YWA in Israel: Patriarchs, Kings, Prophets and the Jewish State (Days 7 & 8)

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

DAY 7: Patriarchs, Kings, Prophets

Our morning began in the historic Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. It encapsulates exactly what you picture Jerusalem to be. Compared to the other quarters in the Old City, it is calm and quiet while simultaneously bustling and full of life.

We walked through the City of David, parts of which are still being excavated, and trekked through Hezekiah’s tunnel. Hezekiah’s tunnel was carved during the reign of Hezekiah to allow water to go from one side of the city to the other. It is considered one of the greatest works of water engineering in the pre-classical period.

The water from Hezekiah’s tunnel fed into the Siloam pool where Jesus healed the blind man. We did a little interpretive Bible story reading with Dr. Allen Quine, Vice President of International Relations at Museum of the Bible, before heading back to the hotel to hear from our speakers for the night, David Nekrutman and Steven Khouri.

“Traveling to, and through, The City of David as well as the Jewish Quarter was yet another piece of the Bible coming to life. The Jewish Quarter is unlike any other quarter in Israel. It is pristine, full of beautiful shops and, of course, lots of history. Later we traveled to the City of David. Overlooking the City of David and knowing where David resided and the things he did makes the Bible come to life. You truly realize David was no different than any other man; his heart was full of sin just as is ours. God does not call the perfect to lead, He instead perfects the called and that is such a beautiful thing to be remembered.  From the lookout before entering the tunnels, you see this beautiful view of limestone buildings and land that goes as far as the eye can see; you see the beauty that is Israel. From there we traveled through the tunnels known as “Hezekiah’s Tunnels”; it is as if you are traveling back in time walking through these tunnels carved so long ago. These experiences added a new perspective to my life for which I am forever grateful.” Alixanne Kramer, YWA President, Tucson, Arizona Chapter

 

DAY 8: The Jewish State

There weren’t many pictures from day eight as we spent it at two museums and ended with another speaker.

We were given the opportunity to go to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum which is recognized as the most impactful holocaust museum in the world. It was an incredibly sobering experience.

“As a self-proclaimed history buff, I thought I had learned all there was to know about the Holocaust. And yes, I did know most of the statistics, facts, and numbers, but it wasn’t until visiting Yad Vashem that I learned what the Holocaust truly means to the people whom it affected. Instead of numbers, I saw brothers, sisters, friends, mommies and daddies. I heard their beautiful stories of survival and sorrow. I felt a tiny fraction of the hole this tragedy left in a people already so scarred, but I also felt the hope and resilience of that same people. After each exhibit, the design of the building allows you to see the sunshine coming through the floor-to-ceiling window at the end of the hall. After each horror, you are able to see the light waiting for you, just as the Jewish people always do. Yad Vashem is not just a museum or a memorial. It is the embodiment of a people whose hope comes from the Lord and can, therefore, never be taken from them.” Ashley Henson, YWA Chapter President, University of Alabama

After Yad Vashem, we headed to the Israel Museum, Israel’s National Museum where portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.

Our day ended with a speaker, Rami Nazzal, who is a Palestinian journalist. Learning and understanding differing perspectives was a key component of our trip. Israel is a diverse nation with diverse opinions, religions, and cultures. To go to Israel and only hear one point of view would not be an accurate portrayal of the only democracy in that part of the world. Because of that, we were so thankful to have the opportunity to hear the Palestinian perspective.

“One of the highlights of our trip was getting to explore the complications of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Each night, we heard from a diverse set of speakers who further expanded our understanding. A particular speaker who stood out to me was Rami Nazzal. Rami is a Palestinian journalist who speaks to the experiences of Palestinian people in the land. When it comes to developing a political stance on any issue, I think it is crucial to fully explore both perspectives, as we know it is people’s personal narratives that have shaped their perspective of the world. Rami shared with us “the other side” of the conflict, particularly through narratives of Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas’ control. On the forefront of his lecture was the failing economy of the West Bank and Gaza. Similar to what I had learned in prior Terrorism classes in school, Rami believed that the failing economy was a main contributing factor to the radicalization of terrorists. This point of his lecture raised various questions about proposed solutions; particularly, is it the responsibility of Israel to intervene? Has Israel done too much already? A particular point of Rami’s argument that stood out to me was when a student asked him about his view of the BDS movement. Coming from a campus where the student government passed BDS, I was familiar with the issue, but surprised at what Rami had to say regarding it.  He said that while BDS might seem like a good idea to people who support Palestine, in reality, it hurts Palestinians more than helps. He gave the example of a Palestinian manufacturing employee working for an Israeli company; at the end of the day, divestment would be hurting the Palestinian man working on the manufacturing line before it would hurt the CEO. I am grateful to have heard from Rami and even more grateful that Israel’s commitment to democracy allowed for this type of dialogue to occur in the Middle East. The conflict is complex, even more so than I initially thought; however it is these types of discussion that need to occur so we can see peace in the land!” Alba Ibraj, YWA Chapter President, University of Michigan

#WomenforKavanaugh gearing up for state battles

By | Blog, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

This week has been full of #WomenforKavanaugh campaign planning and strategizing, and our excitement continues to build! CWA’s National Field Director, Janae Stracke, and General Counsel, Mario Diaz, have been on the phone with state leaders in key states to discuss local events, billboard ads, radio time, opinion editorials, and rallies in their states.

When strategizing for any CWA campaign, one of our main goals is to make sure we’re being good stewards of our funds. We do a cost benefit analysis and consider the return of investment. We want to make sure we get the most bang for our buck and end with measurable results.

In this case, the timing has worked in our favor, and we plan to center our main efforts around several state fairs, which automictically increases our constituent interaction. Every state is important in this battle, but we will be focusing extra efforts in Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, Missouri, and Montana. If you or someone you know wants to join forces with CWA’s #WomenforKavanaugh campaign or donate to the campaign, visit www.womenforkavanaugh.com or email us at [email protected].

Something you may also consider is writing a letter to the editor for your local paper expressing your support of Judge Kavanaugh. You can find helpful talking points at www.womenforkavanaugh.com.

[AUDIO] Use Your Voice – Episode 1, U.S. Supreme Court Nomination

By | Kennedy, LBB, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments



The first installment of our new podcast, Use Your Voice, aired on Monday, June 9, 2018. We discussed with Concerned Women for America’s General Counsel Mario Diaz, Esq., the upcoming battle over the replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy at the U.S. Supreme Court.  And we went to Iowa where Janae Stracke, CWA’s Field Director, is already mobilizing our members in support of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee.

For more information on this topic, visit WomenforKavanaugh.com.

One Step Closer to Giving Birthmothers and Adoptive Parents Faith-Based Options

By | Kansas | No Comments

Last week with the help of myself and fellow state directors, CWA National had a big victory in the House Appropriations Committee when U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt’s (R-Alabama-District 4) Adoption Amendment passed 29-23.  This amendment ensures that government agencies receiving federal funds cannot discriminate against a child welfare provider on the basis of that provider’s “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”  This amendment is similar to the Adoption Protection Act, SB 284, that Gov. Jeff Coyer signed into Kansas law on May 4, 2018.

Our own U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-District 3) was on that committee, and he voted for the amendment.

Now the essence of the amendment is capsulated in the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. House version is HR 1881, and the Senate version is S 811.

This legislation includes, not excludes, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies; birth mothers and families will have the freedom to choose a provider that shares their faith and values. This legislation recognizes that these agencies are desperately needed on the playing field, especially as more and more children are being displaced from their homes by opium addiction.

This is an important step in our efforts to ensure government is not hostile to one’s sincerely held religious beliefs.  Nine in ten Americans agree that birthmothers should have the freedom to choose an agency for adoption that shares her religious values and moral convictions.

So far Rep. Yoder is the only one who has co-sponsored the House version and no one has co-sponsored the Senate version.

Action:

  1. Please thank Rep. Yoder for voting “Yes” on the Adoption Amendment. Click here to contact him.
  2. Write our other U.S. Representatives, Rodger Marshall (R-District 1), click here to do so, Lynn Jenkins (R-District 2), click here to do so, and Ron Estes(R-District 4), click here to do so. Encourage them to vote for HR1881.

As this legislation continues through the legislative process, please be praying for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  Pray they will see the truth that it is not discrimination as some will try to convince them.

CWA National will continue their efforts to get the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act with the Aderholt Amendment passed into law. Let us do the same at CWA of Kansas.

Thank you and many blessings.

Barbara Saldivar
State Director
CWA of Kansas
[email protected]
ks.cwfa.org
785-260-5659

 

 

 

Are You Tired of Paying for Abortions With Your Taxes?

By | North Carolina | No Comments

Dear Friend,

Are you tired of paying for abortions with your taxes? I sure am! Together, we have a chance to do something about it!

In less than two weeks, it will be the last day to post your comments expressing your views to U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar. After the 60-day comment period is up, HHS will review the comments and issue a final rule based on the public’s feedback.  The deadline is Tuesday, July 31. So far about 66,000 comments have been posted. We do not yet know how many are positive or negative. But, it has been reported that HHS was anticipating 10% positive and 90% negative. So, we are praying that all pro-life warriors will unite and let your voices be heard at HHS!

We have a great and urgent opportunity to shift taxpayer funds away from abortionists and direct funds toward real health centers. Planned Parenthood alone receives at least $50 million from Title X, and 90% of the women who enter their clinics have abortions. A new proposed rule directs money away from abortion providers.

Together we can influence the right to life on a national level. The opposition will not take their hand out of the cookie jar without significant opposition.  

We are in need of substantive comments and lots of them. The opposition is already fighting this because abortion is big business and they love their government subsidies. Planned Parenthood is mobilized with an army contacting HHS Secretary Azar.  They will sue and intimidate, so we must be vigilant, mobilized, passionate, strong and courageous on behalf of unborn babies.

From our June 20, 2018 e-alert, you can see the variety of ways where Planned Parenthood unashamedly promotes pornographic instruction materials along with additional information about abortion, sells aborted baby body parts, and participates in human trafficking, etc. (https://concernedwomen.org/dont-miss-out-on-the-opportunity-to-take-tax-money-from-planned-parenthood-3/)

It’s time; let’s take action! Enough is enough! Let us defend the right to life! 

Take Action:

  1. Please click here for more information about the regulation as well as step-by-step instruction on how to submit a comment.  We have provided a comment you can easily copy and paste (if you don’t have time to write a comment yourself), and the link to the comment submission form. It only takes about 5 minutes to do.
  2. Please pass this e-alert on to family and friends! Encourage them to both pray and take action.Let us join in prayer together: “Lord, we love YOU!  Thank YOU for creating us!  We ask that You bless our efforts as we speak out boldly for the unborn. We cry out to you to multiply our efforts to send a lasting and convincing message. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen”

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— [ … that we] may speak boldly, as [we] ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18, 20).

Again, the deadline is July 31; please comment right away and then use the remainder of the time to encourage those you know to comment as well.

For Life and Liberty,

Jill Coward
State Director
CWA of North Carolina
[email protected]
nc.cwfa.org

Would you like to get involved with CWA of North Carolina?
Join a Prayer/Action ChapterContact me today to find out if there is a CWA chapter in your area.

Would you like to partner with CWA of North Carolina!
Please DONATE to CWA of North Carolina.  Our state is run exclusively by volunteers and supported 100 percent through donations. The lighthouse is pictured on our CWA of North Carolina website symbolizing that we are to be a light in the darkness. In these dark days, we appreciate your contribution to CWA of North Carolina. And again we thank you … your donation will make a difference in North Carolina through prayer and action. 

If someone forwarded you this e-alert and you would like to be on our e-alert list, please contact me.

Let’s unite to support justice for the millions of brave women who’ve survived sexual assault

By | Blog, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

This week I am scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine federal funding of DNA analysis — with the goal of promoting justice for victims of crime.  As a survivor of assault and attempted rape on a Virginia running path, I am honored to testify in regard to the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act, a program within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that funds the processing of DNA rape kits.

First enacted in 1994 by President Clinton, VAWA has been a hotbed of conflict, deeply dividing party lines — with both sides taking part in public mud-slinging and scare tactics. But, now more than ever, it is time to try to find common ground, and focus on bringing justice and relief to the millions of brave American women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Over the twenty-four years of VAWA’s existence, the Office of Violence Against Women has distributed over 7.6 billion dollars to VAWA grant recipients.  During this time, Concerned Women for America has had a love-hate relationship with VAWA.  The fight against sexual exploitation is one of CWA’s seven core issues, and as the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, we applaud any efforts to reduce violence or bring support to victims.

However, we believed combating violence against women was (in most cases) most effectively organized at the state level.  In addition, we have been concerned over the lack of conscience provisions for faith-based service providers.  For example, in 2011 after five years of providing services to sex trafficking victims in 44 states, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was denied participation in the program which many believed was due to their position on abortion and HHS preference for “full-range” of family planning services.

Equally frustrating is the lack of oversight and accountability, fraud, and abuse of VAWA funds. We know that between 1993 and 2010, the Inspector General reviewed twenty-two individual grantees that received VAWA funding.  Of those twenty-two, twenty-one grantees were found to have some form of “violation of grant requirements” which included unauthorized or unallowable expenditures, slipshod record keeping, and failure to report in a timely manner. And these are just a few examples.

The Debbie Smith Act is one small program within VAWA.  This program is an abundantly worthy effort and an example of the kind of work that can be achieved when we work together on a bipartisan basis.  The program has made great strides in helping states begin the hard work to clean up the backlog of unprocessed DNA but we can do better.  Through the Debbie Smith Act, we have spent over $1.2 billion to clean up state rape kit backlogs since 2004. However, due to a lack of accountability and prioritization in this program, we still have little to no idea of whether or not these funds have reached this objective.

What we do know is that in many states the rape kit backlog is still unaccounted for, and in some cases forgotten, such as in the instance of the eleven thousand kits found in an abandoned Detroit warehouse; some of these kits lay unopened and wasting for twenty five years while rape victims waited for justice.

In recent years, CWA has realized we would rather work to improve the Act and focus real and effective help to women.  Instead of raging at the darkness, we are ready to light a candle.  It is for this reason I will testify for the Debbie Smith Act, in a spirit of bi-partisan cooperation and to be sure that the next reauthorization of Debbie Smith will promote justice for victims of sexual assault. That I am sure, is something on which we can all agree.

To that goal, when I testify, I will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee for greater accountability in the Debbie Smith Act — specifically to account for the rape kit backlog — and for prioritizing the processing of rape kits over other crimes. As a condition of receipt of funds, states must be willing to come clean about the number of rape kits awaiting processing.  

Secondly, we must prioritize the DNA processing of the sexual assault kits of rape victims. We understand that processing other types of crimes can increase the chance of getting DNA hits for perpetrators of sexual assault through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and we fully support those efforts. But let’s not forget that the first priority should be for the victims who have been waiting for justice for many years, often while enduring significant physical and psychological trauma. Justice demands that every woman represented in each of those forgotten rape kits be accounted for and their evidence processed.

Rarely can I remember a time when our nation was so deeply divided on current issues.  In an era of bi-partisan name-calling, dirt-throwing, and rampant distrust, now more than ever we must unite on an issue on which we can agree: justice and relief for the millions of brave women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Now is the time for us to demand justice and accountability from both state and federal governments.  Each of the rape kits waiting represents a woman praying that the monster who violated her will be prosecuted before the statute of limitations’ clock runs out.  Let’s make that happen.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to see it there.

CWA of North Carolina’s 18th Annual Day at The Capital Review

By | North Carolina | No Comments

Dear Friend,

In early June, CWA of North Carolina enjoyed our 18th Annual Day at The Capital as we made our voices heard.  We were once again joined by North Carolina Values Coalition.  Approximately 25 were in attendance.  We had a legislative briefing, lobbied our legislators and held a chapel service with our legislators. Our beloved Associate Director, Mary Frances Forrester, presented a stirring and inspiring devotion on the history and importance of our cherished American flag.

We lobbied our legislators on the following concerns:

  1. Pass HB575, Require Info About Abortion Pill Reversal – Require Info About Abortion Pill Reversal so that women seeking a chemical abortion will be told that there is a process to reverse the abortion if they change their minds.
  2. Parents Right To KnowRemind our legislators to allow parents to know and have more access to school lesson plans and curriculum involving human sexuality and bullying prevention. Sex Ed programs were being carried out in Cumberland, Onslow, Carteret, and Wayne Counties; but parents were not notified nor invited to review and discuss these new sex materials being adopted. Unfortunately, in this culture today, it is imperative that our state adopts commonsense educational transparencies to protect our children. Parents have the right to know!

Regrettably, we will need to revisit our legislators regarding these issues as neither concern was addressed during this legislative session. Although there had been good support for commonsense pro-transparency legislation protecting a parent’s right to know what their kids are taught in schools about sex, unfortunately no legislative solution was presented.

We are in agreement with Executive Director of NC Values Coalition Tami Fitzgerald’s assessment that “We cannot back down. We need to send a clear message to our legislators that they need to listen to parents across our state who demand these kind of protections … This is an issue we won’t be backing down from! We’re committed to keeping this issue before legislators however long it takes for them to take action to protect parental rights and childhood innocence. We need them to know we WILL hold them accountable.”

These two issues will be a high priority for CWA of North Carolina in 2019.

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)

We always appreciate your prayers. Prayer is the bedrock for all that we do. Stay tuned for additional pressing concerns.

For Truth and Righteousness,

Jill Coward
State Director
CWA of North Carolina
[email protected]
nc.cwfa.org

Would you like to get involved with CWA of North Carolina?
Join a Prayer/Action ChapterContact me today to find out if there is a CWA chapter in your area.

Would you like to partner with CWA of North Carolina!
Please DONATE to CWA of North Carolina.  Our state is run exclusively by volunteers and supported 100 percent through donations. The lighthouse is pictured on our CWA of North Carolina website symbolizing that we are to be a light in the darkness. In these dark days, we appreciate your contribution to CWA of North Carolina. And again we thank you … your donation will make a difference in North Carolina through prayer and action. 

If someone forwarded you this e-alert and you would like to be on our e-alert list, please contact me.

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Nance Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee: Promoting Justice for Victims of Crime

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

Washington D.C. – Today, Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act. She urged them to continue to improve the support given to victims of sexual assault, ensuring that every sexual assault kit is processed before the statute of limitationsruns out.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for AmericaLegislative Action Committee, issued the following statement following her testimony:

“Each time the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act comes up, we should do the hard work necessary to reevaluate our approach and raise the bar. We must push ourselves until each sexual assault kit is accounted for and every last one is processed – because every kit represents a brave woman waiting for justice. For some of these women, the clock is running out as the statute of limitations for rape approaches.

“Accountability in the reporting of existing backlogs must be required and processing of rape kits must be prioritized.

“We should never forget the picture of the deteriorating, abandoned warehouse in Detroit where some 11,000 rape kits were stockpiled, unopened and unprocessed for decades. Each of those kits represents a woman whose life was forever changed. She deserves closure. She deserves justice.

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee has been committed to working on this issue on the federal level and with states to end the backlog. We will continue to commit ourselves to these women. It was my privilege to stand before the Senate Judiciary Committee today on behalf of each hurting woman represented by these unprocessed rape kits. They deserve better.”


For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973

Are You Tired of Paying for Abortion?!

By | California | No Comments

Friends of Life,

Are you tired of paying for abortion? I am! Together, we have a chance to do something about it!

We have a great and urgent opportunity to shift taxpayer funds away from abortionists and direct funds toward real health centers. Planned Parenthood alone receives at least $50 million from Title X, and 90% of the women who enter their clinics have abortions. A new proposed rule directs money away from abortion providers.

Together we can influence the right to life on a national level. The opposition will not take their hand out of the cookie jar without significant opposition.  

As with any federal regulation, there is an open comment period where the public has the opportunity to express their views to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar. After the 60-day comment period is up, HHS will review the comments and issue a final rule based on the public’s feedback.  The deadline is July 31.

We are in need of substantive comments and lots of them. The opposition is already fighting this because abortion is big business and they love their government subsidies. Planned Parenthood is mobilized with an army contacting HHS Secretary Azar.  They will sue and intimidate, so we must be vigilant, mobilized, passionate, strong and courageous on behalf of babies.

It’s time; let’s take action! Enough is enough!  Defend the right to life! 

Take Action:

  1. Please click here for more information about the regulation as well as step by step instruction on how to submit a comment. We have provided a comment you can easily copy and paste (if you don’t have time to write a comment yourself), and the link to the comment submission form. It only takes about 5-10 minutes to do.
  2. Please pass this e-alert on to family and friends! Encourage them to both pray and take action.

Let us join in prayer together: “Lord, we love YOU!  Thank YOU for creating us!  We ask that You bless our efforts as we speak out boldly for children.  Multiply our efforts to send a lasting and convincing message.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— [ ,,, that we] may speak boldly, as [we] ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:18, 20)

The deadline is July 31, please comment right away and then use the remainder of the time to encourage those you know to comment as well.

Thank you for praying and taking action.

God bless you!

Marlo Tucker
State Director
CWA of California
[email protected]
ca.cwfa.org