2017 | October 19 Domestic partners weigh marriage after Walker strips health benefits
Your help is needed NOW! Efforts are underway to end the trafficking and use of aborted unborn children in Wisconsin. The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – Senate Bill 423 and Senate Bill 424, both authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), would ban the trade and use of aborted fetal body parts and instead encourage the ethical donation of tissue from children who are stillborn or miscarried.
Neither bill has received a public hearing, and time is running short. If the bills do not receive a public hearing and pass out of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee before November 3rd, they will not become law this session. (more…)
Seven months after two bills were given to State Senate President Republican Roger Roth, they are now finally formally introduced. Senate rules stipulate that the Senate President is to “promptly” introduce bills given to him from senate authors. Introduction includes getting a bill number and a committee assignment, the first major steps in the legislative process. (more…)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is instructing all federal agencies to ensure to the “greatest extent practicable and permitted by law” that the religious beliefs of people, businesses, churches and other organizations are accommodated and not burdened by the federal government.
In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order in May, which called on the Department of Justice to issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law and guide all agencies in compliance, the Justice Department issued a sweeping guidance on religious freedom that was released [last] Friday.
Read more HERE.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this type of constitutional analysis of religious freedom,” says WFA president Julaine Appling, “It’s refreshing and encouraging. Hopefully it will stop some of the blatant assaults against our First Amendment rights. What we can’t afford is to assume because we have these directives now, that we will have them in the future. The price of freedom really is ongoing vigilance.”
On Thursday, October 19, Wisconsin Christian News will host an event at its new Ministry Center in downtown Marshfield. Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) president Julaine Appling will be the guest speaker that evening and will present “Punching Holes in the Darkness: Equipping Christians to Bring Light to the Critical Issues of Today” from 6 to 8 p.m. Topics for the evening will include family breakdown, sexual anarchy, sanctity of life, assaults on Christians and religious freedoms and much more. There will be a lively, interactive Q&A time following the presentation.
Find out what you can do to strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Wisconsin Christian News Expo. We hope to see you there!
The Heal Without Harm Coalition, comprised of Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Catholic Conference welcomed the introduction this past Monday of the two-bill Heal Without Harm Initiative in the state senate. The complementary bills seek to demonstrate respect for unborn children by outlawing the future exploitation of aborted children for fetal body parts and by providing scientists with ethical sources of fetal tissue from miscarried or stillborn babies. The bills are currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Wisconsin Family Action is proud to be part of this unprecedented pro-life coalition,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president. “Our state has an extraordinary opportunity to lead the nation by championing research that is ethical, innovative, and effective. We look forward to a thoughtful public debate on this issue at a public hearing and hope for this legislative initiative ultimately to become the law.”
On September 25, 2017, WisEye senior producer Steve Walters discussed ethical scientific research with members of Heal Without Harm, a coalition of organizations and citizens dedicated to working with the scientific community to encourage it toward ethical research. Click HERE to watch the interview on Wisconsin Eye.
2017 | October 2 inFocus with Jim Schneider: Wisconsin Considers Gambling Expansion
WFA/pro-life orgs ask Congress to pass budget reconciliation bill; stop funding of Planned Parenthood
American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks recently wrote online about the deception of state lotteries. He notes the majority of lottery tickets are sold to those in lower income brackets and that often lottery advertising is targeted in those communities. Many receive food stamps and other government benefits. They finance lottery tickets by cutting down on necessities such as food and payment of other bills, further entrenching poverty. Brooks calls for government to stop selling poor people a mirage of the American dream at the end of a convenience-store line.
The budget just passed in Wisconsin adds $1 million per year to the already bloated and unconstitutional lottery advertising budget. It just makes no sense to push the lottery on people who can least afford it and then turn around and give them taxpayer funded benefits. If we’re serious about alleviating poverty we need to ditch the state lottery.
Attend one of our upcoming events in your community. Click HERE for more information.
WFA “thrilled” domestic partnership registries going away; same-sex “marriage” registry undermines true marriage
September 25, 2017 – Last week the Wisconsin legislature passed the state’s two-year $76 billion budget. Governor Walker, who has the nation’s strongest gubernatorial veto power, has already indicated 99 items he will be vetoing in full or in part. Included in this budget and not scheduled for any veto by the governor is the closing down of the state’s same-sex-only statewide domestic partnership registry that became law through then-Governor Jim Doyle’s budget in 2009. Another domestic partnership registry for state employees, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, is also shut down.
We are thrilled these domestic partnership registries are going away. The same-sex-only one, now that the courts have forced same-sex marriage on all states, is discriminatory and the other registry for state employees is expensive. More important, however, is that both registries very much undermine marriage, the state’s most important institution.
2017 | September 16 Daily Fantasy Sports Bill is Disguised Legalized Gambling Bill
Madison, WI—Wisconsin Family Council President Julaine Appling released the following statement regarding the organization‘s participation in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Jack Philips and Masterpiece Cakeshop.
“As part of its mission to defend free speech and religious liberty, Wisconsin Family Council joined 32 other pro-family policy organizations in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week in support of a small business owner’s religious freedom rights. CLICK HERE to read the brief.
The ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief was filed last Thursday in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be going before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The question before the court is whether Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be forced by the government to convey a message that goes against his religious beliefs.
In July 2012, two men asked Jack to bake a cake for their wedding ceremony. Jack explained that he would gladly serve them any other baked-good they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.
Drafted by National Review Institute’s David French, the brief celebrates the long standing American tradition of allowing individuals and business owners to live their lives in accordance with their conscience, free from government retribution. It cites historical Supreme Court cases and current stories of people refusing to communicate a message that would violate their conscience.
‘This brief will relate stories of artists who refused to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable, design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies,’ the brief says. ‘But it will also go beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders.’
The bottom line is that diversity of opinion in a pluralistic society is one of America’s strengths. From students and athletes declining to rise for the pledge of allegiance, to Walmart refusing to sell Confederate paraphernalia, to fashion designers refusing to make dresses for Melania Trump because they disagree with her husband’s politics, Americans understand that no one should be forced to participate in an event or communicate a message with which they disagree.”
From the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC):
“This week the ERLC released a free, downloadable bulletin insert for use by your church on Anti-Gambling Sunday (September 18). In preparation for the event, here are five facts you should know about problem gambling:
1. Problem gambling is an umbrella term for all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, the essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
2. When problem gambling causes significant problems or distress, it can be a sign of gambling disorder, also called gambling addiction or compulsive gambling. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that some people develop a craving for gambling that is similar to the cravings for drugs or alcohol. Those with gambling disorder often hide their behavior, and may lie to family members and others to cover up their behavior and may turn to others for help with financial problems.
3. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States, classifies problem gambling as a disorder if a person exhibits at least four of the following behaviors during the past year:
- Need to gamble with increasing amount of money to achieve the desired excitement
- Restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling
- Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on or stop gambling
- Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next gambling venture, thinking of ways to get money to gamble)
- Often gambling when feeling distressed
- After losing money gambling, often returning to get even (referred to as “chasing” one’s losses)
- Lying to conceal gambling activity
- Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job or educational/career opportunity because of gambling
- Relying on others to help with money problems caused by gambling
4. Gambling disorder tends to run in families, but environmental factors may also contribute, notes the APA. Symptoms of the disorder can begin as early as adolescence or as late as older adulthood. Men are more likely to begin at a younger age and women are more likely to begin later in life.
5. Approximately 4-6 percent of high school students are addicted to gambling, and another 10-14 percent are at risk of developing an addiction, which means that they already show signs of losing control over their gambling behavior.”
>>>Get your FREE downloadable bulletin insert HERE.
Share with your pastors and clergy and pass along to friends and family you love. If you can’t participate in Anti-Gambling Sunday, the download and information is appropriate for use at any time.
September is National Family Meal month and this means it’s an opportune time to look at the way we practice meals at home on a daily/weekly basis. What used to be a basic activity is now a seemingly rare occurrence in the busy world of today.
Research has shown that participation in a family meal yields more positive outcomes for children and draws families closer, creating an environment of comfort. Eating together as a family 2-3 times a week consistently lent the best results overall for children, providing an atmosphere of stability. These are also precious times to pray together and talk about the activities of the day or share from the heart.
According to a 2012 Cornell University study, here are some benefits to children who take part in family meal time:
Less likely to be overweight
More likely to eat healthy foods
Have greater academic achievement
Have improved psychological well-being
Enjoy positive family interactions
In the following article, author Jim Burns shares 7 positive outcomes of sitting down to a family meal, “Kids who live in families that eat dinner together regularly are less likely to be involved in at risk behaviors. According to the 2000 study done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), children who don’t eat dinner with their families are 61 percent more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. By contrast, children who eat dinner with their families every night of the week are 20 percent less likely to drink, smoke, or use illegal drugs.”
As we recognize National Family Meal month, let’s turn off the TV and be intentional with our dinnertime as a family. If dinnertime doesn’t work, try morning breakfasts. Include prayer time and allow each family member to take a turn. The relational, psychological, spiritual and physical benefits are worth every bite.
Sept. 6, 2017 – Madison, WI – Last week, approximately 150 evangelical leaders issued what is being called “The Nashville Statement.” It has been characterized as a “Christian manifesto” on the biblical perspective of human sexuality.
It has a preamble and fourteen articles each comprised of an affirmation and corresponding denial about human sexuality. It was issued by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
The Statement affirms that the only marriage sanctioned by God is between one man and one woman, and God calls us to “chastity outside marriage and fidelity within marriage.”
Article 10 states:
WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.
The Statement also includes clear statements of belief about gender and gender identity and gender confusion.
Wisconsin Family Council president Julaine Appling has joined with over Family Policy Council leaders from over 30 other states in signing this historic Statement. WFC Director of Church Relations, Dave Lingle, has also signed “The Nashville Statement.” We urge you to share this Statement with your pastors and ministry leaders, as well as consider signing it yourself in support of Biblical truth presented in a loving and gracious, but definitely principled, manner.
A historic call to prayer by President Donald Trump has been issued for Sunday, September 3, 2017. This call to prayer focuses our nation on, “A National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts.“
On Friday, September 1, the White House issued this presidential proclamation:
Hurricane Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Rockport, Texas, on the evening of August 25, 2017. The storm has since devastated communities in both Texas and Louisiana, claiming many lives, inflicting countless injuries, destroying or damaging tens of thousands of homes, and causing billions of dollars in damage. The entire Nation grieves with Texas and Louisiana. We are deeply grateful for those performing acts of service, and we pray for healing and comfort for those in need.
Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen — friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger — and we vow to do so in response to Hurricane Harvey. From the beginning of our Nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God’s blessings and guidance. This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the Nation’s first Presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God’s protection and favor.
Read the rest of the proclamation HERE.
The Trump Administration is scaling back funding for a sex education program that started in 2010 under President Obama. The 81 pregnancy prevention grantees were supposed to receive $200 million dollars through 2020. but were informed by the Department of Health and Human Services last month that the money would dry up in June of 2018. This particular program has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood.
WFA president Julaine Appling responds, “Using these taxpayer-funded federal grants, Planned Parenthood promotes unhealthy and promiscuous behavior among teens. Now, perhaps instead of offering these dangerous programs for free to schools, Planned Parenthood will be forced to sell them, making it somewhat less likely that schools will be so quick to adopt their program with its insidious teaching.”
The Wisconsin State Journal published an article last week in which Madison Mayor Paul Soglin stated, “…the large Confederate memorial at Forest Hill Cemetery is a historical ‘lie’ placed there by a racist organization around 1931 to promote a new form of racism, rather than a monument of the Civil War.
Soglin, who last week ordered the removal of a 1981 plaque at the Confederate Rest section of the West Side cemetery, at a press conference Monday outlined three options for the larger stone monument.”
Read more HERE.
“The monuments battle has come to Wisconsin,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president, “Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has ordered the removal of two monuments marking an area in Forest Hill Cemetery known as Confederate Rest, where 140 Confederate soldiers are buried. Soglin says any monument or marker that glorifies the South’s position in the war promotes racism and bigotry. One monument is already removed. City Council will decide what to do with the one that remains on which are listed the names of the Confederate soldier buried in this cemetery owned and operated by the City of Madison.
“So, Christian parent, how are you handling this so-called monuments’ battle? What are you telling your children about Charlottesville and racism, Civil War monuments and slavery? I urge you to use this teachable moment and talk to your children about these issues from a biblical perspective. If you don’t, someone else will—and you may not be pleased with how that turns out.”
CLICK HERE to read this week’s Wisconsin Family Connection “Dane County, The Northwest Ordinance & School Year 2017.“
Across the state of Wisconsin, school is back in session for most students. With the return of school comes many challenges for students of all ages. Not the least of these challenges is how Christian students in public schools should stand for what they believe is right.
Navigating alone through the world of religious freedom in schools can overwhelm anyone, that’s why we’re here to help!
Below we share some tips from our allies at Alliance Defending Freedom that will help students live out their faith at school and arm them with the knowledge they need as they step into the new school year.
Click HERE to read more about religious expression in school, prayer, clubs, distributing literature and more.
Wisconsin Family Action is your voice for Judeo-Christian family values in The Badger State – INVEST HERE today!
A recent article in Atlantic, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation,” reports that unhappiness, depression and even suicide rates are escalating with heavy digital use by young people ages 5 to 22, in addition to a growing inability to relate to people in reality, not just virtually. Gracy Olmstead writing for the Federalist says parents have to step up to save their kids. Olmstead pushes for only flip phones if any before teen years, technology-free spaces and times at home, and active outdoor time together as a family as important interventions.”
>>>READ the article HERE.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says,”The of the most important things parents can do in this area is set a good example. Exercise personal discipline in the use of your own phone or tablet. Remember—what one generation does in moderation, the next does in excess. In addition, approach alternatives to being on a smartphone positively and creatively—and everybody benefits.”
August 1, 2017 – Madison, WI – Today, a Dane County Circuit Court judge is hearing a case involving stopping enforcement of a Madison ordinance and a state law against a photographer because the laws allow government control of her artistic expression. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Amy Lawson, photographer and blogger, owner of Amy Lynn Photography Studio in Madison. The lawsuit challenges a sweeping local ordinance and a state law that force commissioned creative professionals to promote messages that violate their beliefs, including abortion and same-sex marriage.
Read more about this case HERE.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “Interestingly Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit against the state, saying that the public accommodations law has never been enforced against someone like Amy. From our perspective, this is a critical case that will tell us exactly how the courts interpret the Madison ordinance and the state law.”
UPDATE, 8/1/2017, 3:25 p.m.:
On Wednesday, July 26, President Trump took to Twitter to announce a significant change in the military’s policy regarding transgendered individuals. Trump said generals and military experts have advised him that it is not in the best interest of the military for transgendered individuals to be enlisted in any branch of the military and is barring their admission. Liberals have denounced the ban, saying they are ready for a culture war with Trump. Wisconsin US Senator Democrat Tammy Baldwin has publicly spoken against the ban and will likely make this part of her 2018 re-election campaign.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, responds, “President Trump is simply returning the military policy to what it had been prior to 2016 when President Obama allowed transgendered individuals to join the ranks, including using taxpayer money to pay for gender-reassignment treatments and surgeries. This isn’t about hate or discrimination. It’s about ensuring our military is fully focused on defending us.”
WFA president Julaine Appling, “Court decisions matter, especially those from our nation’s highest court. No doubt they shouldn’t matter as much as they do these days. Our founders designed a government with 3 branches that are meant to check and balance each other, not one where one branch holds the other two hostage. Thomas Jefferson said of this matter, “[T]he opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” Many today, myself included, would contend the US Supreme Court, along with other lower federal and state courts, are dangerously close to being “a despotic branch.” And that’s a major reason why today court decisions really matter.”
Read the rest of this week’s Wisconsin Family Connection HERE.
July 17, 2017 – Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling will attend the Assembly Committee on Science and Technology tomorrow at the state capitol and register favor of Assembly Bill 206 (companion bill SB 154) which prohibits both the UW System and Clinics Authority employees from performing abortions during the scope of their employment. The bills were introduced by State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) and State Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) respectively. (more…)
AG Schimel “Unborn Child Protection Act protects mothers and unborn children” from impact of opioid addiction
From a press release from Attorney General Brad Schimel’s (photo left) office on Friday, July 7, 2017:
“Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a stay in Anderson, et al. v. Loertscher, a challenge to the state’s Unborn Child Protection Act, over the dissenting votes of Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. The Unborn Child Protection Act or 1997 Wisconsin Act 292 gives state actors the legal authority to assist substance-addicted, pregnant women with their addiction, thus protecting both the mothers and their unborn children Attorney General Brad Schimel released the following statement in response to the Court’s order. “In the weeks since the federal district court struck down the Unborn Child Protection Act, I have heard from numerous law enforcement officers and human services providers who are concerned they no longer have the ability to get drug-addicted women help, work they’ve been doing for nearly two decades. Today’s order from the Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law and restores important tools that make mothers and children safer and stronger.”
Link to order HERE.
WFA president Julaine Appling says, “The growing opioid problem in Wisconsin and across the country makes this stay very important. This law passed nearly 20 years ago was never intended to hurt pregnant women but rather to help them deal with addictions and in doing so protect their unborn children. It’s sad we have to have a law to do this, but today’s culture leaves us few options.”