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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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…)
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.”
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.”
An incredibly complicated and heartbreaking life-and-death medical case has sparked an international debate: It’s the case of little Charlie Gard.
Charlie suffers from an extremely rare and deadly genetic disorder called Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome. Mitochondria “are structures within cells that convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use.” Because of his depletion of mitochondrial DNA, Charlie’s muscles and organs are failing. He’s unconscious and cannot breathe on his own. From all reports, he’s in the terminal stages of a disease for which there is no known cure.
Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have raised a million and a half dollars in private donations to take him to America for an experimental treatment. They appear under no illusion that the treatment will work, but they do want to exhaust every possibility.
But doctors at Britain’s Great Ormond Street Hospital have decided that Charlie’s condition is hopeless, and that he should be left to die.
The Supreme Court ruled decisively Monday that religious institutions should be eligible to receive public funds for purely secular purposes.
Even though the state’s denial of funds likely would lead only to “a few extra scraped knees,” Roberts said, “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benenfit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.”
“This decision is encouraging,” responds WFA president Julaine Appling, ” For a change we have an opinion on this type of issue that is faithful to the First Amendment and not hostile to religion. Other cases with religious freedom implications will be on the court’s docket next session, including a baker in Colorado who, based on his religious beliefs, won’t do cakes for same-sex weddings.”
WFA president Julaine Appling, along with the Heal Without Harm Coalition comprised of representatives from Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Catholic Conference and others will be on Wisconsin Eye’s program “On Tap” Wednesday, June 21 from 3 to 3:30 p.,m. airing from Genna’s Lounge in downtown Madison. The HWH Coalition will be interviewed by program host and Wisconsin Eye senior producer Steve Walters.
Heal Without Harm is a coalition of organizations and citizens dedicated to working with the scientific community to encourage it toward ethical research.
Julaine K. Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action
With Live Music by “The Mustard Seeds”
Topic: “Defining & Defending the Pillars of Freedom & Prosperity”
Julaine will discuss the current state of our nation and our state when it comes to liberty. She is well-known in the halls of state government for her effectiveness in making things happen. She was a leader in defunding Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, preserving natural marriage and has been a strong voice in Madison for traditional values and freedom. Both in government and the culture, Julaine defends the Judeo-Christian values and the constitution that our country was built upon.
All are invited
There will be an open Q&A session.
This event is co-sponsored by Citizens Against Expanded Gambling
For more information call Seth Cowan at 920-968-5335
AB 64 – Budget bill – currently at a standstill as Republican-controlled Senate and Assembly have major disagreements over at least 2 key areas of spending: K12 education and transportation. WFA has weighed in on several budget provisions, including funding a PR campaign to promote the Success Sequence (finish school, get a job, marry and then have kids), an amendment that gives Christian/Bible camps the same amount of tax exempt property as all other camps in Wisconsin.
AB 128/SB 81 – companion bills that prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions for state employees (related to state health insurance programs). Assembly committee has held a public hearing on the bill and voted in favor of it going to the full Assembly. The Senate has taken no action on the bill. WFA supports the bill and testified in the Assembly hearing in support of it.
AB 206/SB154 – companion bills that stop the cozy relationship that currently exists allowing UW Medical School employees to perform abortions at Madison Planned Parenthood. No hearing has been scheduled in either the Assembly or the Senate. WFA supports the bill.
AB 208/SB 157 – extends existing $5000 tax deduction to Wisconsin families who finalize adoptions in another state or country, but bring the child to live in Wisconsin. Assembly committee held a public hearing on the bill. No action on the Senate side. WFA supports the bill and testified in the Assembly hearing.
AB 300 & AB 304 – AB 300 requires that parents receive notice of all federal, state and local mandated tests their children will be expected to take. AB 304 allows parents to opt their children out of any federal or state mandated test or any local assessment, as long as the test is not required for high-school graduation (e.g., civics test). A hearing has been held on both bills in the Assembly. No action in the Senate. WFA attended the Assembly hearing and registered in support of both bills.
AB 48 – commonly referred to as the “Blue Lives Matter” bill. Adds crimes against members of law enforcement to existing hate crimes statutes. Hearing held in Assembly. No Senate version of the bill is currently introduced. WFA opposes this bill on the grounds that trying to add something good to a bad law, doesn’t make the bad law good and the bill is far more symbolic than substantive.
This week a Wisconsin Assembly Committee held a public hearing on two bills, AB 300 & AB 304, that would ensure school districts provide timely and complete notification to parents about any and all federal, state or local mandated tests, except those required for high-school graduation and would also make it clear that parents in public schools have a right to opt their children out of any federal or state mandated test, except for a test, like the Civics test, that is required for graduation. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du lac) and State Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) have authored the bills.
WFA president Julaine Appling states, “Laws that protect the right of parents to know what is happening in the schools and that safeguard the right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests are appropriate. We all want local control. But when school boards make it difficult for parents to know and act in the best interest of their children, it’s time for a higher level of government to step in on behalf of parents.”
“A bold new billboard recently appeared along Highway 33 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Located directly across from local “sex store” Sensations, this billboard proclaims: “Sex Trafficking: Porn Creates Demand.”
The billboard is part of NCOSE’s City Blitz campaign, which raises awareness in cities across the country about the harms of pornography, including links to other forms of sexual exploitation and the disintegration of the family.”
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, says, “Porn shops not only create demand for sex trafficking but also often actually enable it. Unfortunately, these types of businesses prey on small communities where too often local officials have not taken pre-emptive steps to stop them by enacting and enforcing restrictive ordinances. Informed and involved citizens are key to changing this in any community.”
Board members and friends who deeply value the work Wisconsin Family Action and Wisconsin Family Council do in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage and family want to give double honor over the next 2 months to mothers and fathers, the very heart of every family. These generous friends believe our work is critical and are offering a $26,000 dollar-for-dollar match as a double honor for mothers and fathers! What a great opportunity to double your investment, while also honoring mothers and fathers you love and appreciate.
INVEST HERE to immediately double your investment in WFC (tax deductible) and to give DOUBLE HONOR FOR MOTHERS AND FATHERS!
And we hope you will also send us an email letting us know what mothers and/or fathers you are doubly honoring and share why they are so important to you.