 6th in 60 different critical races, state and federal, across the country please consider giving to rally pro-family voters—and right now your gift will be DOUBLED up to $130,000!
For winning what really matters,
Vice President of Strategy
By John Paulton, mobilization manager for Family Policy Alliance®
It all came down to one vote.
The country’s biggest religious freedom battle so far this year was taking place at the Kansas capitol this month, and it had all the makings of a bad sequel to other religious freedom tussles that haven’t turned out well for people of faith.
The president of the largest LGBT lobbying group in the nation had just been in Topeka, and his well-funded group was running full-page newspaper ads to confuse the people and scare the politicians. They were joined by the ACLU and all the usual forces in opposing a common-sense bill protecting the religious freedom of faith-based adoption providers.
Family Policy Alliance of Kansas staff were working the Capitol hallways, persuading legislators and imploring them to hold firm. Statesmen Academy™ alumnus Rep. Susan Humphries, as lead sponsor in the House, was strategically maneuvering the bill to give it the best shot at passage. But still, the bill had earlier come up a few votes short of the 63 votes needed to pass it.
But thousands of emails and phone calls from Family Policy Alliance supporters in Kansas – many of them targeted to key legislators – helped write a good ending. The bill passed with exactly 63 votes and was later signed into law by the Governor.
That’s just one of dozens of legislative battles that Family Policy Alliance team members like you have been engaged in all around the country this year. Late last week, Family Policy Alliance team members like you reached a milestone for 2018 – more than 100,000 messages emailed or faxed to elected officials through the Family Policy Alliance online Action Center! That’s the fastest since we launched the Action Center several years ago. And it doesn’t count untold numbers of phone calls, emails and other communications not sent through the Action Center.
Most importantly, it makes a difference. As former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen was known for saying, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.” When you click to send a message through the Action Center, you may not be able to tell if it’s making an impact, but Family Policy Alliance staff often get to hear the comments by legislators about the calls, faxes and emails that they are getting from back home – and see the impact in legislators’ words and votes.
In some cases, those messages directly change votes. But those messages can also make a difference by emboldening elected officials who are already supportive of the pro-family position. Likewise, legislators who are hostile to pro-life and pro-family values can become less proactive in their opposition.
“These numbers and these stories show the team effort that is really making a difference,” said Paul Weber, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance. “Team members in the capitol working with Statesmen – combined with folks back home providing the “air cover” of calls and emails – that’s a powerful combination that, with God’s grace, is making an impact.”
Take Action: Check the Action Center to speak up on key bills, such as supporting this bill in Congress to protect adoption and opposing these bills in Congress that attack religious freedom.
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!
by Stephanie Curry
Recently, two families burst into the international spotlight because the law did not defend the parents’ ultimate rights to protect the very lives of their children.
The first story centers around infant Charlie Gard, who was born with a fatal genetic disorder in London. The hospital treating Charlie refused to allow his parents to move him to the U.S. to seek pioneering medical treatment. The hospital aggressively argued it would be inhumane to keep Charlie alive because of his condition, and life-sustaining treatment was withheld despite his parents’ desperate battle in court. Charlie died at 11 months old, after his ventilator was removed by medical workers.
The second story involves Simon Crosier, who was born in Missouri with a genetic condition. Like Charlie, treatment for Simon’s disorder was considered by doctors to be “futile,” and he was not expected to live long. At three months, he struggled to breathe. His oxygen levels plummeted. Yet, no one rushed to his aid. Hospital staff remained eerily quiet and distant as Simon’s parents watched him die. Simon’s doctors, without his parents’ knowledge or consent, had placed a “do not resuscitate” order into his file. The Crosiers were stunned when they discovered that doctors could secretly decide their son’s life was not theirs to protect. Since that time, the Crosiers have worked diligently to pass laws that will give parents the legal right to make the final decision regarding life-sustaining treatment for their child.
In fact, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas worked with allies in that state to pass the very first “Simon’s Law” earlier this year. It will protect babies like Simon.
Family Policy Alliance and our state allies will be working hard in 2018 to ensure children can be lovingly protected by their parents through “Simon’s Law” legislation. If Charlie’s parents or Simon’s parents had had the benefit of such laws, they would have had the final word on their child’s life-giving medical care – not hospitals.
We believe children are given by God to, intimately known by, and lovingly protected by their parents — first and foremost. That means it is the parents’ God-given responsibility to protect and preserve the lives of their children. Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we fight to let parents parent across the country.
This is part 2 of 5 in our Let Parents Parent series on the importance of protecting parental rights for families.
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.
We’ve been following the heartbreaking story of UK baby Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie, as they’ve fought for the right to bring Charlie to America for experimental treatment that may have helped him.
Yesterday, Charlie’s parents decided to end their legal battle after the latest medical reports showed that Charlie’s condition had deteriorated beyond an ability for any experimental treatment to make a difference. Now, they must face saying goodbye to their son. He will likely not make it to his first birthday on August 4th.
As Charlie’s family prepares to say goodbye, those of us here in America have a responsibility to pray for this family and to consider carefully what Charlie’s parents and their lawyer are saying in news reports: “For Charlie, it is too late…treatment cannot offer a chance of success.”
Charlie’s parents said: “There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time … our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”
Charlie’s parents and attorneys believe that had they been given permission to get Charlie experimental treatment early on, he would not have deteriorated to this point.
We will never know whether the experimental treatment would’ve helped him, but that’s not the point. The point is that Charlie’s parents were willing to fight for his life, as any parent would, but they weren’t given permission to do so.
And this isn’t just a problem “across the pond.” We see parents’ rights being undermined here in America too. Just last year, our state ally in Kansas passed “Simon’s Law” to protect the right of parents to make decisions in life or death situations involving their children. The law is named after baby Simon who died after a “do not resuscitate” order was placed on his chart by a doctor—without his parents’ knowledge!
Parents in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C. can no longer get their kids basic help from a counselor if they are dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion—even if the children have been sexually abused. Meet our friend Rev. Jayson Graves, M. MFT, who shares why this counseling was personally so important to him.
As we work with our alliance of over 40 state family policy groups who speak up for families like yours in nearly every state across the country, we are seeing violations of parental rights occurring more frequently.
Government can set up systems with the intent to help children—like healthcare systems, and child welfare. But, government cannot love a child. God designed parents to fill that role because they are uniquely situated to do so. Parents are also uniquely situated to be children’s greatest protectors because love always protects.
As we work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, and state-based family policy groups to protect parental rights in every state, we hope your family will partner with us. We need the resources to prepare these godly legislators to fight for parental rights at every state Capital, so please consider giving here. We also need the partnership of families like yours across the country who are prepared to speak out for parental rights so that no family faces what Charlie Gard’s has, so please also consider sharing this story with your likeminded friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for news updates with us so that we can equip parents in every state!
God’s design for parents and families is good—we hope you’ll join with us in making sure it’s protected across our country!
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.
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.”