Wisconsin Family Council held a one-hour Lunch with a Purpose webinar featuring David Fowler on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
A family advocate and devout Christian, author and former TN state senator David Fowler speaks with the voice of compassion as he outlines in terms of the two great commandments of Scripture how Christians should respond to the controversies of the day. As a former politician, practicing lawyer and policy analyst, he is in a unique position to offer insights on the politics of loving God and neighbor in a post-modern culture. As Fowler points out, contrary to popular opinion, biblical love requires more than the live-and-let-live philosophy of today. And he beckons Christians to reckon love for God and neighbor as the basis upon which God once again makes America a beacon of light to others. His book, The Politics of Loving God: Courageous Truths for Contentious Times speaks the truth in love to a nation that needs it.
If you were unable to attend, the webinar was recorded and is provided for you HERE to watch/listen to at your convenience.
On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court issued a five-to-four ruling upholding Montana’s school choice program which includes giving scholarships to qualified families whose children attend a private religious school. The court held that the state issuing such payments does not violate the US Constitution but prohibiting such religious schools from being part of the scholarship program does indeed violate the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority, joined by Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
Lindsey Burke writing for the Daily Signal, “In a 5-4 decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court held that families have a right to seek the best educational opportunities for their children, by preventing states from blocking the participation of religiously affiliated schools in state school choice programs.
“In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court ruled that the application of a ‘no-aid’ provision in Montana’s Constitution violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, since it barred state tax credit scholarships from being used at private religious schools.
“In a huge win for families, the high court held that states cannot apply the ‘no-aid’ provision to discriminate against religious schools by excluding them from private school choice programs. READ MORE HERE
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch states, “The Supreme Court was right to rule that states can’t oust parents and children from neutral benefit programs simply because they choose a religious private school. This is consistent with the court’s 2017 decision in the ADF case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which unequivocally reaffirmed that states can’t impose ‘special disabilities on the basis of religious views or religious status.’ The court was right to not allow the dead hand of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry—which motivated the state constitutional provision at issue here—to put a stranglehold on educational resources desperately needed by parents and their children.”
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “After a raft of disappointing Supreme Court decisions, we finally have one we can celebrate. This decision strengthens our Wisconsin school choice programs, which is good news for parents. While private religious schools have been able to participate in the voucher program since 1998, this decision makes it clear that the state cannot discriminate against a school just because it is religious.”
Wisconsin Family Action is your voice in the Badger State for religious freedom. Click HERE to partner with us securely today!
From HeritageAction: “On Monday, the Supreme Court decided the landmark abortion case June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, overturning a Louisiana law placing common-sense health guidelines on abortion providers and requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The decision was anti-woman, anti-life, and anti-liberty.
“Chief Justice Roberts [photo left], who dissented in a similar case in 2016, has reversed course to cast the deciding vote to overrule the Louisiana legislature’s decision to protect women’s health.”
Learn more HERE.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, responds to the SCOTUS decision, “When Scott Walker was governor, Wisconsin enacted basically the same law Louisiana did. Planned Parenthood immediately filed a lawsuit, and as a result our law has never been enforced—and now we know it likely never will be. In this case, I think the court has wrongly held itself to a poor practice: assuming one bad decision by the high court, in this instance the Texas decision, must be perpetuated.”
Wisconsin Family Council, the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action, was part of a friend-of-the-court amicus brief in support of the State of Louisiana in this case.
Read Wisconsin Family Action’s press release on this issue HERE.
Wisconsin Family Action is 100% pro life, from conception to natural death. Click HERE to securely donate online or call us at (Madison) 608.268.5074 or (toll-free) 866.849.2536.
Like so many others, we were wondering where Governor Evers has been, especially while destructive mobs were destroying state property in our capital city.
We agree with the governor in his statement released today that violence against people and property is wrong. We are glad that the two statues toppled and damaged by the mob last night have been recovered, but we remain incredulous about where the Capitol police were as all this was happening. Why was this openly defiant and destructive mob allowed to destroy these statues and threaten to break into the capitol itself? Where were the police? Where was the governor?
When the seat of our state government is threatened, it is the governor’s job to do what needs to be done to thwart destructive efforts. It’s not as if the governor didn’t know these folks were set on major mischief. They have been talking openly about their plans for days.
A press release is just words. We trust the governor really is prepared to call on the National Guard and will hold the police department accountable for what they permitted last night and for the plans they have to prevent any further destruction to what is really part of our state’s noble and good heritage and history.
Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the governor (608-266-1212; firstname.lastname@example.org) and urge him to do everything he can and should do to ensure that no more damage is done to state property which is essentially owned by “we the people” of the state of Wisconsin.
MADISON, WI – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in three Title VII cases. On a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment “on the basis of sex.” Title VII is the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One of the cases involved Harris Funeral Homes in Detroit, Michigan. This family-run business has the delicate task of serving grieving families. Tom Rost, owner of Harris Funeral Homes, had that in mind when a male employee of six years decided to start living as a woman and insisted on dressing as one at work. Tom held the employee to the dress code he agreed to at time of hire and was promptly sued. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today dictates how Tom and other employers can run their businesses, regardless of their beliefs.
The Court ruled that an employer who fires an individual “merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” Essentially, the Court is saying that the word sex in laws from the 1960’s, also includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
While many aspects of the Court’s ruling are troubling, the most concerning is that the Court again has shown its inclination to make law, not interpret law. Changing the definition of a word in a congressionally passed law is not the purview of the court; that is for the legislative branch.
Justice Alito, with Justice Thomas agreeing, wrote in his dissent: “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.” “A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall.” “The question is not whether discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity should be outlawed. The question is whether Congress did that in 1964.”
President of Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling commented, “Today’s decision by the high court causes significant problems. At a minimum, it undermines equal opportunities for women. Males identifying as female will take women’s places on athletics team and on the award podium, as recently happened at the Connecticut girls’ high‐school track finals where two boys identifying as girls have won 15 girls’ state-track-and-field titles over the past two years. It jeopardizes bodily privacy rights of women by forcing organizations to open women’s shelters, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers to men who say they are women. In addition, it forces employers, such as Harris Funeral Homes, to choose between violating their religious beliefs or facing lawsuits and financial hardship.
“We will continue to analyze the decision to determine its impact on Wisconsin law and specifically on faith-based employers such as churches, schools, and para-church ministries. The breadth of the Court’s decision remains to be determined.”
By June 30, the court will be handing down more opinions that directly touch on religious liberty and rights of conscience.
Wisconsin Family Action was part of a friend-of-the-court amicus in the Harris case that was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Read ADF’s statement here.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE CITY OF FOND DU LAC−ACT NOW! The meeting is THIS WEDNESDAY, June 10
Wisconsin Family Action learned this weekend that one of the members of the Fond du Lac City Council is preparing to introduce a proclamation making June “LGBTQ+ Pride Month” in the City. (See picture below for wording of proposed proclamation.) According to our understanding of the Council’s rules, council members do not get a vote on a proclamation. If it gets on the agenda, it is presumed agreed upon and “passed.” The proclamation actually goes out from the President of the City Council, who currently is Brian Kolstad. The only way to ensure this proclamation is not officially done is to keep it off the Council’s agenda. The Council President is the one with the authority to do that.
The proclamation is scheduled to be on the Council’s agenda for its meeting this Wednesday, June 10, 2020. If you agree with us that such a proclamation is not only unnecessary but also inappropriate and even discriminatory against other groups that don’t get such special recognition, here is what you can do:
1) Call or email the Council president, Brian Kolstad, immediately.
2) Share this email with other City of Fond du Lac residents and ask them to join you in opposing this proclamation.
3) Contact your pastor by email or phone and let him know about this proclamation. Ask him to call/email the Council president. This is an especially important action point, since pastors represent so many people.
4) Contact the other members of the City Council and encourage them to let the Council president know they object to having this proclamation move forward.
5) Plan on attending the meeting on Wednesday evening, June 10, if at all possible. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Fond du Lac City/County building at 160 S Macy St., Fond du Lac.
6) Pray that God will move upon the heart of the Council president and other members of the council to stop this effort.
Once again, parental rights in Wisconsin are being challenged.
“The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), on behalf of a group of Madison parents, filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court against the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) for adopting and implementing policies that violate the rights of district parents. The challenged MMSD policies enable children, of any age, to change their gender identity at school without parental notice or consent, and instruct district employees to conceal and even deceive parents about the gender identity their son or daughter has adopted at school. These policies violate critical constitutionally recognized parental rights.
WILL represents 14 individual parents from 8 families with students in MMSD.” Read more about this case from Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty HERE.
WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said, “Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights. A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents.”
The first hearing in this case took place this past Tuesday, May 26, in Branch 8 of Dane County Circuit Court. During the hearing, the judge ordered that the parents’ names must be revealed to the court and to any and all attorneys involved. The case had been filed with all parents’ names kept anonymous. The WILL attorneys representing the parents will now need to either appeal the judge’s decision on anonymity to the appellate court or check with the parents to see who is willing to remain on the case under this order of limited disclosure. WILL Attorney Luke Berg, representing the parents, repeatedly told the court that the more people who know who the parents are increases the likelihood of those names being leaked, which could have very negative consequences for the parents and their children. The judge responded saying he was confident the attorneys would respect the confidentiality. (WFA will refrain from editorial comment here.)
Also in the Tuesday hearing, the court denied the school district’s motion to dismiss the case entirely, which is definitely a win for the parents and their children. They and the unconstitutional policy will have their day in court.
A decided twist in the case is that the judge also allowed ACLU of Wisconsin to have “intervener” status in this case, which basically makes the ACLU and the groups it represents another party to the case. The ACLU is representing three LGBTQ student groups at three (3) different Madison schools- the Gender Equity Association at Memorial High School, the Gender Sexuality Alliance at West High School and the Gender Sexuality Alliance at La Follette High School. The judge agreed that the “rights” and “interests” of these students were not adequately represented by the school district and thus permitted them to participate fully, just like another defendant, in the case.
“First Liberty Institute informed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday that faith leaders representing millions of believers in the United States fear “a swarm of lawsuits blaming houses of worship and religious ministries for any person who attended a religious gathering or received food or shelter from a charity or ministry and subsequently contracted COVID-19.”
The legal organization urged Congress to protect groups of believers from lawsuits related to the coronavirus and the manifold orders currently in place.
The statement was accompanied by a letter to members of Congress, which was signed by hundreds of religious and conservative leaders, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, radio host Eric Metaxas, and Protestant preacher Franklin Graham.
Julaine Appling, WFC president, says, “Wisconsin Family Council is honored to be one of the organizations that signed this letter. We are grateful for First Liberty’s proactive work to protect churches and ministries. The reality is today many are very quick to file lawsuits with or without merit. Churches have admirably risen to the challenge of ministering effectively during this pandemic; they should be thanked and protected, not threatened with lawsuits.”
Following the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s ruling striking down Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, Gov. Tony Evers today approved a statement of scope (DHS 145) developed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
EMAIL OR CALL all members of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) COMMITTEE regarding your thoughts on the Governor’s new proposed “safer at home” order and how it affects your family and/or business and ask him/her to push back against the order.
***If you are a constituent of any member of JCRAR, please list “CONSTITUENT” in the subject line of your email. This is VERY important, as constituent emails mean more. If you are not sure if you are a constituent of any of the members of JCRAR, you can find this information HERE – Enter your address at the top right to find out who your Senator/Representative is.
PLEASE EMAIL AND/OR CALL ALL SENATORS/REPRESENTATIVES the following (copy/paste): Senator or Representative Representative Ballweg (Co-Chair) (R) (608) 266-8077 Senator Nass (Co-Chair) (R) (608) 266-2635 Representative Neylon (Vice-Chair) (R) (608) 266-5120 Senator Stroebel (Vice-Chair) (R) (608) 266-7513 Senator Craig(R) (608) 266-5400 Senator Larson(D) (608) 266-7505 Senator Wirch(D) (608) 267-8979 Representative Quinn (R) (608) 266-2519 Representative Hebl (D) (608) 266-7678 Representative Subeck (D) (608) 266-7521
Earlier this year, fourteen parents of children in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) filed a lawsuit alleging district policies regarding transgender students purposefully keeps parents in the dark about what their child is doing in this regard and even encourages staff to deceive parents, if necessary. The district has asked the court to dismiss the case and is arguing that if it goes forward the names of the parents should not be kept anonymous as the original filing requested. An initial hearing in the case is scheduled before a Dane County Judge on Tuesday, May 26.
The school district has a fundamental misconception. Children do not belong to the state nor to one of its agencies—in this case a public school. Children belong to their parents, who are responsible for them in every way. Nothing should be withheld from parents of minor children. It is the height of arrogance for the district to persist in claiming their policies are right and these parents are wrong.
“The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”
—US Supreme Court, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925
Recently Harvard Law School scheduled a conference in which it became clear that the purpose was to disparage parents and homeschooling. Fortunately, the conference was cancelled, but that didn’t stop some of the professors from expressing their influential opinion. See the truth in this article in The Federalist HERE
The webinar next Wednesday, May 13, 1-4 p.m. CST will help parents and other concerned citizens understand this issue in light of growing attacks against homeschooling. CLICK HERE to learn more about the webinar and to register today!
“Congressman Jeff Duncan, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, and Congressman Ralph Norman, along with 133 other Members of Congress, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of states’ authority to choose Medicaid providers and defund Planned Parenthood.”
Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Applings says, “Out of 133 members of the US Senate and the US House who signed on to this important brief regarding states and abortion, I have to say I’m disappointed and a bit surprised that only one of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation signed on—and we have 9 possibilities. That member is Representative Glenn Grothman, a Republican from the Fond du Lac/Oshkosh area.”
This week’s Wisconsin Family Connection radio program focuses on a brand new concept for school choice in Wisconsin that opens up exciting doors for Christian home education.
“Suddenly lots of parents in Wisconsin are doing schooling at home—parents who never intended to do that. For many other parents, little has changed for them as it relates to the education of their children during the COVID-19 situation. They homeschool all the time—by choice—and are thankful for the opportunity to do so.
In 1983, after a pretty bitter battle involving the state legislature and the Department of Public Instruction, a private-school/homeschool law was passed. This law clearly defines what a private school is, including required number of instructional hours and what constitutes an acceptable curriculum, and also legalizes home education. That this law has remained virtually untouched for the past 37 years is nothing short of miraculous, and the home-education part of it is still one of the best in the country.
Homeschooling and traditional private schools are two of the educational options Wisconsin parents have today for the education of their children. Over the intervening years, we’ve added others, such as the nation’s first Parental Choice Program, known more commonly as the voucher program. This program allows parents who qualify to send their children to a private school, including a private religious school, using a voucher issued by the state. (more…)
WISCONSIN CITIZENS CALL ON GOVERNOR EVERS TO OPEN WISCONSIN Wisconsin Family Action leads petition to reverse extended stay-at-home order
MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action launched a statewide online petition calling on Governor Evers to stop extending the time Wisconsin is shut down and instead begin taking positive steps to open the state for business, including allowing some church services again.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “We are grateful the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state have worked and our numbers have stayed quite low. In fact, as of today, seven counties have not reported even one case of the virus. We’ve flattened the curve; so it’s time to begin opening Wisconsin for business again. However, and very disappointingly, Governor Evers is prolonging the time we have to keep our places of commerce, education, and religion shuttered. We believe Governor Evers needs to hear loudly from the people of Wisconsin that we think his new emergency order is misguided and will hurt our state and its families more than help.”
The individual signed petitions will be printed and mailed to the governor on a regular basis.
“Forty-five of our 72 counties are reporting 10 or fewer positive cases of the virus. Let’s keep exercising common sense, responsible distancing, and good hygiene to make sure we keep this illness contained. But it’s counterproductive to keep the entire state closed, causing untold harm to so many individuals and families. That’s the message we want Governor Evers to hear and heed,” noted Appling.
“For more than six months, Democrats have used their positions of power to disenfranchise Republican voters, artificially boost Democrat turnout, and make voter fraud much easier to commit. Alarmingly, this disgusting abuse of power and attempted electoral interference has been going on in plain sight.
“When Republican Congressman Sean Duffy suddenly announced his retirement last September, Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced that a special election to replace him would take place not on the traditional Tuesday, but rather on a Monday. More bizarrely, the primary election would take place on Monday, December 30th, the day before New Year’s Eve and in the middle of the week in which more Americans are on vacation than any other. The general election was set for Monday, January 27th, 2020.
“Why not a Tuesday? Governor Evers said that the earliest he could legally schedule the primary was Monday, December 24th, but since that was Christmas Eve, he didn’t want to schedule an election on a holiday. Naturally, Evers never explained why the general election had to also be on a Monday instead of Tuesday, January 28th, but the reason was rather obvious. He wanted to artificially depress turnout in the heavily Republican Seventh Congressional District, which had re-elected Duffy by a 60%-39% margin even in the “Blue Wave” 2018 midterm.
“Voters naturally would assume that the election was on a Tuesday, and since far more Democrats than Republicans typically vote early (while far more Republicans vote on Election Day itself), far more Republicans than Democrats would miss the election because of the crazy scheduling.”
NON-ESSENTIAL SURGERIES ARE CANCELED ACROSS THE STATE, BUT ABORTIONS CONTINUE.
YOU HEARD US RIGHT.
Yesterday Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #12, Safer at Home Order, which states that “the number of people needing medical care due to COVID-19 will significantly exceed the amount of available healthcare resources (and)…the entire State of Wisconsin – including residents, businesses, community organizations, and government – need to take all possible actions to reduce further spread of COVID-19 to save lives.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? The emergency order stops all non-essential business and operations through April 24, with the exception of healthcare and public health operations including, but not limited to, hospitals, medical facilities, clinics, and ambulatory surgery centers for response to urgent health issues or related COVID-19 activities. More importantly, it states that “Healthcare and Public Health Operations shall be broadly construed to avoid any impediments to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined.”
ABORTIONS CONTINUE ACROSS WISCONSIN. WHY? Because this order does not specifically exclude abortion providers as essential healthcare and public health operators, Wisconsin’s surgical and chemical abortion facilities will be allowed to continue killing preborn children in a “business as usual” manner without fear of repercussion.
Abortion is NOT healthcare, and it certainly is not “essential” healthcare. It is an elective procedure that kills innocent preborn human beings.
WHAT ABOUT PROTECTING OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS? At a time when medical resources are crucial to the survival of those who are critically ill or severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, non-essential procedures contribute to the community spread of COVID-19 and put more people, specifically healthcare workers and patients, and then the GREATER COMMUNITY, at very high risk. The personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., masks, gowns, etc.) that is already in short supply continues to be used by abortion facilities to kill babies, either by ELECTIVE surgical abortions or by ELECTIVE chemical abortions.
BY THE NUMBERS: There are 808 abortion facilities in the United States and 2,600 abortions that occur EVERY DAY. If there is a minimum of three people that come in contact with each abortion, that equates to 7,800 PPE masks used every day. Hospitals, where people’s lives are actually saved, are pleading to have volunteers make PPE masks to supply the demand.
Governor Evers continues to allow babies to be killed by abortion while claiming to be doing everything he possibly can do to avert a state and national disaster. TELL HIM TO STOP NOW.
Please CONTACT Governor Evers NOW and urge him to
Immediately SHUT DOWN Wisconsin’s abortion facilities for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency order. Abortion is NOT healthcare and will result in killing preborn children, spreading the deadly Coronavirus and using up scarce medical supplies.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Call Governor Evers at (608) 266-1212 or send a message on his official website HERE. Every minute that we allow to go by more lives become at risk and more children will lose their lives at the hands of abortionists across Wisconsin. Please don’t hesitate. Pick up your phone and call now!
Wisconsin Family Action is 100% pro-life from conception to natural death. We are appalled at the continuance of abortion across The Badger State during this critical time in the history of Wisconsin, and every day, and will continue to take our place on the front lines with partners like you on behalf of the unborn.
On Monday, March 16, Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) and DaySpring Church hosted, for the first time ever, the Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Forum at DaySpring Church in Pewaukee. Candidates invited were Justice Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky. Karofsky did not attend the forum and did not respond to any of our invitation efforts.
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Wisconsin has a critical Supreme Court election. As part of our organization’s attempt to do our best to engage with Wisconsin families about issues of great importance in The Badger State, we provided this candidate forum so you, as a voter, could take advantage of this opportunity to hear the candidates’ views on the role of the court, the upcoming election, their qualifications and more. Due to precautions stemming from the Coronavirus and in consideration of the Governor’s request that there be no events with over 50 people gathered (at that time), we were not able to allow the general public to attend this event. Instead, we made it available via our Facebook as a “live” event and our media host, VCY America, aired the event live via radio and also video recorded the Candidate Forum to be watched at your convenience HERE.
We extend our gratitude to our panelists, Daniel Reehoff of DaySpring Church and Jim Schneider, Executive Director of VCY America, as well as our media host, VCY America. We also thank Justice Daniel Kelly for his attendance and time spent discussing his judicial philosophy and responding to numerous questions from our panelists. Justice Kelly’s wife Elisa accompanied him to the forum.
Photo, left to right: Julaine Appling, Jim Schneider, Daniel Reehoff, Justice Daniel Kelly
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: If you missed the forum, you may simply CLICK HERE and watch at your convenience.