Some days are just emblazoned in our memories. One of those days for me is May 8th, 2022, Mother’s Day. I was at church early that morning to help get ready for a ladies’ brunch happening at 9 a.m. At 7:45 or so, I received a call from one of our team members telling me I needed to immediately call the folks who manage our office building because we had had a “break-in.” I quickly dialed building management and was told we’d had more than a break-in. I was told we had been firebombed and had a fire started in our office and that graffiti had been written on two of the building’s outside walls near our office. I immediately left church with another one of our team members, with a quick stop by my home, only to find that the Watertown police were looking for me because the Madison police hadn’t been able to locate me. After verifying who I was, I was told to get to Madison as soon as possible and to call the Madison Police Department en route. I did so. Interestingly, the Madison PD wouldn’t tell me what the graffiti said.
As we drove by the front of the building at the office, I saw the message on one wall: “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.” On another wall was what we later learned were anarchist and anti-law enforcement symbols. The reason we were attacked was unmistakable.
We entered the building to an acrid odor and found it came from our office, all the way at the end of the hall—at least 150 feet away. Walking into the office, we found the receptionist area a mess from firefighters who had arrived to put out the fire. Then I saw that my personal office had been the point of the attack. Windows broken, glass everywhere, furniture destroyed, books burned, a segment of wall burned away, disarray everywhere—and horrible air, even to the point of making it hard to breathe. Later I’d learn that the air in my office was not just bad, it was truly toxic and no one should have been in there! Meanwhile, I’d given countless interviews standing or sitting in the middle of the destruction for at least two days!
Needless to say, such a day is permanently embedded in my memory. That day, FBI agents were in the office, along with an ATF agent, and at least two Madison Police Department officers—one a detective. When they left with physical evidence late that afternoon, they told me work on the case would begin immediately, but it might take several months for anything of significance to happen. That proved to be true. It wasn’t until March of this year, that I was told that an arrest in our case was imminent—thanks to graffiti that had been written on a sidewalk near the state capitol—in a handwriting style that matched the one used on our walls. After several weeks of work, law enforcement recovered a half-eaten burrito left by the suspect and extracted DNA from the refuse. That DNA matched one set of DNA taken from the physical evidence gathered at my office. Shortly thereafter, police arrested Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury in Boston getting ready to board a plane to Guatemala, using a one-way ticket.
Seriously! This is the kind of thing you see in an NCIS episode! Mr. Roychowdhury was charged with attempting to cause damage through the use of fire or an explosive device and was eventually extradited to Wisconsin where he was put first in jail and then in a federal prison.
Fast-forward to the Monday before Thanksgiving. The US Attorney’s office handling this case filed a signed Plea Agreement with the Western District Wisconsin Federal Court. Mr. Roychowdhury was scheduled to actually plead guilty before federal Judge William Conley on Friday, December 1, 2023, at 1 p.m. Shortly before 1 p.m., I entered the courtroom and sat down. Shortly after, a sergeant-at-arms told me I’d probably be more comfortable moving to the other side of the gallery. I had sat directly behind where Mr. Roychowdhury would be sitting with his attorneys. I obliged and sat behind the detective handling our case and an FBI agent who had made the arrest. Eventually, the other side filled up with the accused’s friends and family members (interestingly, all wearing masks).
Eventually, Mr. Roychowdhury was escorted in wearing an orange jumpsuit, but in no way restrained. I watched him for a long time. His demeanor throughout the process of the judge asking him a whole series of questions was calm, self-assured, and perhaps a bit smug and arrogant. I don’t know if he recognized me or not, although he looked my way several times. I couldn’t help but wonder how he got caught up in all this radicalization and violence, and I pondered how his life will be different because of this crime.
This 29-year-old from India (now apparently a US citizen) did plead guilty and took responsibility for the crime. The judge told him very clearly the law requires a minimum of five years of incarceration with a maximum of 20—and that the judge would ultimately determine his sentence and hand it down on February 14th, 2024. He will get some consideration for accepting responsibility, but the judge cannot give him less than five years. He could also be fined and required to pay restitution for damages. As I’ve said many times, we are not looking for revenge or retribution, just justice under the law.
This arrest and guilty plea is, as far as we know, the first in the nation as it relates to the series of attacks targeting pro-life organizations and churches that happened after the leaked draft of the Dobbs U.S. Supreme Court decision suggested that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned.
It’s taken longer than anyone thought it would to reach this point in the firebombing of our office, but I believe justice is being served at this point, and I trust this will be encouraging to other pro-life organizations and churches that have endured similar attacks.
You, our friends, have prayed for us, financially supported us, and encouraged us as we have walked this very different path. Thank you! The case is still open because we believe there are more suspects yet to be identified and apprehended. So this attack remains very much on our minds as we continue to work with law enforcement. Your prayers and ongoing support are such a blessing and so necessary as we continue, in partnership with you, to show up, stand up, and speak up for LIFE in Wisconsin. We will keep you posted as this story continues!
“It’s just a piece of paper. We love each other and that’s enough.” Ever heard anyone say something like that when explaining why they aren’t married but are living together? Unfortunately, that’s become a pretty common sentiment about marriage.
The truth is marriage is much more than just a piece of paper. As Institute for Family Studies points out in a marriage fact sheet, “[m]arriage is about building a common life together, forming an exclusive emotional, sexual, and spiritual bond, forging a shared financial future, taking care of your spouse in ‘sickness and health,’ and providing a stable and loving home for any children that you have.”
Children get lost all too frequently in the marriage discussion these days. Many couples, if they marry at all, are choosing to not have children, claiming children are too expensive, or don’t fit their lifestyle, or the world is overpopulated, or the world is too bad to bring children into it. Broken families or children born to single women put children at huge risk for all sorts of pathologies. Children adopted into homes with two dads or two moms are always purposefully deprived of either a mother or a father.
All of these reflect that reality that our culture is much more about adult happiness than the well-being of children.
What we know is that what is best for children is to be brought up in the homes of their married dads and moms. This doesn’t mean children brought up in other family structures can’t overcome the odds. Many certainly do, but this does mean that normatively an intact, married-dad-and-mom home is where children are much more likely to thrive, not just survive. And every society depends on the next generation to become well-adjusted, productive adults.
Marriage matters to children. Social science continues to reinforce what God has designed since He instituted marriage and family in the Garden of Eden. What social science finds is that children living with their married dads and moms are more likely to do well in school than their peers in other family structures and actually graduate high school and when they reach adulthood. They are also more likely to have full-time employment and to succeed in their work.
Boys in intact families are more likely to avoid getting in trouble with the law than boys not in these families, and thus, these boys stay out of jail. Girls who are brought up in a home with married mom and dad are less likely to be sexually active than girls in other families and therefore avoid teen pregnancies. Importantly, children living with their married dad and mom avoid poverty, which in itself can result in severe disadvantages.
So how do we change the culture and the mindset of so many? First, Christian families model godly marriages. They talk positively about God’s plan for marriage and about their own marriage. They promote child-bearing and adoption within marriage. Seeing good marriages and families is one of the best ways to ensure the next generation values marriage and wants marriage and children for themselves.
Churches also have an important role to play in creating a marriage culture. Biblical preaching and teaching on the subject is essential, but so is celebrating marriage as God designed it—making much of weddings and anniversaries and births sends a powerful message to everyone that marriage is good and desirable.
Government can help too by making sure no law penalizes marriage, but rather that married couples receive some benefits, reflecting the good they bring to society in general. Additionally, we need to stop making welfare so readily available for single women with children and then removing those funds if they marry. That incentivizes exactly the wrong behavior and actually sets children up for trouble.
Marriage is so much more than a piece of paper. Marriage matters, and it especially matters to children. Wise societies will do everything they can to ensure they are promoting the best interest of children—their future. Once again, it must be said, God’s way is always the best way.
While we did not have any elections here in our state last week, several states had some really significant elections. Of prime importance, Ohio voters weighed in on two ballot initiatives. One of the referenda ensconces a right to abortion in the state’s constitution, and the other legalizes recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, both proposals passed.
The abortion proposal passed 56%-44%. The referenda stated that individuals will have the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions.” My counterpart in Ohio—my friend Aaron Baehr—who worked hard to defeat the amendment and provided leadership for a pro-life coalition, made some important points about the heartbreaking loss.
The statement from Protect Women Ohio said, in part, “Our hearts are broken tonight not because we lost an election, but because Ohio families, women and children will bear the brunt of this vote. When Michigan voters passed a similar amendment last year, they were sold the lie that parental rights would be unaffected, that late-term abortion would remain illegal, and that women’s health and safety standards would not be touched. But just last week, the Michigan legislature voted to repeal penalties for partial-birth abortions, to eliminate health and safety protections at abortion facilities, and they called parental consent laws ‘unconstitutional.’ They even vowed to come for informed consent laws and 24-hour waiting periods next. We know the same barbaric attacks on parents and children are now coming home to Ohio.”
They went on to say that as pro-lifers, they will not quit—which is encouraging to be sure. But I want to note what this statement points out about Michigan because it is very telling. Voters in Michigan were told one thing about abortion regulations if they passed a “right to abortion” amendment, but yet the pro-abortion advocates are never satisfied. They want abortion any time, for any or no reason—truly abortion on demand. Ohio pro-lifers recognize that this could easily happen in their state with this so-called “right to abortion” now in their constitution.
So how does this relate to Wisconsin? Remember that lawsuit challenging whether our pre-Roe law is enforceable? That lawsuit is still in Dane County Circuit Court—but it will eventually move from that court and go either to the appellate court and then to the state Supreme Court, or the appellate court could send it directly to the state Supreme Court.
Most observers believe one way or another, this case will land at our state Supreme Court, which now leans liberal by a 4-3 margin. And of course, new Justice Janet Protaciewicz made it very clear in her campaign that she supports what she called “reproductive rights” for women—which is a euphemism, and a bad one, for abortion.
When this case gets to our state Supreme Court, it wouldn’t take a great deal of legal maneuvering for our court to create a “right to abortion” in our state constitution. And then, like Michigan, it would not be long before serious challenges will come, probably via the courts, against our abortion regulations, like the 20-week abortion ban, the ultrasound requirement, the 24-hour waiting period, parental permission, and others—all of which are designed to protect women and their unborn children.
As I have said and will continue to say, elections have very real consequences—and sometimes those consequences are literally life and death.
Regardless of what happens with our pre-Roe law here in Wisconsin, WFA and WFC, in full partnership with you, will continue to relentlessly fight for the dignity of every preborn child and advocate for the support of every woman facing a crisis pregnancy. Thank you for all you do to promote a culture of life in our state!
For over thirty years, Wisconsin has been at the forefront of educational innovation with its school choice program, providing low-income parents the opportunity to select the best educational environment for their children, which includes both secular and religious private schools.
Our Parental Choice Program began in 1990 with just the City of Milwaukee, but has expanded to include Milwaukee County, and under the Walker administration, a Racine choice program and a statewide choice program were launched. Currently, about 52,000 students are enrolled in private schools using a state-issued voucher.
As of last week, this successful program is facing a challenge in the form of a lawsuit filed by the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, a leftist group publicly stating it is out to destroy Wisconsin’s choice program. This lawsuit was filed directly to the state Supreme Court and asks the court to shut down the choice program before the 2024-2025 school year. It is disheartening to witness such a baseless, politically motivated attack on a program that has empowered families and improved educational outcomes for tens of thousands of children.
The essence of the lawsuit revolves around the claim that the school choice program diverts funds from public schools, crippling their ability to provide quality education, which is a fundamentally flawed assertion. Currently, statewide public school districts receive, on average, almost $15,000 per student of taxpayer money. Even with the increase in vouchers that the governor signed into law in the new budget, vouchers for K-8 students are just 64% of that amount, while vouchers for high school students are now 81% of the public school per-student cost. What this means is the voucher programs are saving taxpayers money.
Importantly, recent research done by School Choice Wisconsin shows that the choice programs are giving taxpayers a very good return, with voucher students consistently outperforming their public school peers on core subjects such as reading and math, as well as on standardized tests such as the ACT and the state’s Knowledge and Concepts Exam.
This lawsuit fails to acknowledge the diverse needs of Wisconsin’s students. Every child is unique, with individual learning styles, interests, and aspirations. Additionally, families differ in their values. Many families today, especially Christians, are realizing public schools are foisting values on their children that are antithetical to their family values. A one-size-fits-all approach to education simply does not suffice. School choice ensures that parents can tailor their child’s education to match what they want for their children, fostering an environment where students can thrive academically and personally, and also for many, spiritually.
While the lawsuit does not directly raise concerns about the participation of religious schools in Wisconsin’s school choice program, it is important to know that this issue was settled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1998 in a case that challenged the original Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. The high court determined including religious private schools in the choice program did not violate either the US Constitution’s First Amendment or Wisconsin’s constitution. Subsequent and quite recent US Supreme Court decisions have also upheld the inclusion of religious private schools in such programs.
The bottom line is we have people in our state who despise the choice program; they have tried to discredit it and undo it for years. Now, with our state Supreme Court leaning liberal, they believe the time is right to aggressively use the courts to accomplish their goal. Fortunately, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is ready to fully defend this educational option on behalf of the tens of thousands of students and families who are flourishing because of this program. We call on Christians to pray for the justices and their decision and for the attorneys who will be involved with this high-stakes case.
Last spring, the Town of Hayward used an obscure state law to hold its annual meeting without public notice. At the meeting, three resolutions were passed, including a $15 million building project and reorganization of the town board. This came despite the fact that during a 2019 advisory referendum, residents of Hayward expressed their disapproval of a comparable $5 million construction project.
More than 270 residents took initiative to organize and gather signatures with the aim of convening a “special town meeting” to reconsider the resolutions. Residents and town electors have provided three separate written requests, but to date, the town clerk has refused to call the meeting. Citizens also contacted Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), which has now sent the town a letter demanding that they abide by Wisconsin law and hold a public town meeting so residents can weigh in on spending projects.
WILL’s client, Brenda Dettloff, said, “The Town of Hayward is denying citizens open, accountable, and transparent government. Before significant updates to town infrastructure and amenities are made, taxpayers deserve to have their voices heard. Because of that simple fact, hundreds of Hayward citizens, from across the political spectrum, are speaking out as one voice and demanding a true public meeting ‘of the People’ to properly vet the pending resolutions.”
WILL’s letter asks the town to fulfill its legal duty by either confirming that it will provide the public notice of a September 15 town meeting, as requested by the residents, or explain how the town believes their petition was insufficient. “If you refuse to do so by Monday, August 28, 2023, we will petition for a writ of mandamus in circuit court ordering you to do so,” wrote WILL.
This story beautifully demonstrates “the multiplied power of one.” When one person gets involved and reaches out to recruit even just a handful of others who in turn reach out to others, they end up making a huge difference, especially at the local level.
It’s been said that all that’s necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Alert citizens willing to get involved can make a tremendous difference. Holding elected officials accountable is essential and is part of being a good steward of this republic we are blessed to live in. We should each consider how we can use the “multiplied power of one” where we live to make our communities truly good for families!
On Wednesday, August 1, Wisconsin experienced an earthquake. Did you feel it? No Richter scale picked up its magnitude, but the impact was felt all across the state, from large cities to small towns. While no buildings were toppled, in fact no property damage was done, the destruction began almost immediately with more to come. It’s true that no lives were lost at the time, but the aftershock will no doubt result in loss of human life as well.
The devastating earthquake happened just as Justice-elect Janet Protaciewicz was sworn in as the newest member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At that moment, the tectonic plates in our state shifted, as the ideological balance of our high court suddenly went from a slim 4-3 conservative majority to a slim but very significant 4-3 liberal majority.
The new liberal majority lost no time in flexing its muscle and causing the first aftershock. The very day of this human-made disaster, the liberal majority voted to fire the Director of State Courts, Randy Koshnick, who had served with distinction for six years in this important, non-judicial position.
Shortly after Koschnick was fired, the court hired a new interim Director of State Courts. Senate Majority Leader Republican Devin LeMahieu objected, saying that this individual didn’t meet the legal requirements to be appointed to this job. But that didn’t deter the liberal juggernaut in the least.
According to the current Chief Justice, Annette Ziegler, one of the conservatives on the court, the court continued its destructive path by convening a meeting in a way that if not illegal is at least in violation of the court’s self-determined policies and procedures. Some news reports indicated the liberal justices responded pretty much by saying, “too bad. We’re in charge now, and we’ll do what we want, when we want, in the way we want.” Talk about an aftershock!
Legal pipelines were immediately filling up when the ground in Wisconsin shifted on August 1. By Monday, August 7, two lawsuits had already been filed directly with the state Supreme Court, challenging the state legislative district maps that the Wisconsin Supreme Court under a conservative majority had approved in late 2021.
During the campaign in this spring’s election, then Judge Protaciewicz made it very clear what she thinks of the maps in question that gave us the Assembly and Senate districts under which the 2022 midterm elections were conducted. Protaciewicz said they were “unfair” and “rigged.” Used to be that such clear proclamations on an issue sure to come before the court would have been assiduously avoided by a judicial candidate. But the earth in Wisconsin had already begun shifting well before August 1; unfortunately, too many people ignored the signs. Based on what we’ve already seen, I’ll predict the court quickly accepts at least one of the two cases, if not both, and sets a date in the near future for oral arguments.
We care about these maps because they have a great deal to do with who controls our state assembly and state senate. Right now, both houses have solid conservative majorities. But that could change in January 2025, if the maps are redrawn in a way that favors liberals. Imagine Wisconsin with Governor Evers and the liberal majorities in both the Assembly and Senate. Talk about an aftershock!
Democrat Attorney General Josh Kaul wasn’t about to be left out of this opportunity to wreak further havoc as a result of the August 1 quake. Last week, he filed a motion in with the Dane County judge who is handling the case challenging our state’s pre-Roe abortion ban, asking that she expedite her decision. Now, why would he do that with a case that has been lollygagging in the system since late June of 2022? Because he now wants this case before the State supreme court sooner rather than later, knowing that Protaciewicz made it very clear in her campaign that she is pro-abortion. And this is how the loss of life happens as a result of Wisconsin’s August 1 ideological earthquake.
I wish I could tell you no more aftershocks will happen, but that would be dishonest. The rumblings have been happening for some time related to Act 10, school choice, executive authority, religious freedom and more.
Elections have consequences. Sometimes they set the stage for cataclysmic, ideological earthquakes that destroy foundations and result in widespread damage that includes the loss of precious human lives. Maybe now people will actually believe it when we talk about election consequences. We can only hope.
Last week, Judge Janet Protaciewicz became Justice Protaciewicz when she was sworn in as a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a move that changed the ideological balance of the court from 4-3 conservative to 4-3 liberal. Two lawsuits have already been filed with the state supreme court that challenge the current legislative maps. Democrats are asking the state supreme court to overturn GOP-drawn maps. The court has to formally accept these “direct-action” petitions, which will likely happen soon given the new makeup of the court.
The filing of these lawsuits was anticipated following the addition of Justice Protasiewciz to the court. She emphasized the existing maps, crafted by GOP legislators and implemented by the state supreme court in spring 2022, as a central theme of her campaign, characterizing the maps as “rigged” and unfairly skewed in favor of Republicans.
Democrats argue that the state legislative maps exhibit partisan gerrymandering. As a result, one of the lawsuits calls for all 33 state senators to run according to new districts next year, and the other lawsuit says all state legislators should be compelled to compete in redrawn districts in fall 2024. Both lawsuits, if successful, would mean the half of the state senate who was elected last year and wouldn’t be up for re-election until 2026 would still be forced to run again next fall.
Republican legislative leaders criticized the lawsuits, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) pledged to protect the existing maps.
“The timing of this lawsuit questions the integrity of the court,” he said. “It’s clear that liberal interest groups are coming to collect from Justice Protasiewicz after her campaign broke judicial code to earn their financial support earlier this year.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the petitions appear to be an “attempt to get the Wisconsin Supreme Court to do what the United States Supreme Court has said judges cannot — decide political issues about redistricting.” Vos is referring to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said federal courts cannot play a role in deciding partisan gerrymandering claims. The 2019 verdict undercut a district court’s decision that had determined the Wisconsin GOP legislators’ drawn boundaries constituted an unconstitutional gerrymander.
Both lawsuits are directed exclusively at the current state legislative maps (Senate and Assembly districts), not the congressional maps, which were accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court at the same time as they rejected the original state legislative maps submitted by Governor Evers. If either of these lawsuits is successful (and in all likelihood if the state supreme court decides to accept both, they will be combined and heard together), and new maps are drawn and ultimately forced upon the legislature, the strong majorities Republicans have in both the Assembly and the Senate would be in jeopardy. This, of course, is exactly what the Democrats want: to eliminate or at least reduce the majorities.
With 2024 being a presidential election year and Wisconsin once again being a targeted state, we can be sure an all-out assault on our state legislature will be waged with massive amounts of money being spent to flip both houses from conservative to liberal majorities. Should that happen while Evers is governor, well, let’s just say it won’t be good for marriage, family, life, religious freedom, or any other freedom.
As we know, elections have consequences. These map challenges are significant; please join us in prayer as these cases and others impacting marriage, family, life, and religious freedom will no doubt soon be filed.
The Daily Wire reports that a Wisconsin school district is facing a lawsuit from a parent who claims that a teacher announced his gender “transition” to students, including those in elementary school, without notifying parents.
On Monday, Leah Buchman, a mother within the Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD), lodged a formal complaint accusing the district of violating open records law and neglecting to inform parents about the teacher’s gender transition announcement.
According to the complaint, on June 5th, all orchestra students at Northstar Middle School were required to meet in the orchestra room along with their orchestra teacher and school counselor, Jacob Puccio, and the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) director, Dang Yang. During this gathering, the middle school students were informed that their orchestra teacher, Mr. Puccio, would be undergoing a “gender transition.”
Further, music students at three elementary schools and one high school in the district were purportedly read a scripted statement regarding the teacher’s gender transition.
According to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), the statement was curated by ECASD with the intention to “ensure that students received information in a particular way.” Additionally, WILL asserts that parents still remain unaware of the exact contents of what was read to the students and are seeking clarification on the specifics.
Buchman immediately requested a copy of the scripted statement but was denied access to it. An attorney representing the school district stated that the document could not be released at that time due to an ongoing investigation into whether any school employee had acted inappropriately during the June 5th announcement.
Following the school’s refusal to provide the statement, Buchman proceeded to file her lawsuit with the assistance of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL).
“All I am asking is for the school district to provide what was told to my children and their peers in the classroom. As a parent, it’s my responsibility to help my kids understand all that life throws their way, and I do not understand why it has taken the school district so long to update parents,” said Buchman.
“It’s ridiculous for a school district to refuse to produce a statement that was read out loud to dozens of minor students in several district classrooms. What was told to these kids should be readily accessible to parents,” said WILL attorney Cory Brewer.
Other Wisconsin schools have been under fire for undermining parents’ rights in an attempt to indoctrinate students with radical LGBTQ+ ideology.
The Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) was sued for hosting gender identity trainings that instruct teachers and school staff on how to hide students’ gender transitions from parents. America First Legal (AFL) and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed the lawsuit on behalf of several parents, arguing that the district’s policies violate their freedom of religion and their parental rights.
Similarly, last November a group of Wisconsin parents sued the Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) for a policy that allows minor students to “transition genders” at school, even despite their parents’ objection.
In a third case, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in 2020 in Dane County Circuit Court against the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) 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.
Cases of Wisconsin schools violating parental rights have become far too common– and these are only the instances that have been reported. Hopefully, these lawsuits are successful and send a clear message to Wisconsin schools: teachers have no right to parent students or push a radical agenda without parents’ consent.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law last Friday banning most abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, just weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court blocked a similar law. The bill signing took place at The Family Leadership Summit, a gathering of nearly 2,000 faith-based conservatives organized by The Family Leader, a state family policy council in Iowa. The governor told the sold-out crowd, “the most important human rights cause of our time [is] protecting unborn human lives from the atrocity of abortion.”
“All life is precious and worthy of the protection of our laws,” Reynolds added. “Everyone understands that a heartbeat signifies life, and we understand that when it falls silent, something precious has been lost.”
Reynolds also acknowledged with gratitude who was in the audience— pro-life activists, saying, “You have lifted us in prayer, grounded me in God’s Word, and reminded me that He is always in control.”
I was privileged to be at that event and to meet Governor Reynolds. The crowd went crazy in applause for the governor and for the at least 50 pro-life legislators flanked her as she signed this bill.
One of the other speakers at the Summit was Pastor Alistair Begg who did a session on the importance of having a biblical worldview. As he wrapped up his remarks, he gave three words that he said should characterize leaders: integrity, bravery, and humility.
From what I can discern about Governor Kim Reynolds, especially after listening to numerous Iowans who actually know her quite well, she epitomizes these characteristics. Because of her, people like me have “governor envy,” as we consider what Wisconsin could be like if we had leaders anywhere in our government who were people of integrity, bravery, and humility.
These are leaders who do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reason, even if no one is watching— that’s integrity. Such leaders have the courage of their convictions and are willing to do hard things in the face of adversity because doing right is always good and right.
Leaders in every walk of life who exhibit integrity, bravery, and humility are rare indeed, and the world is starved for them. We are doing all we can to help develop these types of leaders this week during our LEAD Wisconsin teen worldview and leadership camp.
At LEAD Wisconsin, 125 teens are undergoing biblical worldview training and are having opportunities to develop leadership skills, all while being encouraged in word and example to be people who have integrity and who are brave and humble.
Who knows? Maybe from this week of LEAD Wisconsin will one day come another Kim Reynolds who will lead a state, business, church, or school well for the glory of God and the good of the people they are leading. We work and pray to that end.
Last week, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) provided testimony in opposition to Assembly Bill 176, a bill authored by Republicans and supported by many others as co-sponsors. AB 176 would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive drugs and devices. Currently, pharmacists in Wisconsin cannot prescribe any medication— none. But Republicans think prescribing potent contraceptive drugs is the one thing they should be able to prescribe and dispense.
Jack Hoogendyk, WFA’s Legislative & Policy Director, offered the testimony on behalf of WFA, including answering questions from committee members.
Hoogendyk began by noting that one of the main arguments being presented in support of the bill is that it will reduce poverty by addressing unintentional pregnancies. However, the solution to poverty is certainly not contraception.
“We acknowledge the public and personal cost of babies born to single moms, but allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraception is not the answer. One of, if not the best, antidotes to poverty is marriage. It certainly is not contraception. If this body is truly interested in reducing poverty in any kind of meaningful way, it will promote the Success Sequence, which is finish school, get a job, marry, and then have children,” he said.
Further, authorizing pharmacists to prescribe contraception promotes unmarried individuals to engage in sexual activity, at least to some degree, and contraception can fail, leading women to seek abortions. Some forms of contraception even cause a pre-implantation chemical abortion themselves.
Hoogendyk went on to explain problems with the language in the bill, such as the fact that it never uses the word “woman,” but rather “person” and “patient,” opening the door for men with malicious motives to obtain the drugs.
He also notes that contraception is not health care, as the bill suggests. “Contraception is about the personal choices and decisions of individual women, typically made under the advice and guidance of a doctor because of the potency of the pharmaceuticals involved. To talk in terms of this being about women’s health care is, at a minimum, disingenuous.”
Read the full testimony HERE.
This isn’t the first time this bill has been introduced; it’s at least the third time. Typically, the Assembly passes it, and fortunately, it dies in the Senate. However, that may not be the case this time, since the Senate version of the bill got assigned to a committee chaired by senators more favorable to the idea.
Ultimately, this bill would open the door to far more harm than good. Please pray that our elected officials have a change of heart and decide to defeat this bill.
Contact your assembly representative and senator and let them know your opinion on this bill. You can get full contact information for these officials HERE. Just put your address in the appropriate area at the top right. Your senator and representative info will pop up on the map.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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