Religious Freedom Wins in Brown County Circuit Court
Madison, WI – Last Friday, Brown County Circuit Court Judge William Atkinson issued a common-sense and constitutional decision in a religious freedom case involving five churches and a Christian not-for-profit organization.
The case stems from a decision in late 2017 by the De Pere City Council to pass an ordinance that considered churches and religious organizations as “places of public accommodation” for purposes related to the city’s so-called “anti-discrimination” policy. To comply with the policy, churches and religious organizations would have to violate their religious beliefs. The policy has no exemption for churches or religious ministries.
Judge Atkinson ruled that the ordinance cannot be applied to churches and religious organizations and indicated that this exemption was to be effective immediately. (more…)
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday commemorates the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade (January 22, 1973) that legalized abortion on demand in our country. Since then, approximately 57 million lives have been lost to abortion.
On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating January 22 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. (January 22, 1973, was the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states.) Churches around the United States use the day to celebrate God’s gift of life, commemorate the many lives lost to abortion, and commit themselves to protecting human life at every stage.
Churches continue to recognize the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
“I think it’s altogether appropriate that ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day’ is held on a Sunday and is primarily observed by churches,” says WFA president Julaine Appling, “I hope churches all across our state will take time to mention this matter this coming Sunday. If the Christian church doesn’t take a leading role on proclaiming the truth about human life, the people will listen to the loudest voice which is the culture at large and the media – both of which have the wrong message.”
MADISON, WI – Recently representatives from Choose Life Wisconsin hand-delivered checks to twelve of Wisconsin’s Pregnancy Care Centers. Just over $28,000 has been raised from the sale of Choose Life Wisconsin license plates since the plates were released for purchase in late October last year.
This is the second round of funding from the plate sales. Choose Life Wisconsin has received $28,607 to date from the sale of the plates and since May of this year has awarded over $29,000 in grants to twenty pregnancy care centers across the state. Nearly 1100 plates have been sold.
Julaine Appling, president of Choose Life Wisconsin and Dan Miller, vice-president, have made the in-person check deliveries.
“Being able to give money to these incredible organizations has been a dream come true,” said Appling. “The Pregnancy Care Centers in our state are doing phenomenal work in helping women, men and their unborn babies. We know they are using the funds we are awarding them to reach even more people with more services. That’s what this is all about. It’s an honor to be able to help these centers.”
Dan Miller, Vice President of Choose Life Wisconsin, noted, “We are fulfilling our pledge that 100% of the funds raised from the sale of these plates will go the pregnancy care centers. Visiting the centers is a wonderful experience. Meeting with staff and volunteers who dedicated to their work and are excited to receive these grants is a great reminder about why we’ve worked so hard to make this plate and funding stream a reality.”
All funds received from the sale of the plates can be awarded as grants because Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Council underwrite all administrative and overhead costs.
The organizations recently receiving grants are Access Women’s Center in Madison, Alpha Women’s Center in Milwaukee, Anchor of Hope Health Center in Sheboygan, CareNet Pregnancy Center of Dane County, Evangelical Child and Family Agency in New Berlin, First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center in Stevens Point, First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center in Wisconsin Rapids, Hope Life Center in Wausau, National Office of Post Abortion Reconciliation & Healing in Milwaukee, Women’s Care Center of Madison, Women’s Care Center of Milwaukee. And Women’s Support Center of Milwaukee.
Each quarter the state transfers to Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc., the accumulated monies from the $25 per-plate donation.
Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc., is an independently registered Wisconsin not-for-profit corporation. The IRS has recognized Choose Life Wisconsin as a 501(c)(3) organization, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has approved it as an Authorized Special Group. Choose Life Wisconsin’s mission is to spread a positive, pro-life message and help Wisconsin’s vital Pregnancy Care Centers flourish by funding them from the proceeds of the sale of the Choose Life plate.
The application form for the license plate and instructions with financial information are available on the Choose Life website.
If you voted yesterday, you are deserving of thanks. You are part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you took seriously our frequent admonition to use your influence to get at least ten other citizens to join you in voting, you deserve a double thank you. A quick look at the numbers in many of the races here in Wisconsin shows that indeed every vote matters. If you are a pastor and you distributed our materials or showed our video or from the pulpit you reminded your people to vote, thank you! You have no idea how influential your voice is when it comes to people voting. The historic turnout yesterday indicates get-out-the-vote efforts were pretty successful for all sides in our state. WFA’s and WFC’s get-out-the-vote efforts, in partnership with you, were definitely part of the reason for the high voter-turnout.
One quick take on the election: it’s becoming harder and harder to overcome the liberal progressive numbers in Madison and Milwaukee. Their votes in these areas for their candidates this past Tuesday were incredibly strong. For conservatives to win statewide elections, the numbers voting for conservative candidates outside of these major population centers are going to have to be stronger than they were in this election.
Admittedly, with a Democrat governor and both houses of our state legislature controlled by Republicans, we might see a lot of gridlock. Assembly Republicans enjoy a 63-36 majority (a loss of 1 seat), while Senate Republicans hold a 19-14 majority (a gain of 1 seat). Republicans, in our opinion, need to be aggressive in forwarding a conservative, pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty agenda and not fall prey to the temptation to just go-along-to-get-along and make deep, principled compromises with a governor who is likely to want a vastly different agenda pushed.
We will keep you posted as we learn more about how this session will start. Both Democrats and Republicans are caucusing today to determine their party and house leadership. Inauguration of the governor will be in early January, followed very shortly thereafter with the beginning of the new legislative session.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow said that giving an aging porn star $5000 for a 90-minute presentation to 70 students recently was “a real value” and offered a “rare perspective [students] don’t hear every day.” The topic was supposedly to help students like and be comfortable with their sexuality, including how they view pornography. The event was not advertised openly to the public on the school’s website or elsewhere, only on digital signs on campus. Money for the event came either from student fees or from the Chancellor’s office fund. Read the story HERE.
We’re covering this because it’s important that parents who have students at any UW school or any other publicly-funded university know what’s going on, at least in part. At a minimum, parents should talk with their young adults about the assault they will likely experience on these campuses regarding morality and decency and certainly on Christianity and biblical truth.
Writing for the gospelcoalition.com, Cameron Cole urges parents not to see their kids as lifelong projects that must be managed to successful living or burdens that will one day be lessened when they leave the home. Cole, who lost his firstborn son before he was 4 years old, reminds parents children are gifts from a gracious God—gifts to be responsibly cared for but to also be held loosely with gratitude. Even when a child is especially challenging, remembering that child is a gift helps ease the frustration and helps parents learn the lessons God is teaching with this “hard gift.”
The Bible tells us “children are a heritage from the LORD” and that the man who has children is blessed. Seeing children as gifts is difficult on those especially trying days, but taking just a few quiet moments to thank God for His gracious gift to you in your children and to ask for patience, strength and wisdom will go a long ways to a happier household.
According to the online Daily Signal, the Department of Health and Human Services is reportedly considering scrapping Obama-era executive actions tying federal school funding to recognizing gender as a choice. The report this past Sunday in the New York Times on the proposed change referenced a leaked memo. Currently the federal government is operating, as it relates to Title X funding and schools, according to a recent lawsuit that undid what the Obama administration had done with defining sex to mean something other than one’s biological sex.
Julaine Appling, president of WFA, weighs in, “In Wisconsin, public schools have hidden behind Obama’s “dear colleague” memo on this subject, telling parents if they don’t give special rights and protections to students who claim to be transgender, then they will lose federal funding. The court case—and now hopefully a more definitive action by the Trump administration—will rip away this excuse for endangering students.”
As the major parties increasingly disagree on a number of foundational issues, knowing what the parties stand for is an important part of being an educated voter.
Before you go to the polls, make sure you know the major tenets of each party platform by using our Comparison of Major Party Platforms. Made in cooperation with the Salt & Light Council, it’s another key resource from iVoterGuide to help you be a good steward of your citizenship.
Adapted from remarks by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Family Research Council to World Congress of Families – Chisinau, Moldova (Panel Discussion on “Gender Ideology—The Latest Attack on the Family and the Legal Challenges It Poses”) Friday, September 14, 2018
Mr. Sprigg discusses five myths about gender identity that may or may not be a surprise to you. For instance, Myth #5 states “The transgender movement is not a progressive movement.” The media and academic elites are doing everything they can to convince kids gender is essentially whatever they want it to be. That’s a lie. Parents should be a child’s very best defense against these potentially dangerous lies. To do that, they need to know the truth about this issue so they can counter the deceitful messages their children are regularly hearing.
Read about these 5 myths and the real truths about them HERE.
If you haven’t already done so, check out more helpful information and links for your family HERE on Wisconsin Family Action’s website — your go-to resource for marriage, family, life and religious freedom.
From The Daily Caller:
“The U.S. Department of Education is assessing whether a school’s transgender bathroom policy contributed to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl. As Politico reports, Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, allowed students who identified as transgender to use either male or female bathrooms.
“The department’s investigation could indicate that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is seriously examining whether school transgender policies are enforcing or endangering student safety.”
Julaine Appling, WFC president, speaks to parents, “I am not at all surprised by this investigation. Frankly, I believe there will be others soon, as schools reap the consequences of enacting policies giving special rights and protections to students who claim they are the opposite gender. Parents need to be very aware of the policy in their children’s schools and should make sure they talk often about what they are encountering in the restroom or locker room.”
Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, should be a high priority item on your “to do” list. Your vote in this election is your voice and represents your values.
DID YOU KNOW? This election is for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, U.S. Senator, all 8 Representatives in Congress, half of our state senators (odd-numbered districts), and all 99 representatives to the Assembly. County offices up for election include Sheriff, Clerk of Circuit Court and Coroner (where applicable).
Churches and Church Leadership!
Click HERE to watch, share and/or download the powerful one-minute video “Honoring God.” We strongly encourage churches to share this video with their congregations.
Click HERE to share the free, downloadable bulletin insert with your pastor and church leadership that explains why Christians should care about voting. Printed copies have been mailed to about 700 churches. If your church would like some, call 800-378-7395.
Voting Information Just For YOU; It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. If you have not registered yet, you can do so by clicking HERE.
2. If you need information on how to vote early in person or by absentee ballot, click HERE.
3. If you would like to know where your polling place is located, click HERE.
Daniel Degner, a student from Eldorado in Fond du Lac county, has launched a petition drive asking the state to remove a home in that community from the state’s Chapter 980 sex offender housing system. Recently a violent repeat sex offender was placed in the home, a mere 1000 feet, with just one house between the sex offender house and a family home with four children ages one to nine. Current state law requires a 1500-foot placement restriction on Chapter 980 sex offenders; however, it is only applicable if the properties are adjacent to one another.
“This is a great example of the multiplied power of one,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president, “One citizen becomes informed and actively involved in his community and begins engaging others. Real change almost always happens from the grassroots up. In this instance asking legislators to address a law that puts repeat sex offenders in close proximity to young children is certainly a worthy effort.”
Writing for desiringgod.org, Jonathan Pokluda urges young people to realize they are becoming what they will be. He offers seven lies too many believe, along with countering healthy resolutions. The lies are do whatever you want, live outside your means, feed an addiction, run with fools, believe it’s all about you, live for immediate gratification, and avoid accountability. The countering godly resolutions are do what God wants you to do, live below your means, starve your addictions, walk with the wise, serve others, hold out for God’s best, and don’t go it alone.
Read the article “How to ruin your life in your 20’s” HERE.
WFA president Julaine Appling says, “Helping young people understand this basic truth is one of the most important lessons parents can teach their children. They are becoming who they will be. The decisions they make while young will often have long-lasting and sometimes lifelong consequences. Acknowledging the lies and reinforcing the godly resolutions should be a top priority for every parent.”
Allow us to finish this sentence for you…. Vote early because:
you could become ill on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6) and unable to leave your home.
an unforeseen emergency could come up.
you could forget. (It’s been known to happen.)
your work schedule could change and prohibit you from getting to the polls in time.
There are so many more reasons we could give as to why voting early is a smart move such as inclement weather, lack of transportation, etc. The bottom line is we cannot know the future and, well, things do happen that are out of our control. Read this week’s Wisconsin Family Connection “Preparing to Vote” by clicking HERE.
Learn how you can vote early by clicking HERE.
Click HERE to register, if you haven’t already done so.
Click HERE to visit your Election Central to learn more about the upcoming November 6 election. Be a responsible friend and share this information with others!
On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Eau Claire City Council introduced a proposal to ban conversion therapy for minors. The proposal says counseling involving a fee and designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender, is not allowed. However, counseling supporting gender transition or same-sex attraction is encouraged. What constitutes a “fee” is not defined. The council will vote on the proposal October 9.
“So Eau Claire is going to be the next city to follow Milwaukee’s bad lead,” states Julaine Appling, WFA president, ” This ban usurps parents’ rights and keeps them from getting help for their children struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues. It also trounces on counselors’ religious freedom. This won’t stop in Eau Claire. Citizens need to be aware this proposal will be in their backyard sooner or later.”
What you can do:
Contact your Eau Claire city council members and voice your opinion. CLICK HERE for contact information (phone and email).
Attend the October 9, 2018, City Council meeting and share your thoughts during the public speaking time before the Council members take a vote. The meeting will be held in the Board Room at 721 Oxford Avenue at 4 p.m.
Late last month Governor Scott Walker issued a formal proclamation declaring this week Christian Heritage Week in Wisconsin. The idea of this week is compelling. Sponsored by Christian Heritage Ministries the annual recognition is intended to remind people of the truth of our nation’s beginning and much of our history—we were founded on Christian principles and have had many Christian leaders, who as Governor Walker says in the proclamation, “were statesmen of caliber and integrity who did not hesitate to express their faith.”
Since the mainstream media have ignored this proclamation and the public schools won’t cover it, the best way for people to know about Christian Heritage Week is one family at a time. This week is an excellent opportunity for families to spend some time talking about some of our country’s Christian Heritage. Visit wifamilycouncil.org for helpful information and ideas.
Tonight the Racine Common Council will consider proposed changes to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinances. In this series of proposals from Alderman Melissa Lemke they will add the words, “gender identity” to multiple areas of the municipal code. They define gender identity as “the actual or perceived gender-related identity, expression, appearance or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.” They also expand in the city’s municipal code definitions to “bisexual” “gay” “lesbian”, “queer” “questioning” sexual orientation” “transgender”. The proposed language would also require that the mayor appoint one who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community to the commission on affirmative action and human rights.
DANGER: This municipal code would impact housing, employment, and other areas as well. The agenda tonight seeks to advance this proposal to the Finance and Personnel Committee.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:Attend the Common Council meeting TONIGHT, 9/4, at 7 pm in Room 205 at the Racine City Hall, 730 Washington Avenue. Bring friends with you!
To contact your Alderman with your views you may call (262) 636-9171.
Public libraries all across the country, including in Wisconsin, have been having Drag Queen Story Hour. The group’s website says it “is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.” The goal is to “[capture] the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and [give] kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.”
Wisconsin Family Action’s president, Julaine Appling, weighs in, “This is outrageous. A number of Wisconsin libraries held these events earlier this summer and others are likely making plans to host one. Parents, especially those who use the public library, need to find out if their library has held such a story hour or if they are planning to—and then get with other citizens to register an appropriate complaint with the library director and board. It’s time to speak up.”
Jack Phillips, the Colorado cake artist who recently won a big victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, is being targeted. . . AGAIN.
The government’s actions against Jack are simply outrageous.
Here’s what happened . . .
On the very day that the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in June 2017, an attorney from Denver called Jack’s shop asking for a custom cake.
The attorney wanted a cake that would be blue on the outside and pink on the inside in order to celebrate what the attorney described as his transition from male to female.
It’s not hard to figure out what happened next: Jack’s shop politely declined the request. The attorney filed a complaint. Government with anti-religious bias took action against Jack.
The State of Colorado has obviously learned nothing.
Just a few months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court condemned the government’s treatment of Jack. The anti-religious bigotry, unequal treatment, and egregious violation of Jack’s religious freedom were all rebuked by the high court.
And yet, the state has now doubled down on its unconstitutional effort to punish people of faith! They want to make an example out of Jack.
Jack has been incredibly patient. He and his family have endured a lot at the hands of the government. But they’ve had enough.
The bullies must not win.
We’ve filed a lawsuit on Jack’s behalf to put an end to the harassment.
We [Alliance Defending Freedom] are challenging the anti-religious bias of the government agency that is targeting Jack. And we are challenging the state’s war against the First Amendment.
Colorado is in for a serious fight.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, weighs in, “This news makes it very clear that those pushing the LGBTQ agenda will not stop until there is no impediment whatsoever pushing back against their dangerous, destructive agenda. To them, religious freedom that gets in their way—that is biblical Christianity—must be destroyed. This begs the question: is religious freedom worth fighting for? We definitely believe it is.”
Normally, Mars moves through the night sky from east to west. But every couple years, it seems to reverse direction. This summer, Mars’ “retrograde motion” started in June and will continue into August.
Is your candidate truly a reflection of your convictions and vision for America and Wisconsin? iVoterGuide will be your biggest asset and tool that will guide you through the next election, answering every question that is important to you.
Wisconsin’s 2018 Fall Partisan Primary election is Tuesday, August 14—that’s only weeks away! Your guide covers contested races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House districts, state Senate and Assembly districts and the critical gubernatorial race for Wisconsin’s Governor.
Compare candidates’ answers on over 20 survey questions. Look at who has endorsed them. You can see facts on the issues that are the most important to you, like religious liberty, life, immigration, defense, and more.
May we ask a favor? Would you take a moment to share this email with friends, family and neighbors so that they, too, may have this vital information before election day on August 14? Better yet, download, print and share!
JUST IN! Wisconsin Family Action PAC (Political Action Committee) has just released the first round of endorsements for the Fall 2018 Partisan Primary Election on August 14! CLICK HERE to view the endorsements.
Not sure where to vote or who is on your ballot? Click HERE and type in your home address to find out the answers to these questions so you can vote your values! We’ve also created a Voter Q&A resource guide for all of your questions regarding Election Day. Access your Voter Q&A HERE.
REMEMBER to bring a valid form of photo identification. Click HERE to learn what forms of ID are acceptable. If you haven’t already registered to vote, you may also register on the day of the election at the polls.
Wisconsin Family Action also stands ready to help you if you have any questions. We can be reached at 866-849-2536 (toll free) or 608-268-5074 (Madison).
Do you need school supplies for your children? Take note that this year the Wisconsin Sales Tax Holiday runs from Wednesday, August 1, 2018 – Sunday, August 5, 2018.
A sales tax holiday is when sales of certain items are tax exempt for a specific time. During the Wisconsin Sales Tax Holiday, the following items are not taxable:
–Clothing, if the sales price of any single item is $75 or less
–A computer purchased by a consumer for the consumer’s personal use, if the sales price of the computer is $750 or less
–School computer supplies purchased by the consumer for the consumer’s personal use, if the sales price of any single item is $250 or less
–School supplies, if the sales price of any single item is $75 or less
On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, the Madison Common Council made a decision to usurp parental authority and call into question parental rights to raise children according to their own standards – including those who encourage their children to follow a traditional biblical sexual ethic by banning conversion therapy.
While the process of changing one’s sexual identity is often a long and difficult journey, it is nevertheless possible for highly motivated individuals.
Competent religiously mediated counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction is not inherently harmful.
Wisconsin Family Action president says, “The ban on conversion therapy was bad for Milwaukee and is bad for Madison or any other Wisconsin city.”
In a unanimous vote, the Madison Common Council moved to ban conversion therapy in the capitol city.
The ordinance, passed Monday evening, was sponsored by alders Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Amanda Hall and Arvina Martin.
The proposal prohibits the practice of conversion therapy on minors where those services are provided for a fee.
MADISON—Monday evening President Trump announced that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is his nominee to the US Supreme Court to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Kennedy. Trump has said regarding this process that his “greatest responsibility is to select a Justice who will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written,” noting that “[j]udges are not supposed to re-write the law, re-invent the Constitution, or substitute their own opinions for the will of the people expressed through their laws.” President Trump believes Judge Kavanaugh, meets those requirements.
“The American people care deeply about strong originalists on the Supreme Court, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential election,” said Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action president. “We appreciate President Trump’s continued transparency and principled process for choosing the next Supreme Court nominee and are hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the First Amendment and the original public meaning of the Constitution.”
Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court breathed new life into the Arlene’s Flowers case, sending the case back to the Washington State Supreme Court to review their disastrous opinion in light of the Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. Washington had ruled that Barronelle Stutzman unlawfully discriminated against Rob Ingersoll when she declined to create flowers for his same-sex wedding.
Barronelle, however, had created flowers for Rob for a variety of events throughout the years. She only declined to design flowers for his wedding – an event that violated her sincerely held beliefs that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. In a lower court opinion, the judge actually likened Barronelle to a racist convenience store owner who had “a policy” of refusing “to serve any black” customers. We have high hopes for Barronelle to finally receive justice and have her right to exercise her religious beliefs protected. Read this month’s Wisconsin Family Connection HERE to learn more about this case and our involvement on your behalf for religious freedom
Then, today, in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the Court struck down a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy resource centers to advertise for abortion; a win that gives free speech life.
The California law is yet another example of why we say Don’t California My Wisconsin.
All three cases referenced above were argued by our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom.
ADF CEO Michael Farris issued the following statement about today’s NIFLA decision:
“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion. In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to coexist peacefully with one another. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the 5-4 majority opinion, stating, “the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail.”
In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Read Justice Kennedy’s concurrence HERE. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”At Wisconsin Family Action, we joined 40 other family policy organizations in an amici curiae brief drafted by David French in support of the pregnancy centers. In the brief, French concluded:
“Compelled speech is not the answer to cultural conflict. This court must not render professionals second-class citizens with diminished constitutional rights. There are few state actions more repugnant to the consciences of sincere, pro-life citizens than demanding that they advertise free or low-cost access to the deadly procedure they work so mightily to oppose.”
That’s why the work of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) and our front line national partner Alliance Defending Freedom matters. WFA exists to promote public policy that ensures constitutional rights. In short – we advocate for you and your family in Wisconsin! ADF then goes after unjust laws like California’s in the courts to protect those same rights.
Look for our Wisconsin Family Connection, our 5-minute radio program that airs weekly on Mondays, to provide a more complete analysis of the meanings of these rulings moving forward. Click HERE to access this and other radio programs.
To help us further our advocacy work on your behalf, please consider taking advantage of our current matching grant opportunity (up to $25,000) right now. When you partner with us today, you’ll be lending DOUBLE HONOR to this momentous day for life and free speech! Click HEREto make a secure donation now!
Today the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, striking down a California state law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to point the way to abortion.
Explanation: The Court turned back the state of California’s law forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to point the way to abortion. The Court ruled that the government was wrong to compel pro-life groups and individuals to express a message that conflicts with their beliefs.
Supporting the opinion of the court were Justices Thomas, Roberts, Kennedy, Alito and Gorsuch.
Dissenting were Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.
Justice Kennedy’s concurrence reads as follows:
And the history of the Act’s passage and its underinclusive application suggest a real possibility that these individuals were targeted because of their beliefs. The California Legislature included in its official history the congratulatory statement that the Act was part of California’s legacy of “forward thinking.” App. 38–39. But it is not forward thinking to force individuals to “be an instrument for fostering public adherence to an ideological point of view [they] fin[d] unacceptable.” Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U. S. 705, 715 (1977). It is forward thinking to begin by reading the First Amendment as ratified in 1791; to understand the history of authoritarian government as the Founders then knew it; to confirm that history since then shows how relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech; and to carry those lessons onward as we seek to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech for the generations to come. Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.
Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today against government-compelled speech in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra:
“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion. In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to peacefully coexist with one another. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others.”
Any time politicians invoke the Scripture, my initial reaction is always to cringe—not because I believe our government officials should refrain from quoting God’s Word, but because they often misstate and/or misuse the Scripture out of context to promote their personal political agendas. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a cringeworthy moment when he cited Romans 13 to defend the administration’s forced separation of immigrant families at our southern border.
In Attorney General Sessions words:
“Illegal entry into the United States is a crime — as it should be. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
For the record, I agree with the Attorney General that illegal entry into our country is and should be a crime, and that criminals who violate our laws should be subject to prosecution. I also agree with him that Romans 13 instructs us to obey the government as a God-ordained institution. However, I respectfully, though adamantly, disagree with the Attorney General that this passage or any other Scripture would lend support to or justify the separation of these children—some toddlers—from their parents.
Our immigration system is obviously broken and in dire need of fixing, but using family separation as a deterrent is not a moral solution, particularly for those of us committed to strengthening and defending the family. To those who disagree, I would respectfully ask you to consider this question: Are justice and compassion mutually exclusive? Biblical passages like Micah 6:8 tell us they are not, meaning it is possible to promote justice and, at the same time, extend compassion. In my opinion, the situation at our border calls for both and allows for both. We can simultaneously support enforcing our border laws and oppose small children being stripped away from their parents. It does not have to be one or the other.
If there is one thing we should all agree on, it is the fact that the children are suffering the most from this ordeal. Over the years, many have been stripped away from their parents. Many have been exploited by their own families to gain illegal entry into our country. Many have been victims of sex trafficking and abuse. And as I write this, many have now become “pawns” in a political chess game. As a nation, we can do better, and as Christian Americans, we should demand better from our government.
From a political perspective, this issue has become extremely complex due in large part to the spreading of misinformation, media spin, and political posturing by officials on both sides of the isle. However, let’s be frank—tweets and public statements will not resolve this problem. Our government—specifically, the President and Congress—need to get to work on a permanent solution that keeps our nation safe and keeps children with their parents.
Justice and compassion do not have to be mutually exclusive. As Christians, we know this truth well and we need only look to the cross to see this truth in action. The cross is the place where God’s wrath and mercy met—where God’s justice upon sin and God’s compassion upon mankind converged. So, in our efforts to be “just,” may we never forget the mercy and compassion we have received, and let us not neglect the opportunity we have to extend that mercy and compassion to others.
Too many parents are cavalier about porn and their children. The attitude that “it won’t happen to mine” is very dangerous. The concerned mom in the article we link to below calls for getting radical about protecting children. To be sure the porn industry is radical about exposing them to its vile corruption and making them addicts. We strongly urge parents to take this issue seriously and take action now.
Read “Protecting Our Kids From Pornography” HERE. (more…)