As you hopefully enjoy some much-needed down time this summer, we want to make sure you are still aware what is going on in Idaho politics. In the last couple of weeks an activist group submitted and had certified a ballot initiative that is seeking to expand Medicaid under Obamacare in Idaho. The language of the initiative is nearly identical to the language of H.B. 464, a bill we helped kill this past session because it would have expanded funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortionists.
So what is a ballot initiative?
Ballot initiatives are probably one of the least understood aspects of our democratic process. The idea behind a ballot initiative is to allow citizens to have a say on issues that the legislature has not or will not take action on. It requires a certain number of registered voters to sign on to a petition asking the secretary of state to certify the issue for the ballot. Then voters get a chance to vote yes or no on the issue during the election. In theory, this sounds like an excellent idea and in some instances, it is a wonderful opportunity for every day citizens to have a say in what happens in their state. However, in many instances these initiatives are started and funded by national out-of-state groups who are pushing an agenda.
What does this mean for my state and my ballot?
When signature gatherers convince people to sign on they often don’t tell the signors exactly what they are signing. On Medicaid Expansion initiatives they will often ask people if they want children and low-income people to receive insurance. As compassionate Christians of course, we want to help people, but what isn’t immediately revealed is what Medicaid Expansion is actually funding. First, the ballot initiative expansion only covers people 18-65. Other programs already cover low-income children and people over 65, so children nor the elderly are actually helped by this initiative. Secondly, forcing the government to cover more people diverts funds from areas of government that are already struggling such as local schools, infrastructure, and law enforcement – traditional uses of government funding. On the whole, these sort of measures of lead to increased state and federal deficits. However, an even more relevant and disturbing aspect of the initiative is that it will expand funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion inducing drugs. We have been fighting to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, but this initiative is a back-door way to expand funding for Planned Parenthood.
Don’t let this initiative slip through. You will be receiving a packet in the mail that will contain information from both sides on the issue. I encourage you to carefully read the material in the packet and to vote NO on this initiative that will be so harmful to Idaho families. Share this information with your friends and family. Let them know how important it is that they do not passively allow this sort of thing to happen in Idaho.
Interim Policy Director
By John Paulton, manager of grassroots mobilization for Family Policy Alliance®
If you’ve followed the saga of Baby Oliver – the British baby with the life-threatening heart tumor – you’ll be glad to know that the good ‘ol U.S. of A. came to this young Brit’s rescue. But how it happened is an amazing saga – and also very instructive to some left-wing American politicians … or at least to their constituents.
Oliver Cameron, in case you weren’t following the limited coverage here in America, is a baby boy born with cardiac fibroma – a large, non-cancerous tumor on the heart. Without surgery, his life would be measured in mere months.
But the National Health Service (NHS), the U.K.’s socialized health care system, informed Oliver’s parents that they didn’t have a single doctor who could do the surgery. Instead, he would be placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant that – even if it came to pass – would probably not extend his life to adulthood.
That’s when his parents, Lydia and Tim, began looking for alternatives. Eventually, they found an answer – in America. Boston Children’s Hospital had successfully performed such a surgery, and the doctors there said Oliver was a good candidate for the same surgery.
Problem solved, right? Hardly. First, the government denied the request to cover the cost of Oliver having surgery in Boston. Then, they denied the request to have the Boston surgeons perform the surgery in the U.K.
So Lydia and Tim took the bull by the horns and began raising donations through an online site to cover the quarter-million-dollar cost. By the time they had raised two-thirds of the money, the NHS decided that they needed to fund the surgery to avoid a public relations nightmare – especially in the aftermath of the death of Charlie Gard, the British boy for whom the NHS had denied free offers of help from international sources, including the Vatican.
The surgery was a complete success. Baby Oliver is reportedly doing exceptionally well.
But his entire episode – particularly on the heels of the Charlie Gard disaster – raises serious questions about why some American politicians want to bring the same, single-payer, government-run health system to our shores.
From Boulder congressman Jared Polis (who is running for Colorado governor) to the latest socialist sensation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, the Left’s calls for a government takeover of medicine in America are becoming widespread.
But if that happens, where will the Baby Olivers of the world go? The calls for government-run, single-payer healthcare are cloaked in the language of compassion. But as Baby Oliver and Charlie Gard remind us, the real result is cold-hearted government control.
Credit to dailywire.com and The American Spectator for portions of the information contained in this report.
Congress will likely decide this week whether to allow taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare, and your voice is needed to urge your senators and representative to vote against this scheme.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a pro-abortion Republican, last week demanded – as a condition of her supporting the Republican tax-cut bill – that Obamacare bailout funding be added to the must-pass appropriations bill that will be voted on later this week. Her bailout package contains no language to guard against the use of taxpayer funds for plans that cover abortions.
Such pro-life language – often referred to as the Hyde amendment – is estimated to have saved more than two million lives since it was first enacted in 1976.
Family Policy Alliance has signed on to a letter advising every U.S. senator that any vote in favor of an appropriations bill without Hyde protections will rightly be seen as a pro-abortion vote.
Now it’s critical that senators and congressmen hear the same thing from voters like you. Please take a moment to send a message now, as time is of the essence. We’ve made it simple on our Action Center – with just a click you can get that message to both U.S. senators and your member of Congress.
And then, if you would, please share this widely with friends so that Congress gets an unmistakable pro-life message in this week before Christmas!
Thanks for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
TAKE ACTION- Send your message to Congress today.
It’s not often we get to celebrate the news coming out of Washington, D.C., but this week, there were two big wins for supporters of life, family and religious freedom.
First, the House of Representatives took an important step towards protecting life when it passed H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If enacted, this law would ban abortions after 20-weeks.
All four members of the Kansas congressional delegation voted “aye” for life. (Be sure to thank them.)
Next, the bill heads to the Senate where passage is far from certain. Thankfully, Kansans can count on Senators Moran and Roberts to do the right thing. Pray that the few pro-abortion Republicans and a handful of Democratic Senators understand that justice requires defending these lives. Were the bill to pass the Senate, President Trump has pledged to sign it into law.
The other good news out of Washington comes from the White House. After years of litigation, the Trump administration finally rolled back the Obamacare contraception and abortifacient mandate. This burdensome regulation violated the rights of people of faith, including faith-based colleges, ministries and even nuns. Now, exemptions have been expanded to any non-profit group, higher education institution, and non-publicly traded company with moral or religious objections to subsidizing birth control and abortifacient drugs.
As was saw with the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, elections matter. These latest developments prove, once again, that Christian political engagement can make a real difference – and even save lives.
Thank you, as always, for being involved. To stay up-to-date on the latest news, be sure to follow Family Policy Alliance of Kansas on Facebook.
Family Policy Alliance, a national movement of 40, state-based family policy groups, took your voice to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price this week.
Secretary Price & HHS are in the process of reviewing all the regulations that were passed by the Obama Administration to go along with Obamacare, and they reached out to family-centered ministries in the states to see how Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations were affecting them. We are grateful that Secretary Price is seeking input from state groups who represent families like yours as they consider how Obamacare is creating burdens.
Our Alliance responded to Secretary Price by sending him a letter simply asking him to rescind two of the most burdensome Obamacare regulations that are harmful to families, the sanctity of life, and religious freedom.
Just what exactly are the regulations that we asked Secretary Price to rescind? The “transgender mandate” and the “contraceptive mandate”—both of which threaten to punish health care professionals and religious groups who are pro-life or who uphold God’s design for male and female.
The “transgender mandate” redefined the term “sex” to include “gender identity.” The effect was twofold. First, the mandate makes it impossible for healthcare professionals to refuse to participate in medical services that “transition” a man into a woman, or a woman into a man, even if the refusal was based on deeply held religious beliefs—or on their professional opinion that the procedure would actually harm their patient. This is especially concerning for children because studies consistently confirm that the vast majority of children who identify as transgender do not persist with those identities into adulthood. The “transgender mandate” would require doctors to take drastic measures to alter children’s bodies, even if they believe it would be harmful or if the child would not want to identify as the opposite sex later in life.
Second, faith-based employers must now violate their beliefs by offering health insurance plans that cover gender transition services for adults—and even minors—or face punishment.
The “contraceptive mandate” is equally as burdensome to religious freedom. This regulation forces religious employers who believe in the sanctity of human life to offer health insurance plans that cover sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs. You may have heard of this mandate because organizations like Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor were forced to turn to the Supreme Court to protect their religious freedom from this harmful mandate.
But because of partners like you, Family Policy Alliance and your state-based family policy ally were able to send strong and clear message to HHS asking it to lift the unfair regulatory burden off the backs of religious professionals and organizations across our country.
Thank you for supporting us in this endeavor, and for continuing to help us build a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. And if you aren’t connected with one of our 40 state-based family policy groups across the country, please take a moment to find a group in your state and begin partnering with us today!
What do you think of when you hear the word “legacy”? Since you’re reading this, I’d be willing to guess that the word “legacy” brings to mind something along the lines of leaving your family a better future, a better America. An America closer to what our Founding Fathers sacrificed so much to give each of us. An America where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
If I’m right about that, then I want to tell you about a book with you that also deals with the topic of “legacy.” The book, Giving It All Away…And Getting It Back Again, was written by a ministry friend of Family Policy Alliance, David Green, with Bill High. You may not know David Green’s name, but I’m sure you’ve heard of his family’s company – Hobby Lobby.
And David Green is no stranger to the need to stand up for our families and our Christian values – and the family of believers – in the public square. In fact, his family has contributed greatly to that legacy of a better America through their courageous stand against the Obama Administration’s “contraceptive mandate” in Obamacare. Their case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where their victory for the conscience rights of business owners – to not be forced to pay for or provide insurance that includes potential abortion-causing medications – is truly a victory for religious freedom in our country.
I hope you’ll read this special excerpt from Giving It All Away…And Getting It Back Again.
Standing for the family of believers,
President and CEO
What I’ve Learned That’s Most Important
I love British cricketer and missionary C. T. Stud’s poem “Only One Life.” The one line that really gets me is “Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I have committed myself fully to this. I believe that God has placed us on this earth to work, to earn, and to care for those he has entrusted to us. Yet I also believe that we are put on this earth to give, to devote ourselves to a radical brand of generosity that changes lives and leaves a legacy. To paraphrase God’s words to patriarch Abraham, we are blessed so that we can be a blessing.
But what do we mean when we talk about being blessed? In our culture, this might be interpreted as financial blessing. And certainly finances can be part of it. I believe, however, that the blessing God talks about encompasses so much more. Since I have been exceptionally blessed in my life, I have determined to give exceptionally as well. And what about the other ways in which I’ve been blessed?
I could go on. I’m sure you could too.
When I consider all of the blessings I’ve been given, it’s hard for me not to pause and thank my Lord and my God. His heart is generous. His blessings are wide and rich.
People may know my name now, but I started out like any Joe. Humble beginnings, working hard. But, as God would have it, my story took a turn. It was a turn marked by a faith that pushed me to my limits. Through it all, I learned to trust, and that trust led me onto a path of generosity. I look forward to telling some of the story of this journey in the pages of this book.
My second purpose is to offer the lessons my wife, Barbara, and I learned while trying to fashion a legacy for those who come after us in our family.
And there it is: legacy. What is a legacy, anyway?
The dictionary gives two definitions. First, a legacy is an amount of money or property passed to someone in a will. Second, a legacy is a thing handed down by a predecessor. I want to use the second definition because I believe it includes everything—from belief to right action to finances. You and I possess so much to hand to our predecessors, things seen and unseen.
My story begins in the unseen things. God took me on a wild trip that landed me where I am today, in the land of seen things—my company, Hobby Lobby. But God has taught me that with great wealth and power comes great obligation to the next generation. Knowing this, I have worked through my legacy plan more than once and have finally landed here, writing you my thoughts on the matter.
This is the story I want to recount now. My hope is that others can learn from it and that perhaps our generation can begin doing what few generations before us have done well: pass a true legacy on to those who follow us.
David Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby, the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. He is soft-spoken, passionate about his faith, and dedicated to his family.
In 1970 David Green borrowed $600.00 to buy a molding chopper, set up shop in his garage at home, and started making miniature wooden picture frames. As of 2015, Hobby Lobby employs over 32,000 people, operates 600 stores in forty-seven states, and grosses 3.6 billion dollars a year.
David & his wife Barbara are the proud parents of two sons and one daughter, grandparents to ten, and great grandparents to eight. David writes what it looks like to leave a lasting legacy in Giving It All Away..And Getting It Back Again (Zondervan).
Bill High practiced law for 12 years before becoming the CEO of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. His mission is to change the way people think about generosity and their practice of it. He is married to Brooke and they have four children, two son-in-laws, and one grandchild. He can be found at www.williamghigh.com.
Taken from Giving It All Away…And Getting It Back Again by David Green with Bill High.
Copyright © [2017 by David Green. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.
If you’re dreaming of a conservative Christmas – you’re not alone!
We’re giving you the opportunity to send this “Christmas Wish List” to the new president! You can send it to Mr. Trump quickly and easily through the Family Policy Alliance Action Center.
What’s on your Christmas wish list?
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard is thinking about a chair, a trimmer and a “replacement.” But that’s only part of the story.
You can help turn pro-family election victories into 2017 wins for your family. A $250,000 matching grant will double your year-end gift.
Stuart Shepard explains how the Obama Administration went to the Supreme Court to “protest” you – whether you’re Baptist, Catholic, Wesleyan or Nazarene.
The Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor will have their case heard at the Supreme Court.
The group cares for the elderly and the poor at the end of life. But the Obama administration wants to force these kind-hearted nuns to offer contraceptives and possible abortion-causing drugs in their healthcare plan.
Weird? Yeah, we thought so too. Autumn Leva with CitizenLink explains why the case could affect many other faith-based organizations.