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Georgia

CWA of Georgia’s 2017 Legislative Priorities, Targeted Bills List and Voting Scorecard

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The 2017 Georgia legislative session begins Monday, January 9, and you can depend on CWA of Georgia to actively represent you at the State Capitol in Atlanta.  We have made it easy for you to track the progress of bills involving our 2017 legislative priorities that are aligned to CWA’s Seven Core Issues.

  • 2017 Legislative Priorities
  • 2017 Targeted Bill List (coming soon)
  • 2017 State Legislative Scorecard – House (coming soon)
  • 2017 State Legislative Scorecard – Senate (coming soon)

The targeted bill list and legislative scorecard will be updated regularly to include action items, links to committee and floor votes, and talking points to help you lobby from your kitchen table or laptop! In addition, we will provide specific ways to pray for pending legislation.

Helpful resources:

 

Merry Christmas Georgia (and Looking Ahead to 2017!)

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A hearty “Merry Christmas!” to you from Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia. I pray this letter finds you enjoying the blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As we come to the end of another busy and productive year, we at CWA of Georgia want to pause and pass along some of the accomplishments and blessings of 2016 to our faithful members and supporters. We want you to know how much we appreciate your participation in our work. Your prayers are always appreciated and without them our work would not be fruitful. 

 

Legislation, Policy and Events

  • Lobbied full-time under CWA Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) as volunteers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC tirelessly for the passage of a broad-based religious protections bill that was passed by the state legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC against and successfully stopped a state-level casino gambling bill and a public accommodations bill (i.e., “bathroom bill”).
  • Testified under CWALAC before several House and Senate committees.
  • Partnered with several other faith-based organizations and schools to sponsor Georgia’s first Religious Freedom Day at the State Capitol.
  • Spoke at a press conference under CWALAC in response to Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of the religious freedom bill.
  • Participated in a press conference for Dr. Eric Walsh who was fired from a state job because of his religious beliefs.
  • Lobbied our Georgia Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. under CWALAC.
  • Attended CWA’s 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally in Washington, D.C.
  • Sponsored our 13th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. Over 70 faithful members prayed for and encouraged our state lawmakers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Met with the State School Superintendent, the State Board of Education Chairman, local school board members and local school district leadership to educate and voice opposition under CWALAC to the U.S. Department of Education directive on school bathrooms.
  • Actively opposed a private grant taken by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to develop Social-Emotional Learning standards. I met with the State School Superintendent, State Board of Education members and several state legislators to educate on the dangers of these types of standards.  Because of the pressure put on the GaDOE by CWA of Georgia members, the grant money was returned. This was an enormous victory!

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CWA Is On The Move in Georgia – Will You Join Us In 2017?
I hope you will prayerfully consider joining with CWA of Georgia in one or all of the following ways:

  • Prayer/Action Chapters – The heart of CWA is prayer and action, and we believe we will only see change in our nation when we as God’s people commit to both prayer and action. We want to grow our Prayer/Action Chapters by five in 2017. Consider starting a local Chapter where members meet monthly to pray and act on issues affecting the family and our Judeo-Christian values. Learn more about our prayer/action chapters
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project – 2017 will include our 14th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. We would love to have you on our team of encouragers and ga-ealintercessors. Sign up today! Encourage a friend to do the same!
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol – Join us for our very first Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol on February 8, 2017. Details about the event will be e-mailed to participants in the EAL project.
  • 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally – CWA of Georgia will host one of CWA’s 100 No More human rights national prayer rallies. In 100 years, Planned Parenthood has aborted over seven million babies. Over 30 percent of all Planned Parenthood abortions are performed on black mothers. We unite our voices and pray, “100 No More!” Details about the event will be e-mailed and posted on our state webpage (ga.cwfa.org).
  • CWA/YWA Partnership Event – We are in the planning stages of hosting our first ever event with CWA’s Young Women for America (YWA). We covet your prayers as we begin to plan this great event. Watch for more details to follow!
  • CWA of Georgia Leadership Team – To have an even greater impact in the state, CWA of Georgia is growing our state steering committee and grassroots activist team. Please pray for our state organization in this area, that the Lord will raise up like-minded women and men to help advance His kingdom values in the public policy arena. Perhaps the Lord might be moving you to get more involved with CWA of Georgia. Learn more about the positions here. Contact CWA of Georgia by phone at 770-617-1987 or email for more information on how you can get involved.
  • E-alert Response Team – Commit to faithfully praying and acting on the e-alerts we send out and forwarding them on to friends and family. Sign up today if you aren’t already on the list by e-mailing us at director@georgia.cwfa.org.

The Lord has called CWA of Georgia to be both salt and light in our state. We are working diligently in Georgia – standing for what is righteous, fighting for life and upholding faith and family.  But we cannot do this work as effectively without you.

Your generous tax-deductible year-end gift to CWA of Georgia will help us continue working on your behalf and our beautiful state. To support us financially, send your check to CWA of Georgia, PO Box 671374, Marietta, GA 30066, or donate online. You will be sowing seeds into good soil!

Please know that what you do makes a difference!  We encourage you to continue standing for righteousness with us so that Biblical values are restored to our nation. Let’s honor God and His Word!

In Christ,
Tanya Ditty
State Director

CWA of Georgia Prayer Project Opportunity

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Georgians: Can Prayer Make a Difference? Absolutely!

“The fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Do you want to make a “powerful and effective” investment in the state of Georgia? Consider participating in the annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project (EAL) sponsored by Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia.  The program is designed to be simple yet effective as we pray for the hearts and minds of our legislators and their families.

We are very excited to be embarking on our fourteenth year of prayer and encouragement, and we want to invite you to join us! If you are new to CWA, the EAL project consists of sending postcards of encouragement and a commitment to pray for a state legislator(s) during the 2017 Georgia legislative session. The EAL Prayer Project is not used for lobbying purposes.

The EAL Prayer Project impacts state legislators. It does this in two ways. First and foremost, it intensifies and ensures consistent prayer for each legislator. Second, it encourages and builds bridges with the conservative legislators as well as those who do not normally agree with CWA. As prayers are offered on behalf of the legislators and they receive your postcards, hearts are changed and encouraged.

Our volunteers will pray daily for specific areas of need for their assigned legislators. For example, they will pray for:

  • Wisdom and strength to uphold God’s principles
  • Family unity and peace
  • Suppression of weariness, depression and pride
  • Wise and godly decisions

CWA is prayerfully seeking enough faithful volunteers so that each of the 236 legislators will be individually prayed for during the 2017 legislative session (January 9 – end of March). CWA will provide the postcard; all you have to do is provide the stamp(s) and a commitment to pray and encourage.

If you would like to participate, please e-mail CWA of Georgia’s state office. Please specify whether you would like to pray for one or two legislators. Please provide the following information: Name, Address, Phone, E-mail

I cannot think of anything more powerful than to pray for those in authority, those who make public policy decisions that impact our daily lives. I hope you will join us!   

We are looking for your commitment today. Your packet will be mailed to you mid-January, 2017.

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Rise of the Totalitarian Atheistic State

By | Georgia, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

walshThere is a bonus scene at the end of the movie “God’s Not Dead 2,” that seemed comical to many because it is so far-fetched. A pastor is, very peacefully and matter-of-factly, arrested for refusing to hand over his sermons to the state.

Two police officers hand cuff him and read him his Miranda rights. “Sorry about this pastor,” one of the officers says, as they put him in the backseat of their patrol car and drive the willing law breaker away.

His two Christian friends Mark and Rev. Jude are left behind. Mark says, “What do we do now?” To which the Rev. Jude responds: “Same as always Mark. We pray … in faith.”

But the scene is not at all far-fetched.

The state of Georgia recently tried to compel, under the threat of law, Dr. Eric Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister, to “produce a copy of [his] sermon notes and/or transcripts.”
Read the rest of this column as featured on Barbwire.com.

Update: Georgia Attorney General Back Off Demand for Sermons.

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Thank you for your phone calls and e-mails made last week to Gov. Nathan Deal and the Attorney General’s office concerning the ludicrous demands that Dr. Eric Walsh turn over copies of his sermon notes and transcripts to the State of Georgia. Because of public pressure, the Attorney General withdrew their request for Dr. Walsh’s sermon notes and transcripts!

While this was a huge victory, there is still work to do! The demand that Dr. Walsh turn over his sermon notes and transcripts was only one of five egregious requests on the part of the state against its own citizen. As was pointed out by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys at the October 26, 2016 press conference, the State of Georgia is also demanding that Dr. Walsh submit the following:

  • Validation of Dr. Walsh’s credentials as a minister
  • Proof that Dr. Walsh has served as a minister with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination
  • Production of any and all contracts Dr. Walsh has, or has ever had, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its subsidiaries or affiliates
  • A report to the State of Georgia on how—and how much—he has been compensated for producing and delivering his sermons

This invasive request by the State of Georgia (even though the state claims that Dr. Walsh was not fired on religious grounds) is a disturbing display of injustice, intolerance and outright government overreach into the sacred life of a pastor. The state’s actions in this case are reminiscent of the sort of “monitoring” the great German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced in his time. We must demand an immediate end to this type of anti-religious bigotry on the part of state authorities.

Take Action Today!
On November 1, 2016, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Chris Carr to replace Sam Olens as Georgia’s Attorney General.  Contact Gov. Deal and urge him to instruct his newly appointed Attorney General to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-1776 | Online contact form

Contact Attorney General Chris Carr and urge him to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-3300 | Email

If you made calls last week, please call again. Gov. Deal and Attorney General Carr must hear from you!

Pray that Gov. Deal and the Attorney General will be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Tanya Ditty
State Director

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Georgia: “Pastors, Turn Over Your Sermon Notes.”

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The witch hunt against people of faith in Georgia is on the rise. Remember Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran? He was fired by the City of Atlanta for writing a book on the Biblical view of marriage on his own time (read here, here, and here). In 2014, Dr. Eric Walsh accepted a job in Georgia as a district health director with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GPH). However, within a week of being hired, the GPH abruptly fired Dr. Walsh for his religious beliefs (read here and here).

You see, not only is Dr. Walsh a public health expert; he is also a lay minister. According to First Liberty Institute, who filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit in 2014 against the State of Georgia on behalf of Dr. Walsh, shortly after hiring Walsh, “state officials requested copies of his sermons and searched online for others. His sermon topics included following Christ, having compassion on the poor, health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science, creationism, and more.”  Dr. Walsh was not fired for anything he said or did at work. Dr. Walsh was fired because of what he said outside of work. 

Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty, said: “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, then they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything. We must ensure every American has the right to talk about their faith at church without getting fired or being barred from public service.” Read First Liberty Institute’s background on the case here.

Fast forward to today.  CWA of Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty attended a press conference (read CWA press release) yesterday at the Georgia State Capitol and listened as First Liberty Institute release this chilling information in their ongoing lawsuit against the State of Georgia, “the State of Georgia served a Request for Production of Documents on Dr. Walsh, which requires Dr. Walsh to surrender copies of all his sermon notes and transcripts.”  In this blatant government overreach by the State Attorney General’s office, the State gave no date limit or specific sermon topic to this request. What this means is that Dr. Walsh must turn over any and all sermon notes, whether written or typed, with no specific time period given. Any notes in Dr. Walsh’s Bible(s), journals, PowerPoint presentations, or even scribbled on a notepad is fair game for the Attorney General’s office.

This should concern all Georgians!  No one in Georgia should be fired from their job over their religious beliefs or over something they said in their church. Should a public school teacher lose his or her job simply because they teach a Sunday school class?  Should employees who work at the State Capitol be fired because they choose to lead a Bible study in their own home? Should an employee with the Department of Juvenile Justice be fired because they work with at-risk youth through a church-sponsored program? Should a receptionist at any state agency be fired for teaching ESL at their church?  According to the State of Georgia, yes they can.

Take Action Today!
Contact Gov. Nathan Deal and urge him to do the following:

  1. Take whatever action is necessary to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
  2. Instruct the Attorney General not to demand sermon notes.

Phone: 404-656-1776 | Online contact form

Contact the State Attorney General’s Office and urge the Attorney General to withdraw the “Request for Production of Documents” that demands sermons and sermon notes.
Phone: 404-656-3300 | Email

Pray that Gov. Deal and the Attorney General will be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” Proverbs 9:10.

Additional press conference articles and videos:

Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty Institute, speaks in defense of Dr. Eric Walsh at a press conference at the Georgia Capitol building. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty Institute, speaks in defense of Dr. Eric Walsh at a press conference at the Georgia Capitol building. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Georgia “Gestapo” Combing Through Pastor’s Sermons

By | Georgia, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

CWALAC_MediaStatementAtlanta, GA – The State of Georgia has served a “Request for Production of Documents” to pastor and former Georgia District Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh, requiring him to surrender copies of his sermons under threat of law. First Liberty Institute is representing him against this violation of his First Amendment rights.

Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the country, issued this warning:

The words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” still reverberate today – especially as we witness the “Gestapo-like” tactics of his native state. The state of Georgia’s blatant attack on religious freedom, as they discriminate against another pastor, Dr. Eric Walsh, is indeed a threat to every American, whatever our religious beliefs.

Can there be a clearer violation of our First Amendment right to religious freedom than for the state to monitor, examine, and retaliate against a person because of the sermons they share?

Let it be clear that the hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America are committed to stand squarely against this invidious discrimination and will do everything in our power to fight this injustice and intolerance with all the resources at our disposal.

CWA of Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty had this to say:

The time to speak up is now. The state’s actions in this case do not happen in a vacuum; they are, unfortunately, part of a troubling pattern that is very dangerous.

Georgia is better than this. Here is an issue that is beyond political affiliation. We all know that no one should be fired from their job over their religious beliefs or over something they said in their church.

Can anyone seriously defend the state’s intrusion into sermon writing?

The state’s actions in this case are reminiscent of the sort of “monitoring” the great German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced in his time. CWA of Georgia demands an immediate end to this type of anti-religious bigotry on the part of state authorities.

 

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Janae Stracke at jstracke@cwfa.org or 712-269-1724.

Important Georgia Early Voting Information!

By | Georgia | No Comments

Dear friend,

As a Christian, voting is not just a right; it is a responsibility.  It is imperative that we engage evangelical Christian conservatives in Georgia to get to the polls!
Early voting begins the fourth Monday before an election and ends the Friday before Election Day (October 17 – November 4).
Act:

  • VOTE!
  • Forward this reminder on to friends and family and remind them of the importance and weight their vote carries.

Pray:

  • Be in prayer for our nation — that Christians would get to the polls and that those whom we elect would honor God through their leadership.

What is on the line in this election? The Supreme Court vacancy, national security, national debt, taxpayer funding to the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, the Hyde Amendment, religious liberty, and more. Getting registered is crucial to make sure your voice is heard on the issues that are important to you.

That said, let’s make sure we get to the polls and encourage our fellow believers to do the same!

Blessings,

Penny Nance
CEO and President
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

Help CWA Get Out the Vote in Georgia!

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It is election season, and Concerned Women for America (CWA) says it’s game on to get conservative women and men registered to vote and to the polls this election cycle!  I hope you exercise your right as an American by voting in the General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  This is a courtesy reminder that you must be registered to vote by October 11, 2016, in order to vote in the General Election.

Get Involved In Georgia!

Step #1- Ensure YOU are registered to vote
Go to the Georgia My Voter Page to check the following:

  • Voter registration status
  • Mail-In application and ballot status
  • Poll location
  • Early voting locations
  • Elected Officials
  • Registration information on file with the county office
  • Sample ballot for the upcoming election
  • Provisional Ballot Status

Step #2- Hold a registration event at your church
Click here to read information for voter registration events held in Georgia. The site also includes Georgia’s voter registration form.

IMPORTANT REGISTRATION DEADLINE DATES FOR GEORGIA
Voter Registration Deadline: October 11, 2016
Suggested Registration Drive Dates: September 18, 25, 2016; October 2, 9, 2016
General Election: November 8, 2016

We would LOVE to hear back from you if you plan on holding a registration drive! Do not hesitate to contact CWA of Georgia by phone (770) 617-1987 or e-mail if you have any questions about holding a voter registration drive.

Step #3- Review the party platform comparison document.
We have included for you a comparison of the party platforms, 2016 Party Platform Comparison. You can review the Republican platform outlined in red and the Democratic platform outlined in blue.  We want to urge you to take the time to look these over and pass them out to your neighbors, friends, church leaders, and anyone in your sphere of influence who could benefit from knowing the truth.

Step #4- Join the FRC Action Values Bus Tour
The Values Bus Tour will stop in Georgia. We would love to see you at one of the stops!

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