While 1 in 7 Christians are persecuted worldwide, we should be grateful for our religious liberty

While 1 in 7 Christians are persecuted worldwide, we should be grateful for our religious liberty

Worldwide religious persecution is escalating. According to Open Doors, one in seven Christians worldwide suffer high or extreme levels of persecution. 

While significant religious persecution is happening in nearly 80 countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, where extremist Islam is rampant, is experiencing the most violence against Christians. Last year, nearly 6,000 were killed for faith-related reasons. 

Religious persecution can come from the government, radical religious groups, or the culture; and they all manifest in different ways. According to this year’s Persecutor of the Year Awards Report, persecution of Christians is more prevalent and widespread today than it ever has been before.

These realities should make American Christians more faithful in praying for the persecuted church and more zealous in protecting our religious freedom. While religious liberty is certainly under attack in our country, we still enjoy more religious liberty than most of the world, and we shouldn’t take that for granted. 

Religious freedom was the impetus for the founding of our country. In 1620, the Pilgrims came to the New World for the right to live according to the dictates of their faith. Succeeding generations have fought to protect this First Freedom. 

 Two hundred years after the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday of every November would be an official holiday called Thanksgiving – an opportunity to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. At the time of Lincoln’s declaration, the nation was deeply divided, much like it is today. The country was nearing the end of a Civil War and disagreement had turned to violence. Because of these similarities, Lincoln’s words still speak to us today. 

Lincoln declared

“In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity…peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed…and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God…It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Lincoln was absolutely right. Despite the turmoil surrounding us, we have so much to be grateful for. Over the last year, we have seen several monumental wins for religious liberty, including Supreme Court cases Carson v. Makin, Kennedy v. Bremerton, and other local cases. While there is still more work to be done to safeguard our religious liberty, we should celebrate the fact that by law, we can still freely express our faith in the public sphere. 

Always, our religious freedom should be high on the list of things we are thankful for.

Wisconsin Family Action files amicus brief in case for parental rights and free speech 

Wisconsin Family Action files amicus brief in case for parental rights and free speech 

Stories of school districts violating parents’ rights with transgender policies continue to emerge, and WFA is helping to fight back. 

The Linn-Mar Community School District, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, implemented a policy earlier this year barring the district from informing parents of a student’s transgender status unless the student provides authorization. Under the policy, students can also decide whether or not their parents attend meetings with a school counselor to receive support and implement a “Gender Support Plan.”

The Eighth Circuit Court will hear oral arguments for this case in February 2023. To defend parental rights, WFA has signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief, along with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the Baptist Convention of Iowa (BCI), and other organizations to defend parental rights.  

The brief says that the Parental Preclusion Policy “permits students and schools to determine the name and pronouns that a student will use at school, to decide the gender of those that the child will sleep with on school trips, to select which restroom and locker room to use at school, and to determine which gender sports teams to join, all without parental notification or consent.”

By hiding pertinent information about students, the school district violates parents’ right to “direct the care and education of their children,” and violates their due process protections.

The U.S. Constitution “protects parental interests as fundamental,” reads the brief. “This policy’s underlying rationales – that parents do not act in their children’s best interest and schools may trump parental authority when they suspect they might disagree with parental decisions – provide no permissible justification whatsoever.”

“It is parents who are given the primary right to care for their child, not school counselors, teachers, or principals. [F]undamental parental rights, like other fundamental rights, may only be curtailed or withheld after notice and due process,” the brief continues. 

The Linn-Mar Community School District is clearly prioritizing a radical ideology over parents’ fundamental rights, and WFA is proud to take a stand for parents and children’s safety. 

In another recent case, former school counselor at Allen-Field Elementary School in the Milwaukee Public School District (MPS) Marissa Darlingh was fired for exercising her First Amendment right to free speech. At a feminist rally, Darlingh expressed her concern about the dangers associated with “gender identity ideology,” especially for children. 

Darlingh has filed a lawsuit against the school district in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and she is being represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. 

“The District has blatantly violated Ms. Darlingh’s First Amendment rights. Firing her for expressing her views on such an important subject is not only inexcusable, but unconstitutional,” said WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg. 

The lawsuit alleges that the district violated Darlingh’s First Amendment and Due Process rights, as the termination letter cited her speech at the feminist rally as the reason for her termination. That speech was given on her own personal time outside of campus. The lawsuit seeks reinstatement to her position at the school, back-pay, and removal of the no-trespass order against her. We are hopeful that this case will affirm the First Amendment rights of all teachers. 

Schools are now pushing radical gender ideology on students, hiding information about students’ gender identity from parents, and punishing those who disagree with their ideology. While the success of these lawsuits will help, we need parents and teachers to stand up and assert their rights. Parents have every right to know exactly what is going on in the classroom, and teachers have every right to condemn a radical ideology that is harming children. 

Please pray for the success of these lawsuits and an end to radical indoctrination in the classrooms of government schools.

The votes are in – here’s how the midterm election played out in Wisconsin

The votes are in – here’s how the midterm election played out in Wisconsin

The votes for the 2022 fall midterm partisan elections are in, and overall, the outcome is as expected—not necessarily as hoped for. 

The big races—US senate, governor and attorney general were all close. Unofficially, Republican incumbent Ron Johnson has prevailed over Democrat challenger Mandela Barnes who is currently serving as our state’s lieutenant governor. The margin in this race was razor thin. 

In the race for governor, Republican challenger Tim Michels lost to incumbent Democrat Tony Evers, while in the attorney general race, incumbent Democrat Josh Kaul prevailed over challenger Republican Eric Toney. The AG race was even closer than the governor’s race.

In our congressional races, all incumbents won and in the only open congressional race in our state, Congressional District 3, Republican Derek Van Orden appears to have beat the Democrat opponent. This was an open seat because long-time Member of Congress Democrat Ron Kind decided to retire and not run for re-election. So now, Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, or members of the US House of Representatives, is made up of six Republicans and two Democrats.

Turning to the state legislature, Republicans held strong majorities in both the senate and the Assembly going into this election—not veto-proof, but close. As a reminder, all 99 Assembly seats were on the ballot and half of the senate districts, the odd-numbered districts. 

In the Senate, one noteworthy race resulted in a seat flipping from Democrat to Republican. In Senate District 25 in the northern part of the state Republican Romaine Quinn prevailed in an open race. The seat had been held by Democrat Janet Bewley who decided not to run again this cycle. In Senate District 31, Republican David Estenson narrowly lost to Democrat incumbent Jeff Smith. In other open Senate races, Republican Rob Hutton won in Senate District 5 and Republican Rachael Cabral-Guevera won in District 19—both of those seats had been held by Republicans. So, at this point, even with just the one Republican pick up in the state Senate, it appears there will be a veto-proof majority in the state senate with 22 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

In the Assembly, incumbents held on, with one or two seats flipped from Democrat to Republican (one race is still too close to call). The Republicans basically maintained their strong majority, but it does not appear they will get to the 66 needed for a veto-proof majority. 

With Evers returning to the governor’s office, Republicans would have liked veto-proof majorities in both houses so that they could override the governor’s vetoes. You might recall that this past session, Governor Evers vetoed 126 bills that were put on his desk by the Republican-controlled state legislature. Those bills included pro-life bills, election-reform bills, school choice bills, and many more. We now enter a second 4-year period, which is two legislative sessions, with a divided government which will mean more of the same since the legislature won’t be able to override Evers’ vetoes. 

At the federal level, races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and a few other states, including Wisconsin, loomed very large going into election day. Pollsters and pundits were saying in the days leading up to the election that it looked very favorable for Republicans to gain control of the Senate. Both Democrats and Republicans needed to win 5 seats in order to maintain or gain the majority. Across the country there were tight, close races, but right now without all the races yet being called, it appears that the US Senate will once again be 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans—with a new face or two in that body, but essentially the same scenario we have had. Johnson’s win here in Wisconsin was critical to maintaining the 50-50 split.

This outcome in the US Senate is going to mean some more tense moments as the Senate looks at the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, the potential codification of abortion, bills that deal with special protections for the LGBTQ agenda, and so forth. On the bills that require the 60-vote threshold, Democrats and liberal outside groups will be very heavily lobbying the Republican senators to peel 10 of them off so they can get the votes they need on these bills and more. From our perspective, this means citizens need to stay very engaged and willing to let their senators know their opinion on these highly-charged, very important issues.

We should take a quick look at the US House of Representatives as well. That body had a Democrat majority for the past two years, but that appears to have changed as a result of yesterday’s election. Republicans now have a narrow majority over the Democrats with the New York Times estimating that the Republicans will have 224 of the 435 seats and the Democrats holding 211. Talk about narrow margins! Wisconsin contributed to this majority by flipping Congressional District 3 from blue to red. 

Of course, this does mean leadership will change from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to likely Kevin McCarthy. Now, with the Republicans in control of the House and the Democrats in control of the Senate, there’s going to be, at least presumably, some gridlock with the House probably passing more conservative bills than the senate will be willing to take up. 

We must remember that in all things, God is sovereign. Scripture says the powers that be are ordained of God, which means we as believers must view even election results through that lens. That doesn’t mean we don’t assess how outcomes happened, what strategies and tactics worked and which ones didn’t. It doesn’t mean we don’t look for ways to do things better if need be to produce different results if that’s what we think is right. But it does mean at some point, we accept the outcome of elections, as at a minimum, God-permitted. We should look for lessons to be learned from whatever the outcome is. 

As always, many thanks for all of your work in this election cycle and for your continued support.

Thank you for whatever you did to help determine the consequences of this election. Whether you voted, used your influence to encourage others to join you, worked the polls, were an election observer, took people to the polls who couldn’t otherwise get there, or prayed—it’s all important. And you deserve great gratitude for what you’ve done.

There will be very real consequences from this election, and we need to be ready for those, both the positive and the negative ones. We do our best to honor God with our vote and we engage elected officials now as they begin making policy. We let them know our opinion on bills, but we ultimately accept the outcome as from God, Who could have changed the outcome of any race if He had chosen to do so. We rejoice in victories, and we accept losses, and most importantly, we push forward with hope in King Jesus and in God’s Word and with courage and determination in our mission of advancing Christian values in Wisconsin—because we love God, and we love our neighbor.

Stay tuned for more information on all that our organizations did in this election. We think you will be very encouraged!

Let’s honor God with our vote on Nov. 8

Let’s honor God with our vote on Nov. 8

With the midterm election just a few days away, we are in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. Politics is always a spiritual business, as it involves truth and ethics. But with so much at stake during this election, the forces of darkness threatening to steal our children’s innocence, destroy the family unit, annihilate another generator of Wisconsin’s unborn future, and remove our God-given rights are working overtime. 

“It was Lucifer’s attempt to displace Christ from the Throne of Heaven that got him expelled (Isaiah 14:12). Lucifer is still seeking thrones for himself, and weak, spiritually naïve human beings seeking power easily become instruments of his quest,” writes Wallace B. Henley of the Christian Post

As Christians, we can fight back against the Devil’s attempt to seek political thrones for himself by honoring God with our vote. This means that the candidates we vote for should stand for biblical principles. ​​They should be unwavering in their protection of parental rights, the sanctity of life, children’s innocence, and religious liberty. 

There may not always be a candidate whose views align perfectly with God’s teaching, but there will likely be an option that is clearly the most ethical. Part of honoring God with our vote is preventing the evil ideas of the left from coming into fruition by voting for the most ethical candidate, even if we don’t agree with him/her on everything. 

Further, if we are going to make significant headway against the evil in our country, we need churches and pastors to directly address the political issues that the Bible takes a clear stance on—in particular, abortion, marriage, and human sexuality.

Pro-abortion advocates and government leaders are working tirelessly to ensure a future of abortion on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Unfortunately, many Christians fail to recognize abortion as the grave offense against God that it is, and abortion extremists are taking advantage of that. 

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outrageously claim that abortion and the Christian faith are compatible, while California Governor Gavin Newsom is using Bible verses to advertise for abortion across the country. 

The church needs to step up and set the record straight on abortion, marriage, human sexuality, and children’s rights including the right to life. Pastors dare not any longer ignore these biblical issues that have been politicized, as the left shows no signs of stopping in their mission to dismantle the traditional family, immerse young children in inappropriate material, abort the unborn, and elevate adult desires above children’s rights.  

This is not to say that churches should become political power houses. Our interest is rather in making sure God’s people are informed so they can then appropriately engage with the government God has given us in this great country—a Republic, which requires the participation of its citizens. Our dual citizenship—in Heaven and on Earth—requires that we be good citizens of both places. Good citizens vote knowledgeably and responsibly—and honor God in doing so.

Most importantly, as good citizens of both heaven and earth, we must pray for this election. Pray that the most Christ-centered leaders are elected and that they lead our country toward virtue and Truth. 

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

 

Christians, it’s time to vote Evers and Kaul out

Christians, it’s time to vote Evers and Kaul out

The midterm elections are less than a week away, and we need every Christian in Wisconsin to make their voice heard. With a growing crime rate, high inflation, poor educational outcomes, and continuous attacks on parental rights, so much is at stake. By electing the right leaders, and voting out those who have demonstrated their incompetence, we can change the trajectory of our state. 

First and foremost, Gov. Evers needs to be replaced. WFA has compiled a “refrigerator list” of all that he’s done that Christians should oppose. It includes the following: 

  • Issued Executive Order that Pride flag be flown over Capitol in June each year. 
  • Vetoed every pro-life bill he’s been given (twice.) 
  • Vetoed every election reform bill he’s been given. 
  • Vetoed every vaccine discrimination bill he’s been given. 
  • Issued an illegal extension of his 60-day COVID-related Emergency Declaration and Executive Order.
  • Issued executive orders requiring gender-specific pronouns or gender-specific family terms (such as mother, father, sister, brother, etc.) not be used within the executive branch (EO #121).
  • Issued proclamation for so-called “Pride Month.” 
  • Vetoed a classroom transparency bill that would require schools to share curriculum, lessons plans and assignments with parents, so they know what their kids were being taught.
  • Vetoed a bill that would have stopped CRT from being taught in public schools. 
  • Supports/pushes legalization of recreational marijuana. 
  • Vetoed every bill related to protecting religious freedom during COVID.
  • Vetoed a bill that would have expanded school choice (AB 59). 
  • Vetoed a bill that would have eliminated personal property tax (AB 191).
  • Vetoed a series of bills that would have directed COVID-19 relief money in specific amounts to specific entities.
  • Approved, unilaterally, sports betting (online on casino property) in Wisconsin. 
  • Approved, unilaterally, the first off-reservation casino in WI (Beloit) .
  • Issued proclamation for Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 2021).
  • Proposed largest spending budget in state’s history. 
  • Failed to send National Guard into Kenosha during Jacob Blake riots; engulfed city in riots & civil unrest for 3 days. Resulting in loss of 3 lives, $11M in destruction in a poor, multi-racial commercial area.
  • Gave Planned Parenthood of WI $2.4 million of taxpayer money from the COVID relief funds.

If Evers remains in office, he will continue to advance his radical pro-abortion, anti-family, and anti-Christian agenda. He has vetoed numerous bills that were popular among Wisconsinites and would have greatly benefited our state. Some of those bills would have protected children from radical indoctrination, ensured the integrity of our elections, and protected the unborn. 

Further, Evers’ prolonged school lockdowns and his silence while teachers’ unions kept schools closed d to a sharp decline in students’ scores. Wisconsin families deserve better. 

Tim Michels is challenging Evers, and he has vowed to support and even expand school choice, protect the unborn, back the blue, and protect the integrity of our elections. 

This is more than a matter of personal preference; these issues carry tremendous moral weight, meaning our votes do as well. For Christians, voting for a candidate with a progressive, anti-family agenda like Evers does not seem to us to be a viable option. We have a duty to elect a governor who will uphold our God-given rights, support life, and honor the will of the people. Michels, from our perspective, is the only moral choice. 

Like Evers, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul failed to do his job and has pandered to his political allies instead of defending Wisconsin law. In June, Kaul and Evers filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court alleging Wisconsin’s law that criminalizes most abortions is not enforceable. Kaul maintained that laws that Republicans have passed mostly over the last fifty years negate the 1849 law.

“Unfortunately, this kind of political pandering and unwillingness of Evers and Kaul to do their job has come with the highest cost: loss of life. From the Kenosha riots in 2020, to the Waukesha parade attack in 2021, to Milwaukee’s murder rate sitting at 5 times the national average, and now the life of the unborn. Not enforcing our laws has real life consequences to Wisconsin citizens’ safety and security – true law enforcement should be the top priority,” said WFA President Julaine Appling.

 Last week, during a debate with Republican challenger Eric Toney, Kaul doubled down on his decision to file that lawsuit, while Toney pledged to enforce the law. “We needed an attorney general, that’s not going to pick and choose when to enforce the rule of law, even if they disagree,” Toney said. He is absolutely right. We need an attorney general who will prioritize the rule of law over his own personal political interests. 

Further, like Evers, Kaul has vowed to fight for abortion access, support public schools to the exclusion of  school choice, expand gun control, and much more. Toney, on the other hand, supports the Parental Bill of Rights and wants to enforce Wisconsin’s abortion ban. For Christians, the most ethical choice is clear. 

Lastly, Republican Ron Johnson is challenging Democrat Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin’s US Senate seat, and the right choice seems clear again. Unlike Barnes, Johnson wants to empower parents to take control of their children’s education, secure our borders, fight inflation, and protect the unborn. 

God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:39). One of the best ways to do that is to care for the spiritual and temporal lives of our neighbors by voting for candidates who will protect the unborn, support God’s plan for marriage and family, and protect children from immoral influences. 

To learn more about each of the candidates and where they stand on the most important issues, visit this link. Get informed, spread the word to friends and family, and cast a vote that aligns with biblical principles. Every vote matters and can make a difference. Too much is at stake to stay home. 

Christians are called to engage in government 

Christians are called to engage in government 

This week, WFA held a “Lunch With a Purpose” webinar with Dr. Wayne Grudem, who serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, Arizona.   

Participants engaged in an excellent discussion on politics according to the Bible, and we trust that it was helpful for all who attended. For those who weren’t able to attend, a recording of the webinar is available on our website and may be accessed HERE.

Below are a list of resources that were mentioned in the webinar:

  • Politics According to the Bible by Dr. Grudem is available from Amazon HERE.
  • A copy of the booklet “Why Christians Should Seek to Influence Government for Good” by Dr. Grudem is available from Wisconsin Family Council (888-378-7395), or you can access a pdf download for free HERE.
  • A copy of the booklet “Christians and Politics: Five Wrong Views” by Dr, Grudem is available online HERE.
  • Election resources for your church are available on Wisconsin Family Council’s website HERE.
  • Wisconsin Family Council’s Voter Information Publication can be found HERE.

We encourage everyone to take a look at these materials to gain a better understanding of why it’s so important for Christians to engage in government. It’s vital that we know why participating in politics is so important not only so that we do so ourselves, but so we can encourage our friends and family to do the same. 

Government is God’s idea, not man’s. He calls us to engage in the political sphere as a way of caring for the spiritual and temporal lives of our neighbors. Jesus says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). This means we must seek laws and elect leaders who will protect the unborn, support marriage and the family, and protect children from immoral influences. 

Further, politics and morality are inseparable. Every law is based on some kind of moral compass, whether that compass comes from the false god of self or the One True God. 

Dr. Grudem notes, “The Bible says that a government official is ‘God’s servant for your good’ (Rom. 13:4), but how can government officials effectively serve God if no one is allowed to tell them what they believe God expects of them? The Bible says that government officials are sent ‘to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good’ (1 Peter 2:14), but how can they do that if no spokesmen from any of the world’s religions are allowed to give them counsel on what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’?” Society can only thrive when our laws are based on God’s unchanging law.

Ultimately, without Christian influence, our government will have no clear moral compass, and Christians are obligated to exercise this influence.

The midterm election is just over a week away. Let’s respond to our calling and head to the polls. Don’t forget to do your research, know what each of the candidates stands for, cast an informed vote grounded in biblical principles, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Schools are pushing dangerous gender ideology, but parents are waking up

Schools are pushing dangerous gender ideology, but parents are waking up

The left is on a mission to immerse young children in inappropriate sexual material and radical gender ideology. Unfortunately, if a child is in public school, the chances of him or him being subject to this indoctrination are alarmingly high. Countless stories of schools encouraging students to take a false sense of control over their gender and transition socially without parental consent continue to emerge.

One father named Wendell Perez received a harrowing phone call from the Florida elementary school that his daughter attends thanks to the radical gender ideology that the school promotes. School officials informed Perez that his 12-year-old daughter had attempted to commit suicide in the girls’ bathroom. The reasoning she gave was that was in distress because she wanted to be a boy, with a male name and pronouns.

Wendell was in disbelief. He had never seen any signs of gender dysphoria or discomfort in his daughter. Further, the family is Catholic, and they intentionally instilled their children with a biblical worldview and scientific understanding of gender.

However, when Wendell and his wife rushed to the school, they discovered that school officials had been having secret meetings with their daughter and discussing her confusion about her gender. 

Teachers had even begun treating their daughter as a boy without their knowledge or consent. Staff told Wendell that he was not informed of these meetings due to “confidentiality issues.”

This is just one of dozens of stories in which teachers are secretly addressing students by opposite-sex pronouns, promoting an ideology that leaves children in severe distress and often leads them to pursue harmful gender “transition” procedures.

No parent should ever have to receive the traumatic phone call that Wendell did. For the sake of children’s safety, all parents should know exactly what their child is learning and what personal information teachers are discussing with their child. 

Thankfully, Wendell is now suing his daughter’s school district in Florida for undermining his and his wife’s right to direct their daughter’s upbringing.

Although this father’s battle is happening in Florida, Wisconsin families are fighting these same issues in at least three school districts. The Eau Claire, Kettle Moraine, and Madison districts have each been caught violating parental rights in the name of radical gender ideology during the past year. (Read HERE for more on those specific cases.)

Like Wendell, many parents are frustrated with their lack of input and knowledge about what their children are learning at school. A recent Fox News poll revealed that 70% of parents said that they did not have enough say in what their children learned in school.

Further, when asked about “overly accommodating transgender policies” for transgender students, 60% of parents said that these policies were a problem.

This is excellent news, especially in light of the fact that the midterm elections are right around the corner. Parents are waking up, and hopefully they will take their frustration to the polls. 

Beyond voting for candidates that will protect their rights, parents must also educate themselves and become active in their local schools. They should demand transparency and regular parental review of classroom materials. Lastly, parents should know their rights and their options. If a school refuses to respect their basic values, parents should consider alternatives.

Parental rights are indispensable for a thriving society, as parents are best equipped to guide and protect their children. The left has waged a war on these rights, but we are reaching a turning point as parents begin to recognize the abuse that is happening to their children.

We have an opportunity to reclaim parental rights on November 8th – let’s not waste it. Don’t forget to educate yourself about the candidates by visiting Wisconsin Family Action’s voter guide. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and family and vote for leaders who understand that children belong to parents alone.

Wisconsin Family Action Launches “Vote Right Wisconsin” Multi-Media Ad Campaign To Encourage Voter Participation

MADISON – On Monday, Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. (WFA) launched a targeted, statewide, multi-media express advocacy campaign to encourage Wisconsin voters to vote in this midterm election.

“Wisconsin is headed in the wrong direction. An alarming increase in crime, our schools encouraging gender confusion, a public education system that is failing our kids, the usurping of parental rights, and the assault on religious freedom are just a few of the issues that are on the ballot this year—issues affecting Wisconsin families,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.  “Our goal is to encourage Wisconsin citizens to get to the polls this November and be a part of the solution to put Wisconsin back on the right track.”

The express advocacy ads educate voters on where candidates stand on these important issues and seek to motivate them to cast their ballots accordingly.

The campaign asks citizens to make sure they are registered and to adopt a plan to vote—via absentee ballot, if absolutely necessary, or early in-person, or day-of at the polls. Educational resources for voters are available on WFA’s Vote Right Wisconsin website.

In addition to the multi-media campaign, Wisconsin Family Action has co-sponsored nearly 30 educational events so far this year, all across Wisconsin to inform, inspire and involve Wisconsinites in their local communities, offering practical ways to make a positive and lasting difference right in their own backyard.

“Our goal is to make sure Wisconsin citizens understand the impact these issues have on our daily lives and to encourage them to dig deeper than the 30-second sound bite some candidates provide with their positions on the issues. These are issues that are actually harming families in Wisconsin, like defunding the police and trampling on parental rights. We want people to cast their votes and to do so with the information they need to make a good choice, a choice that is in line with their values,” said Appling.

Copy Available online here.

Two crucial free speech and religious liberty cases are in court 

Two crucial free speech and religious liberty cases are in court 

Christian cake shop owner Jack Phillips and graphic designer Lorie Smith are fighting for their First Amendment rights in court. Hopefully their cases will reaffirm the right of every American to live or run a business according to their deeply held beliefs without fear or retribution.

In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court heard Phillips’ case after a couple sued the baker for refusing to bake them a cake celebrating their same-sex wedding. The court ruled in Phillips’ favor and found that the state of Colorado had discriminated against him.

However, before the court gave its ruling, another complaint was filed against Phillips, this time for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.

On the same day that the Supreme Court announced it would hear Phillips’ original case, Colorado lawyer Autumn Scardina called Phillips’ bakery to ask for a cake celebrating his transition from male to female. Scardina admitted that he only wanted to “challenge the veracity” of Phillips’ claim that he would serve LGBT people. Phillips’ family told Scardina they could not make the cake because the message it conveyed contradicted their personal beliefs.

Phillips has frequently served LGBT customers. He is not discriminating against the customers themselves. He simply refuses to make cakes with messages that contradict his religious beliefs such as Halloween cakes, sexually explicit cakes, and demeaning cakes, as is his God-given right.

A district court ruled against Phillips in this case, but Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys appealed the decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner says, “No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience. Activists and state laws have threatened artists like Jack and graphic artist Lorie Smith because they can’t express messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs. In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create expressive cakes to test him and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking. The attorney even promised to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason. Free speech is for everyone. The Constitution protects the freedom of every American to express ideas even if the government disagrees with those ideas.”

Warner is absolutely right. Phillips is completely within his rights to refuse to serve a same-sex wedding or bake a cake with an anti-Christian message. Hopefully, the Colorado Court of Appeals makes a decision informed by the Constitution. 

In Jack’s first case, the US Supreme Court granted Phillips a partial victory, but failed to address the heart of the issue: Does the Constitution protect freedom of speech and the freedom not to speak, as well as religious freedom, or does the LGBTQ agenda trump those rights? 

The good news is that the high court has a case this session similar to Jack’s, giving them another opportunity to get this issue right. Lorie Smith, a Christian graphic designer, is challenging the same law that brought Phillips to the Supreme Court.

Smith designs websites for weddings as long as they align with her belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. However, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act forces her to create websites for same-sex marriages. 

This is an opportunity for the Supreme Court to affirm every artist and business owner’s right to refuse to send a message they don’t agree with. Let’s pray the court gets it right this time. 

Even WFA has been denied graphic design services more than once because of who we are and what we believe- even by vendors who say they are Christians. While we could sue, we never have, because as Christians, we really do believe business owners should have the right to refuse any business they wish. 

At the core of human dignity is our right to live in accordance with our deeply held beliefs. No one has the right to an artist’s services. Only the artist has the right to determine which services he or she will provide. While this First Amendment right is under severe and constant attack, Phillips and Smith’s cases give us a chance to realign the law with the Constitution and prevent more unwarranted complaints against Christian business owners. 

Conservative activist exposes Vanderbilt, demonstrates that exposing the truth can save children from mutilation

Conservative activist exposes Vanderbilt, demonstrates that exposing the truth can save children from mutilation

Thanks to online trends and social contagion, rates of transgender affiliation are soaring while a growing number of clinics are harming children with dangerous, experimental procedures. However, several conservative activists are speaking out and demonstrating that sharing the truth can make a real difference. 

Last month, Daily Wire host Matt Walsh posted a twitter thread revealing Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) dangerous so-called  “gender-affirming” practices. “My team and I have been investigating the transgender clinic at Vanderbilt here in Nashville. Vanderbilt drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors. But it gets worse…” wrote Walsh. 

A Daily Wire report stated that Walsh uncovered video and archived webpages from VUMC describing a doctor’s promotion of transgender therapies and surgeries in addition to threats against medical professionals who have  moral objections to these procedures. In videos shared by Walsh, a VUMC doctor is seen bragging about how lucrative cross-sex hormones, puberty blocking therapies, and mutilation surgeries are because they require “a lot of follow-ups.” Particular surgeries were described in dollar signs. 

Shortly after the report was published, the University put a pause on its child mutilation procedures. “HUGE NEWS: following our report, Vanderbilt has agreed to pause all gender transition surgeries on minors. The fight is far from over but this will save children from mutilation and abuse. An incredibly important victory. Praise God,” tweeted Walsh. 

The left wants to keep their radical practices in the dark, and they are threatened when the truth is exposed. Like Walsh, Chris Rufo, Libs of Tiktok and other conservative activists, we must continue to speak out against the child abuse being committed by a growing number of clinics to save children from permanent damage. With enough public backlash, these clinics will be forced to stop their “gender affirming” procedures as Vanderbilt has. 

While alarming stories of gender affirmative clinics are emerging from other states, Wisconsin children are also at risk of succumbing to the lies and consequences of gender ideology. Here in Wisconsin, the Pediatric Adolescent Transgender Health Clinic (PATH Clinic) at the University of Wisconsin Health “work[s] with gender expansive children and teens.” We don’t know exactly what the clinic’s “gender affirmative” approach entails, but we do know that these programs act as a gateway to mutilation and sterilization. Our job is to call them out for abusing children and demand that they provide those suffering from gender dysphoria with real help, not harm. 

We should also focus on highlighting the stories of detransitioners who are speaking out against the abuse they endured and detailing the irreversible physical and emotional damage they now live with. 

A new film from the Center for Bioethics and Culture shares the testimonies of three women who received different forms of “gender-affirming” services and procedures only to find that the “treatments” that were supposed to alleviate their confusion only caused them more harm.

“I wasn’t functioning at all. I wasn’t holding down a job. I wasn’t going to school. I just felt like a monster. Once I stopped the testosterone, the symptoms all went away and I started feeling like myself again,” said one detransitioner named Helena.

The three girls, and many others like them, are addressing other children who are suffering from gender dysphoria and urging them to avoid puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and any kind of “gender affirming” care. Their transparency acts as a beacon of hope in a culture that’s become obsessed with placing children in charge of their gender. 

Mangling healthy bodies should never be the solution to a mental health crisis. In fact, it’s only exacerbating the crisis. By sharing the truth about the danger that many clinics are subjecting children to and sharing the hopeful stories of detransitioners, we can make a real difference and put an end to child abuse disguised as healthcare.