May 16, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
A video from podcaster Tim Pool has been circulating on the internet after a well-known pro-choicer from a socialist YouTube channel debunked his own argument in a conversation about abortion.
Pool hosted Lance, a personality from a popular YouTube channel called “The Serfs.” When they reached the topic of abortion, Lance claimed that a woman should have “the choice” and “ultimate authority over what happens to her body.”
Pool responded by asking Lance if he believes a woman should be allowed to use meth while pregnant.
“Uh, I think if someone is doing meth while they’re pregnant, that it is completely acceptable for something like [child services] .…” said Lance.
“It’s her body, though…If she wants to do meth, what’s the big deal?” Pool replied, pointing out the flaw in his argument.
“Uh, the big deal is that it’s – she’s intentionally trying to kill a child,” Lance said.
After a short moment of silence, Pool said, “Hold on there a minute,” and Lance immediately recognized the unrecoverable error he had made in admitting that the unborn are fully human.
Some on the left have become so accustomed to simply espousing leftist talking points that they’ve failed to logically reason through their own positions.
Clearly, Lance isn’t actually pro-abortion/pro-choice, as he doesn’t believe a mother should be able to intentionally kill her child in the womb. He has been indoctrinated by the left into believing that women need abortion to obtain freedom and equality, as so many others have similarly been deceived. In reality, freedom can only be found in the truth, and the truth is that the preborn have the same God-given rights as every person of any age because from the moment of conception, a unique human being is formed.
Conversations such as this are crucial for the defense of the preborn. When faced with the brutal facts about abortion and forced to follow the logical progression of the pro-choice/pro-abortion position, many so-called “pro-choicers” would likely recognize similar flaws in their own viewpoints.
Pro-lifers need to be willing to sit down with pro-abortion proponents and demonstrate the incoherence of the pro-abortion worldview by simply asking the right questions. In doing so, their worldview will fall apart on its own.
In addition to the excellent question Tim Pool used to help Lance recognize that he isn’t pro-“choice” after all, pro-lifers should be asking those on the left the following questions, not in a combative way, but in a conversational, genial manner: When does life begin? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights, if not at conception? What confers humans their value? If life in the womb isn’t human, then what is it? If life in the womb is part of a woman’s body, why does it have its own unique DNA? Does a woman have two hearts, two sets of fingerprints, two blood types, and two sets of DNA? What happens when we begin allowing certain groups of people human rights and denying others those same rights?
Finally, while knowing the facts and asking the right questions is crucial, we also need to pray that God will transform the hearts and minds of those who don’t yet recognize the humanity of the unborn. Even with all of the right information, a hardened heart can be blinded by the lies coming from the forces of darkness in our culture.
This exchange between Lance and Pool is an excellent reminder that the truth must be proclaimed – and it can stand on its own. The truth doesn’t mind being questioned, but a lie doesn’t like being challenged. Our job as Christians and pro-lifers is to expose the lies of the left and allow the truth to take their place.
May 12, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Last Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper heard oral arguments in the case that challenges the enforceability of Wisconsin’s pre-Roe law that prohibits most abortions. Schlipper heard oral arguments for over 90 minutes, but has not yet released a decision.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed the lawsuit within days of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June last year. The defendants in the lawsuit are the district attorneys from Sheboygan, Milwaukee, and Madison—all places where surgical or induced abortions were being performed before Roe was overturned.
The defendants argued the judge should dismiss the lawsuit because Kaul lacks the legal standing to bring the lawsuit, as the ban does not affect his ability to carry out his duties as attorney general.
Attorney Matthew Thome argued that modern-day laws that restrict abortion, such as the 1985 post-viability restriction, can act in “harmony” with the ban. Thome also implored the judge to “get back to principles,” noting that the legislature decided not to repeal the abortion ban,and Schlipper should respect the rightful place of the legislature to enact these laws instead of imposing her own opinion.
The case will undoubtedly end up before the state Supreme Court, which by August, will have a 4-3 liberal majority.
Until then, innocent lives are being saved every day while the abortion prohibition is in place. Please pray that everyone involved in this case recognizes the humanity of the unborn and rules according to God’s will.
May 12, 2023 | News
Christian Post reports that a recent survey from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University indicates over 69% of Americans identify as Christians. However, only 4% of Americans have a biblical worldview, which is defined as a means of experiencing, interpreting, and responding to reality in light of biblical perspectives so that every decision is consistent with God’s principles and commands.
Simultaneously, the percentage of believers who say they “have a unique, God-given purpose or calling” has decreased from 88% to 46%. The percentage of those who claim they are “deeply committed to practicing” their faith has fallen from 85% to 50%.
This is sobering news, and it indicates that the culture is shaping Christians more than Christians are shaping the culture. However, this can be remedied as Christians study God’s Word daily and seek His wisdom. And of course, families reading and studying the Bible together is one of the best ways to instill a biblical worldview in the next generation.
“A biblical worldview is critical because that’s what enables you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” said George Barna, the director of research at the Cultural Research Center. “If that’s your goal in life, what you’re saying is ‘I want to think like Jesus so that I can live like Jesus. But in order to do that, notice first, as Romans 12 talks to us about, you have to have your mind ‘renewed,’ you must be ‘transformed’ by that ‘renewing of your mind’ with God’s principles at the core of all of your thoughts so that you can in fact live like Christ.”
Thankfully, the findings of the study aren’t all bad. The good news is that those who are devout Christians are more involved than ever before in the political sphere.
In 2020, a staggering 99% of spiritually active and politically engaged conservatives turned out to vote.
“[There is a] core of Bible-believing Christians in America who don’t want to just sit and tell other people what to do, but they want to make things happen,” said Barna. “I’ve been doing this in politics for 40 something years now, been involved in a lot of national elections, worked with four presidential candidates. I’ve never seen anything like that. So it’s unprecedented. But it’s because they feel that this is an urgent time. This is not a time to sit back. If you care about the country, if you care about the kingdom, you’ve got to dig in.”
Christians, now is the time to not only stay involved politically, but to encourage fellow believers who have been influenced by our secular culture to re-engage with God’s Word. The only way to make real, lasting change is to point one another to the Source of Truth!
May 3, 2023 | News
In early March, four 9th grade girls at East High School (EHS) in the Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD) used the shower area in their locker room after their physical-education class. Because transgender ideology has permeated Wisconsin schools, the girls experienced a grave violation of their privacy. Thankfully, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) is taking a stand for the victims and demanding answers.
As the girls began to shower in their swimsuits after swim class, an 18-year-old male student entered the shower area and told the girls he was “trans.” Then, the male student fully undressed, completely exposing himself to these freshmen girls.
Parents of the girls alerted the school district of the incident, but administrators failed to address the issue and provided a “completely inadequate” response, according to WILL. Under federal law, school administrators should have reported the incident to the Title IX coordinator right away. Then, the coordinator should have contacted the four girls and helped them file a complaint. However, no one contacted the girls or launched an investigation.
After several requests, the girls’ parents were finally able to meet with school administrators to discuss the incident over a month after it occurred. However, no one was able to provide answers to the parents’ questions. District staff simply referenced a “policy” that they claimed addresses this situation, but they did not identify, describe, or bring the policy to the meeting.
Several days later, the EHS principal sent a copy of a “Restroom and Locker Room Accessibility Guidance” policy to one of the parents, but according to WILL, there is no “indication that this policy has ever been in effect, was in effect on March 3, or was ever approved by the School Board.”
Further, the guidance document allows males to use the girls’ locker room regardless of the comfort of female students. The guidance only says that if a male requests to use the women’s locker room, then school administrators will evaluate and respond to the request on a “case-by-case basis.” However, “What if there is no such request? Is permission to use the girls’ locker room required? Who evaluates whether access will be permitted? The policy does not answer these questions,” noted WILL in a letter to the district.
WILL went on to ask administrators to implement policies that will immediately protect the privacy and safety of students, noting that the school violated Title IX.
“Under the Title IX regulations, sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe that it effectively denies a person equal access to the education program. Here, four freshman girls taking a shower in their swimsuits in what is supposed to be a private and safe space, were exposed to the male genitals of a senior student against their will. Considering student development, high school being a relatively new environment for freshman girls, the power dynamics between not only a biological male and female but between a senior and a freshman, and student safety, the age difference of the students here is relevant,” reads the letter.
WILL is also demanding that the district offer supportive measures to victims of sexual harassment, provide victims an opportunity to file a complaint, conduct investigations of such cases, re-train district staff, hold accountable the staff that failed to uphold students’ rights, and adjust district policies and guidance documents to protect students.
“School districts need to think through what loosening boundaries for single-sex spaces could mean for girls. Parents are understandably concerned about whether school districts—like the Sun Prairie Area School District—are doing everything required to protect girls in bathrooms and locker rooms,” said Libby Sobic, WILL Director of Education Policy. This incident is what inevitably happens when policy is rooted in ideology rather than reality, common sense, and the right to personal, bodily privacy. No student should have to fear sexual harassment while using a bathroom or locker room at school.
Hopefully this case serves as yet another wake-up call for parents whose children are in a government school. If this happened in Sun Prairie (a “bedroom community” of Madison), it can happen in most any school in our state. From what we can tell, this young man was not dressed like a girl, he simply announced that he was “trans.” Students don’t have to do anything in most schools to “prove” they are “trans.” They just have to announce it. Parents, for the well-being of their children, need to know what the school’s policies are, how they are being enforced, and keep open and frequent communication with their children on this issue.
If WILL doesn’t get the right response from SPASD, we would assume they will sue the district, making this another poignant lesson for all Wisconsin schools. Special rights and protections for “trans” students cannot violate the fundamental rights of “non-trans” students, with girls being the most vulnerable in these situations.
Apr 23, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a monumental religious liberty case on April 18th. Groff v. DeJoy is an important opportunity for the High Court to affirm the right of employees to honor their religious beliefs and the duty of employers to grant reasonable religious accommodations.
Christian mail carrier Gerald Groff requested the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for a religious accommodation that would excuse him from working on Sundays after they started doing Amazon package deliveries so that he could observe the Sabbath and live by his Christian faith. The fact that regular mail isn’t delivered by the USPS on Sundays was a major factor in Groff’s choosing to work there over a decade ago. USPS refused to grant him the accommodation and Groff chose to resign rather than be fired.
Groff is appealing to the Supreme Court in hopes it will overturn its erroneous 1977 precedent in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, which enabled employers to deny religious accommodations.
Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief in the case asking the Supreme Court to restore Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provides protection against religious discrimination.
“This Court should overrule the interpretation in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison that Title VII does not require an employer to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs if doing so would impose more than a de minimis burden on the employer. Hardison’s de minimis standard—found nowhere in the Title VII’s text or legislative history—has led to absurd results, allowing employers to discriminate against religious employees with impunity, thereby forcing workers to choose between their religious beliefs and their jobs,” reads the amicus brief.
The Supreme Court justices spent much of the hearing debating the exact meanings of “undue hardship” and “de minimis.”
Groff’s attorney, Aaron Streett, recommended that the justices “construe undue hardship according to its plain text to mean significant difficulty or expense,” which would be consistent with the language in the accommodation standard of the “Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Arguing on behalf of the Biden administration, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told the court that Hardison adequately protects religious exercise, to which Justice Samuel Alito responded, “I’m really struck by that because we have amicus briefs here by many representatives of many minority religions, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Jews, Seventh Day Adventists, and they all say that is just not true, and that Hardison has violated their right to religious liberty.”
Chief Justice John Roberts spoke about changes in religious liberty case law since the Hardison ruling, arguing that religious protections had been expanded.
Thankfully, it appears that the conservative justices are poised to rule in favor of Groff and the religious liberty of every employee. The Supreme Court is expected to rule over this case by the summer.
At the state level, another religious liberty case will soon be heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. After the state refused to grant a Catholic charity legal recognition as a religious organization, the charity filed a lawsuit. Without legal recognition as an organization “operated primarily for religious purposes,” the charity is unable to use a Church-run unemployment system and instead must provide funds to the state-run unemployment system.
Although the Diocese of Superior operates the charity, the state refused to grant it its legal rights because it does not consider providing services to the poor, disabled, and elderly to be a primarily religious function. Catholic Charities Bureau is arguing that caring for those in need is central to the practice of the Catholic faith. WFA has filed an amicus brief in support of Catholic Charities Bureau.
Please pray that our justices make decisions informed by the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles in both of these cases. If religious liberty is to be truly honored in Wisconsin and the nation at large, the justices must rule accordingly in these cases.
Apr 19, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
As radical gender ideology continues to spread throughout health care in the U.S., the left is taking aim at practices that stand in its way while disregarding First Amendment freedoms and the needs of people.
Currently, 20 states have banned the intentionally misnamed “conversion therapy,” which is actually just the practice of providing counseling to help individuals with same-sex attraction or gender confusion reorient in synch with their God-given sexuality. However, the name “conversion therapy” – a misnomer much like “reproductive health care” in relation to abortion – is intentionally used by the left to conjure up images of patients being effectively tortured, badgered, or bullied into renouncing homosexual interests or abandoning transgenderism.
Banning counseling efforts to guide a patient through struggles with their sexual orientation is a direct violation of free speech, freedom of religion, and patients’ freedom to seek the treatment they want. It also threatens parents’ rights to direct the mental health care and education of their children.
Some on the left are even attempting to expand the definition of “conversion therapy” to include any form of opposition to homosexuality and transgenderism. Doing so could criminalize even private conversations in which individuals advocate for abstinence from homosexuality or Biblical sermons on God’s design for human sexuality.
Those struggling with any mental health problem need guidance rooted in Truth and reality, not in lies rooted in the baseless religion of progressivism.
Despite the lack of data regarding the psychological ramifications of the “gender-affirming” approach, and the growing body of evidence that this method doesn’t remedy mental health problems, the left wants “affirmation” to be the only therapy available to struggling minors.
Thankfully, a U.S. district court has ordered the city of Boca Raton, Florida, to pay a combined $75,000 in damages to two therapists, while also ordering Palm Beach County to pay a fine of $100,000 for passing so-called “conversion therapy” bans for minors seeking help with unwanted homosexual attraction.
Boca Raton and Palm Beach County passed laws prohibiting conversion therapy for minors in 2017. The two plaintiffs, marriage and family therapists Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton, filed lawsuits arguing that their therapy was voluntary and focused on reducing unwanted homosexual attraction rather than changing the client.
Liberty Counsel, which represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement that the judge’s order sets a “precedent that minors who are struggling with gender confusion can get the help they need from counselors who are free from political censorship” and it should “be a warning to any government that has not repealed similar counseling bans.”
Several municipalities in Wisconsin have audaciously enacted these bans that blatantly violate counselors’ First Amendment freedoms and rob confused minors of the real help and hope they need. Hopefully, these local governments in our state pay attention to this case and reverse course.
As Christians, obeying God and loving our neighbor require us to call out sin and point one another to God’s Word. The left has no right to stand in the way of our allegiance to God with laws enforcing anti-Christian beliefs about gender and sexuality. Please pray that this case is the first of many victories when it comes to restoring religious liberty and free speech in mental health care and the Wisconsin communities where these bans have been enacted will indeed do the right thing and revoke such policies.
Apr 16, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Once again, the Biden administration is promoting mass delusion at the expense of women’s rights. Males have stolen at least 30 titles from female athletes between 2003 and 2022, and if the Biden administration has its way, many more titles could be stolen in the near future.
Last week, Biden officials announced a proposed regulation allowing students to participate in sports teams “consistent with their gender identity.” In other words, boys who “identify” as girls could compete among and against girls in girls’ and women’s sports.
The rule also lowers the age of application to kindergarten, dangerously attempting to normalize the idea that elementary-aged children can fully understand the implications of “identifying” as the opposite sex.
The regulation would override state laws protecting female student athletes from being forced to compete against or share a locker room with men. It would also bar federally-funded schools from implementing a “categorical ban” on boys who “identify” as girls from participating in girls’ sports.
Currently, 19 states have passed legislation to protect women’s sports in recent months, but those new laws would all be nullified with Biden’s new proposal.
While the Biden administration claims it will allow schools some “flexibility,” pro-family advocates believe schools will face federal intervention over poorly-defined offenses. For example, the proposed rule states that schools may only lock men out of the women’s locker rooms if it is “substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective,” and schools must “minimize harms” to any student excluded from participating in sports with the opposite sex.
“Without a doubt, institutions are going to err on the side of ‘inclusion,’ because they fear the wrath of the Education Department — thus, achieving the Department’s end goal while allowing them to maintain plausible deniability that they coerced districts into doing so,” said Nicole Neily, founder of Parents Defending Education.
Title IX was initially implemented to protect opportunities that were previously denied to women and girls. However, the Biden administration’s new rule would unravel Title IX. If it takes effect, women’s sports, at least in schools, could be eradicated. Sports will soon “be divided into a team of men and a team of folks who used to be men, while women are sidelined from the opportunity to compete,” as Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) puts it.
Biological realities tell us that it’s entirely illogical to allow men to compete against women in sports and pretend that the competition is fair. When competing against women, men boast an advantage even greater than if an athlete were taking performance enhancing drugs. Men have 10-30 percent greater muscle strength, greater bone density, better oxygen efficiency, larger heart and lungs, and 10 percent more overall body mass, among other advantages.
“The Department of Education’s rewriting of Title IX degrades women and tells them that their athletic goals and placements do not matter,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer. “The Biden administration’s proposed rules are a slap in the face to female athletes who deserve equal opportunity to compete in their sports.”
Wisconsin legislators last session introduced bills designed to protect women’s and girls’ sports at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. The Assembly passed the bills, but the Senate did not take either of them up. In this current session, no bills dealing with this issue have yet been introduced.
After the Biden administration officially publishes the rule, Americans will have 30 days to provide comments before officials decide if the rule will be officially adopted. We will be sure to let you know when the 30-day window opens. Conservatives must make it clear that we will not allow the respect and dignity of female athletes to be violated at the behest of gender-confused men and a delusional administration.
Apr 12, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Since 2011, the American Bible Society (ABS) has been issuing an annual report entitled State of the Bible USA. Earlier this month, ABS released the first installment of its 2023 report, which tracks key metrics about Scripture engagement, Bible use, and perceptions of the Bible in America. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the newly released report shows a continued downward trajectory in Scripture engagement, which is not good for America in just about any way we can think of. The good news is that this is a reversible trend.
While our founders and founding documents were undoubtedly very influenced by Christian principles, sadly, over the years, our nation has become less and less overtly Christian, and part of that is because of the diminishing influence of the Bible in every aspect of our culture.Christianity cannot thrive when its definitive authority, the Bible, is not accepted and genuinely adhered to by the faith’s followers.
We’ve known for years that biblical literacy is waning. In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down any compulsory Bible reading in public schools. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court also decided public schools couldn’t display the Ten Commandments in a classroom or anywhere else in a school.
These Supreme Court decisions along with a number of other cultural happenings, including the breakdown of the family unit, pretty much ensured that upcoming generations would be unfamiliar with biblical teachings and disengaged from Scripture.
The State of the Bible USA report documents these unfortunate realities. Putting people into three broad categories—Bible Disengaged, Moveable Middle, and Scripture Engaged—the report looks for trends, both favorable and unfavorable. This year, the first chapter of the report says the data collected suggests three things. First, when people engage deeply with the Bible, their lives and relationships are better. In other words, they flourish. Second, fewer people in America are engaging with the Bible. Scripture engagement is not rising yet; it continues on a downward trajectory. And third, there are signs of hope. The Movable Middle has rebounded, and Bible disengagement has fallen in the past year.
The reality is America cannot sustain its republican form of government with “we the people” as the central characters, its free-enterprise, capitalistic economy, and its unprecedented wealth and freedom long-term without the influence of the Bible and its clear teachings on what true Christianity is. John Adams told us early on that “[o]ur Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” At that time, Adams knew people understood he was talking about Christianity and the Bible when he referenced “a moral and religious people.”
Thankfully, the loss of the influence of the Bible in our country can be reversed. That reversing won’t happen in public schools, to be sure, even if the courts decided to reverse course on Bible reading and posting of the Ten Commandments in those schools. However, as dads and moms make the Bible an integral part of their personal and their family’s daily lives, the next generation will become more biblically literate and more Scripturally engaged. Churches should help families in this area in really practical ways; but ultimately, we reverse this dangerous trend one family at a time.
Mar 29, 2023 | News, Uncategorized, Wisconsin Family Voice
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Parents Bill of Rights Act by a vote of 213-208 “to ensure the rights of parents are honored and protected in the Nation’s public schools,” according to the bill’s text. Wisconsin’s six Republican representatives (Bryan Steil, Derrick Van Orden, Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman, Tom Tiffany, Mike Gallagher) voted in favor of the bill, while the two Democrats (Mark Pocan, Gwen Moore) voted against it.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) urged his colleagues to vote for the bill, saying that it would empower parents to always remain aware of what their children are learning in school and how their taxpayer money is being spent.
“Once you are a parent, you will give your life for your child,” said McCarthy. “You have a right to get the basic information about your children’s education….the Parents Bill of Rights is an important step towards protecting children and dramatically strengthening the rights of parents.”
The Parents Bill of Rights outlines five key rights that all parents nationwide should have, including the right to know what’s being taught in schools and to see reading material, the right to be heard, the right to see a school’s budget and spending, the right to protect their child’s privacy, and the right to be updated on any violent activity at school.
This is common sense legislation that would help protect children from activist teaching by empowering parents to be involved.
This bill comes in response to the many school districts across the country, including a numbere in Wisconsin, that have been caught hiding or withholding pertinent information about students from their parents.
For example, last year the Eau Claire Area School District was sued for directing teachers and school staff to allow students to change their preferred pronouns, name, and “gender identity” without parental involvement.
Similarly, in November of 2021, the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) was sued for a policy that allows minor students to “transition genders” at school, even despite the parents’ objection. A hearing for this case is scheduled for April 19th, and a ruling is expected in the late spring or summer.
In a third case, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) was sued for its policies that allow children to change their “gender identity” at school without parental notice or consent. The policy also instructs district staff to hide information about students’ “gender identity” from parents. This case is ongoing after the Wisconsin Supreme Court sent it back to the Dane County Circuit Court for further action.
Across the nation, there are at least 6,000 schools that allow or require teachers to hide students’ “gender identity” from parents. Clearly, a parental bill of rights is urgently needed.
While the Wisconsin Constitution protects the “inherent right” of parents to “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control,” it’s clear that parental rights need more protection. A relatively strong Parents’ Rights Bill passed in the Wisconsin legislature last session, but Governor Evers vetoed it. The Assembly author, Rep. Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), has indicated an interest in introducing the bill again this session.
While legislation can certainly help, parents should never rely on it alone to keep their children safe from harmful ideologies. Parents should always remain deeply involved and keenly aware of what is going on in the classroom and during any meetings with school staff. For the sake of children’s safety and well-being, parents must be the primary decision-makers when it comes to their children’s upbringing, education, and mental health.
It’s also crucial that parents make their voices heard during this year’s Supreme Court election on April 4th. The balance of our State Supreme Court is on the line, which is our last chance and our strongest defense against liberal policies that have resulted in gross violations of parental rights and put our children at great risk in public schools.
Mar 27, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
The upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court race is breaking campaign spending records. Outside groups have donated millions of dollars in what is already the most expensive supreme court race in the history of not just Wisconsin, but the nation. Candidates and outside groups have already spent over $20 million in television and radio ads alone, and we have a week to go. While much of the donations are in support of pro-abortion candidate Janet Protasiewicz, WFA-backed candidate Daniel Kelly is receiving significant support from pro-life groups.
Women Speak Out PAC, a partner of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, has committed $2 million to support Justice Daniel Kelly.
The donation will help pay for canvassing, digital ads, and a statewide TV spot, highlighting No Jail Janet’s soft-on-crime record.
In a press release, Women Speak Out PAC’s Director of State Public Affairs Kelsey Pritchard is urging voters to turn out in support of Kelly, as Wisconsin’s abortion ban is on the line.
“Janet Protasiewicz has a horrific record on crime with a history of being soft on sex offenders. Someone with her dangerous lack of judgment should not be entrusted with the responsibilities of a state Supreme Court justice.”
“Based on the statements Protasiewicz has made throughout this campaign,” she continued “the Constitution and the laws won’t stop her from ruling based on the whims of her own flawed judgment in order to carry out Planned Parenthood’s agenda to eliminate parental rights for the sake of abortion on demand.”
Pritchard is right. Wisconsin’s abortion ban will go before the court, and whoever comes out on top on April 4th will likely be the fourth vote in support of life or abortion.
“The abortion industry couldn’t be more enthusiastic about Protasiewicz,” said CatholicVote Communications Director Joshua Mercer. “And they couldn’t hate Judge [sic] Dan Kelly more. But they’re absolutely right when they talk about how important this election is. [Christians] in Wisconsin absolutely have to get out and vote on April 4. It sounds hokey, but it’s more undeniable in this election than just about any other in my lifetime: lives depend on your vote.”
Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) is also backing Kelly with an election campaign. WFA recently launched a $225,000 election campaign.
WFA’s targeted, statewide, multi-media express advocacy campaign encourages Wisconsin voters to vote and to vote for Kelly. The express advocacy ads educate voters about the judicial philosophy of each candidate and seek to motivate them to cast their ballots accordingly.
Thankfully, other pro-life groups have joined us in supporting Kelly, who is endorsed by all three pro-life groups in Wisconsin. WFA, Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right to Life are all urging pro-lifers to elect Kelly, pointing to his outstanding track record of judicial conservatism, clearly showing he is not a judicial activist seeking to make law from the bench.
As Christians and pro-lifers, we have a duty to do everything in our power to elect the only candidate who will preserve the rule of law and respect the Constitution.
While not everyone can make financial contributions to this race, we all can play a role in electing Kelly by sharing the truth about the candidates and getting as many Christians to the polls as possible. Innocent lives depend on it.
Mar 22, 2023 | News, Uncategorized, Wisconsin Family Voice
The upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court race holds incredibly high stakes as liberal Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz competes against conservative former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, and the court’s conservative majority hangs in the balance. This election could determine the fate of the unborn, free speech, Second Amendment rights, gerrymandered political maps and a range of voting rights issues.
For 20 years, Kelly has given legal advice to clients on a variety of legal issues through his private practice. Throughout this race, his corrupt opponent has been spreading lies to smear his reputation, but Kelly is fighting back with the truth.
In a document titled, “Learn the Truth about the False Attacks on Justice Kelly” on the former Supreme Court justice’s website, Kelly outlines the many lies that Protasiewicz has been spreading and refutes each of them.
The first lie states that Justice Kelly received funds from a “radical anti-abortion group working to take away women’s rights.” The truth is that Justice Kelly never received funds from Wisconsin Right to Life. Protasiewicz is attempting to suggest that Kelly would vote in favor of life in a case dealing with abortion.
However, as a candidate, Kelly does not discuss his views on abortion. He has said if a case on that subject comes before the Supreme Court, he would analyze it as he does all cases — he would apply the applicable laws, as written, to the extent they are consistent with the state and federal constitutions.
Protasiewicz, on the other hand, has been clear about her stance on abortion. In one of her ads, she says, “I believe in a woman’s freedom to make her own decision on abortion. It’s time for a change,” showing a clear progressive bias on the issue of abortion.
Another lie about Kelly is that as a lawyer, Kelly allegedly “defended child sex predators who posed as ministers in order to prey on vulnerable young girls.” The truth is that Kelly briefly handled pre-trial duties in the cases in question, but did no further work to defend the accused. He left the law firm before the trial.
The same cannot be said for No Jail Janet. As a judge, she gave no prison or jail time to child sex offenders in several cases.
Another lie is that “Justice Kelly was ‘bought off’ over $20,000 in campaign contributions.” In reality, prior to the 2020 election, Kelly removed himself from presiding in a case pertaining to an issue that could have affected an election in which he was a candidate. When the election was over and Kelly had lost the conflict of interest no longer existed. At that point, he asked the parties involved whether they would have any objection to him taking part in the case. No one objected.
Please read the rest of the lies and rebuttals, which can be found here.
The best way to help Justice Kelly is to share the truth. As Christians, this is not only our right, but our duty.
Please share this document on social media and send it to friends and family, urging them to vote for Daniel Kelly on April 4th.
Please also share WFA’s Facebook posts discussing more of the lies about Daniel Kelly.
And the only actual debate the supreme court candidates are having happened yesterday. The debate is worth watching to hear directly from these candidates. The lies and accusations are clearly addressed.
Mar 17, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
On March 15th, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) held a joint press conference to introduce legislation sponsored by State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), and State Representative Donna Rozar (R-Marshfield). The proposed bill would allow abortions in certain cases to supposedly “save the life of the mother” or in the case of rape or incest. Every pro-lifer should oppose this legislation.
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, Wisconsin’s Statute 940.04 went into effect, making it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion for any reason other than to save the life of the mother.
The new proposed legislation would amend Wisconsin’s abortion ban so that it “does not apply to any pregnancy in the first trimester if the pregnancy is the result of sexual assault or incest.”
It also modifies the definition of “to save the life of the mother” to mean any “serious risk of death of the pregnant woman or of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman” or any “circumstance in which the fetus has no chance of survival, including a physical condition of the fetus that makes survival of the fetus outside of the uterus not possible, an anembryonic pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, or a molar pregnancy.”
“A vote to add more exceptions to Wisconsin’s abortion ban is a vote to kill more preborn babies. It is that simple,” said Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director Matt Sande in response to the proposed bill.
“The fact is that legal abortion — the direct, intentional killing of a living preborn human being — is incapable of being justified. It is always and everywhere wrong, regardless of motivation or consequence. It may never be employed, even in the narrowest of circumstances, as a means to a greater end. It is incredibly disheartening that legislative Republicans are working to restore abortion to Wisconsin.”
Sande is right. The passage of this bill would certainly lead to an increase in abortions across the state, and in every case, the intentional killing of an innocent child is deeply immoral. Further, the language in the bill claiming that abortion is sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother is entirely false.
“The bill mentions three specific circumstances,” said WFA President Julaine Appling, “all three of which are either not pregnancies at all or are already recognized as medically necessary to save the life of the mother. Anembryonic pregnancy and molar pregnancy are circumstances where there is no embryo or fetus; so obviously, it cannot be an abortion. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency treatment. In all three of these cases, there is no current law that would prohibit a physician from providing the necessary medical care.”
Read Julaine’s full statement here.
Healthcare workers should always respect and care for both lives. Often, both the mother and the baby can be saved.
It is possible that the child may be harmed as an unintentional side effect of treating the mother. While this is incredibly tragic, it is not considered an abortion, and therefore not a violation of Wisconsin’s Statute 940.04.
In cases of rape and incest, the child who is conceived is just as valuable as any other child. The child’s “wantedness” or circumstances of conception do not determine his or her worth. Rather, a child’s worth comes from the fact that each and every person is made in the image and likeness of God. Further, the solution to one injustice is never another injustice. Killing a child will not remedy the trauma that the mother endured. It will only add to it.
Lastly, the proposed exceptions would only empower sexual predators. “The problem with this legislation is that it punishes the innocent unborn child while making it easier for the perpetrator, the real guilty party in this situation, to hide his crime. Abortion is often used to cover up crimes from sex-trafficking to rape. Additionally, and very importantly, the legislation does not require any documentation or police record that an actual sexual assault took place,” noted Appling.
Abortion is not healthcare. In fact, it’s the opposite. “Healthcare” that ends one life and traumatizes another is never “safe,” despite what the left wants us to believe.
Passage of this bill will only lead to legalizing abortion again in Wisconsin. Pray that this bill is defeated and that robust protections remain in place for the unborn in Wisconsin. Governor Evers shortly after the press conference, sent a message that he will veto the bill because it doesn’t go far enough. Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) issued a statement saying the bill will not receive a vote in the Senate. Contact your state legislators and ask them to protect all preborn life in Wisconsin. You can look up your state legislators and their contact information by clicking here.
Mar 14, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
The MacIver Institute calls Janet Protasiewicz “perhaps the most unethical Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate in recent memory”—and they’re right. Not only has she promised to support abortion “rights” and seemingly violated Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct, but as a judge, she has failed to establish justice.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin created a website called NoJailJanet.com, outlining Protasiewicz’s extensive soft-on-crime record. Most notably, in several cases, she gave no prison or jail time to child sex offenders. She “has failed to stand up for victims and sided with hardened criminals,” says WISGOP.
“The best indication of what someone will do in the future is what they have done in the past,” said Republican Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Rachel Reisner. “Judge Janet Protasiewicz’s record of giving no jail or prison time to violent sexual offenders disqualifies her from serving on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”
Reisner is right. If Protasiewicz hasn’t ruled justly as a judge, why should we expect her to rule justly on our highest court? Protasiewicz is a political activist who will be a judicial activist. She has not been a fair judge, and she won’t be an impartial justice on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court.
Her endorsements further prove that justice is not her priority. She has been endorsed by Democrats such as Mandela Barnes, who support the defund-the-police movement. She was also endorsed by a group linked to a domestic terror attack in Atlanta.
“Janet Protasiewicz is so extreme that she would be enlisting help from anti-police domestic terrorists,” said Reisner. “Protasiewicz has a soft-on-crime record that aligns perfectly with unhinged rioters like Grace Martin of 350 Wisconsin. Protasiewicz is law enforcement’s worst nightmare, and will make cleaning up our streets nearly impossible.”
Further, Protasiewicz presided over one case in which a father was abusing his children, ages 5, 8, and 10, by whipping them with a dog leash. He was convicted of a Class I felony with two counts of child abuse, yet Protasiewicz sentenced him to only nine months of work-release jail and probation.
In response to questions about her weak sentences, Protasiewicz doubled down by calling them “fair” and “appropriate.” Her soft-on-crime record is yet another reason Wisconsin voters should reject Protasiewicz as our new Supreme Court justice.
Justice Daniel Kelly, on the other hand, has been endorsed by the Milwaukee Police Association. “Its members know the Rule of Law must not be replaced by the Rule of Janet,” said Kelly on twitter.
The right choice is clear. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court needs an impartial justice who respects the rule of law, not ideologically-driven acts. Vote for Justice Kelly on April 4th!
Mar 7, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Political candidates’ endorsements often speak volumes about how an elected official will handle critical issues.
In the case of Judge Janet Protasiewicz, candidate for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, her endorsements astonishingly speak just as loudly as her own words, which are already bluntly liberal and arguably unethical.
“In regard to the progressive label,” she says, “I embrace that [label] when it comes to issues such as gerrymandering, when we talk about the maps, when we talk about marriage equality, when we talk about women’s rights and women’s rights to choose.”
Further, in one of her ads, she says, “I believe in a woman’s freedom to make her own decision on abortion. It’s time for a change,” showing a clear progressive bias on the issue of abortion. Time and time again, she has stated that her values require her to vote in favor of “a woman’s right to choose” and “bodily autonomy.”
She has also been vocal about her progressive view of legislative maps, saying, “Let’s be clear here: The maps are rigged, bottom line, absolutely, positively rigged,” she said. “They do not reflect the people in this state, they do not reflect accurately representation in either the State Assembly or the State Senate. They are rigged, period. I’m coming right out and saying that.”
Protasiewicz’s statements are not only politically charged, but also a clear violation of Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct, which states that “a judge, candidate for judicial office, or judge-elect should not manifest bias or prejudice inappropriate to the judicial office.”
She should be disqualified from the race for commenting on how she would vote in certain cases because that’s exactly what she’s done when she talks about her personal values in the way she has during this campaign. She has said she can’t say exactly how she will vote on a certain case or issue because she doesn’t know the facts of the case, but her expressed “values” have been abundantly clear. Protasiewicz says she “embraces” the progressive label when it comes to a myriad of issues. We should listen to her. What she is telling us is she will not rule fairly from the bench; she will be effectively legislating based on her personal opinions.
In case her bias wasn’t clear enough from her statements alone, her endorsements speak just as loudly and are further indications of how we can rightly expect her to vote on a host of important issues.
Protasiewicz has been endorsed by a number of leftist organizations including Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI and EMILY’s List, a political action committee that works to help elect Democrat female candidates who will support abortion. Citizen Action and numerous unions have also voiced their support of Protasiewicz.
Plus, many radical leftist politicians, including US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) and US Rep Mark Pocan (D-02), who are both openly homosexual and lead the LGBTQ caucuses in their respective houses, have given their endorsements.
A liberal group known as Wisconsin Takes Action is even offering gift cards to entice people to vote for Protasiewicz, which should be considered bribery and therefore illegal.
One need only look at Protasiewicz’s endorsements to understand how she will legislate from the bench of the Wisconsin Supreme Court if elected–and that’s a problem.
And one need not be liberal or conservative to see that she is unfit for the role of supreme court justice. A vote for Protasiewicz is a vote against the rule of law.
Please share this information with family, neighbors, and friends. Protasiewicz is an incredibly dangerous choice for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, and we must do everything in our power to keep her from legislating in Wisconsin’s high court.
The future of Wisconsin is at stake in the April 4 election. Get involved, spread the word, and show up on April 4!
Update: on March 7th after this was originally published, the Human Rights Campaign (same-sex marriage advocates) and NARAL Pro-Choice America both announced their endorsements of Protasiewicz.
Feb 28, 2023 | News, Uncategorized, Wisconsin Family Voice
“What I would tell you is that [on] the bulk of issues, the myriad number of issues, there’s no thumb on the scale,” said WI Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz recently according to the MacIver Institute, “but I will also tell you that I’ll call them as I see them and I’ll tell you what my values are in regard to this particular issue because this issue [abortion] is so critically important.”
So, according to Janet Protasiewicz, “there’s no thumb on the scale”; and yet, she has been quite open about her views and values:
- “[The state legislative district maps] are rigged, period. I’m coming right out and saying that. I don’t think you could sell to any reasonable person that the maps are fair.” Except for the US Supreme Court justices who ruled just last year that Wisconsin’s maps are legally permissible.
- “Women have, for the last 50 years…relied on the Roe v. Wade case. They’ve relied on it to be able to make their own decisions regarding bodily autonomy,” Protasiewicz said in an interview with WKOW.
- Said another way in one of her ads: “I believe in a woman’s freedom to make her own decision on abortion. It’s time for a change.”
Despite the fact that Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct specifically states that “a judge, candidate for judicial office, or judge-elect should not manifest bias or prejudice inappropriate to the judicial office,” Protasiewicz seems to feel quite comfortable in at a minimum, signaling to Wisconsin voters how she intends to rule on cases. And we should pay attention to that because that means she has no true regard for the rule of law.
If Protasiewicz’s stance on major issues weren’t already made clear, here’s what she said just last month on WKOW’s Capital City Sunday:
- “In regard to the progressive label, I embrace that when it comes to issues such as gerrymandering, when we talk about the maps, when we talk about marriage equality, when we talk about women’s rights and women’s rights to choose.”
There’s no mistaking how Protasiewicz would rule on major cases affecting life, marriage, and elections in Wisconsin—cases that could alter the future of Wisconsin for at least the next decade.
Now, contrast that with what Justice Dan Kelly, Protasiewicz’s opponent in the April 4 election, said in a recent PBS Wisconsin interview:
“…if you think as a candidate that you should be virtue signaling to attract the votes of a certain body of Wisconsinites, what you’re telling them is that you are not — you are not committed to the constitutional order, and you’re telling them that the politics should have a role in the court, even if you don’t intend to follow through on that, what you’re telling the voters is that it should have a role, and I think that’s extraordinarily problematic because when people come in to this room so that the court can hear their case, what people of Wisconsin want to know, with absolute certainty, is that everyone on that bench is going to follow the law.”
The difference in judicial approach is pretty clear.
The April 4 election for the WI Supreme Court is one of the most consequential elections in modern Wisconsin history—and the nation is watching because what happens here in this election has national ramifications.
We urge you to please share this blog far and wide with your neighbors, friends, and family and ask them to pass it on, too.
You can also share this helpful handout that details what else you can do to impact the April 4 election and provides important dates and deadlines for voting.
Help ensure the future of Wisconsin by spreading the word about what’s at stake on April 4!
Feb 23, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
A pivotal election took place in Wisconsin on Tuesday. This race has garnered nationwide attention and involvement because the balance of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is at stake. Will it remain conservative or flip to liberal?
The race, which the New York Times calls “the most consequential American election on the 2023 calendar,” is expected to be the most expensive judicial election in American history. Over $8.7 million has already been spent on advertising.
While four candidates were on the ballot, voters voted for only one. The top two candidates move on to the general election in April. Two of the candidates leaned liberal—Janet Protasiewicz and Everett Mitchell—and two lean conservative—Daniel Kelly and Jennifer Dorow. The winner of the race will serve a 10-year term.
Openly liberal, pro-abortion candidate Janet Protasiewicz came out on top with just over 46 percent of the vote in the unofficial results. She has been an outspoken abortion supporter, saying “I believe in a woman’s freedom to make her own decision on abortion,” during a campaign ad.
The good news is that Daniel Kelly came in second with just over 24 percent of the vote. Wisconsin Family Action PAC gave an exclusive endorsement to Justice Daniel Kelly in this Supreme Court race, as he has a proven track record as a judicial conservative and has the judicial temperament necessary to serve effectively on the state’s highest court.
In a speech Tuesday night after his victory, Justice Kelly said Protasiewicz would act as an “assault on our Constitution and our liberties.” If she wins, he said, “we will lose the rule of law and find ourselves saddled with the rule of Janet.” In this now two-person, head-to-head race, Kelly and his allies need to turnout considerably more voters than showed up for the primary. The results show that nearly 75,000 more liberals voted in this election than conservatives. That needs to change for the general election on April 4.
Currently, the balance of the Wisconsin Supreme Court leans conservative with a 4-3 margin. However, mostly-conservative Justice Pat Roggensack announced that she was not going to seek a third 10-year term. Her current term ends July 31, 2023, and the newly elected justice will take office August 1, 2023. If a liberal wins on April 4, the balance becomes 4-3 liberal, which means the lives of preborn children, our religious freedom, parental rights, election integrity, and more are all effectively on the ballot.
For example, a 1849 abortion ban, which only allows for exceptions when the life of the mother is at risk, is expected to end up at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. State Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) filed a lawsuit last year arguing that the law contradicts another abortion law that provides broader exceptions, according to The Hill. This means the new state Supreme Court majority could rule to allow for broader exceptions for abortion or to restrict the procedure further.
With a liberal majority, the court could also redraw the state’s current congressional maps and influence how Wisconsin’s electoral votes are allotted for the 2024 presidential election, and could also change election laws that would drastically impact the upcoming presidential election. Remember that the experts tell us that in 2024 there really is no path to the presidency without going through Wisconsin.
Elections have real consequences, and as Christians, we cannot afford to remain silent. We need to be part of making sure the consequences from the April 4 election are as good as they can be, Mark your calendars for April 4, get informed about these candidates, encourage others to join you,and make your voices heard in the most important election of this year!
Feb 17, 2023 | Uncategorized
With more than 100 pediatric gender clinics in the U.S., sharing the stories of detransitioners and whistleblowers from these clinics is vital to protecting children’s health. Recently, a former employee of the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital detailed her experience working at a clinic that “transed” children and warned against the abusive practices.
Jamie Reed describes herself as a “42-year-old St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders.” She began working as a case manager at The Washington University Transgender Center in 2018, where she was exposed to the horrors of gender “transition” procedures on minors for four years.
“The center’s working assumption was that the earlier you treat kids with gender dysphoria, the more anguish you can prevent later on. This premise was shared by the center’s doctors and therapists. Given their expertise, I assumed that abundant evidence backed this consensus…By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to ‘do no harm.’ Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” she writes.
Jamie was responsible for patient intake and oversight. She saw about a thousand distressed young people walk through the clinic doors and said the majority of them were prescribed cross-sex hormones, which cause sterilization. She notes that these minors were incapable of fully understanding the consequences of losing their fertility.
To begin “transitioning,” all a patient needed was a letter of support from a therapist who they had to see only a couple times for the green light. Then, patients embarked on a single visit to the endocrinologist for a testosterone prescription, causing a slew of “profound and permanent” effects.
Jamie goes on to say that there are no reliable studies supporting the efficacy of gender “transitioning” when it comes to improving mental health, and her experience at the center served as proof that these treatments don’t relieve patients’ confusion. “I have seen puberty blockers worsen the mental health outcomes of children. Children who have not contemplated suicide before being put on puberty blockers have attempted suicide after,” she writes.
Further, without so-called “gender-affirming” care, most children will re-identify with their biological sex. Gender “transition” procedures only guarantee patients a life-long struggle with gender identity.
Jamie also discussed her concerns about parental rights at the center, noting that doctors disregarded the rights of parents and “saw themselves as more informed decision-makers over the fate of these children.”
Lastly, she tells several stories of patients who endured serious negative side effects, were shocked by the results of the procedures, or deeply regretted “transitioning” and wanted to undo the damage, only to discover it was permanent.
“During my time at the Center, I personally witnessed Center healthcare providers lie to the public and to parents of patients about the treatment, or lack of treatment, and the effects of treatment provided to children at the Center,” she said in a sworn testimony. “I witnessed children experience shocking injuries from the medication the Center prescribed. And I saw the Center make no attempt to track adverse outcomes of patients after they left the Center.”
Thankfully, in response to Jamie’s allegations, an investigation of the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Hospital has been launched.
Sheila Solon, director at the state’s Division of Professional Registration said, “The Division’s licensing boards will investigate the complaints they receive as part of this investigation, and take any necessary action against the licenses of Missouri professionals in violation of the boards’ statutory and regulatory authority to ensure health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Missouri.”
Please take a few minutes to read the entirety of Jamie Reed’s testimony and share it. The stories of whistleblowers and detransitioners are one of the greatest defenses against this child abuse disguised as “healthcare.”
The best defense any child has is involved and informed parents. Jamie noted that many of the teens that came to this center were from horrible family situations, which again reminds us of the importance of stable, intact married dad-and-mom families. God’s plan is for parents to protect their children from this type of abuse. That protection needs to begin very early in the child’s life as mom and dad talk to him or her about how good it is to be the sex God gave them. Such discussions continue in age appropriate ways, countering the pernicious lies that are constantly assaulting our youth.
Resources for parents:
Feb 14, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
The Harvard Study of Adult Development has followed 700 men from the 1930s until today and has identified what helps make people happy and healthy.
Born out of the study was the book The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness, authored by the study’s current leaders, Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz. The authors conclude:
“For 84 years (and counting), the Harvard Study has tracked the same individuals, asking thousands of questions and taking hundreds of measurements to find out what really keeps people healthy and happy…
[O]ne crucial factor stands out… [I]t’s not career achievement, or exercise, or a healthy diet. Don’t get us wrong; these things matter (a lot). But one thing continuously demonstrates its broad and enduring importance:
[I]f we had to take all 84 years of the Harvard Study and boil it into a single principle for living, one life investment that is supported by similar findings across a wide variety of other studies, it would be this:
Good relationships keep us healthier and happier. Period.” (Emphasis added.)
As we wrap up National Marriage Week, what more fitting message could there be? Relationships matter!
The study identified nine simple habits that can put you on track for a healthier and happier life:
- Take stock of your relationships – take time to assess if there are relationships that could be improved.
- Nurture casual relationships – continue to cultivate relationships with acquaintances, even if you don’t know their name!
- Make time for conversations – a recent study from University of Kansas demonstrated that the act of reaching out to someone once a day for a conversation increases happiness and lowers stress!
- Cultivate kindness – take extra care to be kind to the people who matter to you.
- Volunteer – those “who took time to volunteer, even just a few hours a week, met more people, formed relationships with more people, and took pride and satisfaction in the volunteer work they were doing.”
- Learn to apologize – especially if it helps repair a relationship.
- Ask questions – some people may surprise you with how much they open up after you ask a question!
- Express your love – through an act, like helping someone out with a project, or the simplest phrase, “I love you.”
- Be willing to be vulnerable–you may be rejected–or not!
These tips apply to any relationship in our lives, but no earthly relationship is more important than the marriage relationship and the family that typically develops from that relationship. That tells us promoting marriage and family is one of the best things we can do to help people be happier and healthier.
Think about how the relationships in our own family (relationships we may take for granted!) could flourish if we make a conscientious effort to incorporate these nine habits into our daily lives.
Of course, no relationship is more important than the one we are designed to have with God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ. Biblical Christianity is all about relationships; so it shouldn’t surprise us that relationships, especially in marriage and family, create happiness and good health. And the happier and healthier individuals are, the better off society is in general.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the connection: The stronger we make our families, the stronger the future.
Feb 9, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Last summer, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit against Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for its gender identity policy that allows children to “change” their gender identity at school without parental consent. The policy also prohibits district employees from notifying parents of their child’s “transition” and even instructs staff to override a parent’s objection. In this case, at least one parent called and asked the school to call a daughter by her given feminine name and to use only feminine pronouns. The school refused.
Now, WILL and ADF have brought on two experts in support of summary judgment in this case. The experts specialize in gender dysphoria, asserting that school personnel socially transitioning a minor as is happening in this school district violates widely accepted mental health principles and practice.
Dr. Erica E. Anderson is a transgender clinical psychologist from Berkeley, California. Over the last 40 years, she has worked with hundreds of children and young adults struggling with their gender identity. She has also been a board member for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and served as the President of USPATH (the United States arm of WPATH).
Dr. Anderson’s affidavit states, “A school policy that involves school adult personnel in socially transitioning a child or adolescent without the consent of parents or over their objection violates widely accepted mental health principles and practice.”
The second expert, Dr. Stephen Levine, is a psychiatrist and professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He helped develop the 5th version of the WPATH guidelines and served as the court-appointed expert in the first major case to reach a federal court of appeals pertaining to surgery for transgender prisoners.
Dr. Levine’s publications include “Transitioning back to maleness” (2018), “Ethical Concerns About Emerging Treatment Paradigms for Gender Dysphoria” (2017), “Meanings and political implications of ‘psychopathology’ in a gender identity clinic: A report of 10 cases” (2009), “The standards of care for gender identity disorders” (1998), among many others.
If the Waukesha County judge grants summary judgment, then the parents win. This would be incredibly encouraging and right. As the parents’ attorneys argue, not only is the school’s policy harmful to children, it’s an unconstitutional violation of the parents’ rights. School districts statewide and across the country should be watching this case closely.
The Wisconsin Constitution protects the “inherent right” of parents to “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.” For the sake of children’s safety and well-being, parents must be the primary decision-makers when it comes to their children’s upbringing, education, and mental health. No school has the right to override parents in any way, especially when it comes to something as personal and important as gender.
A hearing for this case is scheduled for April 19th, and a ruling is expected in the late spring or summer. Hopefully, Dr. Levine and Dr. Anderson guide the Court to a decision that will protect children and parent’s rights.
Feb 1, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Marriage is not only the bedrock of society, but it is a sacred institution designed by God for His glory and humankind’s good.. Marriage plays a significant role in the overall health of a couple and their children, and allows for prosperous, well-ordered societies to thrive.
Unfortunately, the institution of marriage is under attack, especially since Congress passed and the president signed into law the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which distorts God’s design and redefines marriage as nothing more than abstract adult desires. The true definition of marriage, a union between one man and one woman, must be the law of the land in order for families to flourish and society to thrive.
In addition to the redefining of marriage, marriage rates are declining in the U.S. A recent Pew poll shows that only 34% of U.S. adults believe society is better off if “people make marriage and having children a priority,” while 64% believe society is “just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children.” As we know, these beliefs are woefully misguided, and our country is experiencing the consequences of a lack of strong families headed by married dads and moms.
This is bad news for individuals and society in general. A major survey published by Harvard Medical School shows that married men are healthier overall and live longer than men who were never married or are divorced. For women, marriage provides security and a safe environment to raise children, who ultimately provide both spouses with life-long fulfillment. Further, married couples also have happier, healthier relationships than cohabiting couples.
Marriage is not only vitally important for couples, but it is also a major determinant of their children’s health and success. A child born into the home of his/her married mother and father “will receive the complimentary love of a mom and dad,” noted Katy Faust in an interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins.
Children born outside God’s design of a life-long heterosexual union are at greater risk for homelessness, drug use, child poverty, teen suicide, academic failure, teen pregnancy, and more. “Every social ill we are facing today is because this country, culturally and legally, is getting the family wrong,” says Faust. Further, A recent study found that children raised in stable homes are “more likely to flourish economically, educationally, and socially.” Marriage is the best way to provide children with a foundation for success.
The good news is that more children are living with their married mother and father, according to the Institute for Family Studies. This is because both marriage and divorce rates are declining, meaning the marriages that do occur are more stable. In addition, fewer unmarried women are having children while the number of children born to married parents has been more stable.
The Institute for Family Studies promotes the Success Sequence, which consists of three steps that ought to be taken in a certain order to ensure the highest chance of success in one’s life. These steps include getting at least a high school diploma, getting a full-time job, and getting married before having children. Young adults who complete the Success Sequence in order, even in the face of big challenges, have a much greater chance of achieving success. This is true for every race and economic background in America. In fact, the latest research shows that 99% percent of young people who follow all three steps are not poor as adults.
As Christians, our mission is to promote marriage in every way we can. “We must encourage the marriage of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes within our circles of influence by not being afraid to be matchmakers. We must be witnesses for healthy and loving marriages and family life to our neighbors and local communities by inviting neighbors over for playdates or dinner, striking up conversations in the barber shop and dentist office, and getting involved in civic life by running for school board and other local, state, and federal offices…We must invite non-believing or fallen away members of our local communities to our churches,” write Dan Hart and Connor Semelsberger of the Washington Stand.
Building a culture of deep respect for God’s design and the institution of marriage is up to us. Until we do, children will fall victim to many societal ills, and couples will experience poorer health and less success. Marriage is every society’s foundational institution, and when that foundation is weak, the society is weak.
Jan 25, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
With so many schools across the country engaging in activism and radical indoctrination, school choice is more important than ever. In Wisconsin, the Madison Metropolitan School District is introducing this week a “gender identity and sexual orientation curriculum.” Students will learn about “different identities, which include gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and sexual orientation,” according to an email sent to parents last week.
“We will be using our morning meeting time to do read-alouds and classroom discussions based around these topics. We will end the week with a rainbow day on Friday!” reads the district email.
Parents must be able to protect their children from these dangerous lies and ideas, and school choice allows them to do so.
This week is National School Choice week—an opportunity to highlight the importance of educational freedom and bring awareness to the educational options that families have in our state. It is a parent’s right to choose whichever schooling option best serves their child’s needs. This educational freedom also helps students thrive.
In Wisconsin, we take education freedom seriously. From open enrollment to brick and mortar and virtual charter schools to our three voucher programs to homeschooling, we believe parents, regardless of zip code or income, should be able to get their children out of a failing school and into a school that works for him or her.
Each student in Wisconsin is assigned a district based on their address. While the majority of families send their children to the school in their district, there are many other options. There are school choice programs for private schools, charter schools, virtual schools, and open enrollment (non-resident public school). Parents can also choose from dual enrollment options (college coursework while enrolled in high school), course options (advanced coursework taken in coordination with a local school district), and home-based private education.
Wisconsin offers the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program—all of which are part of what most people call the “school voucher” option. These programs allow income-qualified families to send their children to private schools—including Christian schools—participating in Choice (voucher) Programs. Parents can apply to be part of a school choice program. Registration begins in February 1 for Wisconsin’s Choice Programs and runs through April 20, 2023.
Wisconsin also has one of the best homeschooling laws in the country. Parents are not burdened by overbearing restrictions as they are in some states. There are no required teacher qualifications or assessments.
While Wisconsin is leading the nation when it comes to school choice, there is always room for improvement. Universal choice, much like Arizona’s recent initiative, would provide Wisconsin families even more educational freedom. Incomes and zip codes should not determine who gets to take advantage of our educational options.
Thankfully, representatives across the country are working to uphold parents’ rights when it comes to educational freedom. Lawmakers in Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, and Georgia are actively proposing initiatives this legislative session that will expand schooling options in their states. It’s time for Wisconsin to do the same. Governor Evers, if he’s really about “the kids” as he claims, needs to cooperate with the legislature and enact true educational freedom here in the form of “universal choice.”
It is parents’ right to direct their children’s education, and a large part of that is choosing where their children go to school. Parents know their children best, and therefore are best equipped to choose a learning environment that will best serve their children’s needs and protect them from ideas that contradict their deeply held beliefs. Let’s take advantage of this week by highlighting the many options that parents have for their children’s education while calling on our leaders to ramp up the school choice efforts even more.
NSCW’s website offers a several resources that teachers, parents, and organizations can use to promote and support school choice. SchoolChoiceWi.org is also a fantastic resource for parents in Wisconsin exploring alternative schooling options.
Jan 20, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
This past Monday was officially recognized not just as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but also as Religious Freedom Day. In 1993, Congress passed a resolution that directs the president to annually publicly declare January 16 as Religious Freedom Day, and that’s happened every year for the past 30 years.
Religious liberty protections in the United States were first established on January 16, 1786, when the Assembly in the Commonwealth of Virginia enacted into law the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Thomas Jefferson had drafted it in 1777 and introduced it into the Virginia Assembly in 1779. The statute, for lack of a better word, “disestablished” the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed religious freedom to people of all religious faiths or of no faith.
These are the opening words of this statute:
“An act for establishing religious Freedom. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do….”
I hope you are immediately struck by the references to Almighty God, Lord, “holy author,” and “Almighty power.” Yes, there was a day when elected officials were not afraid to invoke God in a powerful, direct way, even in lawmaking.
Jefferson included a lot of verbiage about the importance of such a statute and the necessity for it and then gets to the enactment portion, which reads:
“Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.” (Emphasis added.)
I hope you caught that last part because it is incredibly significant. Jefferson notes that future legislatures can override current legislation. Therefore, he notes that it would be of no effect to declare this act irrevocable.
He goes on to say that there is a law that is higher than manmade law, known as natural law. The right to hold and practice publicly and privately one’s religious beliefs is a natural right—in other words pre-existing human government, God-given. He says if a future legislature repeals the law the 1786 legislature passed or even made it narrower, then they will be infringing on a natural right. He wanted to be sure succeeding generations of elected officials understood the importance of natural law, in particular as it relates to religious freedom.
The original statute as passed in 1786 is still in Virginia’s statutes, and In 2016, the Virginia legislature reiterated its support for the original Religious Freedom Act.
One year later in 1787 when the constitutional convention convened, this Religious Freedom Statute became the foundation for what we know today as the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Jefferson and the vast majority of our founders understood that religious liberty is an unalienable, God-given natural right. Unfortunately, far too many government officials don’t understand this today.
Over the past several years, religious liberty has been under relentless attack, especially under the Biden administration.
Christian cake shop owner Jack Phillips and graphic designer Lorie Smith are fighting for their religious liberty in court, representing all artists and business owners. A district court of appeals and the Supreme Court will soon weigh in on these monumental cases.
President Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law last August, expanded taxpayer funded abortion, a clear violation of Americans’ religious liberty and conscience rights.
Of course, the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which was recently signed into law, undermines the religious liberty of those who hold a biblical view of marriage. These are just a few of many recent examples.
If religious liberty prevails it won’t be because of our politicians, but because of our parents and pastors. So in honor of Religious Freedom Day, take time to talk about this Congressionally designated day and what it means to someone in your life who is 25 or younger. Ask if they know about this day. Inquire about what they know and think about religious freedom. Take some time to inform and encourage at least one person in the younger generation to understand what religious freedom is and isn’t, and what Religious Freedom Day is about. To preserve this freedom that our founders called our First Freedom because it is foundational to all other freedoms, we are going to have to take seriously our personal responsibility to teach and defend this incredible liberty.
Jan 9, 2023 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a taxpayer-funded federal agency, is promoting a tool for “school and district staff who are interested in facilitating a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ students” on social media.
The “LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool” provides a general assessment for anyone to use and specific assessments for school staff. The purpose of the tool is to quickly gauge supposed inclusivity at one’s school and “enhance future work to support LGTBQ youth in schools.”
Some of the items from the assessment tool read as follows:
- “I cannot assume a student’s gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”
- “I use students’ chosen name(s) in all school environments, including abbreviations and pronouns.”
- “I participate in my schools’ Gay Straight Alliance/Genders and Sexualities Alliance.
- “The policy(s) in place allows students to use the bathroom/locker room which aligns to their chosen gender.”
- “The technology policies allow student access to age-appropriate LGBTQ content and information (e.g., LGBTQ-specific media, public health and education organizations, and entertainment sites).”
- “My classroom or learning space includes visual labels (e.g., rainbow flags, pink triangles, unisex bathroom signs) marking it as a safe space for LGBTQ students.”
- “I attend training and professional development focused on creating safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ students.”
- “During sexual health education lessons, I present information on all types of sex, not centering on penis/vagina penetrative sex.”
- During sexual health education lessons, I describe anatomy and physiology separate from gender (e.g., “a body with a penis,” “a body with a vagina”).
Once they respond to each of these statements, users can score themselves and their school with an “A,” “B,” or “C.” If they receive a “C,” the tool says they should “commit to change.”
The tool also offers a “collection of curated resources and tools to help schools enhance LGBTQ inclusive policies, programs, and practices.”
The CDC is meant to protect Americans from health, safety, and security threats; yet here it is promoting an unscientific political ideology that leads individuals—mostly minors—to believe lies about themselves and even seek harmful gender “transition” procedures that cause permanent damage. The agenda that the CDC is trying to advance causes serious physical, emotional and spiritual harm.
While indoctrination runs rampant in our schools, Congress needs to pass legislation to stop state governments from violating parents’ rights to protect their kids from radical gender theory. Thankfully, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has introduced the Parental Right to Protect Act. This bill would protect parental rights by ensuring that parents are not penalized for protecting their children from gender ideology and “transition” procedures.
Last session, the Wisconsin legislature passed a parental rights bill that included this type of protection for parents and their children. Unfortunately, Governor Evers promptly vetoed the bill. Legislators are talking about bringing the bill back this session.
Regardless of whether or not Congress or Governor Evers steps up to protect children, parents must become aware of what their children are being taught in school, take action, and have difficult conversations with their children about these topics.
Here are a few resources parents can use to help guide conversations with their children:
Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide by Minnesota Family Council, Family Policy Alliance, The Heritage Foundation, WOLF, and others
Talking To Your Kids About Transgender Issues by Focus on the Family
Transgender Movement, Understanding and Responding by Family Research Council
How to Talk to Your Kids About Gender by Gospel Coalition
When Harry Became Sally by Ryan T. Anderson
God and the Transgender Debate by Andrew T. Walker
Transgender: Christian Compassion, Convictions and Wisdom for Today’s Big Questions by Vaughan Roberts
Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Butterfield
Dec 30, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Wisconsin is losing families—families with children—to states like Texas and Florida, where there is no income tax. Last year 10,000 more Wisconsin families left the state than moved here. This isn’t an anomaly; it’s a trend—a trend with present and future implications for our economy and much more. When those families leave, there’s little likelihood of the parents returning to retire or the children coming back for work or to eventually establish their own families.
When Wisconsin’s best natural resource—its married dad-and-mom families with children—leaves the state in significant numbers, Wisconsin’s present and future are imperiled. This family structure is the only one that gives more than it takes in relationship to government “handouts.”
Our state is currently sitting on a projected $6.6 billion surplus, making significant tax cuts a plausible option. The government is taking more than they need out of people’s paychecks. Thankfully, there is agreement among Wisconsin Republicans that taxes need to be cut; but opinions differ regarding how to do so.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) wants to implement a flat income tax of 3.5 percent. Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), however, wants to join the nine states with no income tax. If we want to keep families in Wisconsin, this is the way to go.
“I think that, if we’re going to do this (tax cuts) and we’re going to do something bold and we’re really going to attract workers to the state and bring more families to the state, (we should) go to no income tax like Florida,” said Kapenga.
Making Wisconsin more economically competitive compared to states that are getting our very best is a smart move, and with this “surplus,” now is the time to give this serious consideration. It would also set Wisconsin apart from other states in the Midwest. At a minimum, such a move might change the trend.
Republicans have enough votes to pass tax reform and a new state budget, but they would most likely not be able to garner enough votes to override a veto from Gov. Evers.
Evers has not yet said what his new state budget proposal will look like, but Kapenga believes he will ask for more money yet again.
“He is going to come to the trough,” Kapenga said. “Basically, I think he’s going to try and take taxpayer money and sift it out to the different special interest groups that he wants to take care of.”
Wisconsin families should not be forced to pay the government any more than is absolutely necessary. Hopefully, Republicans can agree on Kapenga’s plan to eliminate the income tax and convince Gov. Evers that this is the best move for Wisconsin. Families thrive when they are able to keep more of their hard-earned money, and when families flourish, so too does our state. As the family, so the state.
Dec 28, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress introduced a bill that would ban the Chinese-owned social media platform called TikTok nationwide.
TikTok is directly tied the Chinese Communist Party, as TikTok’s parent company ByteDance lists Chinese state media outlets in its employment history. Further, 50 former Chinese state media employees currently hold positions at TikTok, including a “content strategy manager” who had served as chief correspondent for China’s Xinhua News.
Director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies James Lewis believes the Chinese government is using information they get from TikTok to “better tailor their propaganda for a Western audience.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-CD8), and Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-CD8) are leading the charge to ban TikTok due to its communist ties.
In a press release, Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher wrote:
“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party—America’s foremost adversary.
Allowing the app to continue to operate in the U.S. would be like allowing the U.S.S.R. to buy up The New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”
The ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act aims to “protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.”
China’s national intelligence law requires Chinese tech companies to give any data they collect from users to China’s government. American researchers have been voicing privacy and security concerns about the app for years.
TikTok has even engaged in illegal activity to collect users’ data. In 2019, the social media platform was fined by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for illegally “collecting and exposing locations of young children, as well as failing to delete information on underage children when instructed to do so.”
In 2020, TikTok found an iPhone system loophole and collected personal user data, including cryptocurrency wallet addresses and passwords. In 2021, TikTok was sued for transferring copious amounts of private user data to China.
Rep. Krishnamoorthi noted that the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to gain any advantage “against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance.” Therefore, it’s vital that we ban social media networks controlled by this hostile power to prevent the platform, which collects data on tens of millions of Americans every day, from being weaponized against us.
To make matters worse, the app indoctrinates children with dangerous progressive ideas. Gender ideology activists are flooding TikTok with propaganda, causing children to cave to the social contagion of transgenderism and seek gender “transition” procedures.
Rep. Gallagher and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R), joined by four of their Wisconsin colleagues- Reps. Glenn Grothman, Scott Fitzgerald, Bryan Steil, and Tom Tiffany- called on Governor Evers to ban the TikTok app on any state-owned device. To date, Governor Evers has ignored the request. Such a move is not without precedent. Governors Kristi Noem (SD), Greg Abbott (TX), Henry McMaster (SC), Larry Hogan (MD), Kevin Stitt (OK), Pete Ricketss (NE), Spencer Cox (UT), and Kay Ivey (AL) have all taken such action.
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty earlier this month issued a report that “recaps the meteoric rise of the China-based social media app…and recounts the invasive ways that the software records data from its users.” The report recommends Wisconsin heed the warnings and take actions similar to these other states.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann recently banned TikTok on Washington County devices. This is the first, and to date, the only Wisconsin county to have taken such action. At the federal level, however, the U.S. House Administration Arm has banned TikTok on official devices. This is a good start, but we need to do more.
This federal bill is absolutely essential, and we are hopeful that Rep. Gallagher’s colleagues will agree. Closer to home, we need Governor Evers to take the warnings seriously and, at a minimum, prohibit the app on any government-issued device; and we need more counties to follow the example of Washington County. The Chinese Communist Party is a serious threat to the United States’ security and banning the Chinese-owned social media platform is common sense. In the meantime, parents should closely monitor their children’s social media use and ensure they stay off the app.
Gov. Evers announced that he will ban TikTok on government devices.
In response, Rep. Gallagher said, “TikTok is a CCP trojan horse that can track someone’s location, monitor their keystrokes, and collect other pieces of sensitive information about them. This app belongs nowhere near any part of our government and I’m glad Governor Evers finally made the decision to ban TikTok on state devices. Now that Governor Evers has recognized the threat posed by the app, I hope he will also delete his campaign’s TikTok account.”
Dec 20, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Couples struggling with infertility are increasingly turning to artificial reproduction, namely in vitro fertilization (IVF). While this technology seems to provide hope to couples with a well-intentioned longing to start a family, the reality is that IVF exploits women and strips tiny children of their fundamental right to life.
Oxford University fertility expert Professor Imogen Goold notes that artificial reproduction clinics “are selling anxious women a false dream” and “preying on women” by charging them for a procedure that almost never works.
When it comes to Big Fertility, there is no independent overseer, and among women aged 42 to 43 who try IVF, a mere three percent will end up with a baby. “Clinics offering egg-freezing rely on women being scared and wanting to throw money at a problem. But these clinics have a vested interest in convincing women they need to buy into this process as an insurance policy, highlighting their success rates while burying their failures,” writes British doctor Max Pemberton.
The lack of success and exploitation of desperate couples is not the only problem with IVF. Most importantly, every time an IVF cycle is performed, multiple tiny children are destroyed.
In the first stages of IVF, clinicians perform a preimplantation screening of early embryos for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. The tiny humans that are determined to be “healthy” are implanted or frozen to be used in the future. The remaining embryos are simply discarded.
Further, many of the embryos who aren’t discarded during the first stages of IVF lose their lives during the implantation phase. In fact, only seven percent of embryos created through IVF are born.
Each of these embryos is a human life formed by God. Once fertilization takes places, a human being made in the image and likeness of God is formed, regardless of where or how that life is conceived.
Approximately 12 percent of married couples suffer from infertility or struggle to sustain a pregnancy, which creates deep emotional and physical stress. These couples deserve care and support as they suffer from the immense pain associated with the unfulfilled longing for a child, and a healthy society must encourage couples to have children and build strong families. However, lab-created children are not the answer. Instead, we should provide hope to couples struggling with infertility by encouraging them to adopt. Adoption benefits and respects the rights of everyone involved.
Unfortunately, couples trying to conceive through IVF aren’t made fully aware of what the process entails. Unless they ask the right questions of the doctors, they won’t know what the problems with this procedure are. It’s up to Christians and pro-lifers to share the truth about IVF with compassion for those who are desperately trying to conceive.
Once again science and technology are ahead of our ethics. Just because we can do something, does not mean we have a moral imperative to do it. It’s never right to create human life with the intention of it being expendable.
Dec 15, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Colorado is trying to force a Christian business owner to create (and thereby, endorse) a message that she disagrees with, but Lorie Smith is fighting back. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Smith’s case, 303 Creative v. Elenis, on Monday, December 5, and we are hopeful the high court will uphold her free speech and religious liberty rights.
Smith designs websites for weddings as long as they align with her belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. However, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act wrongfully forces her to create websites for same-sex marriages. Smith is willing to serve customers regardless of their sexual orientation; she simply refuses to celebrate an unbiblical view of marriage, as is her right.
The hearing lasted for over two hours, and the court debated several questions regarding line-drawing. For example, was Smith’s refusal to create websites for same-sex marriages based on the message of the website or the sexual orientation of the couple? Was her refusal an expression of speech, and therefore protected by the First Amendment, or of conduct?
The left-leaning justices led the questioning of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kristen Waggoner, who is representing Smith. The justices clearly believed Smith was denying the couple her services based on status.
Justice Elena Kagan asked Brian Fletcher, an attorney representing the state of Colorado, what could happen if the court rules in Smith’s favor. Fletcher argued that the court could allow racial discrimination if it upholds Smith’s right to free speech. He pointed to the Supreme Court’s decision in Runyon v. McCrary, a case in which a private school’s admission policy discriminated against black children. However, this comparison is irrelevant. The court’s decision in Runyon v. McCrary did not involve freedom of speech, and the skin color of a teacher’s students wouldn’t change his pro-segregation message.
Thankfully, the conservative justices seemed to lean in the opposite direction. In a debate with Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, Justice Neil Gorsuch referenced Colorado’s treatment of Jack Phillips, who was the subject of a very similar case, as forcing him into a “re-education program.”
Waggoner argued that Smith isn’t just selling a service and engaging in conduct, but is conveying a message with her website designs. She highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court has refused to force someone to convey a message that violates his or her beliefs time and time again in the past.
She asserted that Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston should govern Smith’s case. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Massachusetts could not require the St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers to allow an LGBTQ group to participate in the march. Similarly, the government cannot force Smith to celebrate an LGBTQ relationship.
Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson retorted by pointing to Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), in which the Supreme Court ruled that a law withholding federal funding from colleges that restricted military recruiters’ access to students did not violate the First Amendment. He argued that the FAIR ruling “regulates conduct, not speech” because it set guidelines for what the schools could do rather than what they could say.
Chief Justice John Roberts pushed back on Fletcher’s reliance on FAIR, rightfully stating that the case involved a completely different type of compulsion than the forced speech in Smith’s case.
Then Justice Amy Barrett presented several hypotheticals about other types of marriages or situations that might violate Smith’s beliefs, such as heterosexual marriages that began as adulterous relationships. Waggoner said that Smith would not create websites for those couples either, proving that her refusal is based on the message the website sends, not the status or sexual orientation of the couple.
Justice Barrett noted that Smith says on her website that she fully customizes “the look, feel, theme, message, color palettes, et cetera” of each website she designs.
Gorsuch then voiced the critical distinction of this case, saying, “So, the question isn’t who, it’s what?” Waggoner agreed. This is the question that this case hinges on, and our conservative justices seem to be on the right track.
WFA joined with other pro-religious freedom organizations to file a friend-of-the-court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Lorie Smith. We are hopeful the conservative justices (which comprise a majority) on the court vote in favor of free speech and religious liberty, as they seem poised to.
If the government can compel Lorie to create a message she disagrees with, it can do the same to any of us. Please pray the high court upholds our First Amendment rights.
Dec 13, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
In a tremendous victory for the religious liberty of healthcare professionals, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the Biden Administration’s transgender mandate.
In Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra, a group of Catholic hospitals, nuns, and a Catholic university that operates medical clinics for the poor, sued the Biden administration over a mandate that would have forced religious doctors and hospitals to perform mutilative gender surgeries on any patient, including children.
In May 2021, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would expand the definition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” in Title VII’s provision against employment discrimination. The new rule did not contain any religious liberty protections.
In August of this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government could not force doctors to perform gender “transition” surgeries if it contradicted their beliefs. The Court upheld a permanent injunction against the HHS rule for another group of Catholic health care providers.
This week, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Fifth Circuit’s decision and protected the First Amendment rights of medical professionals. It relied heavily on the Fifth Circuit court’s ruling, noting that the Eight Circuit Court found “instructive the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Franciscan Alliance.”
“We agree with these courts and therefore conclude that the district court correctly held that ‘intrusion upon the Catholic Plaintiffs’ exercise of religion is sufficient to show irreparable harm,’” wrote the Eighth Circuit in its decision.
While this decision does not apply to all states, it sets a crucial precedent for future religious liberty cases.
“Today’s victory sets an important precedent that religious healthcare professionals are free to practice medicine in accordance with their consciences and experienced professional judgment,” said Luke Goodrich of Becket Law. “The government’s attempt to force doctors to go against their consciences was bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for religious liberty.”
Extensive research shows the detrimental effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone administration, and bodily mutilation. These procedures have been linked to loss of fertility, cardiac disease, loss of bone density, and increased cancer risk.
Further, the puberty blockers that doctors give to children suffering from gender dysphoria are the same substances used to castrate sex offenders. This is not healthcare;it’s child abuse.
The good news is that the majority of Americans recognize how radical and abusive these procedures are. According to a recent Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll, almost 80% of likely voters believe that children should not be able to receive puberty blockers and permanent sex change procedures.
Our job is to continue to expose clinics that are participating in this child abuse and share the ugly truth about gender “transition” procedures. Children suffering from gender dysphoria deserve real help, not harm. Moreover, doctors should never be forced to harm children and provide a service that violates their conscience.
We are hopeful that the Eighth Circuit’s ruling will set a lasting precedent for other courts and that religious liberty for healthcare professionals will be upheld all across the country, including here in Wisconsin.
Dec 5, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Chaplains at Wisconsin Children’s Hospital preach anti-Christian ideas and parents need to push back. Children are being bombarded with radical gender ideology from every direction. Even their medical care providers are taking part, as our premier children’s hospital in Wisconsin is now hiring “trans” activists as chaplains and “spiritual care interns.”
The new hires were announced with fliers posted in the inpatient units. The posters read, “Meet Your New Chaplain: Kate Newendorp.” Newendorp’s gender ideology was made clear, as the posters declared her pronouns as “she/her/hers” and those of her fiancé, a female who identifies as “they/he.”
While the posters themselves are cause for concern, they leave out some important details. Newendorp holds social Marxist views; and she is an advocate for transgender surgeries, abortion, and the rejection of religious teaching when it contradicts her personal views.
The new “chaplain” boldly rejects biblical Christian doctrine, which clearly affirms the value of life in the womb, defines the sexes as only “male and female,” and decries same-sex relationships.
“Love Jesus. Be gay. Get ordained,” she wrote on Facebook in June. “What better way to celebrate Pride than being ordained?! Many thanks to my church and classis for being willing to stand for queer folks being included in ministry and for allowing me to follow God’s call.”
She has also twisted Scripture on Facebook by falsely proclaiming that loving one’s neighbor requires voting for Democrats. She even called abortion a “religious freedom” in a post proudly announcing her pro-choice views. Lastly, she started a GoFundMe to help her fiancé undergo a double mastectomy as part of her gender “transition.”
Unfortunately, Newendorp isn’t the only anti-Christian “chaplain” at Children’s. Fellow “chaplain” Ian Butts interrogated the hospital’s staff members who requested religious exemptions from the Covid vaccine mandate.
These are the people who are influencing our children under the guise of Christianity. Parents cannot afford to allow their children to be taught by secular society, or even many of those who claim to be “Christian.”
Parents must have tough conversations with their children about what the Bible really teaches, and how to approach these topics with Truth and love. Talk to them from early ages about how God designed them to be distinctly male or female and how His design is good.
Parents should also foster an environment at home where children feel comfortable asking questions. This also means that parents need to be well-educated on this subject. “Becoming an expert emboldens you to live out Deuteronomy 6:7, teaching the truth ‘diligently to your children … when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise,’” writes Them Before Us director Katy Faust.
A growing number of children are identifying as transgender thanks to the influence of mentors like Newendorp. Parents need to know how to steer their children in the right direction when it comes to their sexuality. There are plenty of resources, such as Them Before Us by Katy Faust that can help prepare parents to raise Godly children in a morally depraved culture. Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier provides interesting and important insights into the transgender craze as it impacts girls. Shrier is not a Christian and is not 100% opposed to the LGBTQ+ agenda, but she is alarmed by the “attack” on young girls in particular.
Further, if your children are in public schools, ask questions. Stay informed about exactly what your children are learning and get involved. Bealert to signs that your son or daughter might be struggling in this area.
Lastly, but most importantly, pray for the hearts and minds of your children daily. This is a spiritual battle, and the devil is working hard to influence them. Pray for their protection and most of all that they come to know and love Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, rather than succumbing to the evil ideas that surround them.
Dec 1, 2022 | News, Wisconsin Family Voice
Worldwide religious persecution is escalating. According to Open Doors, one in seven Christians worldwide suffer high or extreme levels of persecution.
While significant religious persecution is happening in nearly 80 countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, where extremist Islam is rampant, is experiencing the most violence against Christians. Last year, nearly 6,000 were killed for faith-related reasons.
Religious persecution can come from the government, radical religious groups, or the culture; and they all manifest in different ways. According to this year’s Persecutor of the Year Awards Report, persecution of Christians is more prevalent and widespread today than it ever has been before.
These realities should make American Christians more faithful in praying for the persecuted church and more zealous in protecting our religious freedom. While religious liberty is certainly under attack in our country, we still enjoy more religious liberty than most of the world, and we shouldn’t take that for granted.
Religious freedom was the impetus for the founding of our country. In 1620, the Pilgrims came to the New World for the right to live according to the dictates of their faith. Succeeding generations have fought to protect this First Freedom.
Two hundred years after the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday of every November would be an official holiday called Thanksgiving – an opportunity to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. At the time of Lincoln’s declaration, the nation was deeply divided, much like it is today. The country was nearing the end of a Civil War and disagreement had turned to violence. Because of these similarities, Lincoln’s words still speak to us today.
“In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity…peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed…and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God…It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Lincoln was absolutely right. Despite the turmoil surrounding us, we have so much to be grateful for. Over the last year, we have seen several monumental wins for religious liberty, including Supreme Court cases Carson v. Makin, Kennedy v. Bremerton, and other local cases. While there is still more work to be done to safeguard our religious liberty, we should celebrate the fact that by law, we can still freely express our faith in the public sphere.
Always, our religious freedom should be high on the list of things we are thankful for.