A few days ago, our nation celebrated the lives and leadership of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. These two men rose to the challenge facing this nation during their time. Washington sacrificed a good portion of his life to humbly serve a fragile new nation emerging from war. Lincoln spent a good portion of his life keeping this nation from being torn asunder while abolishing slavery. Sadly, the moral stain of slavery was hard to overcome. It took America literally 100 years to pass the Civil Rights Act after the end of the Civil War.
Now, under the guise of “civil rights”, activists are pushing forward a sexual ideology that deconstructs the gender binary of male and female. They insist that protecting biological girls from competing against biological boys is a violation of the self-identified girl’s (biological boy’s) civil rights. This is a clear denial of truth and a gross distortion of reality, which brings me to my next point.
Last week, I started recapping the journey we have been on for the past couple of decades. If you missed last week’s email, please click here.
Another step in the wrong direction took place in August of 2013, when the New Jersey legislature along with Governor Chris Christie banned counseling for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identity (what the Left inaccurately calls “conversion therapy”). Radical activists attacked and eventually outlawed the ability of parents to bring a minor child for counseling that would in any way help the child to overcome gender confusion or same-sex attraction. This undermined the rights of parents to control the upbringing of their children – nearly a decade ago!
The assault on parental rights did not start over controversial curriculum or mandated vaccines. It began when the state government prohibited parents from exercising their right to be involved in their child’s health care.
Within a few years from that moment, the “T” in the list of sexual identities began challenging standard cultural norms and public policies by demanding access to the locker rooms and bathrooms of the opposite sex. We will pick up next week on that topic.
One of the great pleasures in my capacity as the Director of Advocacy is the numerous opportunities to speak in churches on the importance of Biblical Citizenship. Recently, on one such occasion, a young man entering his junior year in a public university approached me after the sermon and said, “You made your position very clear.” My initial reaction of his compliment was one of perplexity. I mentally rehashed my message to scan for any key points that were purposely persuasive enough to account for his comment. As he continued to share his points of agreement and even disagreement with me, I was able to identify the specific claim that caused him to approach me and inquire further about my position.
Christians should pursue good public policy, in particular, the Biblical family structure as the foundation of society. In other words, every child has the right to live and experience the love of a father and a mother.
Yes, it is true. I firmly believe the biblical family structure is a non-negotiable position for Christians who claim devotion and loyalty to Christ. I am derided by some for remaining faithful to God’s perfect creative order for the family as established in the opening chapters of Genesis. These core universal, historical, and orthodox views include:
- Human life at all stages of development and existence must be honored and protected.
- Marriage is the lifelong covenant relationship between two unrelated adults of the opposite sex.
- Sex is a biological binary reality.
- The relationship between parents and their children should not be violated by the state.
- Parents have the responsibility to raise their children according to their family’s faith and tradition without interference from the state.
Yet, these long established acceptable and mainstream views are now scorned and routinely overruled in the pursuit of progress. Postmodern activists want to erase what they perceive to be archaic oppressive ideas – such as male and female, as they reorient society for their new world. They are relentless in their effort to redefine and reimagine every institution.
I refuse to allow those who seek to dismantle and destroy the biblical family unit to go unchecked and unchallenged. Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® will advocate for your position because the future hinges on our joint engagement.
“Christians need to understand what is at stake. The end of parental rights
is the end of the family, and eventually, the end of human
civilization as we know it.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, The Gathering Storm – Secularism, Culture and the Church.
Director of Advocacy
Our allies at Family Action Council of Tennessee have just launched a new initiative that could reshape the marriage debate in Tennessee and eventually the nation.
God-Given Marriage informs Tennesseans on the true nature of marriage and gives citizens practical steps toward restoring that understanding of marriage.
With the backing of leading constitutional attorneys, this initiative clarifies what marriage really is – and the legal limits on courts that try to re-define it.
- Where does marriage come from – government or God? If government, we can make anything a marriage. If it’s from God, then, as Chief Justice Roberts said, “Just who do we think we are” to redefine it?
- Court’s don’t make laws, and federal courts surely can’t make them for the states. They don’t “legalize” anything, but only issue judgments to resolve specific disputes between parties. The legislature is the body that makes laws and “legalizes” things.
- Licenses require laws, and Tennessee has no laws for issuing licenses for a marriage defined without regard to the sex of the parties. Current laws only allow for the issuance of licenses for marriages defined by the two sexes. Yet Tennessee and other states are just issuing licenses as ifsuch laws were passed.
Please visit God-Given Marriage today to learn more and find out how you can reshape the marriage debate right now in the Volunteer State!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager
What do Bermuda, California, and Colorado have in common?
Even though the media didn’t really cover them, three recent stories were big victories for families—coming from three very different parts of the world.
Last week, Bermuda became the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. Although Bermuda’s Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last May, the overwhelming majority of Bermudians opposed it. The legislature—the branch of government that should be enacting (or rejecting) laws, not the courts—responded by repealing the judgment! This should stand as a great encouragement and reminder to Americans that the people we elect into office do have the power to uphold the beliefs of the people, even if that means changing the law or fixing a court’s bad decision.
In a surprising show from the California Superior Court, Judge David Lampe ruled that Tastries Bakery could decline to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. Judge Lampe ruled, “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace. . . The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking. Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.” If the creation of a wedding cake is a form of speech, silence—declining to create the cake—is just as much a protected right under the First Amendment. Judge Lampe even wrote that the creation of a wedding cake is one of the greatest symbolic expressions in our culture and should be adamantly protected.
Finally, in Colorado, a Joint Budget Committee decided to defund the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Normally, a Senate budget committee decision would be about as exciting as waiting in line at the DMV, but this decision actually is exciting—and matters to families in Colorado and across the country.
You may remember the infamous Colorado Commission from its involvement in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, now at the Supreme Court. The Colorado Commission said that Jack, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had to design custom wedding cakes for same-sex weddings (regardless of his religious or moral beliefs) or else give up that large portion of his business altogether. The Commission’s decision forced Jack to take his case to courts.
The Supreme Court will likely release its decision in June, and the Court will decide the same question Judge Lampe just decided in California, “Can a baker be forced to create a wedding cake?” We hope and pray that the Supreme Court agrees with Judge Lamp in California and upholds artistic expression as a fundamentally protected right.
So, the Colorado Budget Committee’s decision to cut funding from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission because of how they targeted Jack and his faith is great news! The members of the Budget Committee are elected by Coloradans to represent Coloradans, and Colorado families believe that what the Commission did to Jack was wrong. Thankfully, these Colorado legislators listened to the voice of Colorado families who are fed up with our First Amendment freedoms being trampled. With a vote to strip the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of its funding, Colorado sent a loud and clear message: freedom of religion and freedom of speech are worth protecting.
We hope this “Bermuda Triangle” of great news encourages you as the family of believers. The work of restoring a nation where God is honored is hard work, and the results don’t happen overnight. But, it is work believers are each called to with a unique role to play, and as you can see, partnering together to protect and advance our basic freedoms—life, religion, speech—does make an impact.
The Nashville Statement thoughtfully describes God’s timeless design for marriage and relationships.
Initial signers of the detailed document include Al Mohler, Francis Chan and our own Paul Weber.
In the Family Policy Briefing, the president and CEO of Family Policy Alliance explains to Stuart Shepard the need for such a clear statement. He also invites you to read it, consider whether it resonates with your beliefs, and, if it does, to sign your name to it as well.
Read and sign The Nashville Statement.
Family Action Council of Tennessee is moving forward with a lawsuit seeking to get clarity on the Supreme Court ruling that redefined marriage.
The Obergefell case of two years ago left many state marriage statutes in limbo and David Fowler, president of FACT, tells us that he’s calling out the court to, in Justice Antonin Scalia’s words, “remind the court of its impotence.”
Find an allied group in your state.
It’s hard to believe President Trump has only been in office for 60 days. Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, tells us there’s good news and better news when it comes to the issues we hold dear.
We take a look at what’s been accomplished when it comes to life, marriage, family and religious freedom.
Several states have passed laws that move the pendulum back toward a more family-friendly culture.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work with 40 state-based family groups who are working to protect life, promote the family and preserve religious freedom.
Arkansas – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act.
Planned Parenthood regularly uses dilation and evacuation for abortions after the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy. That will be illegal now in the state of Arkansas.
The law is expected to be challenged in court.
North Dakota – House Bill 1386, a proposal that would have allowed men access to women’s locker rooms, restrooms and shower facilities was soundly defeated in North Dakota.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota asked people to contact their lawmakers and urge them to vote “no” on the bill. That effort resulted in 69 votes against and 22 votes for the measure.
South Dakota – The South Dakota Senate unanimously passed a resolution that puts pornography in the same class as other public health crises like epidemics.
The measure cites research showing that porn use can lead to risky behaviors and can even result in eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Virginia – The House of Delegates passed a bill that supports religious freedom. HB 2025 says that religious organizations and individuals such as pastors cannot be punished by the government if they refuse to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe had recently issued an executive order barring state contracts with businesses the follow the dictates of their faith. McAuliffe says he will veto the bill.
The House of Delegates also passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find a group in your state.
He served in Afghanistan – Now, he’ll serve in Washington.
Today, you’ll hear from freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Banks about his goals and what he hopes to see from a conservative majority in both chambers of Congress.
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.