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Defense of Family

Decisive Victory for Religious Freedom at the U.S. Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop

By | Defense of Family, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Anti-religious liberty forces lost at the U.S. Supreme Court today in the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who sought to live his life in accordance with his faith and so refused to provide a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex wedding (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission). This is why you will hear a lot of talk in the media of a narrow decision with little precedential impact. Some aim to downplay what is an important victory for freedom and religious liberty with the Court ruling 7-2 in favor of protecting the baker’s First Amendment constitutional rights.

The Court wrote, “[R]eligious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. It is notable for the Court to recognize that there are actually philosophical reasons, not just religious ones, to oppose same-sex marriage. Regardless, all are protected views under the First Amendment.

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed at Townhall.com.

Click here for our press release: “Conservative Women Celebrate Freedom as the U.S. Supreme Court Decides Masterpiece Cakeshop.”

Check out our CEO & President Penny Nance’s statement in front of the Court at oral arguments:

And, some clips from our rally:


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

On Smartphones, It’s About You

By | Defense of Family, LBB, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Controversies are not uncommon to Facebook. This is why I usually don’t pay too much attention to them. But a friend made me notice the school teacher who posted what some of her students told her on a school assignment, and it is so sad it is worth noting. Did you see it?

The teacher posted that several students told her they wished the phone was never invented because their parents were always on them. The story was noted by USA Today, which quoted one response agreeing with it saying, “I don’t like the phone because my [parents] are on their phone every day … I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one.”

The story noted how the topic of smartphone use has been mostly aimed at children and teens, and appropriately so, but this incident points to concerns with adult use. Several studies have shown that the more time children spend online, the less happy they are with their lives in several areas.  But the truth is that this is not only about what they see online, but about the interactions and experiences they are losing in the real world by spending so much time in the virtual world.

The more time a child spends online at home, the less time he spends interacting with siblings or his or her parents. This works both ways, though.  The more time a parent spends online, the less time he spends investing in the crucial personal relationships at home.

So, on the use of smartphones at home, it’s about you, whatever your age.  Parent, grandparent, child, brother, sister, whoever you are. Sure, parents should limit their children’s time online, but they must also limit their own.

The interesting thing is that, once we spend some time thinking about this issue, we realize that it is not such a new issue after all.  It is still about quality time with each other — the age-old problem that has plagued parents from time immemorial. The only thing that has changed is where we are spending the time. Parents use to take time away from their children by working too much or playing golf all the time. Now they spend it on social media. Still, it is about time, in many ways.

The new danger, I see, is that you are “there” in the case of the new smartphone problem.  But, of course, if you are “there” with someone on your phone, you are not really “there.” I think we all can understand that.  There is no question we must be proactive on this for our children and for ourselves. I think most people would agree. How to do that is a bit more complicated, but I tend to think that as long as you are aware of the potential risk and you are doing something, even if it is something that doesn’t work, you are working at it, and it will be a net positive for you. We will find the right approach for our family if we are intentional about it.

But why are we discussing this here at Concerned Women for America? Well, I hope you see that the answer to many of the public policy problems that ail us are rooted in the weakening of the family structure. I’ve written to you about it in many contexts.

The family unit was God’s invention (Genesis 2:24). One man, one woman having children for life. This beautiful cycle where a man “leave[s] his father and mother and hold[s] fast to his wife, and the two … become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31) is powerful and life-giving; it is the key to a free and fruitful society. It is no surprise to any of us that the enemy seeks to destroy it with everything it has.

So, let’s not let the smartphones outsmart us. Let us use it, and not the other way around. It is an incredible tool, when used in moderation, giving priority to those things that are truly valuable. God and family should always be at the top.

International Women’s Day: Is #MeToo Yesterday’s Hashtag, or Will it Bring True Change?

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Five months out from the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the subsequent launch of #MeToo, we find ourselves celebrating International Women’s Day on Thursday with a focus on gender parity.

Concerned Women for America members join in the celebration. Thankfully, American women enjoy more freedom, opportunity and legal protection than most, if not the entire, world. This is no secret.

The majority of legal immigrants to the United States are women who yearn to join our ranks. Even Hillary Clinton recognized this fact when she said in 2015: “There has never been a better time in history to be born female.” We are doctors, lawyers, and governors. We are CEOs and astronauts. Women are on the move.

First, are women actually more inclined to speak up about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace today than they were five months ago? Did the show of support from Hollywood during the awards season or black-garbed senators during the State of the Union really change anything?

Last year saw women take on the tough topic of sexual assault, but we should take a moment to reflect on the current cultural phenomena of the #MeToo movement. What started here has spread to become an international inflection point for women to discuss sexual harassment and assault. It is no surprise that even other Western nations struggle, because this is a matter of the heart. Mankind is broken.

While the movement has left a trail of abusive men and women who have been fired from their lofty positions, or are at least are under investigation, it’s difficult to say with any authority that it will permanently change our institutions.

It took over 30 years for one Harvard professor, who was accused of sexual harassment over three decades by female colleagues and students, to finally be placed on leave. Women left their jobs at Harvard because of this man during all these years and only now are seeing justice.

However, despite decades of stories filtering out from the ivory towers of academia, for the most part, higher education is slipping undeservedly under the radar. One will know things have changed when universities stop predatory professors.

Secondly, is Hollywood serious?  Several Hollywood actresses have indeed broken their silence and named the men who made their lives a living hell. Those men have fallen hard from the top, but then Hollywood chooses this week to give an Oscar to Kobe Bryant, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault in 2003 after a 19-year-old woman accused him of rape. The case against Bryant was dropped a year later when the woman said she wasn’t willing to testify in court.

Hollywood also has made a huge show of appointing Anita Hill as head of a commission against sexual harassment. Yet, it was Hill who defended President Bill Clinton during one of his many alleged sexual escapades, several of which were reportedly unwanted advances. Conservative women are left to wonder Hollywood is just content to score political points.

And when is Congress going to come clean?  A few members have resigned in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but others are hiding behind a secret list from the Office of Compliance that paid over $17 million in taxpayer money to settle workplace disputes – including sexual harassment settlements.

This is only in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate paid separately and also concealed the identities of the guilty. The taxpayers rightfully deserve to know how our money was spent and which lawmakers were involved.

The whole ordeal is rife with contradictions and seems to always be one step forward and two steps back.

What about lower-paid working women?  Is the demand for zero tolerance of boorish behavior going to trickle down to them? Thus far, there are no stories of the hospitality industry and restaurant chains clamping down on grabby bosses or patrons.

So what makes a woman working a blue collar job who is sexually harassed think she stands a chance of not facing retribution should she report what is happening? This becomes real when reporters cover stories of new accountability at places like McDonald’s and TGI Fridays.

The final question: When will the #MeToo movement realize that there can be no left or right litmus test for members? You think the mean-girl stage ends in high school, but no.

“You can’t sit with us” has just turned into “you can’t stand with us.” Many women feel as if they have no recourse in the public square, because in order to join other women in the #MeToo movement they think they must be liberal feminists.

So as women celebrate living in an exceptional nation, it’s good to consider ways to improve our nation for all women, regardless of socioeconomic class or political bent. The #MeToo movement needs consistency and inclusion in order to be both sustainable and effective. If gender equality is to happen, it must first happen among women leading the way by embracing the Golden Rule for each other.

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

CWA at White House Opioid Summit

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

Today I sat in the East Wing of the White House with eyes full of tears as a father shared the story of his son who he lost to an opioid addiction. He thanked the President and First Lady for the opportunity to be there and share his story – “I’m amazed that my journey has taken me from my son’s room where he died to this room in the East Wing of the White House, but I would give this all up for five more minutes with my son, just five more minutes.”

On Thursday, March 1, the White House hosted a summit addressing the opioid crisis facing our nation. First Lady Melania Trump delivered the opening remarks and invited a mother to join her on stage as she read the letter this woman had written to her about the passing of her son. That mother represents the thousands of family members who lose loved ones every year from opioid overdose.

The drug epidemic is a concern of CWA as we strive to advocate for and support the American family. It was such a valuable opportunity to be able to sit in that room with members of our government, police chiefs from across the nation, and individuals whose lives have been personally impacted by this crisis.

The summit included two panels each moderated by Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway. The first was on Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin.

The second panel focused on Law Enforcement and Interdiction with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Highlights you need to know:

Opioid prescriptions are steadily on the decline but still up 3x over prescriptions in 1999.

HHS is doubling state grants that will be spent on addiction recovery.

Sec. Carson shared about HUD’s new EnVision Centers which implement holistic approaches to foster long-lasting self-sufficiency for those in recovery.

AlphaBay, one of the largest dark web marketplaces for the sale of drugs, has been shut down.

While cabinet members shared what their departments are doing to address the drug epidemic, the majority of the summit was an opportunity for members from the audience to share their journeys of recovery, their ideas for reform, and their stories of lost loved ones.

The opioid epidemic is personal to Americans. It does not discriminate. As Secretary Ben Carson said, “This is not an ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation. It could become any of us – it is so easy. Unless it’s as easy to secure treatment as it is the drug, we’re never going to win this battle.”

At the end of the final panel, President Trump joined the conversation, reiterating the administration’s commitment to fighting the drug epidemic while focusing on treatment options.

Concerned Women for America will continue to be a part of this conversation. We are dedicated to joining with the administration in offering support and influencing policy as we come together as a nation to address the opioid epidemic.

Be Your Valentine

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

It’s that time of year again, with grossly overpriced roses, chocolates, gift certificates to everything from day spas to fancy restaurants — Happy Valentine’s Day! Of course, it’s only happy if you’ve got that special someone, or if you’re part of the burgeoning movement of young singles who celebrate with their other single friends.

But even if you do celebrate with the love of your life or your BFFs, there are many for whom happiness and love exists only at the surface level. Increasingly these days, many women — and men, for that matter — experience a just-under-the-surface feeling of loathing and hatred for themselves. And a good number of those act on these feelings by engaging in self-harm.

The most well-known form of self-harm is cutting, but according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), self-harm is “hurting yourself on purpose,” and even the urge to hurt yourself all on its own is “a sign of emotional distress.”

Self-harm is not a mental illness, though. It is simply a symptom of a larger issue. It is a symptom of pain and the inability to cope or deal with that pain. It is, in essence, a release of pent-up emotion. In the case of cutting, NAMI reports that “injuring yourself stimulates the body’s endorphins or pain-killing hormones, thus raising [your] mood.” But then the feeling of shame and guilt comes, and you’re down in the dumps again. It’s a vicious cycle.

A person who self-harms is not necessarily seeking to commit suicide; however, such individuals do have an increased risk of having suicidal thoughts.

If this is you, or if this is one of your friends, please seek help. There are better ways to cope with the pain. Thousands of people seek counseling, and it helps. I was one of those who would never have considered counseling, but my daughter went through a very rough patch in her life, and counseling did help her a great deal. In fact, I’m convinced it saved her life.

Ultimately, it gave her what she needed most — coping skills. “Instead of cutting myself, I will [blank] … And when these feelings arise, I will [blank] instead of hurting myself.” That doesn’t mean the urges aren’t there; it simply means she deals with the pain in a more constructive way.

For those who loathe and hate themselves, there’s nearly always an underlying reason — but it might be a reason they neither know, nor understand. As Christians, we’re taught to “love one another,” and “love others as Jesus loves you.” But the most difficult command is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I mean, if you hate yourself, how do you love your neighbor?

Loving yourself is hard — and nearly impossible at times — but it’s possible, because it’s a posture of the heart. It has been said that children aren’t born racist; they learn it from someone. In the same way, nobody is born hating themselves. Something happens, usually in childhood, and it’s an emotional burden that becomes too large for a child to process. This leads to the child blaming themselves for the event and turning their anger inward on themselves. Years later, you have an individual who self-loathes and self-harms and may not even understand why.

So today, if this is you, the first step is to seek help. If it’s your friend, urge them to seek help. In the meantime, learn to love yourself. Stand in front of the mirror and say, “You’re not horrible. You’re not a monster. You’re okay. … And I love you.”

I guarantee it’ll be the hardest thing you’ve done. You may not even be able to look yourself in the face as you say it. And you definitely won’t believe yourself the first time. In fact, as you’re saying it, you may feel pent-up frustration and feel like this is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. But look in the mirror. You’re standing there giving it a try. Somewhere deep inside, you’ll realize you need this. And you’ll probably have to force yourself to say, “I love you.” As much as you may want to, do not skip this part. Say it even if you don’t mean it.

Do this every couple of days, and you’ll find it getting easier. Most of us self-loathers have to “fake it, till you make it,” but that moment will come.

So today, treat yourself right for a change. Show yourself some affection. Spoil yourself. Set aside whatever it is you usually use to harm yourself, and buy something for yourself.

Today, be your Valentine.

 

Save the Last Dance for … Political Correctness?

By | Beverly LaHaye Institute, Blog, Commentary, Defense of Family, Feminist / Women's Issues | No Comments

Sorry, young ladies in Staten Island, but because father-daughter dances are triggering and scary, you won’t be able to have a special night with your dad.

The New York Department of Education passed a policy last spring that demanded schools scrap any “gender-based” activities that do not serve an educational purpose. Apparently the father-daughter dance violates those guidelines and fell under the horrible practice of a “gender-based” activity. The school postponed the dance, which was supposed to be held this Friday, until they could figure out the legal ramifications.

It might sound like a small thing — a school dance being canceled — but it is anything but trivial. Ridding schools of a father-daughter dance points to a larger issue: the politically correct culture that we used to joke about all those years ago has become today’s actual default culture. Jokes about the ridiculous rules and regulations political correctness would usher in are our current reality, and our children are paying the price. They are living with the ramifications of a world where the mere mention of a time-honored tradition like the father-daughter dance — which is needed in today’s world more now than ever — sends adults into a tailspin.

Fathers have an enormous influence on their daughters, whether they are in their lives or not. Dads who are involved in the lives of their daughters in positive ways are key to high self-esteem, self-worth, grades, college education levels, and overall intellectual well-being.

Studies consistently show that fathers who are more involved in their daughters’ lives, who have loving relationships with them, who were supportive and had positive interactions with the girls’ mother, and who were involved in care giving during the early years, encouraged greater self-esteem in their daughters and added stability to their lives.

The influence of a father on the life of his daughter is no small deal.

For fathers who are less involved with their daughters, who are not there at all, or who exert a negative influence, their daughters have higher rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and substance abuse.

The National Fatherhood Initiative rightly points out that there is a national father crisis in our nation, where one-in-three children do not have their biological father living in the home with them. There are huge ramifications for these children without fathers: seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, more likely to suffer abuse, twice as likely to drop out of high school, four times as likely to face poverty, and twice as likely to suffer from obesity.

We need fathers in the lives of their children, and we need them to be the best dads they can be. When a school pulls the rug out from under dads who are trying to do the right thing in the name of equality, it’s a slap in the face to them and to their daughters.

Even in a culture in which dads are increasingly absent, we see beautiful examples in which good men from the community or church step forward to fill the gap. A biological father isn’t the only man that can fill the role of a father at a dance or in our hearts, but the role will be filled in one way or another.  We must all work to make sure it’s filled well.

I am so grateful that my daughter has beautiful memories of getting dressed up and being showered with flowers, compliments, and attention by her proud father — my sweet husband — at her father-daughter dance. These are occasions where Dad teaches his daughter how a young man is supposed to treat her and provide her an example for how she should expect honorable men to respect her later in life. It’s an opportunity to set a high bar in showing her how it feels to be loved and honored, teaching her she deserves the best. I want that for every young woman in this country. It is something we should be fighting for instead of tearing down.

The transgender activists are foolishly attempting to eliminate gender from the equation of the natural world, where being male and female have deep meaning and unique responsibilities. Stripping males and females of their God-given, inherent gifts and talents has consequences far more reaching than postponing a father-daughter dance.

Men are constantly being told by leftists that they are not wanted, that their importance in the lives of women is overrated and, frankly, not needed.

That’s not true. We need men in this world to step up and be the men they are called to be, to be honorable and just and loving. We want them to fight for their daughters and for the women they love.  Yes, I have taught my daughter to be strong and self-reliant.  My husband, thankfully, has taught her that, as she considers a mate, life is sweeter with a man who will love her unconditionally and selflessly.  We need our daughters to know what it looks like to be respected and have a man treat them honorably. We want those fearless and courageous men to stand up for what is right and not be afraid of what the culture will say about them. The health of our daughters depends on them.

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

Obama-Era State Department Leftovers: Re-direct LGBTI Cultural Acceptance Funding

By | Blog, Defense of Family, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In the beginning, God made man and woman in His own likeness—two distinct sexes each with unique and special characteristics—and declared His creation “good”. Who could have anticipated that this God-given and inherent identity of gender and sex would be so debated, twisted, and redefined by the liberal left today? Even more incredible is that the U.S government under Obama-era policies, not content with promoting multiple gender and sexual “identities” within the U.S., spends millions of tax dollars promoting Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Inquiring (LGBTI) cultural acceptance into foreign countries under the guise of “gender development” and “human rights”.

As Americans, regardless of whether or not we agree with a person’s sexual or gender “orientation”, we strongly believe in supporting the human rights of all people around the world and applaud the efforts of our government in this regard. That is, the right of a people to seek fulfillment of their basic needs, to feed and clothe themselves, to fully participate in society, and to be defended against human rights abuses such as violence, killing, wrongful discrimination, and false imprisonment. To be clear, we strongly support any programming which condemns the abuse of people who identify themselves as LGBTI and which builds the capacity within countries to treat all people equally and with human dignity.

However, currently the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) promote LGBT cultural and social acceptance within foreign countries through taxpayer-funded programs that extend far beyond the context of basic human rights. Rather, these programs encourage the exploration of gender and sexual identity, and promote multiple identities/orientations as a “progressive” value. These programs are backed by a political agenda begun during the Obama Administration and continue today in spite of the differing viewpoint of the Trump administration.

Recently, Concerned Women for America met with a Trump-appointed USAID senior official to express the concern that these programs contradict the priorities of foreign assistance and damage our relationship with foreign peoples. We base are concern on four main points:

  • First, these programs turn gender development funding and programming away from increasing the wellbeing of women and girls around the world. This is unfortunate, especially considering that initiatives protecting the rights of females and advancing their participation in the social, economic, and political spheres are severely lacking in support and funding. To consider: While millions of people are victims of human trafficking each year, 50% of whom are women and 21% of whom are girls under the age of 18[1], and while 41% of girls in the least developed countries are married before the age of 18,[2] the U.S. is funding homosexual and transgender cultural acceptance into foreign countries under the name of gender development. We at Concerned Women for America consider this taxpayer money that is not well spent.
  • Second, these programs and initiatives violate the conscience, culture, values and religious beliefs of the majority of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian people in the countries we propose to “support” with U.S. aid.
  • Third, as taxpayer funded programs, these programs should represent the values of the majority of American citizens, but unfortunately they do not.
  • And fourth, there is little to no scientific research to show that the cultural socialization of LGBT values abroad contributes to foreign policy goals or even the developmental objectives of USAID’s Guiding Principles.

As was explained to CWA during the meeting at USAID, many of these programs have been left over from the previous administration and will remain until their contract runs out. Simply put, just because a new administration takes office, it does not mean that current programming will immediately expire or change. However, CWA wants our constituents to be aware of how foreign taxpayer dollars are currently spent and to know that we are monitoring the progress of the potential change in the focus of U.S. development aid and foreign relations. For example, the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism is currently seeking a nonprofit to “explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya”, stating that men being “tough, heterosexual, aggressive, unemotional, and achieving” increases their vulnerability to joining groups of Islamic extremism. [3]

Concerned Women for America urges our government to strongly oppose human rights abuses against LGBT communities but also to no longer entangle U.S. tax dollars with LGBT cultural issues overseas through U.S. embassies, schools, and international programming. We ask that our tax dollars be redirected toward objectives that focus more clearly on U.S. foreign diplomacy and developmental goals. We ask that our “gender empowerment” tax dollars be used to promote policies and programs which best support the rights and wellbeing of females around the world. Last, we ask that State and USAID-funded programs be representative of the majority of the values and beliefs of Americans and of the foreign cultures which we support.

The following is only a small part of LGBT activist efforts on behalf of the U.S. government. According to the Obama White House Fact Sheet from June 2016: [4]

  • The U.S. Department of State … “launched two global funding partnerships – the Global Equality Fund and the LGBT Global Development Partnership – which have provided millions of dollars in assistance … to LGBT civil society activists and organizations” (emphasis added). The Global Equality Fund alone spent more than $30 million dollars in 80 countries.
  • Multiple departments and agencies, including State, USAID, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Peace Corps, provide training “for staff and implementing partners to better understand the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation and agency roles in advancing the human rights of LGBT persons”.
  • U.S. embassies, consulates, USAID missions, and Department of Defense installations around the world host and participate in gay pride events, and march in gay pride parades. U.S. embassies around the world fly rainbow flags to show homosexual pride support.

Currently, USAID supports a large number of field- and Washington-based programs and funding avenues that are LGBT-specific or LGBT-inclusive, including within schools in developing countries.  These programs are based on the principles written in the 23-page USAID policy document titled “LGBTI Vision for Action.”[5] A few examples are:

  • USAID’s LGBTI Global Development Partnership key activities include awarding over 100 grants to LGBTI civil society organizations and training over 1,700 LGBTI entrepreneurs and businesses
  • USAID promotes “LGBTI Education Inclusion” in schools around the world through multiple avenues including:
    • Regional Development Mission for Asia: Partnering the Purple My School initiative through a program called “Being LGBTI in Asia” in schools in eight different countries. This program is facilitated by teachers who discuss the issues of homophobia and the free expression of gender identity and sexual orientation. Students are encouraged to wear, draw, or make something purple.
    • Hosting LGBTI rights and inclusion training to over 140 school principals in USAID’s Basic Education Program in Kosovo within its annual School Management and Leadership Program.
    • Hosting a Live Chat for LGBTI Pride Month at the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia
    • Providing LGBTI Online Training courses through USAID University

[1] United Nations (2014) UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, (United Nations Publication, Sales No. E 14. V.10) p. 5

[2] UNICEF Child-protection-child marriage database may 2016, Web Accessed August 2017 at: data.unicef.org.

[3] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/22/state-department-spending-592500-to-explore-gender-identities-boys-and-men-in-kenya.html

[4] The White House Office of the Press Secretary (June 29, 2016) June 2016 Update. Web accessed October 17, 2017 at:  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/29/fact-sheet-promoting-and-protecting-human-rights-lgbt-persons

[5] https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1874/LGBT%20Vision.pdf.

CWA Attends Announcement of New HHS Division: Conscience and Religious Freedom

By | Blog, Defense of Family, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

This week, members of the CWA staff were invited to a special event at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcing a new division on Conscience and Religious Freedom in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights.  Caroline Aderholt, CWA’s Chief of Staff, was the only non-speaker who was invited behind the scenes to join the speakers and influencers, including the acting Secretary of HHS, Members of Congress and Senators.

This new division will specialize in enforcement and compliance with laws that protect conscience and the free exercise of religion and that prohibit coercion and discrimination. Specifically, this division will deal with conscience objections of healthcare workers who are forced to perform or participate in an abortion in violation with their deeply held beliefs. Additionally, this new division will also focus on the increasing issue of protecting the conscience rights of healthcare workers who object to participating in the gender reassignment process.

This was the result of hard work from so many behind the scenes to emphasize the importance of conscience protection. Thanks to the hard work of our team and the pro-life coalition, the Trump Administration has taken this unprecedented step to protect those who just want to follow their conscience.

Playboy and the Way of the World

By | Blog, Defense of Family, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

It is the way of the world that corporations tend to be corrupted as each successive generation takes control. Sometimes men start companies with all the best intentions, eschewing the making of a cheap buck for the sake of their principles. This tends to be something their children fail to understand, or it at least tends to be discounted in favor of getting dad to go a different direction to increase the company’s bottom line. But oftentimes, dad won’t budge. The company will operate as he sees it — as his vision dictates … until he dies. Then, without their father to stand in the way, the children turn the company down darker paths and make darker alliances. In the case of a company that’s already bad, well, things get worse.

In the case of Playboy — while Hugh Hefner’s dead body was still warm — the floundering magazine for “men” introduced its first transgendered playmate. (Links are for sourcing purposes only. Let the curious be forewarned.)

Let that sink in for a moment. They went from the exploitation of women, to the exploitation of a man who feels like a woman. Playboy has definitely taken a darker turn, coming down on the side of sexual confusion. But then, the whole empire was built on sexual confusion as a founding principle. “The human body is beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with that; no one is getting hurt. This is empowering to women.”

Really? Then why do we have a #MeToo culture? Why do we have porn addicts assaulting children in libraries, Target stores, and elsewhere across this porn-soaked planet? Why is the FBI rescuing a five-year-old girl and her three-month-old sister from a sex trafficking ring? Who really gets empowered in all this — and who gets fooled into believing they’re empowered? Sex and sexuality as a tool of empowerment is absolute confusion. It is used by the Hefners and Weinsteins of the world to control and exploit.

But God never intended sex as a tool or weapon. He never created a harem — virtual or otherwise. He created us male and female. One man and one woman in the beginning. God instituted one man/one woman marriage, and by extension that means a man should only really see his wife’s body and she his. Every Playboy playmate — and every woman caught in the web of lies that is pornography — is offered up as an opportunity for every man to look at the body of a woman who is, or has the potential to be, someone else’s wife. And that fits perfectly the Lord’s definition of adultery.

Playboy has, for years, tried to tell men what kind of body shapes they should find attractive. That effort has been mimicked to softer — but no less insidious — degrees by the marketing industry. The trickledown effect has been monumentally destructive for young girls, who see the thin, busty models and then look at their still-developing bodies and well up in a rage and hatred that points inward and warps their sense of self, playing out in eating disorders and other forms of self-harm.

On top of those unrealistic expectations — because, let’s be real, every image in Playboy is heavily Photoshopped — our daughters have to contend with porn-soaked boys, who look at Playboy and worse, and expect girls to be the easy, slutty porn princesses of their lurid, little dreams.

The #MeToo culture isn’t going anywhere, because sexual predators will continue to feed on Playboy and the rotten fruits of the industry it spawned, until they are no longer sated by mere images and venture out into the real world for victims.

This latest envelope pushing by Playboy shows that they’re not done yet — that they’re willing to sink deeper into sexually deviant realms. Their callous disregard for women, under the guise of empowerment, simultaneously sickens me and chills me to the bone.

I fear for my daughter. I fear for my sons. And I fear for an America that has turned from the Lord to engage in such a twisted, base worship of the human form. God help us all.

If You Just Believe

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During the holiday season, there seem to be signs that say “Believe” at every turn. This became popular after the 2004 Christmas movie Polar Express and the theme song “Believe” by Josh Groban. Since then, even Macy’s department store uses “Believe” as part of their theme and advertisements.

But, this saying goes back much further than that. More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus’ mother, Mary, went to visit Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. At the time, Elizabeth was in her 80s and pregnant with her son. Mary was also pregnant with baby Jesus. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy. These two women who were both miraculously pregnant experienced a divine moment with their two unborn babies in their wombs!

Then Elizabeth said to Mary, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” (Luke 1:45) The Christmas story began with the word “Believe”! Elizabeth had to believe that she could conceive her promised child in her old age with a barren womb. And Mary had to believe the angel Gabriel when he told her that she would have a Child by the power of the Holy Spirit and that He would be the Son of God. Without faith, neither one of these two women would have been able to give birth to their promises!

This Scripture would encourage me many times throughout the years as I prayed that God would bring the right man of God into my life. Years would come and go, and sometimes it was very difficult to believe and keep the faith. The holiday season would be the most difficult time of the year for many reasons. One reason was because, like most women, I wanted to have someone special in my life with whom to share this beautiful time of year. It was also difficult, because the holidays always mark the end of another year — a year that I hoped would be “the year” when my prayers would be answered and God’s promises for my life would be fulfilled. However, each year ended with a sense of disappointment without the promise coming to pass.

As a result, believing and keeping the faith seemed to be the hardest thing to do at times. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Hoping and believing year after year for something that seems so out of reach has that effect on us. Longing for something we don’t have can make us very heartsick. At times, we just want to give up on hoping and believing. Zechariah 9:12 says this state is being a “prisoner of hope.” It’s a place where we’ve hoped and prayed for so long, and we know we can’t give up now. Yet, continuing to hope and believe for one minute longer seems to be the most painful and difficult thing to do.

Year after year, this went on — for about 20 years. Eventually, I finally came to a place where I felt more content than I ever had before, by God’s grace. Maybe the dream died; I’m not sure. But I was thankful that it wasn’t as painful to be unmarried somehow. I still believed God had someone for me, but it wasn’t always at the very forefront of my mind.

Then, suddenly, my prayers were answered, and the promise was fulfilled! Last December, a special relationship began to blossom with a widower who is also a minister. He was the kindest and most loving man I had ever met! Exactly nine months later, on September 4, 2017, we were married. Just as a woman is pregnant for nine months, as Mary and Elizabeth were, the promise was born! It’s interesting that our relationship began around the time of year that was always the hardest for me. Somehow I don’t think that was a coincidence. God is so faithful and good!

When going through hard times and living through unanswered prayers, the enemy of our souls would want us to become depressed and discouraged during this time of year. But, I share this story with you to encourage you: Don’t stop believing for whatever you are waiting on the Lord to do. As we enter the New Year, purpose in your heart to keep the faith and put all your hope and trust in the Lord. And in due time, He promises you will also see the best answer to your prayers … just BELIEVE! He will work all things together for your good!