It’s not often that we hear of government bodies agreeing on a decision. But yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a UNANIMOUS judgement in favor of children and religious freedom.

What happened? Here are the facts.

The case: Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

Catholic Social Services (CSS) is a longstanding faith-based nonprofit that serves the foster children of Philadelphia. They exist to help children in need, particularly hard-to-place children, find forever homes. They have many guidelines for the families who are receiving children in their homes – including that there be a married mom and dad in the home.

Their beliefs are essential to their identity and cannot be separated from their work. But the city of Philadelphia thought otherwise.

When the city discovered CSS’s beliefs about marriage, they forced the organization to make a decision: change your beliefs, or the city will stop contracting with you.

CSS chose a third option: seek legal help.

The organization rightly recognized that this was a violation of their constitutionally protected religious freedom, and – represented by our friends at Becket Law – they took that argument to court.

After years of litigation, Catholic Social Services ultimately got their day in court before the U.S. Supreme Court last year. And today, the Justices issued their verdict: Philadelphia violated CSS’s religious freedom.

The implications: good news for children and religious freedom

This decision is good news not only for CSS, but for the many children they serve. When CSS is allowed to participate in Philadelphia’s foster care system, it not only offers a distinctly Christian option, but also increases the sheer number of foster providers – and that matters greatly.

In the U.S., more than 400,000 children in the foster system are waiting for homes. Around 4% of children are adopted within a year of entering foster care, and 85% of children in foster care have at least two placements in their first 12 months. In fact, the foster crisis is so extreme that some states are hosting foster children in hotels and office buildings because there is nowhere else to place them.

Today’s decision is a strong affirmation that foster homes like Catholic Social Services should be able to place children in loving homes while abiding by their religious convictions. Religious freedom is a precious gift afforded to all Americans. The belief that children should be in homes with a married mother and father should not be punished — and the Court affirmed that today.

The decision also reminds us of why the federal Equality Act – which could be up for a vote anytime in the Senate – is unworkable and inadvisable. The Act would redefine “sex” to include a person’s self-declared “sexual orientation and gender identity” throughout federal civil rights law. By doing that, the Act could be used to force foster and adoption agencies into similar dilemmas to Catholic Social Services – something that that the entire Supreme Court rejected today. The Equality Act would threaten religious freedom and the wellbeing of children and must be rejected.

We applaud today’s Supreme Court decision and are thankful for the work of Becket Law representing Catholic Social Services!

Joyfully,

Meridian Baldacci
Policy and Communications Strategist

 

P.S. Want to speak out against the Equality Act? Send a message to your Senator now.

The Biden Administration is trying to push the Equality Act through the Senate. And now they have attempted to unilaterally redefine sex in Title IX – putting girl’s opportunities at risk. The City of Philadelphia attempted to punish Catholic Services for living out their beliefs, disregarding the needs of children in their community.

But today in a shocking 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court sided with Catholic adoption agency’s right to care for children consistently with their faith.

In a year when many churches and ministries have caved to the LGBTQ+ agenda, the Court reaffirmed religious ministries right to be just that – religious ministries. The Court saw little to no benefit in excluding religious ministries in helping kids.

In Kansas, we have already fought, and won, the battle to ensure that adoption agencies will be protected through the 2018 Adoption Protection Act. But Governor Kelly has consistently waged war against these protections.  She has tried to issue new guidance for foster families, tried to impose a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) nondiscrimination law through boards she controls, and supported cities in passing ordinances that violate the First Amendment.

Our state has a child placement problem. The foster care crisis in our state has forced children to sleep in offices at points – clearly showing we need to allow more children to be placed in homes rather than excluding families, as Governor Kelly would like.

Caring for the widow and the orphan is one of the most specific commands that Scripture gives. The ability of Christian families and ministries to live out our beliefs by carrying for children that need families is paramount. We recognize as the Supreme Court did today, that these ministries that give families these opportunities are a “point of light” in our state.  But we have to utilize their services.

We are thankful that the Supreme Court gave us a legal boost in living out this calling. But we need your help to keep fighting for families and ministries.  Will you join us today in fighting for families and children?

Some things you can do:

For Kansas kids,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

There can be no mistaking it – if you’re a Christian in 2021 America, you are in a battle. Whether you want it or not. Whether you signed up for it or not. Whether you are hoping you can avoid it despite all evidence to the contrary. YOU. ARE. IN. A. BATTLE.

Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand firm.”

Living in the “Bible belt,” you may have thought you could avoid feeling the heat of battle. Sadly, it is upon us. It was clear when the Chamber of Commerce forced Governor Deal to cave and veto RFRA. It’s been clear as Stacey Abrams and her forces took money from San Francisco and New York and have rapidly made gains in our state election cycle after election cycle.

It was clear again this legislative session as big money groups opposed efforts to Save Girls Sports, establish the Right to Visit, and advance the cause of religious freedom in Georgia.

And, yes, it’s been abundantly clear as Coke, Delta, and the MLB have waged an all-out war against Georgia for having the audacity to pass voter integrity laws – generous laws that make it easy to vote and hard to cheat – in order to protect the will of the people.

We are your voice to fight back. If you want to stand with us, the largest and most effective voice for Christians in Georgia, please consider a generous donation today of $50, $100, $250, or greater to help us counter the “woke” corporations seeking to dominate our state.

Here’s the truth: this isn’t about voting laws. It’s about doing everything they can to install a leftist regime at the helm of Georgia – a state that, as we’ve caught a glimpse in recent months, can give them absolute control of the nation if we cannot hold our ground. This leftist regime would support abortion on demand, the indoctrination of our children, the erasing of gender, and the destruction of the nuclear family.

But, even more importantly, they want to attack the Gospel.

Here’s the message that “Reverend” Raphael Warnock, our U.S. Senator shared on Easter Sunday: “The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves.”

As one friend commented: “How many layers of heresy can you weave into one tweet!!!???”

The agenda of the radical left in Georgia isn’t purely a political one. After all, we are in a spiritual battle – even more than we are a physical one. The forces aligned against us in this spiritual battle are not interested in politics in and of itself but, instead, as a means to an end.

They want to install politicians who will water down the Gospel, alter what it “means” to be a Christian, and make our faith something that is utterly meaningless and diluted.

That’s why there was great rejoicing in the enemy camp when a “Catholic” who embraces abortion and a radical agenda across the board was elected to the White House. It’s why there were, no doubt, shouts of glee when a “pastor” of a Baptist Church – one who believes we can “save ourselves” – became the most radical member of the United States Senate.

And, if we look in the mirror, it’s why the Enemy dances when churches remain silent on issues like abortion, sexuality, and the centrality of God’s design for the family. It’s why we can be assured that their most treasured vote at the ballot box is from the Christian who votes in a way that is contrary to his faith.

We’re committed to fighting back – against the woke mob, against forces that work to convince politicians to abandon their principles, and against the radical left.

We’re committed to gaining ground – for our faith, for our families, for our values, for the future, and for the Gospel.

As I’ve mentioned, we’re developing plans and we’ve got big announcements coming up. We’ve already achieved much as a ministry, but we know we must step up our game.

We realize we’re in a battle. One for Georgia and for America, yes. But, also, we are in a spiritual battle. While prayer and the Lord’s strength will always be our most powerful weapons, we do need resources. Please consider a generous donation today of whatever you feel led to give.

Having you standing with us means so much in this battle. Your support means more than you know.

For His Glory,Cole Muzio
Cole Muzio.png
Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

 

 

PS. This is a critical time in the life of this ministry. Big announcements are coming, and we’re gearing up to make an even greater impact. While I ask for finances in this email – and, yes, those are important and I ask for your considered donation – I covet your prayers even more. As this is a critical time, it’s also a stressful time and one where much wisdom is needed. I ask for your prayers for me, my family, our team, and for all who partner with this ministry as we fight in this battle for Georgia. I promise you, your prayers are felt, and they are valued.

I’m going to keep this short. We’re working on a LOT of legislation as we hit the home stretch of this legislative session (today is Day 37 out of 40), but we need your help.

We’ve identified 3 issues where constituent engagement is most needed right now:

  1. TAKE ACTION TO SHOW GEORGIANS VALUE ALL LIFEHB 128 (Gracie’s Law) and HB 212 (Simon’s Law) are being held up in Senate Health committee after passing the Senate unanimously. Gracie’s Law says that no one should be discriminated against from receiving a transplant simply because of a mental or physical disability. That’s easy, right? Simon’s Law says that a doctor must get parental consent to place a DNR order on a minor child. Simple enough? These bills are common sense and life affirming so TAKE ACTION by sending a message to Chairman Ben Watson that these bills deserve a vote!
  2. TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT KIDS FROM OBSCENITYSB 226 addresses a crisis in our schools: obscene materials being made available to children. It does so be ensuring parents have a right to be heard when they have concerns, establishes a process whereby harmful material can be removed, and provides for transparency in the process. The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee just passed this bill so TAKE ACTION by sending a message to your House member.
  3. TAKE ACTION TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOMSB 200 ensures that your right to worship and earn a living isn’t suspended in a pandemic. It protects Georgians who, while blessed by the leadership of our state during this pandemic, watched with great angst at how California, Michigan, and New York went to war against people of faith and entrepreneurs. TAKE ACTION to encourage your House member to make sure this NEVER happens in Georgia.

Thank you for your support, prayers, and action. We could not do what we do without you!

For our values,

Brittany Ellison
Deputy Director

 

 

Religious freedom and free speech are under attack on college campuses around the country, including right here in North Dakota. For example, on some campuses of the North Dakota university system, religious clubs are not allowed to require that their leaders agree with the club’s beliefs. This is unacceptable.

The issue of free expression on public campuses has now devolved into speech codes, safe spaces, trigger warnings, and fears of “microaggressions”. Political correctness is winning over free speech.

HB 1503 provides much needed protection to exercise religious and free speech rights on the state’s college and university campuses.

Your action is needed now to help protect these fundamental rights. Your voice is needed to ask the state senate to support HB 1503!

Please contact them today and ask them to vote “YES” on HB 1503. Thank you for helping keep free speech truly free!

For freedom,

Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Friends,

We recognize the existential threat for religious freedom posed by the Equality Act legislation that is making its way through the U.S. Congress.

That’s why Family Policy Alliance of Idaho has joined other pro-family organizations in expressing our concerns to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Representatives from nearly fifty national and state-based organizations – including Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Action, and the American Association of Christian Schools – signed on to the joint letter last week.

The letter affirms that “all people have inherent dignity and should be treated with respect” but explains how the Equality Act “creates greater inequality, hurting not only women, people of faith, religious organizations, employers, and medical professionals, but especially children and their parents.”

What makes the Equality Act so dangerous? This radical legislation adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected categories in civil rights law. This would mean:

We cannot let the Equality Act decimate our religious freedom. It is vitally important that we defeat the Equality Act and strengthen religious freedom protections at both the state and federal level.

Will you support this important effort by committing to a monthly gift of $25, $75, or $100? Your support enables Family Policy Alliance of Idaho to keep advocating for your family’s freedom to live out your faith. Thank you!

Standing for you,

Blaine Conzatti
Executive Director

There’s such a difficult balance in the Christian walk, isn’t there? It’s one I’ve noticed all-the-more significantly since I left the private sector to run this ministry four years ago.

As Christians, we are commanded to be hard workers – to do what we are called to do with all our might and to be diligent in our labors (Proverbs 13:4). Such diligence is paramount, yet, if we yield to human nature, it can lead to numerous sinful attitudes: anxiety (“I have poured so much effort into this, therefore I am concerned for the outcome”), pride (“It’s been my labors, therefore, I should be due the credit”), and self-reliance (“I must count on my strategies, my talent, my labors to make this happen”).

It’s counter-intuitive to both fully embrace the level of excellence God has called us to in our labors – working hard, building the right teams, thinking things through diligently, and using the right strategies – and reject the natural attitudes that come with it.

After a milestone, like Crossover Day, I want to make sure that our attitudes reflect how He wants us to view things – grateful for the blessings He gave, confident and hopeful in His promises, committed to steadfast walking with Him, giving Him all the glory, not anxious, yet also diligent, strategic, and realistic in our preparations to meet the enormity of the challenges ahead.

With that in mind, here are some reflections on where we stand:

Please remain prayerful. There’s a long way to go. Just as the bills that passed one Chamber still need to pass the other, even the bills that did not pass are not “completely dead.” The Lord can still do miraculous things, and we are working behind the scenes – using the right strategies – to keep our priorities alive.

So, keep praying. If you feel led, join us at the Capitol. And, if you’re both excited about this work AND wanting to see more, please consider a $50, $100, $250, or greater donation today.

Pressing onward with a biblical perspective – working diligently and trusting Him.


Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

Religious freedom and free speech are under attack on college campuses around the country, including right here in North Dakota. For example, on some campuses of the North Dakota university system, religious clubs are not allowed to require that its leaders agree with the club’s beliefs. This is unacceptable.

The issue of free expression on public campuses has now devolved into speech codes, safe spaces, trigger warnings, and fears of “microaggressions”. Political correctness is winning over free speech.

HB 1503 provides much needed protection to exercise religious and free speech rights on the state’s college and university campuses.

Your action is needed now to help protect these fundamental rights. PLEASE CONTACT THEM NOW – THEY COULD VOTE ON THIS BILL AS EARLY AS TOMORROW MORNING!

Please contact your Representatives and ask them to vote “YES” on HB 1503. Thank you for helping keep free speech truly free!

For freedom,

Mark Jorritsma
President and executive Director

 

“So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.” – Jeremiah 18:18b

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, dared to tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, the hard uncomfortable truths that disrupted their echo chamber. Something was wrong – very wrong – but they did not want to hear it. A mild form of totalitarianism leveraged all their collective power against him. The priests, the prophets, the king, and his officials colluded to slander and silence the prophet. Only their words would be allowed in the marketplace of ideas. His prophecies were de-platformed for being incompatible with the approved narrative the mainstream wanted to hear. In other words, he was cancelled.

Tragically, New Jersey legislative committees are sometimes prime examples of disinterested politicians refusing to hear all sides of a policy issue. Committee hearings regularly start late, and therefore, voices registered to testify in opposition to a bill are limited to two minutes though the normal committee rules allow five minutes.

Less than two months ago, New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty had his microphone shut off because the Chair of the Committee, Senator Teresa Ruiz, was infuriated by his defense of parents. He believed parents were motivated by love in protecting children from learning about transgenderism in kindergarten. The Chairwoman instructed the Education Committee staff to, “Mute his microphone.” It was a modern paraphrase of the biblical verse found in Jeremiah, ‘pay no attention to anything he says.’

Cancel culture, in its current form, has been gaining ground for years. First, it was academia banning conservative speakers. Then it was the mainstream media refusing to give equal time to conservative elected officials. Now it is Big Tech banning any person, organization, or ministry from stating a fact not approved by the Totalitarian state. Our friends at Focus on the Family were blocked on Twitter just last week, leading our national allies to ask – “Are We Next?”

Thankfully, there are New Jersey legislators who recognize the threat unchecked social media companies have to silence speech. Assemblyman Bob Auth, along with five co-sponsors, introduced the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act” over a year ago! The Act predated Big Tech’s flurry of bans and blocks. It creates a private right of action for users of social media websites whose political or religious speech has been deleted or censored by social media websites.

What does that mean for us? I want to encourage you to share our weekly communications through text or emails. Don’t give up on using social media to spread our message but don’t depend on it either. Analytics show that for every person who shares our post, on average 8-10 of their friends might see it. You must be proactive to use all methods of communication.

Help us each week to spread the word!

Shawn Hyland
Executive Director

 

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance. It must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation. . .”

Ronald Reagan, Gubernatorial Inaugural Address, 1967

Religious Freedom Wins of 2020
As today is National Religious Freedom Day, we thought it would be a good idea to look back at some recent wins for religious freedom in the United States.  National Religious Freedom Day is an annual observance that serves as a reminder of how important religious freedom is.

Last year, and even the beginning of 2021, have highlighted, without a doubt, how fragile our freedoms are. If you have been actively engaged, you know first-hand how Ronald Reagan’s words could not be truer. Every year, people across our nation must fight the progressive agenda to protect our religious freedoms.

2020 was no different – but it yielded many hard-fought victories from our Supreme Court.

Here are some of the highlights.

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court protected the right of private faith-based schools to receive public benefits. Espinoza struck down anti-religious Blaine Amendments that forbid tax-credits from going to private religious schools. The Court wrote religious organizations cannot be treated as second class citizens by being denied rights that apply equally to other groups. If a public benefit is widely shared, religious institutions cannot be prohibited from benefiting just because of their faith. As we continue to fight for school choice, Espinoza will ensure states cannot enact rules that discriminate against religious schools.

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morissey-Berru, the Court protected the right of private faith-based schools to make decisions regarding teacher employment, without government interference. Our Lady held the “ministerial exception,” (a legal principle that bars employees from suing religious employers regarding most employment decisions) also applied to teaching positions in private faith-based schools. The government must stay out of employment disputes of important positions in churches and religious institutions to preserve their religious freedoms. Justice Alito wrote that the First Amendment protects the right of religious institutions “to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.”

Little Sisters of the Poor Sts. Peter & Paul Home v. Pennsylvania upheld the right of religious employers (like the nuns of Little Sisters) to object to the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.  This ruling ensures faith-based business owners aren’t forced to provide contraceptive coverage if it violates their religious beliefs. This victory was a direct result of the Department of Health, under the Trump Administration, explicitly passing rules to make sure religious employers maintained their religious freedom under the burdensome Affordable Care Act mandates.

Finally, Tanzin v. Tanvir made it clear religious discrimination by government officials would not be tolerated. If an individual can prove a government official discriminated (such as a federal agent placing a Muslim on the No-Fly list because they refuse to be an informant against their religious community) that individual can seek monetary damages from the government official that they might have to pay out of their personal bank account. This decision was only possible because of our legislatures passing religious freedom restoration acts (RFRA), which was the law the Supreme Court used to protect injured parties in this case.  This Supreme Court decision should be a powerful deterrent for religious discrimination and make sure government officials think twice before they target an American because of their faith.

The battle to preserve our religious freedom for the next generation is being fought on a daily basis by organizations like Family Policy Alliance® who believe our constitutional freedoms are the bedrock of free society.

Though we have experienced great wins, we know a Biden Administration will work hard to roll-back some of these hard-fought freedoms. In addition to following our emails, please take a moment to check out Under God, One Nation. our new prayer initiative, where you can sign up to seek the Lord’s intervention on behalf of our nation, along with hundreds of others.

We can keep our freedoms from going extinct and preserving them for the next generation by first starting on our knees and imploring the One who granted our freedoms from the beginning.

Sign up today! Thank you for joining the fight!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Curry
Policy Manager