Yes, Christmas Tree; Yes, Christmas Wreath But "NO" to Christian Nativity
On Thursday, August 8, 2019, Shorewood Human Relations Commission members unanimously voted to forward to the Village Board and Business Improvement District board their recommendation that states, “… any religious symbol of the holidays would not be permitted in public buildings and spaces, and would be subject to removal”
Julaine Appling, WFA president, responds, “Shorewood officials need to be careful to not discriminate against religion. The Supreme Court has ruled that holiday displays on public properties can include religious components as long as the religious elements of the display are part of a larger holiday expression—with Christmas trees, Santa Claus, or the like—making the overall effect of the display secular.”
If you live in the Shorewood area, make sure to weigh in with your Village Board trustee. ClickHEREfor the list of Shorewood Board Trustees and contact information.
Did you know that last year then-Governor Scott Walker officially declared September 9-15th as “Christian Heritage Week” in Wisconsin? Similar official proclamations have been made in Wisconsin going back at least as far as 1994. If you have school-aged children in your life, ask them if they have heard about “Christian Heritage Week” at school. Sadly, the most likely answer will be “no.”
Especially noteworthy, is that September 17th is “Constitution Day.” This year marks the 232nd anniversary of the signing of this remarkable document. Find more information on this special day and ideas for sharing its importance with the next generation HERE.
Read the rest of our downloadable “Church Connection” publication HERE. Encourage your church leadership to make these available each month as a bulletin insert or in the church foyer!
The Bible is now a must-have school supply for students like Ethan, who considers it essential for surviving the school day. “When you have the Bible right out in front of you … when it’s sitting out on the corner of your desk, or in your backpack,” said Ethan, a 16-year-old student in Colorado, “it’s a constant reminder of what God has in store for you and to do what God wants you to do, rather than doing things off of your own selfish ambitions.”
Thursday, October 4, 2019 is the annual “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” Encourage your child/children to carry their Bible to school not only on October 4, but every day. Make it a part of their routine to make time for God’s Word between classes, at lunch time or while riding the bus.
Learn more about “Bring Your Bible to School Day” HERE. Click HERE to access your free back-to-school resources.
Like a number of rural Wisconsin communities, Mattoon recently lost its only school due to consolidation. The building remains empty, but a local Christian group wants to acquire the building to start a Christian school and become part of the statewide voucher program. However, the Antigo School District owns the building and is blocking their efforts, refusing to let the building be used for any competing educational purpose. Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is representing Mattoon and another community in a lawsuit against the school district.
The voucher program is designed to give parents an important educational option, especially lower-income families. The Mattoon area has a lot of families that would qualify for the voucher program and would support this private school. What the Antigo school district is doing is wrong in depriving this community of a school and depriving parents of a local and viable educational option.
From Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) for Christians teaching in public schools: “The majority of your students come from homes with religious backgrounds. Yet, too often this is not acknowledged or affirmed in a public school environment.
“The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that, 80 percent of high school seniors indicate that religion plays a role in their lives.” Read more HERE.
Gateways has assembled everything you need to help guard your children’s hearts and minds. In the comfort of your home and at your convenience learn how to guide your children through the public schools so they keep their faith and values intact.
CLICK HERE to obtain your “Public School Parenting Kit.”
The Planned Parenthood abortion business said this week it will not comply with President Donald Trump’s new pro-life rules that require any recipient of federal taxpayer dollars for family planning to separate out any abortion business it does.
Because the nation’s largest abortion company is so wedded to its abortion business and refuses to separate it from its family planning operations, Planned Parenthood will lose as much as $60 million dollars in taxpayer funds.
“Frankly, I’m glad Planned Parenthood refuses to comply with the new rule,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president. “Such a position makes it very clear what Planned Parenthood is really about—and it’s not women’s healthcare. Every taxpayer dollar the abortion giant does not get means a better opportunity for the life of an unborn baby to be saved and his/her mother spared years of emotional and maybe even physical distress.”
Wisconsin Family Action is 100% pro life; from conception to natural death. Click HERE to partner with us for LIFE in The Badger State.!
Fresh off the press! Wisconsin Cultural Indicators, 2019 Edition is a unique, Wisconsin-specific document that looks at cultural and policy trends that impact the well-being of the state. This publication clearly shows how important intact, married mom-and-dad families are to Wisconsin’s well-being, both now and in the future. It is designed to assist leaders and decision-makers as they deal with policy, programs and cultural situations.
WFC has distributed print copies to all state legislators, members of the executive branch, secretaries of several state agencies, the Wisconsin congressional delegation, over 300 pastors/ministry leaders in WI, all school district superintendents, all public libraries and to the mayors in Wisconsin’s major cities.
Topics include family structure and economics, childbearing and poverty, K-12 per pupil costs, voucher enrollments, marriage and divorce rates, abortion statistics and much, much more!
Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2019 Edition is now available online HERE or by contacting our office at 608-268-5074.
“We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it
at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.” Millennial Alyssa Ahlgren with Foundation for Economic Education says her generation is buying the lies about socialism because they have never experienced anything other than prosperity and therefore have nothing to compare it to. She strenuously objects to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent comment that her entire generation, “which is…becoming one of the largest electorates…, came of age and never saw American prosperity.” Ahlgren vigorously disagrees. She says, her generation has an entitlement problem and an ungratefulness problem.
Families can help by building into their children true gratitude and a real sense of what poverty is. Talk about God’s goodness and the opportunity we have to be good stewards of the blessing of living in this country. Teach and show children the relationship between work and earning money; trips to foreign countries where true poverty exists can be life-changing. Read the rest of the article by Ahlgren HERE.
10,000 Signed Petitions Delivered to Governor Evers
“Take Down the ‘Pride’ Flag; Unite, Don’t Divide Our State”
MADISON, WI –This morning Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council, and a group of concerned citizens in delivering 10,000 signed petitions to Governor Tony Evers’ office in the East Wing of the State Capitol. The petition addresses the Governor’s decision earlier this month to fly the LGBT “Rainbow Pride Flag” over the State Capitol and authorizing other state and public buildings to do the same, if they choose to.
“When the Governor issued his Executive Order regarding this flag on Friday, June 7, we immediately responded by encouraging people to call the Governor’s office and share their opinion on this decision. On Tuesday, June 11, Wisconsin Family Council launched this petition drive to make it easier for people to express their opinion. In just two weeks we have had 10,000 Wisconsin citizens sign the petition calling on the Governor to remove the ‘Rainbow Pride Flag’ from the state capitol. That’s an incredible response,” Appling commented.
“Obviously many citizens are very concerned about this inappropriate and divisive decision and are reminding the Governor that the State Capitol or any state or public building are places representing all Wisconsin citizens, not just a select special-interest group, and that any flag that flies over these buildings should reflect that truth.”
The petition drive was conducted online, with a print version also available that people could download and circulate for multiple signatures.
Appling further remarked, “Governor Evers said during his campaign and has repeated since he took office, that he wants to unite Wisconsin. Flying this special-interest-group flag over the seat of government belonging to all Wisconsin citizens is anything but unifying. Our state affords Governor Evers many opportunities to find common ground and work together for the benefit of all our citizens.”
Wisconsin Family Council is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.
At a Madison elementary school recently, a teacher announced via a video that he is transgender.
In the nearly eight-minute video he reads a book entitled, They Call Me Mix, a story about a person who claims to be both male and female and everything in between. Formerly known as Mr. B, the teacher says he now wants to be called Mx Steel and referred to by the pronouns they, them and their.
Wisconsin Family Council has verified that the video was shown to first graders without any parental notification. Watch the video (obtained from the teacher’s public Facebook page) HERE.
View the teacher’s Facebook page and statements HERE. (Update: This Facebook page has now been made private by Mr. Steel.)
We realize Madison schools are more liberal than many schools in our state, but we also know this issue is advancing everywhere at an unbelievable pace. No parent should assume it’s not in their school just because they haven’t heard anything about it. The way Madison parents found out about this indoctrination and usurpation of parental rights was when their kids came home talking about it.
Parents, we cannot emphasize this enough… Get to know your child’s teacher(s). Know the curriculum that is being taught to your student(s). Stay involved. Don’t sit on the sidelines and allow others to indoctrinate your children.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the so-called “Equality Act.” It now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The Equality Act would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
This means that almost no area of American public life—including education, employment, public accommodations, housing, medical care, non-profits, and federal funding for example—will be left untouched.
The Equality Act:
Attacks the fundamental freedoms of speech and religion.
◦ It could force faith-based charities, non-profits, and schools to operate contrary to their religious beliefs concerning human sexuality, or risk punishment or loss of federal funding.
◦ Creative professionals— especially in the wedding industry— could be compelled to communicate messages about marriage that violate their conscience or be forced out of the wedding industry altogether.
◦ It would force faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to shut down or change their policy of only placing children with a married husband and wife.
Threatens privacy, safety, and opportunities for women and girls.
◦ Biological men claiming to identify as women will have access to women-only intimate spaces like locker rooms, bathrooms, showers, and women’s shelters—giving easy access to sexual predators.
◦ Title IX, which is supposed to make sure women have the same opportunities as men, including in sports, would be gutted as men identifying as women could claim these opportunities. It is already happening around the country where boys identifying as women are displacing women in sex-specific sports in high school and college.
Undermines parental rights.
◦ Parents could lose custody of their gender-dysphoric child if they do not support their child’s desire to take puberty blocker and cross-sex hormones.
◦ Public education would be legally required to teach and operate in line with transgender ideology, regardless of parental opposition.
Would embed transgender ideology into federal law.
◦ As Ryan T. Anderson points out, the Equality Act “could impose a nationwide transgender bathroom policy, a nationwide pronoun policy, and a nationwide sex-reassignment health care mandate.”
◦ It could force hospital facilities, medical professionals, and insurance plans to provide gender-transitioning services, or be found guilty of unlawful discrimination.
Friday, on a 236-173 vote, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the
so-called Equality Act, a bill that adds gender identity and sexual orientation
to all federal anti-discrimination laws. Eight Republicans joined 228 Democrats
in voting in support of the bill. Sixteen Republicans didn’t vote, along with
seven Democrats. All three of Wisconsin’s Democratic representatives
supported the measure with four of the state’s five Republican representatives
voting against the it. Republican Representative Sean Duffy didn’t vote.
bill, at a minimum, does an end-run around religious freedom, allows men to
play on women’s sports teams, forces curriculum changes in public schools to
include instruction at all grade levels that affirms same-sex relationships and
gender transitions. The bill now moves to the Senate where Wisconsin Democrat
and openly homosexual US Senator Tammy Baldwin is a lead sponsor.
The so-called Equality Act (H.R. 5) is moving very quickly through Congress. Despite the bill’s name, the Equality Act would dramatically elevate the rights and privileges of a select few while dealing a devastating blow to parental rights.
H.R. 5 is far-sweeping; it would amend several federal civil rights laws including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes equal to immutable and inborn characteristics like race, age, sex and national origin.
The results of this radical legislation will be widespread and disastrous. We need only look to the states or our neighbor to the north with similar laws to predict what we’re in for should the Equality Act become law.
In 16 states now, parents do not have a choice when they seek counseling for their children struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. In other words, counseling that encourages children to change their gender – even to go through irreversible “genital reconstruction” operations – would be protected by the state. But counseling to help children accept their God-given birth sex would be outlawed. These therapy bans interfere with parents’ right to direct their children’s upbringing and completely disregard family faith or values. What’s worse—the bans were passed with no regard for what type of therapy may actually be best for children long-term.
In Ohio — a state without legislation of this sort — a judge already removed custody from parents of a 17-year-old for their refusal to allow her to undergo life-altering gender transition hormone treatments. This decision came after a two-year custody battle which started with family services alleging parental neglect and abuse for their religiously held beliefs about gender. When the child was placed in temporary custody of family services, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital recommended the 17-year-old undergo hormone therapy at its Transgender Health Clinic, which she did.
This hospital tells first-time patients that their healthcare providers may speak to minors without their parents because “Sometimes young people also have questions that they are afraid to ask in front of their family or guardians.” The clinic also conducts a psychosocial interview to “help understand how the patient and family or guardians are functioning and see if there are any needs.”
It’s not far-fetched to surmise that what they really mean is “see if parents support the gender transition of their young son or daughter, and if not, we’ll take you to court.”
That’s exactly what happened to a Canadian dad earlier this year. In February, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ruled that a 14-year-old girl would be administered testosterone injections by her doctor against her father’s wishes and consent. Despite a parent’s insistence that his minor daughter should wait until she was older — not a child anymore — to make this life-altering decision, the court said the child had the right to decide for herself. The judge, who ruled on the basis of federal law, blatantly dismissed parental objection to the medical treatment of his minor child.
As if the case couldn’t get any worse, it did. Just last month, the judge declared the father guilty of “family violence” due to his “expressions of rejection of [her] gender identity.” In other words, a dad refused to refer to his daughter as a boy. As a result, he was convicted of a crime against his daughter, given a gag order and ordered not to expose his daughter to any resources which may bring her gender identity or treatment into question.
These cases seem to say everyone other than parents knows best! We believe differently.
We know that parents have a God-given and Constitutionally protected right to direct the upbringing of their children—including their moral values, faith, education and healthcare. We cannot allow misguided legislation to threaten that right!
We believe families should have the right to pursue mental health counseling consistent with their beliefs and religion — be it for depression, anxiety, gender confusion or any other condition.
We believe parents must have the right to prevent their children from accessing experimental puberty-blocking hormones, cross-sex hormones (which can lead to sterilization), and certainly irreversible, life-altering “genital reconstruction” surgery.
Two years ago, Boy Scouts of America announced an historic change. Girls would be allowed to join Cub Scout dens as the organization worked to welcome girls into their flagship program.
By February of this year, girls could become full-fledged Boy Scouts, now just called “Scouts BSA” and so far about 14,000 girls have joined.
In Southern Wisconsin’s Glacier’s Edge Council, nine girl troops have already formed including Troop 7444 in Reedsburg. Read more HERE.
For Reedsburg families who have a problem with their daughters joining the Boy Scouts but want their daughters to be part of an organization for girls that promotes the right values, you need to know Troop WI1412 of American Heritage Girls available. More information on this troop can be found HERE.
To find an American Heritage Girls troop near you, click HERE.
For the Boy Scouts alternative, Trail Life USA, click HERE to find a troop in your area.
On Tuesday, five pro-life bills were given public hearings in the state legislature. The Assembly Health Committee heard testimony on the “Born-Alive Protection” bill and on two bills stopping Medicaid funding for organizations that perform abortions, as well as on a bill that would prohibit abortions based on sex, race, or disability, and on a bill that would require that women seeking a chemical abortion be told about how they can reverse the effects of RU-486. Various senate committees heard the senate versions of the bills. The bills are fast-tracked in both houses. Wisconsin Family Action **testified on a number of these pro-life bills.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, shares, “While no bill is perfect and each of these bills could be improved—and a couple really should be—the legislature is giving Governor Evers an opportunity to do the right thing regarding protecting human life and safeguarding women. We will soon find out whether the governor is beholden to Planned Parenthood, or if he is really all about children, as he says he is.”
Briefly, here is a short summary of the bills: **SB175/AB179: Born Alive Protection Bill – Requires any health care provider present at time of abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skilled care and diligence to presrve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health provider would give to any other child born alive after an abortion or an attempted abortion.
Read WFA testimonies on SB175 and AB179 respectively.
SB173/AB182: Prohibits abortion based on sex, disability, race, color, national origin or ancestry. This bill also has an exception for so-called fatal anomalies.
SB174/AB180: Requires certain information regarding an abortion-inducing drug regimen to be given to a woman who is planning to have an abortion induced by the same. This is about the very potent RU486. Essentially, the bill requires that the woman be told that the first drug in the RU486 regimen may not result in an immediate abortion and that if she acts quickly, the woman can reverse the effects of the first drug and perhaps save her baby. This bill also requires abortion providers to report additional information. This information would be added to the “Woman’s Right to Know” publication. **AB181/SB199: Prohibits Medicaid funds from going into entities that perform abortions or are affiliated with organizations that perform abortions. This bill provides this prohibition but deals exclusively with Planned Parenthood. There is currently no senate version of this bill.
**SB187/AB183: Also deals with stopping these joint federal and state Medicaid monies from going to abortion providers but this bill has an express exemption for hospitals that perform abortions because of certain situations (rape, incest, life of the mother).
Read WFA testimonies on SB187 and AB183 respectively.
With all of these bills having had public hearings this week and the Assembly Health Committee having a vote in the committee today (Thursday, May 9) or tomorrow on these bills, it’s clear that the committee is going to move very quickly on these proposals. We suspect they will all be on the agenda next week when the Assembly convenes a floor session.
By taking action on these pro-life bills, the legislature is giving Governor Evers the opportunity to do the right thing (he has said he is “all about the kids”) and sign the bills into law. If he chooses to veto them, then the entire state of Wisconsin will clearly know where the Governor stands on life and, in some ways, on the protection of women.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Call your state legislator to give your opinion on these bills. Find your state senator and state representative and his/her contact information HERE. Please continue to pray about these bills and for our pro-life state legislators here in The Badger State.
Wisconsin news was filled recently when a young man from West Allis won the largest Powerball jackpot in our state’s lottery history. Admittedly, the $326 million after-taxes purse will be life-changing for the winner; but the lottery is much more
about creating losers than winners. Consider, for instance, that the largest number of scratch-off tickets in Wisconsin are sold in the zip codes with the highest poverty rates and highest welfare dependency. For every winner, there are many, many losers, a situation fostered by state-sanctioned gambling.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, shares, “I sincerely wish this winner well. However, I believe the lottery is a blight on our state. It’s hard to imagine that we think it’s good governing to have a scheme that requires the citizens to lose in order for the state to win. For starters, we need to stop preying on those who can least afford to gamble and quit the heavy lottery advertising, which is unconstitutional, in those high-poverty zip code areas.”
“Rather than take a stand for the biblical definition of marriage, Michigan’s largest Christian adoption agency waved the white flag last week, informing its employees that it will comply with a decision issued by the state’s lesbian attorney general that requires faith-based adoption agencies to place children in homes of so-called “LGBTQ” couples if they want to receive taxpayer funding.
‘Bethany Christian Services (BCS), a global nonprofit founded in Michigan in 1944 that currently operates in 35 U.S. states, has announced it will facilitate the placement of foster care children into gay and lesbian households in Michigan.”
BCS president and CEO Chris Palusky penned a response to this decision HERE.
“Adoption agencies should be free to make this kind of decision if they want to; however, they should never be forced to do so. And that’s pretty much what happened,” says Julaine Appling, “Michigan told Bethany Christian Services you either violate your religious beliefs or you must close. Bethany Christian Services either doesn’t really believe what it claims or it just caved to the government bully.”
Wisconsin Family Action stays on the front lines working for Wisconsin’s families. CLICK HEREto invest and partner with us today!
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is finally cracking down on organizations that sell abortion pills over the internet. Organizations such as AidAccess.org and Rablon (who host a pharmacy network that includes sites like AbortionPillRx.com and AbortPregnancy.com) were issued letters from the FDA to immediately stop selling unapproved versions of mifepristone and misoprostol, drugs used in the abortion pill regime.”
Again we see elections have consequences. The FDA is now under conservative leadership. Its rule-making is reflecting this administration’s pro-life, pro-woman positions. This ruling is a recognition that abortion is always heinous, and it’s even more so when greedy people prey on confused and stressed pregnant women. Shutting down these operations is a great move.
From Institute for Family Studies: “… there was one societal shift over the past decade that influenced the lives of today’s teens and young adults more than any other generation: the spread of smartphones and digital media like social media, texting, and gaming.
“While older people use these technologies as well, younger people adopted them more quickly and completely, and the impact on their social lives was more pronounced. In fact, it has drastically restructured their daily lives. Compared with their predecessors, teens today spend less time with their friends in person and more time communicating electronically, which study after study has found is associated with mental health issues.”
Parents really are the key in this area. Giving kids technology too early with little or no oversight and accountability is dangerous in so many ways. Parents need to act on these three words for the well-being of their children—filter, restrict, monitor. Intentional parenting in this area is absolutely required if we are going to spare our children the negative consequences of technology.
“State and local sexual orientation gender identity policies are a Trojan horse. They claim to promote equality but have been used to allow males into women’s sports and spaces, attack businesses and charities, and politicize medicine. Even though the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the effects of these policies, politicians are rushing to expand their reach. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently introduced the so-called “Equality Act,” which would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law.”
Read the rest of the article HERE. “These laws are indeed a Trojan horse,” says Julaine Appling, president of WFA. “From H.R. 5, the so-called Equality Act at the federal level, to similar ordinances passed recently in a number of Wisconsin municipalities, they all—under the guise of equality and anti-discrimination—actually create gross and dangerous inequality and promote discrimination, especially against people of faith. We do well to defeat them at every level.”
Wisconsin Family Action stays on the front lines working for Wisconsin’s families. CLICK HEREto invest and partner with us today!
Governor Evers’ budget proposal includes legalizing medicinal marijuana and decriminalizing possession of what he says is a “small amount” of marijuana, 25 grams, which is the equivalent of 75 joints. As a backup plan, should the Republican-
controlled legislature not keep these provisions in the budget, Assembly Representative Melissa Sargent, a Democrat from Madison, is holding a press conference today announcing that she is introducing a stand-alone bill to fully legalize marijuana, which would include both medicinal and recreational use.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, says, “As states across the country have embarked on this drug experiment, the evidence mounts that any legalization of marijuana comes with consequences, not the least of which is increased crime. In fact, law enforcement in Colorado deems this a public safety issue. Wisconsin lawmakers need to hear from citizens before going very far down this policy path.”