I was recently introduced via email to someone from Texas. I said, “Welcome, I’ve been trying to figure how many Rhode Islands could fit inside of Texas, but I gave up.” Her reply came back… “curiosity got the best of me, so I had to look it up and it’s 243 x’s!” I had a good chuckle at that!

Did you know that along with Rhode Island being the smallest of the 50 states we are also considered to be the most biblically illiterate, according to Christian pollster George Barna? In parallel to that, we have a very low ratio of conservatives to liberals, and that makes passing bills reflecting a Judeo-Christian ethic very difficult. But no matter how small we are, and how big the challenges, with the resurrection power of Jesus Christ we are capable of great things. I often draw great encouragement from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise the day of small things, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”

And, new things are beginning in our very liberal state. Last month, Family Policy Alliance helped Senator Elaine Morgan introduce Senate Bill 0638, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Please pray for its passage!

Recently, Mike Stenhouse of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity interviewed Senator Morgan along with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians. You can watch their “In the Dugout” interview here on YouTube!

Please also send your Senator a message by clicking here, encouraging them to support the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. And, when you’re done, consider calling them with the same message!

To further help Rhode Islanders understand the issue of transgenderism and its effect on Rhode Island youths, we partnered again with Dr. Cretella and the American College of Pediatricians to host a virtual training to further explain the ‘science’ and ‘medical’ aspect of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island not only performs abortions but also dispenses hormones to our youth. Often, this happens without parental knowledge or a doctor’s prescription.

If you would like to view this training, please reply to this email and let me know so that I can send it to you.

And there is more! Rep. David Place emailed me to let me know that last week 4 pro-life bills were introduced relating to “Born- Alive Infant Protection.” There was even some bi-partisan sponsorship. Each of these bills aims to help infants who are born alive, perhaps after an attempted abortion, to receive the medical care they deserve.

Here they are:

House Bill No. 5037
BY Perez ENTITLED,
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – BORN-ALIVE INFANT PROTECTION ACT (provide for the duties and obligations of medical personnel in certain circumstances.)House Bill No. 5552
BY Perez, Hull, Vella-Wilkinson, ENTITLED,
AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS — BOARD OF MEDICAL LICENSURE AND DISCIPLINE (Makes it unprofessional conduct for a physician not to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a viable fetus being carried by their patient is brought to term.)House Bill No. 5579
BY Perez, Hull, Vella-Wilkinson ENTITLED,
AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – CHILDREN (Crime for medical personnel not to provide reasonable medical care to newborn baby.)

House Bill No. 5582
BY Perez, Hull, Vella-Wilkinson, Place ENTITLED,
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – BORN-ALIVE INFANT PROTECTION ACT (Enacts the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act and provides for the duties and obligations of medical personnel in certain circumstances.)

These 4 Born-Alive bills join these other pro-life measures which were introduced earlier in the year:

House Bill No. 5865
BY Place, Quattrocchi, Chippendale, Nardone Entitled
, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY — RHODE ISLAND PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN (Bans abortion of pre-born babies who have reached the gestational age at which they can feel pain – currently recognized to be 20 weeks after fertilization.)House Resolution No. 5996
BY McLaughlin, Fellela, Diaz RECOGNIZING THE FETUS AS A HUMAN LIFE UPON THE EXISTENCE OF A HEARTBEAT (This resolution recognizes the heartbeat as a significant indicator of life in the womb – heartbeat or flutter is detectable at 18 to 24 days after fertilization.)

We have a long way to go but good things are happening. Please pray that God would call more people with a biblical worldview to every level of government in Rhode Island. This is the best way to make Rhode Island a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

And, remember the Apostle Paul’s admonition to young Timothy that, “prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for… kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

Blessings,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman – Board of Directors – Rhode Island

“What is Truth?” This was the question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus just before he sent him to be scourged and crucified, and it is the same question being asked by multitudes today. Pilate’s words are echoed in the oft-repeated statement in today’s culture that says, “What is true for you may not be true for me.”  Ironically, it seems there is both a great hunger for truth and yet at the same time there is a great denial of it. Transgender ideology as it relates to girls’ sports is a case in point.

Contact your state Senator TODAY and ask them to protect Rhode Island’s female athletes.

If we care about Rhode Island youth we need to ask: are there consequences for allowing biological males to compete in girls’ sports? Well, the science – the truth – says the following:

Senate Bill 0638, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” is a way to keep that from happening in Rhode Island. It draws a simple line: to compete in girls’ sports, you have to be a girl. Rhode Island is one of 30 states with legislation like this, and already three states (Idaho, Arkansas, Mississippi) have successfully made the bill into law!

Please use our Action Center to encourage your legislator to vote YES and support Senate Bill 0638. It only takes a minute!

Sincerely,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

P.S. This coming Monday (April 5) at 7:30 PM, we are hosting a 1 hour Zoom info session on this issue. It will feature Dr. Michelle Cretella, the Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians. (Check your in box for an invitation.)

 

Did you know? Before 1972, only one in 27 girls played sports, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. Today, though, two in five girls play sports.

What changed? Importantly, Congress passed Title IX. This law prevents sex discrimination in education – including sports. That means that girls in federally funded schools can have equal access to their own sports teams, equipment, competitions, etc.

Thanks to increased funding and institutional opportunities, an article in the World Economic Forum reports that there has been “a 545% increase in the percentage of women playing college sports and a 990% increase in the percentages of women playing high school sport.”

But all this could be lost to young girls in Rhode Island.

Increasingly, there is a push to allow males who identify as female to compete in girls’ sports. That poses a problem: biological males naturally have greater muscle mass, bone density, and cardiovascular capacity than females, even when taking cross-sex hormones – not to mention obvious advantages like height. When males compete in girls’ sports, the competition can be over before it starts. Males end up taking championship titles, scholarships, and other opportunities reserved for females.

That’s not only unfair, but it undermines the work of those who fought to give girls equal access to their own sports teams in the first place.

Female athletes deserve a level playing field, and that means ensuring that all players are female. That’s why Senators Elaine Morgan, Jessica de la Cruz, Leonidas Raptakis, and Frank Lombardo III have introduced Senate Bill 0638, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.”  The bipartisan bill makes a simple requirement: to compete in girls’ sports, you have to be a girl. It aims to protect girls’ sports and ensure that the next generation of female athletes have access to the hard-fought opportunities reserved for them.

This bill to Save Girls’ Sports will need your support to even make it to the floor for a vote. Be on the lookout in the weeks to come as we will share ways you can help take a stand!

Today, here are three action steps you can take:

  1. Get the facts. This an important subject and we want you to be well-informed. To help with this, Family Policy Alliance has partnered with Mike Stenhouse and the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Mike will be interviewing the bill’s author Senator Elaine Morgan along with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians.
    .
    In addition to discussing the bill, they will share the scientific facts about men who feel they are women and are pursuing that via cross-sex hormones and surgeries. You can watch it LIVE here TODAY Wednesday, March 24th at 4 PM. It will also be recorded for later viewing.
  2. Join our Facebook group. Come join our Rhode Island Informed Parents Facebook Group! We are involved in saving girls’ sports and fighting against things like recreational marijuana and Comprehensive Sex Education in public schools.
  3. Consider giving to Family Policy Alliance’s efforts in Rhode Island. Every day we’re working to make Rhode Island a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. We can only do it with your help and prayerful participation. Please consider a one-time gift or partnering with us monthly.

For a better Rhode Island,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

You would think this is a picture taken at a candy store targeting adolescents but guess again. It is targeting adolescents but it’s a “Pot Shop” and all of these items contain THC (marijuana). According to Go Local Prov, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana will soon be introduced in Rhode Island. It would seem it’s a done deal because Gov. McKee’s budget already includes an expected $1.7 million in taxes from the Marijuana industry… but at what cost to Rhode Island youth and families?

That cost is no longer an unknown. We have the benefit of learning from states like Colorado that have gone before us. Check out these quotes from an article that appeared in the Denver Post:

In the words of that article’s author, “I’m not sure the 55 percent of Coloradans who voted for commercialization in 2012 thought they were voting for all this.”

We can do better for Rhode Island Children and families. Instead of endangering citizens – including young people – our leaders and legislators should look for ways to protect children, pursuing policies that embody the principles of “The Promise to America’s Children.” This national campaign is headed up by the Family Policy Alliance, The Heritage Foundation, and Alliance Defending Freedom. It articulates a simple promise: as adults, we will protect children’s minds, bodies, and their most important relationships especially with their parents.

To quote here from the Parent version of the Promise:

The Promise to America’s Children can be read here in its entirety.

Please join us in putting Rhode Island’s children and their well-being children first. Let your legislators know you don’t want recreational marijuana legalized in our state. You can easily find your state legislators’ contact information at our Action Center here.

For our children,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

 

 

 

P.S. Please consider supporting Family Policy Alliance monthly so we can carry on the work of making our state a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.

I sometimes think of Churchill’s famous “Never Give Up” speech when It comes to our battles to in Rhode Island. No matter the difficulty, it is a righteous pursuit and one that we must persist in no matter how difficult. Senate Bill No. 463 is one of those “Never Give Up” challenges. This dangerous bill would mandate Comprehensive Sex Education in our state.

Here’s what that means: students as young as 6th grade will be required to “affirmatively recognize pleasure based sexual relations, different sexual orientations, and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions and examples.” The bill also mandates training about gender identity and expression – that is, the idea that someone’s “true” gender may be different from the biological sex of their body.

We must take action to stop this dangerous bill.

Comprehensive sex education encourages kids as young as 11 or 12 to have sex – including high-risk and experimental sex. It teaches children to pursue pleasure over prudence or prevention – despite the reality that teaching sexual risk avoidance is healthier for young people. And it promotes a radical viewpoint that a man can become a woman and vice versa. You can learn more about Comprehensive Sex Education from Family Watch International’s resource here.

We must protect our children!

Before this dangerous bill was taken up by the House, many of you wrote in and called to express your opposition. Thankfully, it’s been tabled in the House for now. But now, the Senate is considering is considering its own version.

Please contact your Senator in our Action Center. It takes only a minute to let them know that this is a dangerous bill for our children.

After you’ve contacted your state Senator, please send this email to others who may need to see it, and be on the lookout for more updates and action opportunities on these two bills:

But first, let’s stop this dangerous effort to introduce Comprehensive Sex Education to our kids.

Contact your Senator today!Dave Aucoin
Aucoin signature
Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

 

John Newton and William Wilberforce have always amazed me for their part in the battle to end slavery. Newton was an example of authentic grace and transformation that can take place in the human heart – that is, from the “inside-out.” And, Wilberforce was tireless and persistent in his work to end slavery legislatively, that is from the “outside-in.” They made a good team in 18th century Great Britain and that two-pronged approach could be the key towards racial reconciliation and other problems in America today.

For John Newton, it took a change of heart to alter his life. We all know him as the author of one of the best-known and most loved hymns of the last two centuries, “Amazing Grace.” Estimates suggest that the song is played 10 million times each year and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. It had a surge of popularity during two of our nation’s greatest crises: the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Churches everywhere still sing it today. Aretha FranklinRay Charles, and Elvis are among the many artists who recorded the song. Even former President Obama spontaneously sang it a few years ago during a memorial service for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a victim of a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

It is amazing that this hymn has become closely associated with the African American community when you consider that the author, John Newton was a former slave trader until God’s ‘Amazing Grace’ changed his heart. It is a testament to the transformative work of Christ. Newton later became a pastor and preacher changing people’s attitudes about race and slavery by changing their heart, from the ‘inside-out.’

Wilberforce, on the other hand, was a politician and a wealthy philanthropist. He gave away one-quarter of his annual income to the poor. He fought on behalf of chimney sweeps, single mothers, orphans, and juvenile delinquents. When he was a child, Newton was his pastor. As he grew older, Wilberforce wanted to leave working in government for the ministry. Instead, Newton encouraged him to stay in politics, convincing him of the need to end slavery legally – from the “outside-in.”

The story of “Amazing Grace” offers a powerful lesson for us today: change the heart of the nation and its laws will follow. The work of churches today is similar to the work of John Newton as they preach the Gospel that transforms lives from the “inside-out.” And the work of Family Policy Alliance here in Rhode Island is, like the work of Wilberforce and countless other Christian policymakers, taking the policy and legislative approach and effecting change from the “outside-in.”

Our mission statement is very clear. We exist to make Rhode Island a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!

If you want to partner with us to bring change to policy (or find out how we can help you change hearts), here are three steps to consider:

  1. Join our “Rhode Island Informed Parents” group on Facebook. There you will find relevant information about what’s going on in the Ocean State and how you can take action to protect Rhode Island children!
  2. Want help changing the culture from the inside out? I welcome the opportunity to speak at your church or small group. You can contact me here.
  3. Please consider making a monthly donation so we can continue to make a difference in Rhode Island. We are grateful for your partnership!

Standing together,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

 

This is the Speaker’s Chair in Independence Hall. George Washington sat there in 1787 as the Constitution was being debated, drafted, and adopted. Ben Franklin, in his 80’s, had to be daily carried in. When Washington declared the document adopted, Franklin stood and said,

“Throughout these months, Mr. Chairman, I have listened to the arguments pro and con while my eyes constantly looked up at the top slat of your chairback where there is carved a sunburst. I have wondered during these days whether that sunburst represented a setting or a rising sun. With the adoption of this Constitution, I am now persuaded it is a rising sun.”

Would Ben Franklin have a different perspective about that sunburst carving were he living today? I think he would be amazed at the dramatic shift in moral values, from redefining marriage to declaring abortion and euthanasia a right. Christian values were the standard in his day, but every Christian value is being challenged in our day, even the distinction between male and female at the Pre-K and K level. If the federal Equality Act passes the sun may indeed set more rapidly for us as a nation. The U.S. House of Representatives has already voted on this bill. Sadly, it passed and will now be heading to the Senate. We will keep you posted on our next steps to try and defeat this bill.

How do we determine right from wrong? Is it by a vote of the legislature? Or by an act of the president through executive order? Or by a decision of a judge or the judiciary? Someone has said, “Human society ultimately breaks down when laws derive from the politics of the moment rather than the standards of Almighty God. Any branch of government losing this perspective descends into the quicksand of moral relativity and ethical chaos. Culture ultimately breaks down when politics determine moral values and that is precisely where we find ourselves as a nation, in a quagmire of moral relativity. It’s a slippery slope!”

But there is always hope even if it is the “mustard seed” size. The Bristol County Concerned Citizens (BCCC) are one such ray of hope. They took a stand against the formation of a “Diversity, Equality and Inclusion” committee for the town of Bristol. They said, Bristol is already a very welcoming and diverse community. Many of Bristol’s citizens rightly perceived the true purpose of this committee which was to implement a socialist agenda especially for the public schools and took a stand. Check out their website and get on their mailing list. Also, check with your legislators as other Rhode Island towns are also beginning to wake up to these “Trojan horse” committees.

God raised up America to be that city on a hill but just as he raises up nations, he can bring them down. “Don’t be fooled, God is not mocked; for whatever a man shall sow, that also shall he reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Please support the efforts of the Family Policy Alliance of RI a monthly gift to keep the sun from setting on Rhode Island.


Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island

Would you give your life to protect the “Sacred Institution of Marriage?” This past Sunday, whether they realized it or not, millions of people around the globe honored a man who did just that. His name is Valentinus and, of course, the day I am alluding to is Valentine’s Day. There are at least 16 other countries besides America where it is celebrated, but few people know the story behind it.

The Roman Emperor Claudius II Gothicus was in power from 268 – 270 AD. Because it was a time of war, he issued an outrageous edict to cease all marriages. He reasoned that during times of war, single men were better soldiers. A clergyman named Valentinus thought this policy was insane, so he continued to perform marriages and defy the edict (or executive order in today’s vernacular), and for that he was imprisoned. Legend has it that while in prison Valentinus fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and wrote notes to her – signing them, “From Your Valentine.”

He was executed on February 14th, 269 AD. Fast-forward, 1,752 years later, we still celebrate his courageous act of love! It’s also a reminder that the overreach of government into areas of religious freedom and family values has been around for a long time. As Solomon said, there really is, “nothing new under the sun.”

Doesn’t it seem amazing that God turned around something evil and used it for good! Pastor and author Mark Batterson would say that God “flipped the script.” He turned a day of evil and injustice into a day that reminds us to love others and value family, especially our spouses. The attacks against marriage and family continue to increase and we need many to take a stand for the “Sacred Institutions” we hold dear.

Family Policy Alliance® is always on the lookout for men and women (like Valentinus) who will stand for God-honoring family values. Our sister organization Family Policy Foundation hosts a Statesmen Academy℠ training program for current and future public servants who want to honor God in their work. The program not only trains these individuals initially, but it provides ongoing community and support. You can learn more here.

The Apostle Paul may have been an inspiration to Valentinus when he said, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).

Sincerely,

Dave  Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

 

The Biden agenda on sex and gender is clear.

In one day, President Biden resolutely used his pen to alter governmental and social norms. He lifted the ban on transgender service in the military, saying, “It is my conviction as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, that gender identity should not be a bar to military service.”

The cost alone will be staggering! Family Research Council found that even with the Trump ban in place, “By 2019, the Defense Department had redirected funds from salaries, equipment, and trainings for 22,992 psychotherapy visits, 9,321 hormone prescriptions, and a whopping 161 reconstructive surgeries that racked up $2 million — an average of $12,422 a servicemember.” Imagine how much Americans will be spending on these things without the ban!

But President Biden did not stop with the military – and it’s clear that this agenda will have much broader ramifications than spending. With the stroke of his pen, President Biden changed social norms everywhere with another executive order that read, “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love. Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

Don’t be fooled by the language: it likely portends a coming transgender mandate for schools. . We can expect that such a mandate will make spaces like restrooms and locker rooms open to all individuals based on  the sex with which they identify, rather than their biological sex. In other words, it will enable boys entering girls’ locker rooms and playing on girls’ sports teams. Girls’ privacy and athletic opportunities could be at risk.

Kimberly Ells is an author and policy advisor for Family Watch International. She recently wrote a piece that should startle moms and dads everywhere: “The Endgame of Transgender Ideology is to Dismantle the Family.” The subtitle read, “The stage is being set for the legal marginalization of mothers, fathers, and families by force of law.”

She was referring to the Biden/Harris promise to pass The Equality Act. Despite its pleasant-sounding name, the Equality Act would redefine “sex” to include “sexual orientation and gender identity.” That little change would affect every facet of American life.

In response to this attack on the family, Family Policy Alliance, The Heritage Foundation, and Alliance Defending Freedom will be sharing a major response soon – and it’s something you can take action on! Stay tuned for more details!

Standing with you,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

 

AllProDad.com has great resources and advice for parenting. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the holiday dedicated to him, this was their ‘Play of the Day’ article… ‘3 Ways to Grow Your Child’s Good Character.’ It’s a good one and timely given the issue of racism dominating America right now.

“In the late 1930s, as segregation ruled the south, a Black father took his son to a shoe store. Upon entering, they found two open seats near the front. Immediately, the store clerk told them he would give them service when they moved to the back of the store. The dad said the seats they found were fine. When the clerk told them that they’d have to move, the dad said, ‘We’ll either buy shoes sitting here or we won’t buy shoes at all.’ He took his son by the hand and angrily left the store, muttering, ‘I don’t care how long I live in this system; I will never accept it.’ His son remarked years later that his father refused to adjust to a system that was wrong. His dad helped mold his conscience. That son was Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The 3 ways to grow your child’s good character recommended were:

Affirmation – Guidance – Belonging!

You can read the whole article here.

Dr. King’s dad made a huge impact on his son, who in turn made a huge impact on families of every race in America and who did so without violence. Character really does matter, and family life is key to passing on those character qualities from parent to child.

It should come as no surprise, then, that as fatherlessness continues to rise so do the economic and social costs to our state.

Massachusetts Family Institute did the research and found that fatherlessness corresponded with a dramatic increase of children living in poverty, the high school dropout rate, violence in neighborhoods, families needing food stamps and cash welfare, and the divorce rate.

There are no short-cuts to a healthy culture. Cancel culture, socialism and redistribution of wealth are not the solutions to our socioeconomic problems. Healing the family is!

Here’s what that means practically for our state: instead of excluding parents, school districts in Rhode Island should try creative ways to get parents, especially dads, to be involved.

For example, school districts could take a page from Tony Dungy’s ‘play book’.

Tony Dungy is the national spokesman for All Pro Dads. Tony and his wife Lauren have 11 children, so he knows what it is to lead by example. Despite being the first African American head coach ever to win a Super Bowl and being one of the winningest coaches in the NFL, he values family above it all. His book Quiet Strength sold more than 1 million copies and was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 32 weeks. I’ve used his devotional “UNCOMMON LIFE – DAILY CHALLENGE” for 3 years now and still find it to be inspiring.

Two years ago, Dungy and All-Pro Dads joined with the Department of Education in Florida in a program called “Dads Take Your Child To School Day.”

Why? While much research shows that fatherlessness leads to poor outcomes, the inverse is also true. The Journal of Family and Marriage research shows kids have better grades and fewer discipline issues when their dad, or a father figure, is actively involved in their educational experience.

If you’re involved with your local school district, I encourage you to look for ways to get fathers involved!


Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island