CWA of Georgia Responds to Amazon’s HQ2 Pick

By | Georgia | No Comments

Dear friends,
For over a year, Georgia courted Amazon to bring its second headquarters (known as HQ2) to the state. And for over a year, as CWA of Georgia fought tirelessly to pass a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), all we heard was Amazon would never do business with Georgia if a religious freedom bill were to be passed and signed into law.

This week, Amazon announced they would locate their new HQ2 in three states – two of which have RFRA laws!  CWA of Georgia joined in a press release with other faith-based organizations in response to Amazon’s announcement.  You can be assured that CWA of Georgia will continue to be on the front lines in 2019 working aggressively for the passage of a state-level RFRA.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

CWA Calls for President Trump to Ensure Full Release and Religious Asylum to Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi

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

Washington, D.C. — In 2010, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, was sentenced to “death by hanging” for blasphemy against Islam. Her crime for the death penalty was allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam to her neighbor. After this mother of four spent eight years on death row, Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction on October 31, 2018.  However, this decision was condemned by Pakistani Islamist parties — most prominently by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which sparked mass protests in major cities and continued to call for her imprisonment and death.  Succumbing to pressure, on November 2, the Pakistani government signed an agreement with TLP to bar Asia Bibi from leaving Pakistan while the Supreme Court ruling in her favor is under review for possible error.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued this response:

“Asia Bibi’s life is obviously in grave danger.  Islamists are calling for her beheading. Two Pakistani politicians, Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were assassinated for supporting her release and opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Dozens more people in Pakistan have been killed as a result of blasphemy accusations.

“If any religious persecution case is critical and in need of quick attention, it is the case of Asia Bibi. This is a landmark verdict in Pakistan as two distinct groups — those promoting religious tolerance and the fundamental Islamists who oppose it — battle over the future of Asia Bibi. It is extremely rare that a blasphemy case is overturned in Pakistan, and we must act quickly.

“As the leader of religious freedom around the world, the U.S. must remain committed to promoting the tolerance of religious minorities and respect for the fundamental human right of religious freedom. As the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, with religious freedom as one of our core issues, we ask President Trump to call for the full release of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi to allow her to exit safely from Pakistan. And as she is in dire fear for her life, we ask President Trump to grant Asia Bibi religious asylum in the U.S. as soon as possible.”

 


For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislative arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders, and over 30 years of service to our nation. For more information visit www.concernedwomen.org

For America (Day 98) – A Prayer for the New Congress

By | News and Events, Prayer | No Comments


Holy Father, we pray for the new Congress.
Even now as they prepare, we pray a blessing over them.
Grant them wisdom and a sense of duty, honor, and
The desire to love You above all and their neighbors as themselves.

As iron sharpens iron, let each member sharpen one another
For the good of their families, their constituents, and the country.
Stomp out the pride that is always at our door,
Calling us to the selfish pleasures that lead to division and much pain.

Let prayers ring in every chamber with much thanksgiving,
Recognizing our complete dependence on You for all that we do.
May the Scriptures be searched daily among all the staff,
As it contains the way of justice and righteousness and life.

May they be quick to hear and slow to speak;
Open their eyes that they may see when they are being manipulated
By those seeking their own self-interests to the detriment
Of those who are most vulnerable among us.

We pray for a culture of life to flourish on Capitol Hill.
We pray the enemy’s deception, when it comes to abortion, be broken.
Let the evil that is in darkness be exposed,
That we may care for the least of these.

We pray for policies that support the family
As the unit You created for human flourishing.
Help our congressmen discern what is best
Beyond what is merely popular, yet detrimental.

Help us, as citizens, to provide constructive support,
To do more than merely complain and yell.
Help us to hear one another.
We pray against those inciting violence and division.

Placing our whole trust in You, Sovereign Maker of all,
We rest in Your merciful peace, and in faith
Ask all these things in the name of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

CWA Files Brief on Important Religious Liberty Case

By | Hawaii, LBB, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

Phyllis Young operates the “Aloha Bed & Breakfast” out of her home, renting about three rooms to guests in Hawaii. The house is a four-bedroom house that is not sectioned off. Guests are treated as part of the family during their stay.

For these reasons, as a Christian, Phyllis applies the same rules to guests that she would to family members. She does not facilitate sexual relationships outside of marriage as defined by her Christian beliefs. This means that she would not rent one room to unmarried couples or those in a same-sex relationship.

When two women in a same-sex relationship sought to rent a room with her, Phyllis declined, and they filed a complaint with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission for sexual orientation discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, representing Phyllis, argued that Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which makes sexual orientation discrimination unlawful, did not apply in this situation because of the nature of the business (renting only three rooms in her primary residence).

The Constitution also protects the free exercise of religion so that Phyllis should have the right not to promote behavior that her faith teaches is immoral. She should be able to conduct her small business in a way that can respect her deeply held religious beliefs.

As we have seen in other cases, the lower courts have ordered Phyllis to violate her Christian beliefs if she wants to make a living. This is a plain violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Americans should be able to operate a business according to their deeply held religious beliefs and without being compelled to endorse a government-approved view that contradicts those.

That is why Concerned Women for Americas has joined a brief asking the United States Supreme Court to take the case and reverse the lower court’s decision penalizing Mrs. Young for refusing to condone that which is contrary to her faith. In it, we argue:

Mrs. Young, the homeowner, acted out of her religious conviction that renting a single room to other than a married husband and wife would engage her in facilitating and endorsing immoral sexual conduct. She not only held a sincere belief to that effect, well buttressed by Biblical teaching, but her action in refusing quarter to the unmarried and same-sex cohabitants was conduct protected by the First Amendment’s prohibition of state interference with her free exercise of religion and with its similar prohibition of interference with her freedom of assembly, which incorporates the right not to associate with those engaging in behavior with which one disagrees.

The brief was filed alongside the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation, and the Pacific Justice Institute sending a strong message to the Court of the importance of the religious liberty interests and concerns at play.

Please continue to pray for this case and the justices as they consider this case in the coming weeks.

Resolution for the Little Sisters of the Poor

By | Blog, News and Events | No Comments

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a final rule that provided much-needed relief to employers who had religious or moral objections to birth control or certain forms of birth control. After the Affordable Care Act became law, HHS was tasked with interpreting the intentionally vague part of the law that mandated all insurance plans provide essential women’s health services. HHS, not Congress, determined that, among other things, all FDA-approved forms of birth control must be covered in employer insurance plans.

Although there were narrow exceptions to this mandate and several corporations were “grandfathered” in, the Obama Administration failed to respect the conscience rights of religious employers. This bureaucratic overreach forced companies like Hobby Lobby and religious non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to fight for their religious freedom at the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s request to provide 16 of the 20 forms of birth control, excluding only abortifacients (birth control that does not simply prevent conception, but prevents implantation of an embryo, therefore resulting in the loss of a unique human life).

The Obama Administration offered several accommodations to the Little Sisters of the Poor, but missed the mark with each one. In May 2017, the Trump Administration issued an interim final rule that provided relief to the Little Sisters. These new final rules are identical to the ones proposed in 2017 and respect the religious and moral objections of employers. This rule does not prevent the government from providing these services to women who want them; it is a necessary correction to the government’s overreach.

Are You an Encourager? The Illinois General Assembly Needs You!

By | Illinois | No Comments

Dear Friend,

The 2018 Midterms are over with new and familiar legislators being seated for the upcoming 101st Illinois General Assembly.  Only prayer and action will turn the hearts of our legislators in 2019. Here’s how you can help!

We are seeking intercessors for the CWA of Illinois Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) Project.

EAL is a project of encouragement and prayer for our Illinois elected officials, members of the Illinois General Assembly, and all Illinois county board and commission chairpersons. It is not an expression of political or public policy views.  It involves three easy steps:

  1. CWA provides 12 pre-addressed postcards that contain a Scripture verse, Founding Father quote, and prayer.
  1. Participants sign, stamp, and send a postcard once a month starting in February and pray earnestly for their assigned legislator.
  1. Participants are welcome to pray for and encourage more than one legislator.

Special thanks to all those who participated in the EAL project during the 2018 legislative session.  We received several messages from legislators expressing their gratitude for the encouragement and prayers.

If you would like to participate in the CWA of Illinois EAL Project, please call me at 815-297-2918 or email [email protected]. Be sure to specify the number of legislators you would like to pray and encourage.  Please provide your name address, and email address. 

The Illinois EAL project cannot exist without funding.  If you feel led, please donate to CWA of Illinois.  CWA of Illinois is volunteer led.  All donations given to CWA of Illinois will fund the state’s projects and initiatives.  Click here to donate today, or feel free to send a check to the address below.  Any amount is appreciated!

Prayer moves the hand of God in the affairs of this nation!  In fact, we are commanded to pray for those in authority. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good and pleases God our Savior…” – 1 Timothy 2:1 

We are looking for your commitment today! Your packet will be mailed to you once the new General Assembly committee assignments are made and the legislators’ contact information is secured in early February.

Also, visit our webpage to find out how you can become involved in CWA of Illinois.

Debbie Leininger
State Director
CWA of Illinois
1255 W. Empire Street
Freeport, IL  61032
(815) 297-2918
[email protected]
il.cwfa.org

Would You Commit to Encouraging a Legislator?

By | South Dakota | No Comments

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  I Timothy 2:1

Dear CWA Friends,

It is time to recruit “encouragers” for our Encourage-A-Legislator Campaign for the 2019 South Dakota Legislative Session. This is our 20th year of Encourage-A-Legislator! Some of you have been dedicated encouragers with us from the very beginning and we appreciate your faithfulness.

We live in challenging times. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that much prayer is needed to restrain the enemy’s assault on our culture.

Will you commit to adopting a legislator and praying for him or her daily during the session beginning in January? Each week you will send your assigned legislator a CWA-provided postcard pre-printed with a Scripture verse or inspirational quote. Simply express appreciation for the legislator’s service and note your prayers for him. Finally, add a postcard stamp and mail the card on a specified date.

Many legislators responded to your prayers and encouraging postcards last year with words of appreciation. Your efforts encourage and build bridges with the conservative legislators as well as those who do not typically agree with CWA. Your benefit as an “encourager” is that you are energized and blessed to be a part of this effort.

If you wish to participate in our Encourage-A-Legislator Campaign this year, please reply by noting your commitment and providing your physical address.  You will receive your postcards and instructions just prior to the opening of the 2019 South Dakota Legislative Session early in January.

God bless you for your faithfulness in prayer and action.

Linda Schauer
State Director
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org

Matthew Whitaker steps into U.S. Attorney General position at crucial time

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

Washington, D.C. — Last week, Matthew Whitaker was appointed Acting-United States Attorney General following Jeff Sessions’ resignation.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America issued the following statement: 

“Matthew Whitaker is an outstanding choice for acting Attorney General. His time serving at the Department of Justice was highlighted by his dedication to expediting the settlements of key Supreme Court cases, including Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and the State of California v. Little Sisters of the Poor. These two cases were deeply important to the hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America.

“Whitaker is known for being tough on crime and is described as “a lawyer’s lawyer.” This is exactly what the Department of Justice needs. There is a whole host of bipartisan issues that must be tackled by Congress and, with a split House and Senate, now is the perfect time to confront those issues.

“Concerned Women for America has repeatedly called on the DOJ to address the rape kit backlog. I had the honor of testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee this past summer, urging the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act with a focus on processing rape kits. The DOJ, especially, should care for victims of rape and sexual assault. CWA asks that Whitaker make good use of his time in this important position.”

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

Are You an Encourager? The California State Legislature Needs You!

By | California | No Comments

Dear CWA friends, 

We are excited to continue our Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) program into 2019! For those of you who haven’t heard, our EAL program is one of CWA of California’s most valued programs. Though CWA members and friends regularly contact their legislators and pray concerning our core issues, the EAL program is designed to simply pray for and encourage the legislators with no mention of legislation or policy. The goal is to simply uplift the legislator and to remind him or her that they are prayed for regularly. 

As CWA of California’s EAL Coordinator, Tracey Beck is committed to continuing to oversee this wonderful ministry.  She has a precious heart to not only encourage our legislators but to also encourage YOU! 

Check out Tracey’s words to our current EAL encouragers:  

As the Encourage-A-Legislator Coordinator for CWA of California, I realize that all of our actions must first be undergirded in prayer. We must be willing to prioritize our time so that we ask the Lord to guide us before we grab our keys and fly out the door.   

Sometimes we get quite involved in the myriad of issues that come before our state legislature, making it all the more crucial for CWA of California’s Encourage-A-Legislator Program to be a key component.   

I am honored to oversee this program. We have received wonderful feedback from legislators.  Now more than ever our leaders need our prayers and encouragement.  

Please join us as we stress prayer as Priority One!”  

Tracey Beck
CWA of California
Encourage-A-Legislator Coordinator 

Click here for more information in our EAL brochure. Feel free to print double-sided and distribute liberally. 

Are you interested in joining this wonderful program?   If so, please contact Tracey at  [email protected] or at 760-825-9351. 

Have a great week! 

Marlo Tucker
State Director
CWA of California
[email protected]