We hear it all the time: “You can’t legislate morality!”
Such platitudes seem to make sense at first. We’re told that morality and legislation shouldn’t mix.
But consider the laws enacted by the founding generation of Americans. They didn’t think morality – and especially biblical morality – was off limits!
Take, for example, the laws passed by the Connecticut legislature within the first couple years after the War for Independence. Among other things, these laws included:
- prohibiting adultery, drunkenness, fornication, and gambling—all on biblical grounds
- instructing town leaders to supply Bibles, catechisms, and other religious books to needy families
- expecting families who adopted a Native American child to educate him or her in “the principles of the Christian religion”
- punishing sabbath breaking, fortune telling, and swearing
Laws that openly reflected Christian morality were ubiquitous in every state of the nation. Even the famous Thomas Jefferson drafted several Virginia statutes that legislated morality, including laws that provided for:
- “Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers”
- “Annulling Marriages Prohibited by Levitical Law”
This must come as a shock the secular humanists who appeal to Jefferson and other founders to defend their misguided vision of a strict separation of church and state!
Should we legislate morality? Most certainly. All laws reflect one system of morality or another. Why does the law allow for this but not for that? Why does the law punish this one behavior but not this other behavior?
Murder, theft, arson, fraud, assault, rape, kidnapping, slavery, prostitution, and perjury are all illegal. Why? Because we all agree these behaviors are immoral and can’t be tolerated in any society that seeks to promote the common good and human flourishing. It would be nothing short of absurd if someone argued that we shouldn’t prohibit kidnapping because it amounted to legislating morality!
The Apostle Paul teaches us that government should “commend those who do good” while “punishing the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:3, 4). But where do we turn to learn which actions should be commended and which should be punished?
The Word of God, revealed in the Holy Bible, is the only infallible and unchanging source of morality. It is the ultimate authority. Anyone who builds a legal system or passes laws upon any foundation other than biblical principles is like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand (Matthew 7:24-27).
James Wilson, an original US Supreme Court justice and signatory to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, taught his law students this important maxim:
“Human law must rest its authority upon the authority of that law which is divine.”
For hundreds of years the American legal structure has rested on the cornerstone of biblical truth. Everyone agreed that the Bible should undergird our system of laws. That firm foundation has provided generations of Americans with justice and liberty—and it has enabled our government to stand the test of time.
Standing with you for truth,
Director of Advocacy
Last week I asked, “What Will Idaho Look Like in 2018”? Together, you and I, have a voice in that!
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho is committed to being your eyes, hands, and feet at the Capitol.
The 2018 Legislative Session began on Monday of this week with talk of taxes, health care, education funding, prisons, literacy, etc. We all know that policy that addresses life, privacy, and parental rights is rarely mentioned in State of the State speeches. Issues like these are not included as lines on a ledger either. They do not have to be because you and I know just how important these issues are and how worthy they are of our energy and resources.
For decades we have been working on multiple issues impacting family, life, faith, and freedom.
Here are some of the issues for which we will be advocating in 2018:
- Parental Rights
- Educational Choice
- Student Privacy Protection
- Homeschool Freedom
- Simon’s Law
As in years past, we will also stand in the way of policy that is bad for family, life, and faith, and freedom:
- We will again oppose any effort to repeal Idaho’s Constitutional definition of marriage.
- We will again oppose amending the Idaho Human Rights code to include “gender identity” and sexual orientation. The reason that business owners like Jack Phillips and Baronnelle Stutzman and dozens of others have been in court fighting for their rights is because their businesses are in cities or states that have added those words.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho is part of a great coalition of pro-life organizations in Idaho who have worked together to protect pre-born children. 2018 will be no exception! We also have a tremendous coalition of national allies with which we will also work in 2018.
We are excited to be a part of God’s plan for Idaho along with you.
- Will you pray for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho and our 2018 efforts at the Capitol?
- Will you link arms with FPA of Idaho with a financial gift?
Together, we will be able to contend with the Goliath that is Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and their allies.
Greetings from Topeka!
Robyn and I are here at the Capitol this week for the first days of the 2018 legislative session. We covet your prayers as we seek to build support for our agenda, including a bill to preserve the right of faith-based adoption and foster care service providers to help women and children in need as well as a bill to expand the rights of homeschool parents and students.
I understand that it’s near impossible to keep tabs on everything that’s happening in Topeka. Robyn and I pledge to do our best to keep you informed on the items that matter most to you, but there’s one important tool you should know about and use: Family Policy Alliance of Kansas “Action Center.”
Simply by typing your zip code and street address you will be directed to a list of your representatives at every level of government – from U.S. Senate to City Council! The directory includes important contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and websites.
Ensuring the law in Kansas affirms the dignity of every life, the importance of family, and the right of religious freedom depends on lawmakers hearing from you. If they don’t know you, they don’t know how much you care.
Thank you, as always, for your support.
President and Executive Director
by Paul Weber, president and CEO, Family Policy Alliance
May I just put into words what I’m hearing from many friends like you across the nation?
“When are the president and Congress going to pull it together?” After all, a majority of Christians voted in the president’s favor — and expect him and their representatives and senators to work together to turn our nation around.
And certainly, some good things are happening!
- We have a great new Supreme Court Justice — Neil Gorsuch.
- Families are going back to work.
- The economy is moving again.
Yet, two of the most important policies — defunding abortion seller Planned Parenthood and rolling back the abortion mandate in Obamacare (through a repeal and replacement plan) — remain on the pro-family “wish list.”
We must advance our values, advance legislation that reflects those values—and, ultimately, advance the statesmen and women who will sponsor that legislation—for the benefit of the entire nation. As followers of Christ, that’s what we are called to do!
As we’ve witnessed this legislative cycle — we need more statesmen and women in office! Not politicians who go back on their word . . . the word they’ve promised for seven years during the previous administration and still cannot make good on now!
Elections always have consequences, as we’ve seen from the 2016 election.
- If Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would now have a Supreme Court dominated by the Left, striking down everything we hold sacred! Instead, we have a new pro-life Justice, and the Court has already issued decisions supporting religious freedom and affirming parents’ rights to educational choice for their children.
- On the other hand, actions in Congress have shown us that there aren’t enough pro-family members — especially in the Senate —to get much done. Again, elections have consequences. Let’s send champions to the Senate this term.
- At the state level, we’ve seen significant victories — a flood of pro-life and pro-family laws as a result. Yet I grieve for California and other “blue” states that continue to see outrageous attacks on life and religious freedom as a consequence of poor election outcomes.
I’m inviting you to join in election efforts because of Family Policy Alliance’s proven track record of results.
When good people make the effort to vote for good people, good things can happen. Not that long ago, my friend Eli was not inclined to vote. But now he’s not only getting to the polls, he’s also teaching his students about the importance of voting.
By God’s grace, our call to motivate people to vote was on display again this summer, when Family Policy Alliance jumped into the “nationalized” special congressional election in Georgia.
You may have heard about that election, which broke the previous congressional spending record ($29 million) for all candidates in a race. The liberal candidate, Jon Ossoff, single-handedly broke that record with more than $30 million on his side alone—much of it from San Francisco donors.
Besides that $30 million, Ossoff had the national party united behind him, busloads of out-of-state volunteers, the MSNBC hosts singing his praises, dramatic voting rules changes, and a perfect political storm that many thought would sweep him to victory.
In fact, the day our state ally, Family Policy Alliance of Georgia, began running ads in the 6th U.S. Congressional District, Jon Ossoff was leading his pro-life opponent by 7 points!
Our online ads strategically reached out to specific pro-life voters who have a history of not voting in most elections — much less a special election in June!
So, what happened? Our video ads — which YOU made possible — were viewed more than 300,000 times! The result: 85 percent of these unlikely voters turned out at the polls on Election Day! That’s compared to a district-wide turnout of just 58 percent. Most importantly, that night Karen Handel became the newest pro-life congresswoman, winning 52-48 over Ossoff!
Family Policy Alliance has proven results in elections. But there is an important question that remains. How much you and I can accomplish in 2018 will depend on the resources available.
Will you invest in better leadership for our states and nation with your gift to Family Policy Alliance today?
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.
Lawmakers in Delaware are considering a bill that would roll back many of the state’s pro-life laws. SB5 maintains the U.S. Constitution provides for abortion of preborn babies prior to viability and the life laws in question are in violation.
“The bill is headed to the House for final vote,” said Nicole Theis, executive director of Delaware Family Policy Council, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 state-based allies. “If it passes, Delaware will potentially become a magnet for late-term abortions and profiteering abortionists. There is no accountability or enforcement in the bill.”
The law is being debated even as an abortion seller is coming under scrutiny for a botched abortion.
A woman was taken from Planned Parenthood Delaware in a private car to the hospital even though she was in extreme pain. No ambulance was called.
Larry Roy Glazerman, the abortionist at the facility, recently testified before the Legislature. He said that abortionists, such as himself, should have the final say about whether a preborn baby is “viable.”
“SB 5 gives abortionists the authority to decide if a baby is viable or not. Even those who say they are pro-choice have a problem with abortion without restrictions, specifically, late term abortions,” Theis said. “This takes Delaware back to the dark ages of Roe v. Wade, ignoring over 40 years of legal rulings to better protect women. Polls consistently show that Americans believe abortion should come with restrictions. We’ve never seen this much bipartisan opposition to an issue. Ever.”
Your support is critical in making your voice—and the voices of families across the country—heard at the U.S. Capitol and your state capitol this legislative season.
At the federal level, Family Policy Alliance and our alliance of 40 state-based family policy groups sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence asking them to sign a Religious Freedom Executive Order that would prevent the federal government from discriminating against or punishing people of faith. Family Policy Alliance also called on Congress to pass strong religious freedom protections into law, and to ensure that your tax dollars stop going to Planned Parenthood or to fund abortion in any way.
Every state, including yours, faces real threats to the family, or opportunities to strengthen the family, every legislative session. Did you know that your support helps track over 700 bills impacting life, religious freedom and family in legislatures across the nation right now?
You helped soundly defeat a bill that would have harmed religious freedom and forced girls in North Dakota to share their locker rooms, showers and bathrooms with men. In Kansas, you are protecting life by advancing bills that 1) strengthen the laws for what information a woman must be given in order to give informed consent for an abortion, 2) stand against assisted suicide and 3) enhance access to
quality care at the end of life.
Your support is helping our South Dakota ally advance a bill to ensure faith-based adoption agencies won’t be discriminated against by the government because of their beliefs. Our allies in many states—like Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington—are working to protect the privacy and safety of women and children in places like locker rooms, restrooms and showers.
One of the greatest threats to the family—assisted suicide—is still raging across the country, especially in Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and New Hampshire. Assisted-suicide bills are sold as a “medical, compassionate choice at the end of life” when someone is facing a terminal illness. In reality, assisted suicide sends the message that some lives are worth more than others—and those with serious illnesses or disabilities draw the short straw. Your prayers and support are needed to fight these attempts to rob those with terminal illnesses of quality medical care at the end of life. We need to work together to make sure our lawmakers know that every life is worth fighting for.
Sometimes, moments that are small, both in reality and significance, can leave a profound impact on your mind.
One such moment happened to me this week when I walked by a karate studio and saw “Classes for Ages 3 and Up” advertised. With my oldest son, Peyton, turning 3 in May, I walked in to have a conversation with the instructor. I have long thought Peyton – who constantly talks about fighting, who thoroughly enjoys wrestling his dad, and who is passionate about any opportunity to run around and “show off”—should do something like karate from an early age. I walked out of the studio with information in hand, ready to sign Peyton up in May.
Then thoughts began flowing: my son is almost 3, he’s old enough to do karate, then other sports – he’s growing up SO fast!
Pretty soon Peyton will be school-age. I’ll blink, and he’ll be getting married and raising kids of his own. Before I know it, he may be the one taking care of me!
My sons personalize so many important issues for me. While I’ve always been staunchly pro-life, I became infinitely more so the moment I held my boys for the first time. While I’ve always been a devout believer in God’s design for the family, I became infinitely more so as I began praying for the eventual spouses of my wild sons (trust me, those future wives, NEED prayer!). Moreover, while I’ve always been a school-choice advocate, I became infinitely more so as my wife and I began discussing our plan for educating these two future Kingdom-warriors.
We all have had similar experiences! We all have seen issues we care about and believe in become all-the-more personal when our own lives or the lives of people we know become directly impacted.
As the 2017 legislative session winds down, the Family Policy Alliance team and I have begun putting together our legislative priorities for 2018.
With my son approaching school age, school choice is one of the many issues very much on my mind. What is on your mind? What are some issues you are experiencing personally? How can we partner with you and your family to work toward a political victory on your behalf?
In His Service,
We are currently facing what may be the most important bill this entire legislative session: House Bill 1386. The bill would change North Dakota law so that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” would be given the same protection as race, religion, and national origin. It is sometimes referred to as a “bathroom bill”.
To be blunt, this is a dangerous proposal.
If passed, it would:
- Employers and landlords could be exposed to legal action as retaliation for legitimate business decisions made without knowledge of employee or tenant sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Preschools, daycares, women’s shelters, and athletic facilities, such as a gym or pool, could be subjected to legal action for failing to hire a person who claims to be transgender. That means that a preschool or afterschool program could be forced to hire a male (who identifies as female) who would share the girls’ restroom, regardless of parents’ or children’s concerns.
- Private business could face legal action for failing to provide services and participating in events with which they disagree because of sincerely held beliefs.
- Religious entities could face legal action if they decline to hire someone who claims to ascribe to their faith, even if the individual is a male who identifies as female and wants to use the female restroom at the church, Christian school, or other ministry.
The bottom line: It would force women and girls to use the bathroom, shower, or undress next to a man in a public facility.
I testified this week on behalf of Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota and you, our ministry partners. My testimony was well received by the committee which has not yet made a recommendation on HB1386.
The Committee will make a recommendation regarding this matter in the coming days and it will receive a vote on the floor.
There is still time to take action and we need your help more than ever now. Please contact your Representative and ask them to vote against the bill when it is considered on the floor.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard abandons a common sense approach to the issue at hand.
Colorado Springs, CO, March 2, 2016–South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have protected children from predators and provided accommodations for students who are not comfortable using the bathroom or locker room facilities that correspond with their biological sex. HB 1008 was passed by both the House and Senate and said that students should be required to use the bathroom and changing rooms that correspond to their sex at birth, a common sense approach to the issue at hand.
“We sincerely believe that the Governor missed an opportunity,” said Dale Bartscher, president of Family Heritage Alliance, “to get out in front of this issue and help accommodate both sides in a peaceful and respectful manner.”
CitizenLink and its alliance with nearly 40 state-based policy groups, including Family Heritage Alliance, worked to activate South Dakotans to contact the Governor and encourage him to sign the bill into law. Despite the disappointing outcome, we will continue to stand for families across the nation.
“No child should be forced to share a bathroom or locker room with someone of the opposite sex while at school,” said CitizenLink President and CEO Paul Weber. “We will continue to work, along with our state-based policy groups, to promote laws that protect the institution of the family and provide safety for our children.”
CitizenLink is a public policy partner of Focus on the Family. Our mission is to see a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.