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Education

Religious Bigotry Law Rejected by Supreme Court, Despite Liberal Justices Objections

By | Education, LBB, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Washington, D.C.— In a 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a Montana law that targeted religious institutions for discrimination. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, had this to say:

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s majority today for recognizing that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from the state scholarship program violates the U.S. Constitution. Tax dollars should not be used in such a blatant discriminatory way. The First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause is clear, no law should aim to punish Americans for the free exercise of their faith.

“What is concerning is that all four of the liberal justices of the Court are fully on board with that type of religious discrimination. Shame on them. This should have been a unanimous decision. It is as simple as they come.

“Americans should beware of how close we are to losing our religious liberties in our country. Come election time, CWA member from around the country will make sure people know what is at stake when it comes to the courts.

“We have made progress, but there is much more work to be done.”

CWA Thanks Secretary of Education

By | CEO, Education, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Cute Filipina Female Athlete

As we recognize the 48th Anniversary of Title IX this week, Penny Nance sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos encouraging decisive action to enforce Title IX’s mandate of equal opportunity and protection on the basis of biological sex, including for female athletes.  She also requested action on CWA’s civil rights complaints against two universities for violating the Title IX rights of female college athletes because they rostered male athletes identifying as women to compete on their women’s teams, winning conference and national championships:

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of women supporters of Concerned Women for America (CWA) around the nation, I want to thank you and the Trump Administration for the Department of Education’s (ED) support to protect female student-athletes under Title IX. We also write to urge you to take proactive measures to ensure consistency, equality, and fair play in every athletics department in every educational institution across the country…

“CWA currently has two complaints before ED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), where two institutions (Franklin Pierce University and the University of Montana) have engaged in blatant violations of Title IX protections for female student-athletes by allowing biological men to compete on women’s teams in athletic competitions, inflicting irreparable inequity and injury to their college careers…

“The battle to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports is ground zero in the fight for women’s rights. As mothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters all, we urge you to heed our plea to stand firmly for our rights as women and take bold actions to ensure Title IX is protected at every level of education in our country.”

Read the entire letter to Secretary DeVos here.

Recent Dept. of Educ. Ruling: CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) Policy Allowing Biological Males to Compete in Women’s Sports Violates Title IX

By | Connecticut, Education, Feminist / Women's Issues, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins to discuss the recent Department of Education ruling that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) policy allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports violates Title IX. She was featured along with Christiana Holcomb, Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Listen to the Entire Show Here and Hear Doreen Beginning at 36:30:

CWA socialism lesson

The Truth About Socialism Lesson 1

By | CWAACP, Education, International, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Socialism | No Comments

 

Do you want to understand what socialism is and how it impacts society? Or, how to respond to socialist promises like – Free Stuff! – healthcare and college? This lessons by Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of International Affairs Dr. Shea Garrison will help you understand why this seemingly benign philosophy has been disastrous wherever it has been implemented. This is part 1 in a series presented by the CWA Academy for Conservative Principles.

Click here for a digital copy of the booklet referenced in the lesson.

Will Christians Become Outcasts at Public Universities?

By | Education, Family Issues, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Social / Cultural Issues, Uncategorized | No Comments

Our CEO and President, Penny Nance and Cathy Ruse, JD, Senior Legal Fellow for the Family Research Council partnered together to write an opinion article for The Christian Post about the impacts of liberal indoctrination and ‘gender fluidity’ on college campuses.

“We are Christian women, mothers of college students and college-bound children, who have serious concerns about how the “gender fluidity” movement has taken root at public schools and universities.

The idea that gender is fluid and self-determined, as opposed to biologically determined, has been germinating for decades. But today it has grown into a multi-million dollar political cause that threatens the privacy, safety, and religious freedom of all students, and especially women.

One of us, Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), in a recent op-ed, gave a first hand account of how students, beginning at orientation, are being indoctrinated into this anti-Christian ideology at Virginia Tech (VT), the hard science school of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The response was overwhelming. CWA received emails from many VT students, parents, employees, professors, alumni, and state elected officials upset about the indoctrination.  Many complained of coercive “diversity training” and policies.  Some students reported fear of reprisal, and some school employees fear job loss. Many feel bullied into silence and believe their First Amendment rights are being infringed. The school is opening itself up to a variety of lawsuits.

VT’s response has been to post their mantra regarding civility, saying students were not forced to share their pronouns. But coercion comes in many forms, and the pressure is palpable. It is sad to say, but if you express traditional Christian beliefs at VT, you will be left outside of the community. Of course, VT is far from alone in this new woke trajectory.”

Read the Entire Article Here:

CWA’s 40th Anniversary Gala and the Equal Campus Access Act

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CWA’s 40th Anniversary Gala and the Equal Campus Access Act:  CWA’s Legislative Strategist, Ashley Traficant talks with Tamara Scott on Truth For Our Time. The two discuss Concerned Women for America’s 40th Anniversary Gala celebration festivities. They also discuss CWALAC’s recent lobbying efforts on Equal Campus Access Act. Watch and Listen below.

Senate Actions on Education Bills

By | Education, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is targeting support on education legislation towards the Student Empowerment Act, S. 157 and the Equal Campus Access Act, S. 1168. CWALAC is ensuring that your voice is heard so that families have the flexibility to spend money they’ve saved for their children’s education to best fit their children’s individual needs and to make sure religious groups don’t have to worry about losing First Amendment rights when they step onto a college campus. Currently, we are working on getting more cosponsors in the Senate for both bills.

The Student Empowerment Act, H.R. 621, enables parents to spend the money they have set aside for their children’s education in a way that best meets the individual needs of each child. It allows the money to be spent on K-12 educational expenses like educational therapies for children with disabilities, tutoring, testing fees, book, tuition, and more, to be paid from a 529 savings account, regardless of if that child is in public, private, religious, or homeschool institutions.

The Student Empowerment Act was initially included in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or the Secure Act, and unanimously approved by the House Ways and Means Committee. But the Student Empowerment Act was taken out of the base bill by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the request of the teachers’ unions. Despite Pelosi’s action on the bill, members on both sides of the aisle, as demonstrated by the Ways and Means Committee, understand parents know their child best and deserve the flexibility to tailor services to their child’s unique specifications. The bill, introduced by Senator Cruz (R-Texas), is currently with the Senate Finance Committee. We have sent a letter of support to the Senate Finance Committee, as well as a request for cosponsors to the entire Senate. Currently, our efforts are focused on getting more cosponsors.

The Equal Campus Access Act, introduced by Senator Blunt (R-Missouri), ensures that faith-based student groups have the same rights and protections as other student organizations at public colleges and universities. This bill protects First Amendment liberties for the students who have lost access to rights, benefits, and privileges for their clubs. Thirty-one states have known incidences where religious student organizations lost those rights”. Public universities do not have the power to repress the First Amendment rights of its students. This bill also affirms the right of faith-based organizations to require a leader to adhere to their club’s beliefs. This allows those organizations to have a faith-based leader without repercussions.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Equal Access Act as constitutional in 1984 in the 8-1 decision Mergens v. Board of Education. The decision stated public schools cannot discriminate against religious extracurricular clubs. The Equal Campus Access Act is merely an expansion from public high schools to college campuses. This is not the promotion of religion by public universities; it is the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Public universities must only treat religious students and clubs equally to other students and clubs—no more, no less. The latest action regarding this bill is that it has been referred to the committee on Health, Labor and Pensions, otherwise known as the HELP Committee. We are lobbying Senators to cosponsor this bill and partnering with coalition organizations to demonstrate a multi-faith front of support to the Senate.

These actions taken by Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee aim to protect the children of every parent and help ensure First Amendment rights. We need you and your voice to be heard to make sure these bills pass. Please encourage your senators to cosponsor both the Student Empowerment Act (S. 157) and the Campus Equal Access Act (S. 1168).

 

CWALAC Submits Title IX Comments

By | Education, LBB, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee submitted these comments in support of new Title IX regulations that will promote justice in cases of sexual harassment in an educational setting.

Click here to submit your comments of support. The deadline is midnight on Monday, January 28, 2919.

Our One Motivation

By | Blog, Defense of Family, Education, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Exploitation, Support for Israel | No Comments

As women who are concerned for America, why do we do what we do? Why support lobbying efforts, write letters to Congress, make phone calls to the White House, and give our money to support these endeavors?  And why do we pray? It’s because we know the one true God.

We support human life from conception, because we know that every child is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139).

We reject gender fluidity, because we know “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

We work against sexual exploitation and homosexual “marriage,” because we know that marriage is God’s good design, a mystery that points beautifully to Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:32).

We oppose overbearing government control of education, because God instructs parents to teach their children diligently (Deuteronomy 6:7) and bring them up in the instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

We advocate for religious liberty, because we know that, ultimately, the truth will win out and will set people free (John 8:32).

God created the universe. He put every star in its place. He designed the Earth and sculpted the mountains. He established the seas and fashioned a diversity of animals. He formed man out of the dust of the Earth and breathed life into him. Trying to live without acknowledging our Creator is like covering our eyes and ears and stumbling about in the dark. Knowing God brings us into the light. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105).

Knowing the God who brings meaning to life motivates us to continue to lobby, write letters, make phone calls, give money, and pray! We must persevere to glorify Him. And we must persevere in knowing Him through His Word.

Keri Folmar was press secretary for Concerned Women for America in the 90’s and now lives in the Middle East where her husband, John, is the pastor of the United Christian Church of Dubai. She has recently written The Good Portion: The Doctrine of Scripture for Every Woman and has published several Bible studies for women.

From Judge to Justice: Gorsuch Confirmed with Bipartisan Support

By | Defense of Family, Education, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Washington, D.C. –Today, Judge Gorsuch, soon-to-be Justice Gorsuch, was confirmed 54-45 to be the next Associate Supreme Court Justice of the United States with bi-partisan support.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say:

“Today we witnessed a historic victory for our country. One that proves government ‘for the People, by the People’ is alive and well. The Senate overcame historic partisan obstructionism and restored original Senate precedent.

“On behalf of our members, I want to thank Leader McConnell, as well as Sen. Grassley, for their decisive leadership, which gave the American people a voice in November on the kind of justice they believed should fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

“I also want to thank President Trump for keeping his promise to nominate a constitutionalist judge to the Supreme Court. It is hard to imagine someone better suited to serve on our nation’s highest court than Judge Gorsuch.

“Judge Gorsuch follows the law wherever it leads, regardless of personal opinion or political preference. His constitutional jurisprudence makes him an ardent defender of the rights that keep us free.

“Judge Gorsuch will elevate the proper role of the judiciary and refuse to legislate from the bench. He is what America needs in this time of partisan dysfunction and obstructionism from the far left-the bipartisan support for his confirmation is proof.

“I would be remiss not to thank the Democrats who had the conviction to listen to their constituents rather than toeing the party line. I applaud their willingness to rise above the political fray in favor of their constituents.

“In spite of partisan gridlock, we see the symphony of the three branches of government and their checks and balances function as our Founders intended.”Our prayers continue to be with Judge, soon-to-be Justice, Gorsuch and his family as they begin this new chapter.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Janae Stracke at [email protected] or 712-269-1724.

Concerned Women Through History: Education – Eunice, Septima Clark, and Jill Noble

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Eunice is one of the lesser known women of the Bible.  She’s referenced twice, once in Acts and once in Paul’s letter to Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:5 states: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This passage helps us connect with the humanity of Paul and Timothy as they discuss common relationships and admire educational achievements.

It is Timothy’s mother, and her mother before her, who set the young leader on a good path.  We learn here that education and the family are linked.  We are reminded that spiritual maturity — learning the ways of God in our life — begins at home and extends out to an entire community.

Furthermore, we know from Acts 16:1 that Eunice was married to an unbeliever.  So she managed to raise her son in the faith, despite what could have been opposition and marital tension.  Eunice’s name means “victory.”  Indeed, Timothy’s faith was a great victory not only for Eunice, but meant great victories in the church — both historically and today.

What Eunice did for the church, Septima did for her race.  Septima Poinsette Clark’s husband died tragically shortly after their marriage, so, like Eunice, she had to forge her own advocacy.  She was African-American and spent her life making sure African-Americans received proper education and civil rights.  She was a teacher who lost her job for her desire to work in the NAACP.

And in 1961, she joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as director of education and teaching, helping to create over 800 schools. 

Jill Noble, the Greater Kansas City area director for Concerned Women for America, also knows education is a tool for empowerment.  In her home state of Missouri, she fought Common Core curriculums, which were putting local needs aside and reducing intelligence standards to the lowest common denominator.

Her deep passion for education comes from a deep awareness of its divine origin.  As she puts it:

“We always need to remember that it was God Himself who created the ability to transfer a grapheme symbol to represent a spoken word.  There is great power in this technology that we call ‘reading.’  It was designed from the beginning to educate God’s people out of slavery into a holy nation. We saw that in the giving of the Ten Commandments and, ultimately, in the giving of the entire Word of God.  It was and is entirely designed to educate the human race in all areas of life.  Today, education is under assault in large part because liberal policies cannot easily control an educated population.  And so we continue to educate our children and ourselves in order to uphold the precepts of God, as well as the Constitution of the United States of America.”

These women understand the reverberating effects of education — on a church, for a race, and in a nation. We admire them as heroines who know the next generation needs our care.

 

Conservative Women Praise Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

By | Defense of Family, Education, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – Moments ago, President Donald J. Trump announced Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals as his choice to replace the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court. Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), praised the nomination:

“Judge Neil Gorsuch is a superb choice. President Trump has kept his word and nominated someone who, by all indications, is “in the mold of Justice Scalia,” something the president repeated over and over during his campaign.

“This was a major issue that drove conservative women to the polls to overwhelmingly support him, and we are pleased to see him follow through on his commitment to the American people.

“The hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America now call on the Senate for a swift confirmation process.

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Supreme Court Stays Ruling Forcing Schools to Allow Transgender Students to Use the Bathroom of Their Choice

By | Defense of Family, Education, Legal, News and Events, Press Releases, Virginia, Washington | No Comments

CWALAC_MediaStatementWashington, D.C. – The Supreme Court has put on hold a Fourth Circuit Court ruling requiring a Virginia school district to accommodate a transgender high school student’s request to use the boys’ bathroom. The justices split 5-3 on the issue to temporarily lift the obligation of the Gloucester County school system to allow one of their students to use the bathroom of her choice in accordance with Obama Administration guidance. CWA CEO and President Penny Nance has this to say:

“We commend the Supreme Court for voting to stay this case and encourage them to do the right thing when the time comes to rule on the merits.

“This case is a result of yet another Obama Administration overreach. To require schools to allow students into any bathroom of their choice is an overstep on legal boundaries by redefining the scope and reach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and slapping the heavy hand of government on local schools.

“This would also impact the use of showers, locker rooms, school travel and more. This unwise and rash policy would favor the desires of a small group over young women with religious, cultural, and modesty concerns. The Court should not shove this unwise policy on the states.

“Schools all over this nation have rightly worked on a case-by-case basis to accommodate kids struggling with gender dysphoria. They should not be forced by big government to violate the privacy of other students and perhaps even create trauma for the very kids Obama pretends to protect. Local school districts, with the input of parents and health professionals, should be setting school policy on such a sensitive and controversial issue, not Washington.

“Finally, the left always uses children to accomplish its goals of social reengineering. The adults closest to these children should decide what’s best for all the children in the school. Safety and kindness should be the guiding principles, not threats from the bullies in Washington. We hope the Supreme Court agrees.”

CWA Response to Thursday’s RNC Speeches

By | Defense of Family, Education, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life, Support for Israel | No Comments

CWALAC_MediaStatementCleveland, OH -Thursday, July 21, Penny Nance CEO and President of Concerned Women for America said:

“Donald Trump made further gains with American voters by powerfully challenging the narrative that America’s best years are behind us.  He presented an inspirational vision for Americans on key issues including national security, crime, taxes, the economy and education. His reaffirmation of his promise to only appoint constitutionalists to the courts and to support Israel will resonate again with Evangelical Christians.  I believe that as Americans begin to pay closer attention to this race, Donald Trump will continue to attract new voters to the Republican party.

“Perhaps the Trump campaign had new voters in mind with two speakers in particular.  In Peter Thiel’s (PayPal Co-Founder and Venture Capitalist), address he brought up the recent controversy surrounding transgender bathroom usage in his speech. He said, ‘Now we are told that the greatest debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?’ Concerned Women for America respectfully disagrees. Though our country faces many issues, it does not diminish the importance of other issues such as protecting the safety and privacy of women and children.

“While trying to make one minority group comfortable, open bathroom and shower policies ignore the feelings of women who have been abused or who have cultural and religious modesty concerns which make them uncomfortable with men in their bathroom or showers. Concerned Women for America cares about this policy because it creates an enormous opportunity for abuse, as other men may use it to gain access to the vulnerable. There are currently about 850,000 sexual predators on the national registry who will use any pretext to access innocent women and children.

“The Obama Administration began this conversation by working to coerce states and schools into abandoning common sense. Mr. Thiel shares some of our conservative principles, and we are happy to work with like-minded people in the areas where we can agree and specifically for his safety from Islamic fascist.  But we must respectfully disagree with his statements tonight. We take comfort in knowing that there are better solutions which consider everyone’s needs.

“In addition, despite Donald Trump’s clear promise to clean up America’s 19 trillion dollars in debt, Ivanka Trump’s speech may have hinted at new government entitlements.  She suggested in her speech that her father, Donald Trump, as President would work towards equal pay and affordable child care. She is correct in her assessment that motherhood is the dividing line in the pay gap.  For single mothers, this is particularly difficult.  We look forward to market-based approaches to this issue instead of more warmed over, bureaucratic solutions.   Seventy percent of parents with children five and under say that one parent at home is the best child care arrangement during a child’s earliest years. When parents were asked to rank nine childcare options for pre-school children, they ranked government-run childcare centers dead last. Mothers often prefer home care by a relative, even when other childcare is convenient. Rather than imposing more government, lets lower the tax burden on families as a means to achieve the affordable childcare of their choice.”

 

*For more information and statistics please see CWA’s A War No More: The Truth Behind the “War on Women” booklet here.

Passing Tests, Failing Life

By | Blog, Education, News and Events | No Comments

cc blog image

Recently, a bold teacher in North Carolina publicly expressed her frustration with the Common Core system and published her Common Core manifesto. After 23 years of teaching, she had had enough of the bureaucracy, so she left her job. My mom, a teacher in public schools for 35 years, shares many of the same feelings. My best friend’s mother, also a long-time public school teacher, echoes the same frustrations. A September 2014 Gallup poll shows that these teachers are not alone. According to the poll, 65 percent of teachers surveyed were worried about the new common core initiatives and 62 percent felt frustrated. Resignation letters are not uncommon lately, and each one reflects similar frustrations.

Like many teachers, my mother is passionate about her students; she prays for them and is a light for Christ to them and to her coworkers. From the time she was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a teacher, but what she signed up for years ago is not the school system of today. In the past, teachers were expected to use their professional discretion to evaluate their students and decide how and what to teach to reach learning goals. Teachers could work together on cross-curricular projects that encouraged excitement and creativity among students. Although this kind of cross-subject learning is crucial for application, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills required in upper-level education and in the job market, test-centered mandates leave little time for it.

In the past, students were required to make progress in order to advance through the grades. Now, if a student fails, the teacher is reprimanded. In addition to preparing lessons, teaching, and grading, many teachers must also prepare their own portfolios showing what they have taught and including examples of student work for their evaluations. Teachers must show that they have taught every standard, and they are expected to justify low scores or a child’s failure to reach a pre-set goal. Teachers whose students do not achieve desired test scores may be moved at the whim of an administrator, overloaded with needy or difficult students, moved to another school, or have extracurricular activities taken away, which could equate to loss of income.

Teachers are crying out for support, but in a sea of micromanagement, another administrative requirement is no life vest. No one would deny that families and children in our society are struggling with problems we could never have imagined just a few years ago. Single parents, absent fathers, drugs, learning disabilities, misuse of social media, and poverty often lead to serious behavior issues that conflict with learning. Theoretically, teachers have more help than ever, and teachers do what they can during the school day, but they cannot provide everything a child needs. Lack of parental involvement, a chaotic home life, or too much unsupervised time may result in a child unprepared or unable to give learning the attention it demands.

Currently, eight states have opted out of Common Core: Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Although my mom teaches in one of these eight states, the state standards of learning are still aligned with Common Core standards. The curriculum remains focused on testing. Schools are held to the same standards, whether their community is a wealthy suburb or a poor urban area, whether their population includes the exceptionally gifted or the newcomers who may not be able to speak or read English on their grade level, if they can even understand English at all. The school is held accountable for these children, and that equates to loss of funding when mandated standards are not met. Administrators are not left out of the bureaucratic cycle; they have their own meetings and standards and are often unavailable for school management, interaction with children, and working with teachers because they are tied up with testing, testing preparations, and meetings. If the students do not meet standards, schools can lose funding which comes down on the shoulders of the administrators as well.

School is about so much more than learning how to multiply or read. It is about becoming a complete person. It is about a place to learn the value of hard work, conflict resolution, compromise, and diversity not how to pass a standardized test. We have created a one-size-fits-all educational system, but we are not a one-size-fits-all society. Parents deserve choice; students deserve quality education, and teachers deserve a voice. Every student passes, and every student gets a trophy, but not every adult succeeds. The job market is unforgiving, and students who were given a perceived advantage are shocked when their bosses don’t hand them a gold star for completing a simple task. We must raise independent, free-thinking people, not government-dependent robots who are trained only to take tests. Teachers are dedicated, educated people, and they know what their students need more than an administrator and more than a testing company.