If you are like me, waking up last Wednesday morning was hard. I felt disappointed, angry, and even fearful for what a leftist controlled government would hold for our future. But I was quickly reminded that this reaction to the election news was not what God had for me.
The verse that kept coming to mind was Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Our fight isn’t against an individual like Raphael Warnock, but against the enemy who is using this so-called pastor to normalize evil. How I should’ve woken up on Wednesday morning was not sad, but joyful.
Joyful and determined.
Today is the first day of the legislative session. This is where our next battle begins. We have a lot of policy initiatives this session that are aimed to protect the value of our faith, families, and freedom.
One of the bills is called the Tebow Bill. This bill allows homeschool students to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools.
Another bill we are working on is called “Save Girls’ Sports.” This bill prohibits biological males from participating in girls’ sports to keep the playing field fair.
We will also be working to regulate and limit access to the abortion pill and require parental consent before a DNR is placed on a child.
Also, we will be working on what is called the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act.” This bill would prohibit the use of hormone injections or hormone-blocking drugs and sex-changing procedures in minors.
We will also be fighting to protect religious freedom and block casinos and gambling from infiltrating our state.
And much more.
As you can see, the stakes are high, and we have a lot of work to do. So, I ask you to fight with us. This is not the time to be sad or fearful, but the time to stand up for the values that God has placed on our heart. It’s the time to “stand firm and take action,” and we’ll be keeping you updated every step of the way.
We at Family Policy Alliance of Georgia® are not going to back down, and we need your help. Please consider standing with us and donating now as we go into battle. Our legislative agenda is bigger than ever before and $25, $50, $100, or greater can go a long way toward making sure we pass God-honoring legislation. And please reach out if you want to help with these initiatives or have any questions.
When I wake up disappointed in where our nation is going, I promise to be reminded of the verse above. I promise to remember people like you who have stood behind us in these times. And I promise to keep pressing on.
Philippians 3:13-15, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
Over the last couple of weeks, the General Assembly has been discussing a “hate crimes” bill with varying language being thrown around until passage of a final version on Tuesday.
Reasonable people can come to differing opinions on such a bill. As believers, we see the heinousness of the acts associated with hate crimes, and there is an undeniable urge to do something. Yet, when we yield to government the power to judge someone’s thoughts we are handing over a weapon that can be used to one day targets beliefs – not rooted in hate – that a powerful government would seek to attack, namely Christianity.
Because I believe hate crimes legislation sets us on this dangerous trajectory and codifies into law our differences over our sameness, I was the lone testimony in opposition to this proposal in Senate committee last week. While recognizing that this is a tough issue, I’m proud that our organization took this stand, even though it ran counter to the demands of the media elite.
Others, however, opted to support the measure, and they did so for reasons that I respect. My former State Representative, Chuck Efstration, and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan had a greater hand in shaping the language of this bill than anyone, and I consider them both to be friends and allies. While we disagree on the solution, I believe they both supported this bill because they share our vision for a Georgia where all life is cherished.
Yet, as Senator Bill Heath spoke in opposition to the bill during floor debate on Tuesday, I saw a different side of this bill. As he referenced pastors that may be targeted for their beliefs, lobbyists – primarily associated with the Chamber of Commerce – that gathered around the screen to watch the proceedings openly mocked him. As this lone, brave voice standing for freedom spoke up for people of faith, the crowd that spends more money to influence policy under the Gold Dome than anyone, laughed. They scoffed. And, they declared his reference to Scripture to be ridiculous.
As some talk about turning Georgia purple, the need to moderate, or the sole focus of keeping Georgia the best place to do business, this is the crowd they want to turn our state over to. A group that mocks and ridicules faith. A group for whom our values are something to be scoffed at. There is no compromise but bending to their will at the altar of financial gain.
I want Georgia to remain #1 for business, for our people to thrive, prosperity to abound, and opportunity to be there for all. Yet, it’s imperative that our state never sacrifice our values for wealth.
In 2018, we supported Brian Kemp because of his commitment to making Georgia #1 for our values while also maintaining the conditions to keep us #1 for business – never selling out who we are yet keeping our state attractive to job producers. We’ve never regretted that decision for a minute, and we’re proud to call our Governor a close ally.
Yet, there are some that – in the face of liberal opposition – believe the prescription for Georgia is to moderate. My caution to any who would consider that approach, however, is to understand that this approach isn’t a move to the center. It’s a selling of our state to those who would openly mock all we hold dear.
My friends, I’m so grateful for bold leaders like Senator Heath – willing to stand alone, if necessary, to speak truth. I’m also grateful for Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan and the bold leadership they’ve provided our state. But, with election season upon us, the pressure on our legislators increasing, and a counter-vision for our state that involves us selling out to those who are hostile to our values, it’s up to us to continue on this course.
As believers, we know what the world really thinks of us. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to shrink away from the fight. We all must stand firm and take action.
President and Executive Director
PS. While I saw some despicable behavior from these lobbyists, I continue to see commendable behavior from our Lt. Governor and many other legislators (I often remark that some of the finest people I know serve in the Georgia General Assembly). Even though Bill Heath – known for voting no most frequently in the Senate – opposed this bill and many others, Geoff Duncan turned the gavel over to him so that he could preside over the Senate briefly as his time in office comes to a close (pictured here with Heath standing next to Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller. This act of civility between two statesmen is just one of many I have the privilege to witness at the Capitol.
Throughout the legislative session, the casino industry funded a massive lobbying push in the hopes of making Georgia a gambling haven.
We fought back because, as I pointed out in the Sen. Bruce Thompson and Cole Muzio (me) versus Sen. Brandon Beach and Gov. Haley Barbour debate, casinos never, ever work.
One of the things we’ve consistently pointed out is that, no matter what concession legislators make to the gambling lobby – which is already spending big at the Capitol and in elections – they will always come back for more.
And, we’re seeing that with the Coronavirus crisis. As the government debates how best to provide a stimulus to American businesses and citizens, the Washington Post reports that casinos already have their hand out.
Casinos want a bailout because profiteering off the poor isn’t enough. Their twisted “business model” constantly demands help from the government, and, once entrenched in Georgia, we can expect even worse from these powerful interests if our politicians abdicate their responsibility and allow them to take root.
And, that’s not the only consequence. Human trafficking, crime, increased costs of government services, and massive growth in bankruptcy and addiction are among the items on the list. Don’t let Georgia go down this path!
With extra time at home while you’re practicing “social distancing,” I’d encourage you to reach out to your state legislators (which can be found HERE) to let them know that we expect them to OPPOSE ANY EFFORT to bring casinos to our state.
Casinos don’t work, and they will always seek to profit the few wealthy executives at the expense of the poor specifically and, in crisis, every taxpayer across our country.
President and Executive Director
P.S. I continue my prayers for you and your family. Please continue to abide by the guidelines established by Governor Kemp and stay safe!
PPS. The two State Senators mentioned above are among those legislators who have tested positive for COVID 19. Please keep them and all those battling this virus in your prayers, regardless of what you think of their politics.
As you may have heard, coronavirus has shut down the Capitol, and the legislative session has been suspended. Our Governor, his team, and our state continues to need your prayers.
The session, however, did press forward to complete Crossover Day, and – despite the worries over the virus – some great work was achieved, though much remains for 2020 and beyond:
- We DEFEATED an effort by pro-gambling forces to bring a statewide vote on casinos, horse racing, AND sports betting on the ballot. After “whipping” opposition throughout the day, the chances of passage had grown so dim, that HR 378 was not even brought to a vote.
- Senator Renee Unterman led the charge to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act (SB 386) – which provides for school choice funding for those with special needs – as well as The Living Hope Home Act (SB 307) which provides housing options for expectant mothers. I cannot begin to tell you how much this pro-life champion will be missed in the Senate! (She’s leaving to run for Congress in CD 7). These bills now move over to the House after strong passage.
- Representative Ed Setzler passed The Maternity Supportive Housing Act (HB 958) aimed at helping non-profits better support and house pregnant mothers. This bill now moves to the Senate.
- Senator William Ligon was able to get the FORUM Act (SB 318) for free speech on college campuses passed in the Senate. The bill now moves to the House where Representative Josh Bonner (a Family Policy Foundation Statesmen Academy alum) has been fighting for the issue.
- In the budget passed by the House, one of Governor Kemp’s top legislative priorities – tripling the adoption tax credit from $2,000 to $6,000 – was included. This is a HUGE reform that helps ease the financial burden on families seeking to provide a loving home.
- Numerous bills advancing adoption and foster care and fighting sex trafficking were passed. We continue to support the efforts of the Governor and First Lady to pass strong legislation in this area.
- Representative Rick Jasperse’s Equal Opportunity for Access in Education Act (HB 1055) which allows homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school was put on the calendar but did NOT receive a vote – though it was set to pass. However, THIS EFFORT IS NOT DEAD FOR THIS SESSION. We will be updating you as we try to make this initiative law this year.
- Unfortunately, efforts to shield children from obscene materials in schools, protect faith based adoption agencies, secure the first amendment free exercise rights of all Americans, defend vulnerable children from life-altering surgeries and chemicals, and safeguard women’s sports from biological males appear destined to wait until 2021.
With great momentum – as well as significant work needing to be done – election season is incredibly important. While I hope to have a productive remainder of session, whenever that will be, it is imperative that we remain focused and enthusiastic on growing the ranks of pro-family legislators.
That’s why I’m asking you for EMERGENCY SUPPORT. Because the legislature remains in session during the suspension, legislators cannot fundraise by law. That means our allies in tough elections – many of whom are facing more liberal primary challengers – are at a financial disadvantage.
And, that’s where we come in. Your generous donation today will allow us to fight back on their behalf. Now, more than ever, leftists are gunning for our allies, and they are counting on us to have the resources necessary to fight back.
Please consider helping us defend legislators who cannot raise the funds to defend themselves.
President and Executive Director
I’m going to keep this short.
As you may know, today is “Crossover Day,” the last day for a piece of legislation to pass its chamber of origin and move through the process. Today, it’ll be a long day at the Capitol fighting for educational opportunities for all, protections for children, and opposing legislation that would do great harm to our state.
I will update you on the results, but I also ask that you keep the health and safety of our state in your prayers. The Coronavirus certainly has many worried, and we seem to be feeling only the beginning of its effects on Georgia. We are blessed to have a great and godly Governor at the helm, and he has been vigilant in ensuring our security. Please keep him and his team in your prayers.
Our legislators are hard at work. Even many we disagree with care deeply about our state, and many are struggling to make decisions about key issues facing them on this critical day. Please pray for them, their families, and for their wisdom.
While I’m hopeful that I will be sharing some great results soon, I humbly ask you to devote some extra time today – in this critical time for our state – to prayer before the Living God.
President and Executive Director
Here in Georgia, we believe in protecting the vulnerable and defending the innocent. Yet, here in our beloved state, a horrifying truth exists: surgeries are being done and chemicals are being given to children that harm their bodies, remove their ability to have their own children one day, and inflict permanent bodily conflict on these young ones.
My friends, this is beneath the dignity of our state. The idea of adults harming vulnerable children, permanently, is one that should rally and unify the entirety of our state in opposition.
That’s why I’m so thankful for Rep. Ginny Ehrhart and her leadership in authoring the Vulnerable Child Protection Act – HB 1060. TAKE ACTION TODAY by contacting your representative in support of this common-sense and compassionate measure.
Radicals who care more for their own agenda than the wellbeing of children are already lying about this bill and have leapt in opposition. I want you to read for yourself what this bill does – and stand in horror at the very notion that, because this IS HAPPENING NOW in our state, we need this legislation. Here’s what this bill prevents and, therefore, protects vulnerable children from:
- Performing any surgery that sterilizes children with healthy reproductive systems, including, but not limited to, castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, metoidioplasty, orchiectomy, penectomy, phalloplasty, or vaginoplasty;
- Performing a mastectomy;
- Removing any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue;
- Administering or supplying medications that induce transient or permanent infertility, including, but not limited to: Puberty-blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty; Supraphysiologic doses of testosterone to females; or Supraphysiologic doses of estrogen to males.
All of these actions – taken by adults and performed on young children – do irreparable harm to a child who cannot get Tylenol without parental permission. Struggling children, who studies have shown will almost certainly, if left alone, find contentment in their bodies, should not have life-altering permanent harm done to them so that a radical, unscientific agenda may advance.
TAKE ACTION NOW. Your representative needs to hear from you. They are under immense pressure to oppose this pro-children bill or to punt on the issue entirely. Should they do so, they will allow more lives to be destroyed in our state – on their watch – denying children the ability to have children and enjoy a healthy life.
Stop the horror. Protect the children. Stand for truth. TAKE ACTION NOW!
Protecting the Vulnerable,
President and Executive Director
PS. Please help spread the word by sharing this message with your friends and family using the sharing buttons below.
Faith-based adoption agencies provide a critical service by placing children in loving homes. Motivated by their faith, they show life is truly cherished.
But, they face a grave threat that would compel many to shut their doors here in Georgia and is keeping many others from even coming to our state.
Increasingly, governments are forcing these critical agencies to violate their faith – undermining their reason for existence. And, in our state, we have not passed legislation that will protect against such gross overreach.
That’s why Sen. Marty Harbin’s SB 368 is so critical. It ensures that these adoption agencies will never be forced to violate their written statements of faith.
We strongly support this bill. It protects the First Amendment, honors birthmothers, preserves options to meet the needs of children, and empowers more loving families to welcome children into their homes.
This legislation was just introduced, but we believe it will be assigned to the Judiciary Committee when the Senate reconvenes on February 18th. Please reach out to the senators on the committee to encourage them to support this pro-family bill:
Chairman Jesse Stone (404) 463-1314
Bill Cowsert (404) 463-1366
Blake Tillery (404) 656-0089
Bill Heath (404) 656-3943
Harold Jones (404) 463-3942
John Kennedy (404) 656-0045
William Ligon (404) 463-1383
Elena Parent (404) 656-5109
Brian Strickland (404) 656-7454
Already, opponents of this legislation are spinning a false narrative that this is discriminatory. That is FALSE. This bill prevents discrimination against those who hold to sincere beliefs – discrimination that would make it impossible for these agencies to continue providing their vital services.
Stand firm and take action today to support our faith-based adoption agencies!
President and Executive Director
Late last year, Governor Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler – a strong pro-life woman who is already making a major difference in Washington. The pick sent shockwaves across Georgia, and liberals who had their hopes set on taking the state ran scared. It’s why they’ve been unable to find a credible candidate to run against her!
But, now the Left is unleashing a new strategy. Under the leadership of Rep. Bob Trammell, whose seat Family Policy Alliance of Georgia® is working to flip, liberals are trying to change the rules of the election.
Tell your legislators to VOTE NO to the proposed changes TODAY!
Trammell and the pro-abortion liberals at our Capitol are colluding with Loeffler’s opponents to create a May election that would pull her away from fighting against the impeachment sham and make it harder for her to do the job Governor Kemp appointed her to do. This is a farce! It’s not about democracy; it’s about a power grab and about enhancing their chances for this Senate seat.
Normally, Family Policy Alliance of Georgia would hesitate to weigh in on election law. However, the integrity of the system is at stake and the clear motivation is to stack the deck against Senator Loeffler, who is partnering with President Trump to protect human life across the nation.
Please encourage your legislators to reject this liberal version of HB 757 TODAY! Specifically, ask your legislators to VOTE NO on HB 757 as amended.
While you will initially see contact info for our federal delegation presented, you can then click on the Georgia tab to view your state officials’ emails and phone numbers.
Thank you for taking action,
President and Executive Director
The legislative session has begun, and we’ll be updating you throughout the 40 legislative days on the “goings on” under the Gold Dome. To help you cut through all the noise, here are six things to know:
- Lots of $$$ talk – This will be a session that will excite the accountants as Georgia wrestles with questions of spending and revenue. We appreciate the leadership of Governor Kemp to put Georgia in a strong fiscal position by cutting spending, but we fully anticipate significant dialogue on how the budget should look moving forward. That leads us to…
- Casinos are a major threat – In an effort to avoid cuts and instead increase revenue, some are looking to embrace fraudulent math and an otherwise horrible idea: bringing casinos to Georgia. Such a move would cost the state far more than it brought in, hinder our ability to recruit business, and, even worse, provide a magnet for the evil of human trafficking and other community-destroying activity. We will work to empower legislators to oppose this reckless idea.
- Key legislation in position to move – Over the last few years, we’ve been keeping you updated on the “Tebow Bill,” SB 163 – which provides access for homeschool students to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school – as well as “Simon’s Law,” SB 104 – which closes a loophole in Georgia code and would require doctors to get parental consent before placing a DNR on a minor child. Both have passed the Senate and now just need final passage in the House to reach the Governor’s desk. Expect action alerts in the coming days on this important legislation.
- Protecting children will be at the forefront – We look forward to supporting the Governor’s agenda for foster care and adoption reform, and we are excited by the number of bills aimed at protecting children – including legislation that would protect the vulnerable from gender reassignment surgeries and also athletes in single gender sports from being forced to compete with those who do not share their biological gender.
- Brian Kemp keeps his promises – It’s been incredible to see the profound culture change Governor Kemp has brought to the Gold Dome, and he has proven to be a strong ally for families. We achieved incredible success in 2019, and I expect even more wins in 2020. However, it’s important to understand that he alone cannot make his agenda happen overnight. Some of the issues we engage in will take time, but we are committed to seven more years with him at the helm, and I trust that he will keep every promise he’s made. We also need to send him reinforcements which leads us to…
- Everyone is watching what will happen in November – While I don’t think legislators are “punting” on this session, I do believe there is eagerness to see if the faith community will truly stand with those who have stood with us come election time. It’s why this election cycle could not be more important as we reward those who have done right and oppose those who have placed a radical liberal agenda ahead of protecting Georgians. It’s why we are building an unprecedented election effort, and we hope you’ll support this push push with a generous gift today.
As you can see this is another big year for our ministry and a year that could decide the direction of Georgia for generations to come. I’m grateful to have you standing with us, and I look forward to keeping you updated.
In His Service,
President and Executive Director
The legislative session kicks off next week, and… I never thought I’d say this… that means I’m going to see some dear friends and incredibly godly people. Yes, that’s right folks. I count many of your elected officials to be some of the finest human beings I know, and I’m actually grateful for the time I spend around them.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that they are all wonderful, and there are certainly scoundrels among the ranks of opponents and, sadly, also amidst those who vote with us on the issues. But, I am nevertheless encouraged by the men and women of faith, sincerity, kindness, conviction, and servant-heartedness that I have enjoyed the privilege of getting to know under the Gold Dome.
So, while I certainly don’t look forward to the early morning daily drives to the Capitol this time of year, I am looking forward to 40 legislative days of working alongside brothers and sisters to advance our values. And, as we approach this critical time, I’m asking you to Unleash Biblical Citizenship by connecting with the legislators who represent you.
Most members of the Georgia legislature are married. Most have children. Most have other jobs. All are real people with lives, concerns, and feelings. All are capable of being encouraged and disheartened. And, all need to know you’re watching.
I’m asking you to proactively reach out to your legislator, get to know them as people as best you can, let them know they’re in your prayers (AND ACTUALLY PRAY FOR THEM!), and engage with us to let them know how you feel about particular issues.
Going into the legislative session, I tend to have an idea of how most legislators will vote on a particular issue, but your biblical citizenship is important:
- Because you, as a follower of Jesus, are called to show Christ-like love to all, even politicians
- Because you, as a citizen, are called to know the issues and be engaged
- Because you, as a human being, are called to build relationships – relationships that can change hearts, minds, and the outcomes of particular votes
- Because you, as a voter and community leader, are called to leverage your political power to affect change
Your actions in pointing a legislator to Christ, providing your legislator with crucial information, building a meaningful relationships that changes minds, or by using your power as a voter, could make all the difference on key issues this legislative session: one where casino gambling, parental rights, school choice, and protecting our kids could all be prominent issues.
Please stay tuned for upcoming action alerts on particular legislation, but, as we kick off legislative session, I implore you to reach out to your legislator, add them to your prayer list, and begin developing a routine of contacting them to show you sincerely care.
For His Glory,
President and Executive Director
PS. In the coming days, we’ll begin making endorsements for the 2020 elections – a great way to reinforce strong action by our legislators and begin removing those opposed to our values. While what happens at the Capitol is important this session, a big emphasis of this year remains growing our pro-family ranks at the ballot box.
PPS. As the end of year approached, we made it clear that financial support would be imperative to continue growth in 2020. I want to say THANK YOU for how you responded. The close of 2020 doubled the 2018 year-end push, which was a previous record for the organization. Because of you, we are in a STRONG position heading into the New Year! We will accomplish great things together!