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North Dakota

North Dakota Committee to Consider Granting Special Rights Outside the Traditional Male and Female Identity

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Concerned Women for America of North Dakota agrees with the statement about Family Integrity and the American Moral Tradition from the North Dakota Republican Platform, “Traditional American families should be encouraged and supported by policies to nurture strong marriages consisting of one man and one woman, to support moral values, and to create, control and maintain their individual wealth with minimal interference form government.” (https://www.ndgop.org/home/the-republican-platform/)

On Wednesday, February 1, I testified before the House Human Services Committee in opposition of House Bill 1386, “relating to the proposed addition to discrimination statues in the case of sexual orientation and ‘gender identity’.” Click here to read the bill in its entirety.

 This law would not protect rights but would rather grant special privileges based strictly on someone’s sexual behavior.  Sexual orientation and other manifestations of gender identity do not fit into what constitutes a true minority and should not be added to laws dealing with discrimination.

HB 1386 creates discrimination.  When “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” is added to a legal or corporate nondiscrimination code, it opens the door to policies that discriminate against people with traditional views as it attacks and opposes the notion that sexual behavior has moral dimensions.

CWA of North Dakota does not support discrimination.  We believe that all citizens should be protected equally under the law.  As Dr. Ben Carson, nominee for Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development stated, “I think all Americans should be protected under the law.  What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get extra rights.”

Take Action: Call and/or email those on the North Dakota House Human Services Committee.  It is very important that they receive multiple calls.  Well over twenty people testified in support and only myself and four others testified in opposition.  In years past, this bill has been voted down every time it has gone before a North Dakota legislative body.  That does not guarantee that it is not in jeopardy.  They must hear from us.  Ask them to oppose special rights and to please vote a “Do Not Pass” on HB 1386. Be sure to let them know that you are associated with Concerned Women for America of North Dakota.

Committee Members:

Rep. Robin Weisz at [email protected] and 701-962-3299

Rep. Karen Rohr at [email protected]  and 701-202-1956

Rep. Bert Anderson at [email protected] and 701-641-1549

Rep. Dick Anderson at [email protected] and 701-228-4782

Rep. Pamela Anderson at [email protected] and 701-306-3362

Rep. Chuck Damschen at [email protected] and 701-370-1758

Rep. Bill Devlin at [email protected] and 701-524-2303

Rep. Dwight Kiefert at [email protected] and 701-490-0443

Rep. Aaron McWilliams at [email protected] and 701-430-9004

Rep. Todd Porter at [email protected] and 701-667-2922

Rep. Mary Schneider at [email protected] and 701-306-0860

Rep. Jay Seibel at [email protected] and 701-870-1279

Rep. Kathy Skroch at [email protected] and 701-538-7396

Rep. Greg Westlind at [email protected] and 701-739-8275

As you may know, much of the media has made their position clear on this issue.  Just based on these titles it leaves no question as to their bias.  I was quoted twice in the Bismarck Tribune and a clip from my testimony was aired on WDAY ABC.

Pray: 

  • Please pray for CWA of North Dakota as we continue to take a stand on this issue.
  • Pray for a young man who spoke in favor of this bill. I spoke with him throughout the day and explained how it is the Lord that has brought forgiveness and fulfillment in my life.  Pray that he would open his heart to the love and forgiveness of Christ.
  • “Yes, my soul, find rest in God;my hope comes from Him.Truly He is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  (Psalms 62:5-8)

Linda Thorson

State Director
CWA of North Dakota
[email protected]
nd.cwfa.org

State Director Linda Thorson Testified Today Before the House Education Committee in Opposition to Concerning Special Rights for LGBT Individuals

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House Human Services Committee
Testimony in Opposition to HB 1386
Linda Thorson, Concerned Women for America of North Dakota

February 1, 2017

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee,  my name is Linda Thorson, and I am the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation. We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in opposition to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­HB 1386.

We fail to see the evidence that sexual orientation and “gender identity” meets the criteria set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court defining a minority. The Court devised a three-part test to determine whether a class of persons qualifies as a true minority: 1.) They must be defined by an immutable characteristic (unchangeable, like skin color); 2.) they must be economically deprived, and 3.) they must suffer from a history of discrimination and political powerlessness.  Sexual orientation fits into none of these requisite categories.  Instead, multiple studies show that sexual behavior is changeable, that those who practice non-traditional sexual preference are largely affluent, and that their activists represent one of the most powerful lobbies in the world per capita.

Special rights have historically been afforded to certain groups in order to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against due to immutable characteristics.  North Dakota law already protects these characteristics.  Further, the bill has no exemptions for those with personal convictions, thus forcing individuals and businesses to accept and support sexual behaviors with which they disagree.

In the case of sexual orientation and “gender identity,” the proposed addition to discrimination statutes is based on an undefined behavior.  This is a dangerous precedent affecting public policy regarding marriage, families and the culture in general. A chosen behavior should not be the basis for changing law.  Adding “gender identity” as an expression of self-image or identity not associated with one’s biological gender forces North Dakota’s employers and citizens to pretend, by force of law, that a man is a woman or vice versa based on that person’s self-perception or behavior at that given time.

This bill places sexual orientation and self-perceived gender identity not as a protected class, but as a privileged group.  Sexual orientation and other manifestations of gender identity do not fit into what constitutes a true minority and should not be added to laws dealing with discrimination.  North Dakota citizens are already protected equally under the law, and by responding to the emotions or perceived political correctness of the propaganda put forth nationwide as it relates to “sexual orientation,” defining it in law is a Pandora’s Box of faulty law writing.  The strategy behind promoting these types of unconstitutional laws across the nation is this:  Transform morality into a form of bigotry and then use corporate and government power to eliminate that “bigotry.”  The goal is to alter America’s cultural values and use “bigotry” as a threat in the process of elevating a certain group to protected status above others based on sexual behaviors.

HB 1386 creates discrimination.  When “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” is added to a legal or corporate nondiscrimination code, it is a giant step toward the adoption of policies that discriminate against people with traditional views.  If we look closely at the term “sexual orientation,” it is a radical challenge to the beliefs of all major religious faiths because it attacks and opposes the notion that sexual behavior has moral dimensions.  According to the therapeutic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, there are at least 23 distinctive sexual variations of “sexual orientation,” and perhaps many more.  It includes pedophilia, voyeurism and exhibitionism, just to name a few (see attachment).  Since the underlying concept of “sexual orientation” is that all sexual behavior is equally valid, it follows there are no good choices or bad choices, just inclination.  There is no longer any definition of the two sexes.  HB 1386 would force the acceptance of any “inclination.”  Private businesses and organizations should not be forced by the state to set aside their moral or religious principles, based upon someone’s proposed rights due to the individual’s sexual behavior.

Dr. Ben Carson, nominee for the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said, “I think all Americans should be protected under the law.  What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get extra rights.”  This law would not protect rights but would rather grant special privileges based strictly on someone’s sexual behavior.  Further, those privileges would have a significant impact on the constitutional rights of North Dakotans who may have a moral objection to certain sexual behavior.  Both federal and North Dakota law already prohibits sex discrimination and sexual harassment.  If HB 1386 becomes law, it will communicate to the citizens of North Dakota that the political agenda of a few is more important than the time-honored and cherished First Amendment principles upon which our country was founded and promised to everyone.  Should sexual preference now trump the rights of free speech and freedom of religion?

It may be claimed to be politically incorrect, but should what happens between two consenting adults in privacy even be of public and legislative discussion or concern?  We think not.  If we allow “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to become a matter of laws and policies, it will reach our workplaces, our schools, our families and our children and even our houses of worship creating a society that no longer has “equal under the law” as a principle.  This will surely challenge the common sense, strength of character and founding principles on which this great nation and state were built.  The liberties we now all enjoy, regardless of sexual orientation, will all stand defenseless against this discriminatory proposed law.  It will have a negative effect on our society, removing moral boundaries and allowing the further sexualization of our public square.

Allow us to state that it should be the personal duty of all citizens to behave in such respectful manner toward fellow citizens, without being compelled or directed by law, so as to afford all the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We should all strive to behave in such a way.

We, again, urge your “Do Not Pass” vote on HB 1386.  Your consideration of this request is appreciated.

 

State Director Linda Thorson Testified Today Before the House Education Committee in Support of More Parental Control in the Public School System

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To the House Education Committee
In Support of HB 1389

January 31, 2017

 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Linda Thorson, the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.  Education has been established as one of our Seven Core Issues on which we focus our efforts. CWA supports the reform of public education by returning educational authority to parents.   We believe excellence in academic achievement begins with the acknowledgment of parental rights.

CWA of North Dakota is in strong support of HB 1389 to respect and support the right of a parent to opt their child out of public school and any activity, practice or testing, with no interference from the state.

Parents have the authority to make decisions regarding their child’s education and wellbeing.  The purpose of the bill is to address concerns about a misguided focus on assessments to the determent of academic content instruction.   I am a retired speech language pathologist, who has worked in public school settings with students ages Pre-K through High School for 26 years.

Our school climate today places too much emphasis on federal control through mandated tests.  As North Dakota Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Kirsten Baesler, wrote in A Vision for North Dakota Schools from October 31, 2016,

“In North Dakota, we have a proud tradition of local control of education. We elect our school board members and put our trust in them. We have a chance to reinvigorate this tradition as we go about the task of implementing a new federal education law, called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“This law gives more flexibility to our state and local education officials than we have had in more than 25 years.

“The previous law put too much emphasis on academic standards and test results as a way of measuring the quality of our schools.”[1]

She is correct about the over-emphasis on test results.  Consider our students who, beginning at a young age spend hours, days and weeks in their classrooms, often behind a computer, taking practice tests and achievement tests.  HB 1389 addresses the ability of parents to opt out of test assessments such as:

  1. Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Tests, Practice Tests and Training Tests that cover Reading, Mathematics and Science and administered annually to all public school students in grades 3,4,5,6,7,8 and in at least one grade level selected from 9-11.[2]
  2. Interim Assessments – Which may include tests given monthly or quarterly like the DIBELS – Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills (beginning at kindergarten), STARS – Standardized Testing and Reporting including the STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math[3], NWEA-MAP or Measures of Academic Progress[4], Grays Oral Reading Test and Grays Silent Reading Test.[5]

 

  1. Career Interest Inventory[6] – career interest inventory for Middle School, Career Interest Inventory for High School.
  2. Summative Assessments – The ACT,[7] including the Writing ACT and/or three WorkKeys Assessments[8] to measure essential workplace skills.

Much of the opposition to the Common Core and aligned assessments among parents is related to the amount of testing students now undergo and the fact that instructional time in the classroom is diminished. There are good assessment measures that help teachers make decisions about instruction and intervention.  Teachers and parents can use test results to improve student learning. But, as the list of tests (which is not complete) makes clear, students are under the test microscope far too often.

How did we get here? Common standards call for common assessments.  In 2009, 48 states and the District of Columbia joined together to launch the Common Core State Standards initiate.   High-stakes testing of student’s mastery of those standards is the reason for the simultaneous requirement that students in North Dakota take the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests. [9]

The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association desired to unify K–12 standards through the Common Core initiative with the goal “all students, regardless of where they live, are graduating high school prepared for college, career, and life.” However, commitments to the consortia’s assessments has weakened in the last five years.  The number of states planning to use the tests dropped from 45 in 2011 to 20 in 2016.[10]  Thus, it is no longer possible for interstate comparability of student achievement.

CWA of North Dakota urges you to look at the facts.  Listen to the request of parents; enact parental directives for the administration of tests and assessments.  Vote a “Do Pass” for HB 1389.

As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ms. Kirsten Baesler stated, “No more. This new law reinforces our authority in North Dakota to determine for ourselves how to measure the progress of our students. It gives us more room to develop their creativity and entrepreneurship, and to help them become productive citizens of our state, nation and world.”[11]  That authority begins with the respect and support of parental rights.

 

[1] https://www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/kirsten-baesler-vision-north-dakotas-schools/

[2] https://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/

[3] http://starsamplequestions.org/

[4] https://www.nwea.org/

[5] http://www.hmhco.com/hmh-assessments/other-clinical-assessments/gort-5

[6] https://careertech.org/student-interest-survey

[7] http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html

[8] http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/workforce-solutions/act-workkeys.html

[9] http://educationnext.org/the-politics-of-common-core-assessments-parcc-smarter-balanced/

[10] http://educationnext.org/the-politics-of-common-core-assessments-parcc-smarter-balanced/

 

[11] https://www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/kirsten-baesler-vision-north-dakotas-schools/

 

North Dakota House Education Committee to Consider the Rights of Parents of Children in Public School

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Education has been established as one of our seven core issues on which we focus our efforts.  CWA supports reform of public education by returning educational authority to parents.  We believe excellence in academic achievement begins with the acknowledgment of parental rights.

Tomorrow, January 31, I will testify before the House Education Committee in support of House Bill 1389 “relating to the right of a parent to opt a child out of testing, with no interference from the state.” 

Parents have the authority to make decisions regarding their child’s education and wellbeing.  The purpose of the bill is to address concerns about a misguided focus on assessment to the determent of academic content instruction.  Our school climate today places too much emphasis on federal control through mandated tests.  In the past, it was expected the teacher would use their professional discretion to evaluate their students and decide how and when to test to reach learning goals.  Also, in the past, there was much more time for instruction and for teachers to work together on cross-curriculum projects which encouraged learning and creativity among students.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler, when speaking about the new federal education law called Every Student Succeeds ACT (ESSA), stated, “This new law (ESSA) reinforces our authority in North Dakota to determine for ourselves how to measure the progress of our students.  It gives us more room to develop their creativity and entrepreneurship, and to help them become productive citizens of our state, nation and world.” CWA of North Dakota believes that reinforcement of authority begins with the respect and support of parent rights.

HB1389 addresses the ability of parents to opt out of test assessments for their children.

CWA of North Dakota urges our State Representatives serving on the House Education Committee to enact parental directives for the administration of tests and assessments.

Take Action: Call and/or email those on the North Dakota House Education Committee.  Ask them to support Parent Rights and to please vote a “Do Pass” on HB 1389.  Be sure to let them know that you are associated with Concerned Women for America of North Dakota.

Committee Members:

Rep. Mark Owens (R-District 17) at [email protected] and/or 218-779-2320

Rep. Cynthia Schreiber Beck (R-District 25) at [email protected] and/or 701-899-3232

Rep. Rich S. Becker (R-District 43) at [email protected] and/or 218-779-5736

Rep. Ron Guggisberg (D-District 11) at [email protected] and/or 701-367-2736

Rep. Pat D. Heinert (R-District 32) at [email protected] and/or 701-222-1354

Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-District 15) at [email protected] and/or 701-739-9328

Rep. Mary C. Johnson (R-District 45) at [email protected] and/or 701-306-2037

Rep. Donald Longmuir (R-District 2) at [email protected] and/or 701-629-1632

Rep. Andrew Marschall (R-District 16) at [email protected]  and/or 701-205-2208

Rep. Corey Mock (D-District 18) at [email protected]  and/or 701-732-0085

Rep. Bill Oliver at (R-District 4) [email protected]

Rep. Brandy Pyle at (R-District 22) [email protected] and/or 701-347-4421

Rep. Matthew Ruby (R-District 40) at [email protected] and/or 701-509-8149

Rep. Denton Zubke (R-District 39) at [email protected] and/or 701-570-4043

Pray:  “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).  Please pray the words of my testimony will be effective.

Linda Thorson
State Director
CWA of North Dakota
nd.cwfa.org
[email protected]

North Dakota House Judiciary Committee to Consider the Value of Prayer in Schools

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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Yesterday I testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of House Bill 1275 “relating to the recitation of prayer at parochial or private school-sanctioned activities.”  Click here to read my testimony and here to read the bill and track its status.

House Bill 1275 is a respectable bill.  It says that if a “school-sanctioned athletic activity” is held at a parochial or private school, neither the “association nor any other entity” may prohibit prayers.

House Bill 1275 is needed. Two private schools, Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck and Shanley Catholic School in Fargo, were prohibited from having students pray over the public address system, which normally happened before every home football game. Rep. Kim Koppelman (R-West Fargo), bill sponsor, was recently quoted in The Bismarck Tribune, West Fargo Lawmaker Tackles Pre-Game Prayers in New Bill.  This is a helpful article that explains the need for this legislation.

It is very important that you contact lawmakers on the committee to voice your approval of HB 1275.  Every email and phone call is counted!  A vote is expected any day.

Take Action:  Call and/or email those on the North Dakota House Judiciary Committee.  Ask them to support prayer in schools and to please vote a “Do Pass” on HB 1275. Be sure to tell them that you are associated with Concerned Women for America of North Dakota.

Committee members:

Rep. Kim Koppleman (Chairman) at [email protected] and 701-282-9267. Be sure to thank him for sponsoring HB 1275.

Rep. Karen Karls at [email protected] and 701-258-6836

Rep. Jake Bloom at [email protected]

Rep. Karla Rose Hanson at [email protected] and 701-793-9181

Rep. Terry B. Jones at [email protected] and 307-272-1915

Rep. Lawrence R. Klemin at [email protected] and 701-222-2577

Rep. Jeffery J. Magrum at  [email protected] and 70-331-2224

Rep. Andrew G. Maragos at [email protected] and 701-852-3862

Rep. Marvin Nelson at [email protected] and 701-550-9731

Rep. Gary Paul at [email protected] and 218-791-0491

Representative Sharon M. Roers at [email protected] and 701-356-5050

Rep. Bernie Satrom at [email protected] and 701-252-4065

Rep. Luke Simons at [email protected] and 701-483-0013

Rep. Steve Vetter at [email protected] and 612-770-8689

Side note: During my testimony, two committee members asked me two different questions.  One asked if I thought there was no prayer in schools now and another asked if all of our ladies in the state support my testimony.  I kindly replied to the first with, “I am a retired teacher after being in the classroom for 26 years. I know I didn’t hear as much prayer as I heard when I began teaching.  Now, very little prayer is heard.” And to the second I said, “Religious Liberty is one of Concerned Women for America’s Core Issues.  Our members do see this as a good bill as it supports one of our Core Issues.  You may note from my testimony, we believe prayer should be permitted in all schools, including public schools.”  It is very important that these committee members hear a strong message from the women of North Dakota and that you are associated with Concerned Women for America of North Dakota!

Pray:  Please pray for each committee member by name.  Ask the Lord to give each one the courage to do what is right.

Linda Thorson
State Director
CWA of North Dakota
nd.cwfa.okrg
[email protected]

State Director Linda Thorson Testified Today Before the House Judiciary Committee in Opposition to the Disclosure of Original Birth Records to Adopted Individuals

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To the House Judiciary Committee

 In Opposition to HB 1319

January 25, 2017

 Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Linda Thorson, and I am the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation.  We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in opposition to HB 1319 to amend North Dakota Century Code relating to disclosure of original birth records to adopted individuals.

Disclosure of information identifying the adopted individual’s genetic parents or to initiate the disclosure of non-identifying information not on file with the department or child-placing agency for adopted individuals who are 18 years of age without the birthparents’ authorization, when the adoption agency had agreed to confidentiality, does not respect the previously agreed upon wishes of the birthmother.

In addition to taking the privacy rights away from the birthmother, we are concerned that HB 1319 will serve to reduce the number of adoptions to wonderful awaiting families, and worse, make abortion a more attractive option to the birthmother when considering her options.

Changes that prevent an agreement of confidentiality in closed adoptions could cause more pregnant mothers to choose abortion over adoption.  Today, many women work with adoption agencies to place their children in loving families because promises of confidentiality are agreed upon.  CWA of North Dakota strongly supports adoption and all those involved in this loving choice.

An adoption statistic from American Adoptions finds that 90 percent of adopted children ages five and older have very positive feelings about their adoption.  This is true even though the majority of adopted children have little or no contact with their birth parents.[1]

We ask you to consider the experience of an adoptee, who like many, has only limited information about her birthmother.  She writes, “The nineteen-year-old, unwed girl who gave me life is my hero. I don’t know what she was going through before and during her pregnancy with me, but I do know that she chose to give me the most incredible gift that can be given – life!

“Contrary to feeling abandoned by being adopted, I have always felt gratitude to my young, desperately scared birthmother who showed such bravery and love for me and love to my adopted family … I am intensely loved. I am adopted.”

CWA of North Dakota asks you not to put future adoptions in jeopardy.  We urge a “Do Not Pass” on HB 1319.

[1] https://www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/adoption_stats

State Director Linda Thorson Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee Today in Support of Voluntary Prayer in School

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To the House Judiciary Committee

 In Support of HB 1275

January 25, 2017

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Linda Thorson, the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation and our state.   We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in support of HB 1275.

This amendment which states, “A student may voluntarily pray aloud or participate in religious speech at any time before, during, or after the school day to the same extent a student may voluntarily speak or participate in secular speech,” is a statute supported by the U.S. Department of Education.  The “Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools,” February 2003, “Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) of 1965,” as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires the Secretary to issue guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools. In addition, Section 9524 requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, a local educational agency (“LEA”) must certify in writing to its State educational agency (“SEA”) that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in this guidance.”[1]

The U.S. Department of Education guidelines further state, “To avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate, neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech (whether religious or nonreligious) is the speaker’s and not the school’s.”Religious liberty was at the forefront of our Forefathers’ minds when the Founders of our nation declared sovereignty and separation. Religious freedom is a fundamental right of every person and the bedrock of any free society. In our democratic nation, the government exists to protect the essential, inalienable right to personal conscience. For schools to deny any student something so basic is incompatible with the values upon which “The Free World” was established. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation where all people were given the right to exercise their beliefs — free from government intrusion. Unless there is an undeniable interest for involvement, the same should be true today.

Our inherent liberties are threatened by opponents of religious freedom because some have taken statements, such as “the impregnable wall” and “separation of church and state” and made them pseudo-rule of law, even though these phrases are not found in any line of our nation’s founding documents but in Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists Association. Skewed interpretations of those phrases have redefined the First Amendment to be the direct opposite of the Founders’ original intent.

The statement that one should “leave religious beliefs at home” or be thought intolerant, under the First Amendment, is ironically something the Founders sought to prevent. The First Amendment was created to liberate and protect the convictions of even the minority, not to stifle religion.  For those of deeply held beliefs, religion is not a “pastime”; it is a core value.

In our current society, schools have become so concerned with offending those that do not share similar religious views that the fundamental right to participation in prayer as set forth in the constitution and supported by The Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, is unprotected.

“Hostility toward religion is neither required by our Constitution nor desirable in a free and just society. Only those who are insecure of their position seek to impose it by force by silencing their opposition. The Christian citizen must be alert to those who seek to silence religious views and reject their freedom-stifling ideas. As long as we are able and committed to fight the abuse of the First Amendment with the virtues of the First Amendment, we shall preserve liberty and freedom. If we fail, oppression is sure to follow,” [2] said Mario Diaz, CWA Legal Counsel.

When lawmakers and school authorities choose to forego a students’ right of conscience in the name of political correctness, liberty and freedom are at genuine risk.  James Madison once said that, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property” — for all people, not just Christians. It is the personal duty and right of conscience of our citizens to preserve liberty and freedom for all, including those attending school.[3]

We urge your “Do Pass” vote on HB 1275.  Your consideration of this request is appreciated.
[1] Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, February 7, 2003, https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html

[2] Diaz, Mario, Be Spent, Winning the Fight for Freedom’s Survival, 2015

[3] Wegman, Hannah, #PrayforParis But Condemn #CoachKennedy? America’s Prayer Paradox http://www.christianpost.com/news/prayforparis-but-condemn-coachkennedy-americas-prayer-paradox-150826/#QFZMAbFTS8VOHGqD.99

Ask Governor Burgum to Issue Sanctity of Human Life Proclamation

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On January 3, Governor Doug Burgum highlighted government reinvention in his State of the State address, “Anything being done simply because ‘that’s the way we have always done it’ should be and must be rigorously and respectfully questioned,” Burgum said, “and no matter what, we must have the courage to admit that we can always do better.”

For the first time in decades,  North Dakota does not have a Sanctity of Human Life proclamation up on the Governor’s website.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota, in this case, believes this is not the “better” way! Our newly-elected Governor has often commented, “We can and should continue to try to advance our abilities to listen to each other.” Let’s be sure he hears from us!

On January 12, 2017, The Rural Leadership North Dakota Day Proclamation was made by Gov. Burgum.  Are not our unborn children worthy to be recognized as well?

Take action: Contact Gov. Burgum today. Ask that, with January 22 being the National Sanctity of Human Life Day, he issue a Sanctity of Human Life Proclamation.  Let him know that you are disappointed that for the first time in decades there is no such proclamation on the Governor’s website.  Contact his office at (701) 328-2200 and/or e-mail him at https://www.governor.nd.gov/contact-us. Be sure to let his office know that you are a Concerned Women for America of North Dakota member.

Please pray: Pray our governor will see the wisdom of issuing a Sanctity of Human Life proclamation and have the courage to do so.  Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.”  (Psalm 127:3)

On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued the first 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.

To President Ronald Reagan, all life was sacred. He once said, “We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.”

Great News! North Dakota Senate Vote – Marriage Defined as Between One Man and One Woman, Only

By | North Dakota | No Comments

SB 2043, a bill attempting redefinition of marriage in North Dakota, did not pass yesterday! This means our statutes will continue to follow our State Constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Thank you everyone for diligently praying and contacting your lawmakers!  CWA of North Dakota knows your voice was heard!  We needed 29 “nay” votes to defeat the bill; the final tally was 31-15!

CWA of North Dakota is thanking God for respectable leadership in our state!   Be encouraged.

Senator Janne Myrdal (R-District10) carried the bill to the Senate floor and asked for a “nay” vote from her fellow Senators:

“ … SB 2043 seeks to redefine the statutes — the terms ‘spouse’ and ‘marriage’ as ‘two individuals living together who are  married to each other’.  However, currently subsection 1 of section 12.1-23-09 of the North Dakota Century Code defines clearly the terms spouse and marriage as persons living together as husband and wife.  The proposed changed seems arbitrary; however, our North Dakota Constitution clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it reads, ‘marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman, no other domestic union however denominated may be recognized as marriage’.  Something that is defined in the North Dakota Constitution should not be redefined in statute.…  SB 2043 will actually accomplish functionally nothing, though it will serve to diminish with official intent the honor and sacredness of what the human institution of marriage is described as in North Dakota Constitution as it stands today … my Judiciary members can concur to this; we have been overwhelmed with e-mails and phone calls and the last count as of a few days ago, it was 90 percent in favor of ‘do not pass’.”

Watch for yourself the discussion and vote on the senate floor.  Click here and begin viewing at 1:16:00.

“Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart.” (Ps. 119:2)

“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws.”  (Ps 119:30)

“Righteous are you, O Lord, and Your laws are right.  The statutes You have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.”  (Ps. 119:137, 138)

Praise the Lord!  He alone is worthy of our praise!

Now, one more thing; please take a moment today to thank your senator if he/she voted against SB 2043.  Some are reporting that they are getting significant kickback from constituents who disagree with their “nay” vote. If you do not know who you senator is, click here.

January 10, 2017 “Nay” vote on SB 2043

Sen. Howard Anderson, (R-District 8) [email protected]

Sen. Bill Bowman, (R-District 39) [email protected]

Sen. Randall Burckhard, (R-District 5) [email protected]

Sen. Tom Campbell, (R-District 19) [email protected]

Sen. Jonathan Casper, (R-District 27) [email protected]

Sen. David Clemens, (R-District 16) [email protected]

Sen. Dwight Cook, (R-District 34) [email protected]

Sen. Dick Dever (R-District 32) [email protected]

Sen. Jim Dozenrod, (D-District 26) [email protected]

Sen. Robert Erberle, (R-District 28) [email protected]

Sen. David Hoguem, (R-District 38) [email protected]

Sen. Jordan Kannianen, (R-District 4) [email protected]

Sen. Ralph Kilzer, (R-District 47) [email protected]

Sen. Jerry Klien, (R-District 14) [email protected]

Sen. Curt Kreun (R-District 42) [email protected]

Sen. Lonnie Laffen, (R-District 43) [email protected]

Sen. Oley Larson, (R-District 3) [email protected]

Sen. Diane Larson, (R-District 30) [email protected]

Sen. Gary Lee, (R-District 22) [email protected]

Sen. Larry Luick, (R-District 25) [email protected]

Sen. Janne Myrdal, (R-District 10) [email protected]

Sen. Arne Osland, (R-District 20) [email protected]

Sen. Larry Robinson,(D- District 24) [email protected]

Sen. Jim Roers, (R-District 46) [email protected]

Sen. David Rust, (R-District 2) [email protected]

Sen. Donald Schaible, (R-District 31) [email protected]

Sen. Ronald Sorvagg, (R-District 45) [email protected]

Sen. Jessica Unruh, (R-District 33) [email protected]

Sen. Shawn Vedaa, (R-District 6) [email protected]

Sen. Terry Wanzek, (R-District 29) [email protected]

Sen. Rich Wardner, (R-District 37) [email protected]

 

Linda Thorson
State Director
CWA of North Dakota
[email protected]
nd.cwfa.org