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Penny Nance

Easter and the Promise of Redemption

By | Blog, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In this Easter season, I have been thinking about the importance of redemption. Over the years, by virtue of circulation in political circles, I have known personally some people involved in public scandals. The world watches as the media follows them relentlessly for days, weeks, or even months and then evaporates, leaving behind a scene of complete and utter self-inflicted personal destruction. Some of these folks are often distraught to the point of suicide.

What the cameras don’t show is what happens after the hoopla dies down. Sometimes these folks turn inward and become bitter and permanently broken, but not always. The untold stories are the others, the ones who are open to healing and saving grace.

I had the privilege of reflecting on redemption not long ago through the eyes of a woman whose husband was recently the object of a very public humiliation. She spoke about the many, many acts of love and compassion that have been shown to their family.

Members of a local church congregation have come forward to help in tangible ways, but also by sharing their own stories of brokenness and the healing of Christ’s forgiveness and restoration. One woman texted my friend, “Call me, I can help you: signed a survivor of an international sex scandal.”

No one likes to remember their past mistakes, but when they are viewed in the context of sins atoned for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross then they become only a chapter of a story of victory and healing, not the last chapter. In most cases, the final story is much more important than the earlier narrative.

I was shocked recently when my daughter confessed distaste at the fact that my dear friend and mentor, Chuck Colson, served time in prison.

My husband and I both laughed as she stared at us in confusion.

Taking advantage of a teachable moment, we were then able to point out to her that Colson’s disgrace led him to the foot of the Cross, and from there he has become one of the greatest Christian heroes of our time.

Without the public brokenness, Colson would have never become the man that God has used to minister to literally millions of people, many of whom are or were in prison.

That’s called Grace, and it is at the crux of the Easter story.

As Christians, we believe that Christ, the Son of God, died specifically not for “the righteous, but sinners.” Who is a sinner? Well, all of us. Every single one of us who has ever been unkind, lied, or been disobedient. Yes, all of it counts. He was the only sinless man ever born, and yet, He stepped in to take our punishment and, in the process, conquered sin and ultimately death. He rose to new life and indeed, through his atonement, offers a clean slate before a Holy God. That’s what Easter is all about.

I know it’s interesting to read and watch bad people “get theirs” or to even feel a sense of self-righteousness perhaps watching the lives of Hollywood elites and political figures come crashing down because of bad choices and dishonesty. But we need to remember that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I stand with countless other broken humans over the millennia who claim Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. He is risen for all the people caught in scandals, and for those who were never caught, and for those who are just plain broken. I, like the Apostle Paul, stand with the sinners “of whom I am the chief.”

Jesus on the Cross took the punishment I deserve for my sins and now because of His resurrection I stand forgiven by His grace. He will do the same for you as He has done for other sinners just like us. He is risen indeed!

 

Shame on Google for dissolving its AI council over African-American leader Kay Coles James

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Women across the political perspective applauded recently when Kay Coles James, the first woman and the first African-American to lead the conservative and respected Heritage Foundation, was chosen to join Google’s new external advisory council to in part discuss the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Our joy lasted barely a week when, in reaction to internal pressure from incensed employees, she was ousted via the dissolution of the council.

As shocking as this may be, it is illustrative of the culture at Google, where over 1,000 Google employees took the time to sign a petition calling for James’ removal. Leaked email exchanges reported by Breitbart News show employees accused her of “transphobia” and “homophobia.” They accused her of viewing the LGBT community as “subhuman” and in support of “exterminationist” views.


Editor’s note: This article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

Saving Money Shouldn’t Mean Hurting Grandma

By | Blog, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has always fought to protect life from its beginning at conception until natural death. A recent hospital stay and subsequent medical care for my 80-year-old mother has served as a wakeup call to the particular vulnerability of the elderly.

With this top of mind while caring for her in Tennessee, I was struck and surprised when I learned via a TV ad about a new proposed government regulation which is particularly onerous for seniors. Read More

Democrats’ attacks on Kavanaugh replacement Neomi Rao are unfair – I was nearly raped and I support her

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Neomi Rao is President Trump’s nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court that is generally recognized as the second-most important court in the nation. Four sitting Supreme Court justices previously sat on the D.C. Circuit.

There is no question that Rao is well qualified for this position. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, served in the Office of the White House Counsel for President George W. Bush, founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University and currently heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for the Trump administration.

As these last two positions, in particular, indicate, she is an expert in administrative law, with which the D.C. Circuit is deeply involved.

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed as featured on FoxNews.com.

If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t punish past congressional sexual abuse, she’ll lose credibility

By | Blog, News and Events | No Comments

Likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with President Trump this morning and issues such as immigration and infrastructure, among others will be up for discussion. But when she takes the gavel next month there will be only one priority for her, and if she whiffs on it her speakership will lose authority and credibility for the rest of her term.

Literally a year ago — as the #MeToo era was erupting — the nation was waking up to news that a secret congressional “hush fund” had been used by Members of Congress to pay off accusers of sexual misconduct. Taxpayer money — yours and mine — was used to pay off these alleged victims.

Many members of Congress, in both parties, pontificated and expressed outrage. Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced a bill that called for publicizing the names of those who used the hush fund to pay for these so-called “settlements.” Many in both parties co-sponsored his bill but it went nowhere and now DeSantis is gone, about to become the next governor of Florida.

Such inaction is a stain on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy. If incoming Speaker Pelosi does the same, it could ruin her.

If Pelosi doesn’t move immediately to disclose the names of those in Congress who used this hush fund, she will be part of the biggest sexual misconduct scandal in history. Nobody knows how many congressman and Senators are involved, and if she is a willing participant to keep all of this a secret she will forfeit credibility on every other issue.

What we know already is devastating. We know congressmen John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Blake Fahrentold (R-Tex.) used this “hush fund” to settle with alleged victims. Both men have already left Congress.

Pelosi has been as outspoken as any leader in the Democratic Party, as any feminist leader and as any celebrity when it comes protecting women from male predators. She will now have the power to take meaningful and lasting action but she said nothing about the issue during the last few months of the campaign, and has said nothing about it since the election.

Nor have we heard a word from any of the newly elected incoming Democratic freshman congressional class — many of whom are women — since the election. The same goes for the women leaders who plan to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

So far all we’ve heard and seen from congressional leaders in both parties has been lip service about training going forward. The truth is what will actually put a stop to male predators in Congress will be publicizing the names of those for whom the public paid to protect.

A woman Speaker, and her party by extension, cannot be part of an old boys club/incumbent protection scandal.

A woman Speaker who continues to sweep this scandal under the rug, and her party by extension — the party of which she’s has been a leader for many years — would render themselves a disgrace in the eyes of the American people.


A version of this oped was published by USA Today. 

 

NANCE: Judge Kavanaugh can be trusted to safeguard our First Amendment rights

By | Legal, News and Events | No Comments

President Trump should be commended for his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, an abundantly qualified and impartial judge, to the Supreme Court. Throughout his judicial career, Kavanaugh has consistently defended Americans’ constitutional rights, including the religious liberties of all Americans, as enshrined in the First Amendment. Kavanaugh can be trusted to continue to protect this fundamental right as a justice on the nation’s highest court.

First and foremost, Judge Kavanaugh understands that judges must base their rulings on the text of the Constitution and the law, not on their own personal political beliefs or policy preferences. In a keynote address at Notre Dame Law School last year, Kavanaugh explained this obligation: “I believe very deeply in those visions of the rule of law as a law of rules, and of the judge as umpire,” he said. “By that, I mean a neutral, impartial judiciary that decides cases based on settled principles without regard to policy preferences or political allegiances or which party is on which side in a particular case.”

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed as featured on The Hill.

Conservative Women Rally to Support Judge Kavanaugh

By | Blog, Kennedy, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

This week many Americans were glued to our TV’s waiting to see who President Trump had chosen to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.  For many of us, it was our first opportunity to hear directly from the man whose young daughter’s basketball team calls “Coach K.” He did not disappoint.

Judge Kavanaugh, who currently sits on the D.C. Circuit – considered the “Second Highest Court in the Land” – shared with us his story which highlighted so many values we, as Americans, hold dear, including family, faith, and hard work.

As the Senate begins the process to “advise and consent” the president’s nominee, it’s important to take a measure of the man in judging his fitness for office.

Here are some glimpses into his influences and his character:

Judge Kavanaugh in his speech last week gave thanks and praise to both of his parents who each attended law school, his father working full-time while putting himself through law school at night. But it was Kavanaugh’s mother to whom he paid a special tribute, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Martha Kavanaugh. “My introduction to law came at our dinner table,” he said. Kavanaugh called his mother a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. She pushed through barriers and overcame obstacles as one of the few female prosecutors at the time to become a trial judge. As he accepted President Trump’s nomination, Judge Kavanaugh credited his mother and her legacy. “The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh, but to me that title will always belong to my mom.”

Judge Kavanaugh devotes time and energy to his family and his faith. He is involved in his church and spends his time serving meals with Catholic charities and tutoring. He is a leader in his field.

Throughout his tenure as a judge, Kavanaugh has worked to diversify the legal field through the people he chose to work for him. Rebecca Tailbelson, a former Kavanaugh Clerk, not only spoke about Kavanaugh as a judge but also to the quality of his character as a boss and advocate.

“Judge Kavanaugh has had a really outsized role in helping to diversify this little sliver of the legal profession, and he’s done so by hiring predominantly female – I think a majority of his law clerks have been women which is sort of unheard of at this level. And then after he hires us, he goes to bat for us in every way. It’s impossible to get that Supreme Court clerkship if you don’t have an appeals court judge like Brett Kavanaugh going to bat for you. He goes to bat for us, and then he goes to bat for us for every job after that.”

From the respect with which he honors his mother, to his devotion to raising strong daughters, and his work diversifying the legal field, Judge Kavanaugh has shown through action, not just words, his choice to esteem women.

There are just nine individuals who safeguard our Constitution, the document that has protected our God-given rights for 231 years. There could not be a more qualified candidate to sit on this esteemed bench at this time.

Concerned Women for America is honored to stand behind Judge Kavanaugh and support him during his confirmation. We have launched a $500,000 campaign called “Women for Kavanaugh.” We are devoting considerable resources to this effort and rallying our happy warriors across the nation to use their voices in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We were active in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and plan to be equally active for Judge K, because we trust that he will be another great justice!

CWA stands with Judge Kavanaugh, because his life and his work exemplify what we want to ensure for this generation and generations to come. This is about our children, our grandchildren, and the future of the home that we love. #ConfirmJudgeK


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by The Stream. Click here to read it there.

Here is why the U.S. Embassy Move is so important to American Christians

By | Blog, News and Events, Support for Israel | No Comments

On May 14, 1948, just after the provisional government of Israel proclaimed the new state of Israel, President Truman said: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

In that moment, the United States made history as the first nation to recognize the legitimacy of the new state of Israel. And now, 70 years later, the U.S. is making history again as our great nation will legitimize the state of Israel, our ally and friend, by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

American Evangelicals are responding, “It’s about time.” Moving our Embassy to Jerusalem is a promise that was made to the American people and Israel in 1995, when Congress voted almost unanimously to locate our embassy in the nation’s capital, just as we do in every other nation in the world. May 14 will be an historic moment. We are thankful to President Trump for making good on a promise that his predecessors chose to ignore.  I am honored to represent Concerned Women for America supporters as I attend this historic event.

While the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a game changer on the world stage, it is uniquely important to American Christians.

Although imperfect, like any nation, Israel is a representation in the Middle East of the ideals and principles that we hold dear as Christians. It is much more than a political performance; it is about giving Israel the respect it deserves as a nation that is dedicated to democratic ideals.

Israel stands for human rights. Israel cares for the least of these. Israel is inclusive. Every Israeli is supported and represented, regardless of whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Christian, male or female, young or old.

Women have been an integral part of the modern state of Israel since its beginning. Golda Meir, the original “Iron Lady,” served as Minister of Labor and Foreign Minister before becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 1969. She was Israel’s fourth Prime Minister and the third female prime minister in the world, and she led Israel during the Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War.

Israel has always prioritized diversity within the Knesset, their unicameral legislative body. Minorities, including women, Arabs, and Druze, have been represented in the Knesset since its inception. Today, 33 members of the Knesset are women, and 18 members of the Knesset are Arab.

The Israeli people have proven their dedication to upholding justice and always working towards improvement.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Israel had become a destination country for trafficked women, and prostitution became a prominent issue. Because of this, in 2001, Israel was ranked as a Tier 3 country for human trafficking on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report — the worst possible ranking. The Israeli government took definitive action against sex traffickers, working to protect women and children and bring criminals to justice. For six years in a row, Israel has been ranked a Tier 1 nation in their efforts to combat human trafficking, signaling their success in fighting this gross injustice.

Although they receive little recognition on the global stage, Israel continues to go above and beyond in their service to the world. Last summer, Israel unveiled Operation Good Neighbor, the secret operations they had been conducting in Syria to keep starvation away from thousands of Syrians while also providing free medical care. The Good Neighbor is an appropriate name for Israel.

Since its beginning as a small nation in the midst of the Middle East, Israel has been committed to wide-reaching humanitarian relief and global development. Despite the animosity from much of the world, they continue to always be a helping hand, often being the first responders to natural disasters, whether it be the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan or Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

In 2016, the United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the Israeli Army’s field hospital as “number one in the world.” The U.N. has been known for having a negative attitude towards Israel, but they could not ignore the humanitarian efforts of Israel. Their army field hospital is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites. Israel was its first and, so far, it’s only “Type 3” field hospital — the highest rank that can be received.

The United States is making history with this embassy move.  Once again, we hope to see others around the world do the right thing and follow our lead.

 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by FoxNews.com. Click here to read it.

Taking Aim at the Elephant in the Room: Why Republicans Should be Nervous

By | Blog, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Last week, President Trump begrudgingly signed into law a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that runs out in September.  The Republican-controlled Congress sent the president a bill that rightfully increases support for the U.S. military but doesn’t offset spending and, thus, increases our national debt by at least $1 trillion.

The American public has little appetite for hard decisions.  Even the Republican base refuses to have an honest conversation about the long-term sustainability of entitlement spending.  At some point, we will be forced to reconcile our list of wants with real needs, and that will be a necessary but painful process.

But it’s about to get painful for Republicans immediately.

Pro-life Americans elected Donald Trump as president, and he has not disappointed.  He has followed through on promises to appoint constitutionalist judges and used every legal tool of his Administration, from personnel to regulations, to side with life.

However, he cannot do it alone. Sure, the House of Representatives took up easy-to-pass bills like the Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects children beyond five months gestation. Public opinion is strongly in favor of these commonsense limits. The majority of the Senate agrees but could not reach the 60-vote threshold.

However, Congress cannot vote for spending bills paying for abortion and maintain their pro-life credentials.

Pro-life voters elected Republicans to protect life, and if they do not, what’s the point?  We have voted, rallied, phone banked, gone door to door, and given small contributions to assure that Republicans are elected.

So here’s the deal: Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee will score against any future spending bills that allow our tax dollars to fund big abortion. We will not support legislators who vote for these bills. Working quietly behind the scenes has failed.  At this point, it is better to be feared than loved.

We would rather find more pro-life Democrats like Dan Lipinski than continue to be patted on the head and ignored.  The gavel is in the hands of supposedly pro-life Republicans, and it is about to be wasted if they can’t make changes with it.

The omnibus spending bill was a complete backhand to the pro-life movement.  It did not include language for conscience protections for pro-life medical professionals, a repeal of D.C.’s assisted suicide law, a ban on fetal tissue research, or a ban on detainee abortions for DHS.

And Republicans again funded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, who is on track to receive about half-a-billion dollars per year.  How is this possible?  Planned Parenthood provides one in every three abortions performed in this nation, over 321,000 per year.  The American public overwhelming opposes the entanglement of their money with the taking of innocent human life.  Polls show that 60% of Americans oppose tax dollars funding abortion.

Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by the FBI for the buying and selling of body parts of aborted babies, yet their friends in Congress are more willing to fight than pro-life members are willing to stand firm.

Our president clearly articulated to Congress that he will not sign another funding bill like the last, and we should believe him.  The President has called for an end to the filibuster.  That is a strong suggestion but even short of that idea Mitch McConnell should require Senators to literally hold the floor if they wish to stop legislation.  House Appropriator Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) on Alabama radio has called the current system a “phony filibuster” and he is right. The pro-life community can no longer allow Republican lawmakers to get away with bowing to the big abortion lobby.

As the leader of the nation’s largest grassroots women’s organization, as a conservative, and as a defender of life, I am embarrassed by the omnibus spending bill.  Planned Parenthood supporters in the Senate need to have to explain why they are choosing funding abortion over funding Social Security in a shutdown.

This is about light and darkness — life and death.  We will stand with life.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Townhall. Click here to read it. 

Anita Hill is not Hollywood’s answer. Her ‘they all do it’ defense of Clinton doesn’t fly.

By | Blog, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Aspiring actresses and Hollywood career women may have cheered when they heard Show Biz execs tapped Anita Hill to lead a sexual harassment commission examining issues of sexual misconduct and inequality in the entertainment industry.  As a former victim of an actual physical attack and attempted rape over 20 years ago, all I can say is, “I wish this was truly a win for women.”

Besides the obvious problem of Hollywood big wigs choosing to politicize this problem, the deeper issue is that Ms. Hill is not the advocate for whom women are looking, especially in an industry that is led by many clearly hypocritical men.  The women of Hollywood may have grown up learning about Anita Hill as a heroine, but as we’ve come – all too painfully – to learn, academia and media have painted a picture of her over the past quarter century that is conveniently divorced from reality.

Ms. Hill had the chance to stand up for numerous women who were being sexually mistreated by a powerful man. Instead she chose to defend that man and cast doubt on his accusers.  So much for every woman deserving to be believed.

During President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct scandals, Ms. Hill was interviewed by Tim Russert and Gwen Ifill of NBC News on Meet the Press.  They asked her directly about accusations made by Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and others. Her reaction would cause a great deal of shock today, and the women of entertainment need to know what she said then, because it affects how much confidence they should invest in her now.

Kathleen Willey, once an enthusiastic fundraiser for, and supporter of, Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns, came to see him in the Oval Office. She was in financial trouble.  He chose this moment to assault her.  When asked about Willey’s accusations on Meet the PressMs. Hill dismissed them.

“We don’t have Ms. Willey claiming that this behavior was severe and ongoing, or pervasive enough that it became a condition of her employment. She’s not making that claim at all. And, in fact, no one has made that claim. She says in the deposition, I believe, that she was not given any particular favor at the White House because of this incident nor could she say that she suffered any disadvantage because of this incident.”

Russert pushed: “So, do we dismiss the president’s alleged behavior … because he backed off when he was told ‘no?’ It’s acceptable.”

Hill: “Well I’m not sure. I think that we have to evaluate it not on the basis of whether it’s sexual harassment, but evaluate it on the basis of what we would like to see in terms of the behavior and the moral decisions and judgments of the president.”

She then inexplicably launched into the “they all do it” defense, citing Presidents Kennedy and Johnson among others.

“I think the American public has heard so much about the sexual activities and the sex lives of these individuals, and we’ve sort of become cynical and said, ‘Well, if he did it, maybe that’s OK; they all do it.”

If you’re a woman in the entertainment industry – or any victim of sexual misconduct or physical assault – and you’re watching this or reading the transcript, it does not inspire confidence.  Quite the opposite, especially in light of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein and others.

Hill kept going and even more inexplicably compounded the “they all do it” defense with the now unfathomable double-standard reasoning that President Clinton should get a pass because … he’s a liberal and supports so-called “women’s issues.”  Sound familiar?

This is utterly ridiculous given today’s revelations. Before he was outed as a predator, Harvey Weinstein took a back seat to no one as a liberal advocate on what Hill referred to as “women’s issues generally.”

When Ms. Hill had the opportunity to step up and defend the powerless against the most powerful man in the world, her instinct was to defend him, because his politics happened to be liberal. Well, it’ll come as no shock to every woman in Hollywood that their town is replete with countless powerful men whose politics just happen to be liberal.

It doesn’t take a great intellectual leap to posit this is why, in all their insecurity (and condescension), the Hollywood moguls picked her to lead the commission in the first place.  If these leaders truly care about the women in their industry, they’ll find someone way better to lead this effort than Anita Hill.  As it stands, with Anita Hill at the helm, this effort must be viewed as unserious.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by USA Today. Click here to read it.