This week we were fortunate enough to be at our state capitol at the very same time of the annual Christmas tree arrival. Below are some photos we captured for those who have never witnessed this event.
The tree will be placed in the rotunda in 1-2 weeks and decorated with ornaments made by schoolchildren that celebrate the Capitol’s centennial.
The Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be on Friday, December 1 from noon-1 PM in the Capitol Rotunda.
Choose Life Wisconsin/Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling received her brand new Choose Life license plates in the mail yesterday. In the video below, she demonstrates how to assemble the plate and shows how the plate looks once it is ready for attaching to your vehicle.
To learn more about how to obtain your Choose Life Wisconsin license plate, click HERE.
Did you already receive your plate? Send us your photo(s) of you with your Choose Life plate at [email protected]
Where: Wisconsin State Capitol, Room 417 North (GAR Hall)
When: 10 AM, Nov. 14th, 2017
Why: Your voice is needed at the State Capitol! Please come to register in support and even testify in favor of AB 550, one of the bills that makes up the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative.
AB 550, Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act, will make certain that families who have suffered the loss of a child due to miscarriage or stillbirth are given information about their options for the final disposition of their child, and the opportunity to donate their child’s remains. In addition, the bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to study the feasibility of developing ethical fetal tissue and umbilical cord blood banks in Wisconsin for use in research.
If you plan on attending the hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health, email the coalition at [email protected] so we can connect with you and get you more resources!
Can’t make it to the hearing? Consider submitting written testimony! Email the coalition at [email protected] for more information.
Contact your legislators and ask them:
To co-sponsor the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative if they haven’t already
Ensure a public hearing is held in the Assembly for AB 549, AB 550’s companion bill, ASAP
Ensure both bills are passed in both houses ASAP
Don’t know who your legislators are? Go to legis.wisconsin.gov and type in your home address under “Who Are My Legislators” or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472.
Questions? Take some time to visit our Q&A to learn more about this critical issue.
Wisconsin FamilIf this bill were to become law, Wisconsin would be the first state to lower the legal drinking age. Drinking alcohol in Wisconsin is endemic. A 2015 report showed Wisconsin to be the heaviest drinking state in the country and in 2016 a report showed 12 of the top 20 drunkest American cities are in Wisconsin. I can’t imagine this bill makes things better in any way.
I was born in L.A. in 1984. The year marked the beginning of the crack cocaine epidemic that would sweep the nation, springing from South Central L.A. The Black community was hit hardest. The “Crack Epidemic” was a major factor in fetal deaths increasing by 25%, low birth weights increasing by 10%, and the number of Black children being placed into foster care more than doubling.
This was the world my identical twin sister and I were born into. Our birth mother conceived twins at age 40, was rumored to be living in a garage in South Central, and was almost certainly addicted to crack. This would be her 9th pregnancy and final delivery–identical twin girls. (more…)
For over two decades, National Adoption Month has been promoted and celebrated every November in communities across the country. Many national, State, and local agencies as well as foster, kinship care, and adoptive family groups will help spread the word through programs, events, and activities that help raise awareness for thousands of children and youth in foster care who are waiting for permanent, loving families. Currently, Wisconsin has over 1,300 children in foster care awaiting adoption.
“Adoption is close to our hearts at Wisconsin Family Council, partly because I am adopted,” shares WFA president Julaine Appling, “But also because we know adoption is often a very good option for a woman who is considering an abortion. So this month we will be doing a special emphasis on adoption through our Wisconsin Family Minute because we believe giving children a forever earthly family is life-changing!”
Click HERE to learn more from Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA) about adoption, pregnancy counseling, post-legal adoption services as well as how you can help those considering adoption.
Earlier this week the State Assembly Family Law Committee held a hearing on a bill that would completely remove Wisconsin’s decades-old waiting period after a divorce before a remarriage. Currently the waiting period is 6 months from the time a divorce is finalized before remarriage can happen. The bill is authored by Republican Representative Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield) and supported by six other Republicans and four Democrats, including just one Senator, Democrat Janis Ringhand (Evansville) who is the senate author. Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, testified in opposition to the proposal.
“Statistics show remarriages are more vulnerable to divorce than first marriages,” says Julaine, “Removing this reasonable waiting period sets remarriages up for problems that could very easily result in yet another divorce. When children are involved, it’s especially important to have this waiting period. It’s time to consider children, not just adult desires.”
An ordinance that has been deemed “anti-discriminatory” has been proposed and is awaiting a vote by the De Pere Common Council on November 7 at 7:30 p.m.. Click HERE to read the earliest public reference to the ordinance.
Essentially the proposal adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected classes in the city’s anti-discrimination laws related to housing, employment and public accommodations. There are some exceptions in the housing policy—for instance it doesn’t apply to religious organizations that own homes used for their members or rented to their members; and it doesn’t apply to a home owner who owns no more than 3 single-family dwellings that he may rent or live in. It also doesn’t apply to a situation where an owner of a duplex, triplex or quadplex lives in one of the units and rents out the others. The main group the housing ordinance appears to be going after is owners of condominium developments, apartments, townhouses, etc…or we suppose a builder who develops a subdivision and is looking to sell the homes built in that development. (more…)
WHAT: De Pere Common Council Meeting WHEN: Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. WHERE: City Hall, Council Chambers, 335 S. Broadway, De Pere, WI
HERE’S THE “WHY”: Your De Pere Common Council will be voting on Tuesday, November 7, on an ordinance they declare is “anti-discriminatory” in nature. The ordinance prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and places of public accommodation against some 20-odd groups of protected classes of citizens. Included among those classes is “gender identity/gender expression.” Do you think private businesses in De Pere should be forced to allow men in the women’s restrooms or changing rooms? Should churches or religious organizations that encourage the public to attend their services be forced to allow men in the women’s restrooms or changing rooms or vice versa?
The City of De Pere proposed ordinance was recently introduced by Alderperson Casey Nelson, who just this past April was elected to the Common Council. The earliest reference we can find to this policy is in the minutes from the September 12, 2017 Finance/Personnel Committee meeting.
The Board of Health passed the proposed ordinance on Monday, October 23. Alderman Nelson and Alderman Ryan Jennings are on the Board of Health. Now the full Common Council will consider the ordinance for a vote on Tuesday, November 7. The public will be given an opportunity to express their opinion on this proposed policy/ordinance.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1)Call your common council member, the mayor and all of the members of the council expressing your concern and opinion. Click HEREto access contact information for the De Pere mayor and Common Council members. 2) Share this information with other residents of De Pere. Encourage them to contact their council member and also attend the meeting on Tuesday, November 7. 3) Make sure your pastor and ministry leaders know about the meeting on Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers, 335 S. Broadway, De Pere. 4) Pray! Pray that God will change hearts and minds of the decision makers the good people of De Pere have elected to the Common Council.
For more information on how this ordinance could impact local businesses, religious ministries, etc., clickHERE.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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…)