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Georgia

State Legislative Update: Adoptions, Hate Crimes, and Religious Freedom

By | Georgia | No Comments

The 2018 legislative session is at its halfway mark, and CWA of Georgia is actively representing you at the State Capitol on issues that are important to you.  I wanted to update you on three issues that we have been working on very closely.

Adoption and Foster Care Legislation
The House and Senate passed HB 159, the massive rewrite of Georgia’s adoption code which hadn’t been updated since 1990. Because faith-based adoption agency protections were removed from HB 159, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”  SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done. This State has the constitutional duty to proactively protect the first freedom of the First Amendment for religious persons and their institutions.

Status: HB 375 is working its way through the Senate. I testified in support of SB 375 at the subcommittee hearing. It should be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Action: Call or e-mail your state senator and urge him/her to support SB 375 when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Click here to locate your state senator.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray that SB 375 will pass both the House and Senate and that Gov. Deal will sign the bill. The spiritual warfare is great on this bill. There are many who want faith-based adoption agencies and faith-based foster care organizations eliminated in Georgia.

Hate Crimes Legislation
Three state-level “hate crimes” bills have been filed in the Georgia legislature. HB 660 has been introduced by Rep. Megan Hanson (R-Brookhaven). HB 663 and SB 316 have been introduced by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) and Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), respectively.  All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability.

Please read our talking points concerning the dangers of “hate crime” laws.

 Status: HB 660, HB 663, and SB 316 were heard in subcommittee this week, but no votes were taken. I testified at all three hearings in opposition to the bills. Read my testimony here.

Action: No action is needed at this time. 

Religious Freedom Legislation
The fight to pass modest religious freedom legislation still continues! SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia, is languishing in committee.

Watch this video that explains why Georgia must pass SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Action: No action is needed at this time.

Pray that SB 233 moves and that the Senate will have an opportunity to vote for the bill.

Additional Legislation
We are monitoring several other bills on issues such as casinos, marijuana, sex trafficking, and pornography. Click here for the latest updates on CWA of Georgia’s targeted list of bills.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

You Need to Watch This Video

By | Georgia | No Comments

The fight to pass modest religious freedom legislation is alive and well in Georgia! Watch this video that explains why Georgia must pass SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act. After watching the video, please take action, let others know about the video and pray.

Take Action
Contact Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Rules Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-District 53) and urge them to support SB 233 and to allow the bill to move with no amendments. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
Complete the contact page and/or call his office at (404) 656-5030.

Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-0057

Please alert your friends and family to this video and action item.

Background

For the past five years, people of faith in Georgia, for the most part, have been ignored and marginalized by top leadership – specifically Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and Speaker David Ralston (R-District 7).  Religious freedom bills have either been vetoed or have languished in committees where they eventually died.

Last year, Sen. Marty Harbin (R-District 16) filed SB 233, a state-level religious freedom bill that mirrors the 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  SB 233 provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia. Unfortunately, Senate leadership hid behind Gov. Nathan Deal’s threat to veto the bill and refused to move the bill forward.

Concerned Women for America of Georgia, along with other faith-based groups, have been on the front lines at the State Capitol fighting for the passage of a religious freedom bill.  Supporting religious freedom is paramount because it is a fundamental right every Georgian enjoys and must not be infringed upon. That is why we are asking Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to allow SB 233 to move out of the Rules Committee and on to the Senate floor for a vote.

Educate yourself on the need for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Action in Georgia. Click here for CWA resources.

Pray that Lt. Governor and Sen. Mullis will understand that religious freedom must be protected here in Georgia. Pray their hearts will be moved to allow SB 233 to be voted on the floor of the Senate.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

CWA State Organizations are hard at work

By | Blog, California, Georgia, Maine, News and Events | No Comments

January has brought a new year, and state legislatures across the country have started to convene. The 2018 sessions have already presented new challenges to the Biblical principles we value, but our state directors are already working diligently and strategically. Specifically, CWA of Georgia, California, and Maine have taken strong positions on several important bills which would positively or negatively impact their states.

The Georgia General Assembly convened on January 8, and CWA of Georgia’s State Director Tanya Ditty has made it a priority to monitor religious freedom, marijuana cultivation, gambling, and LGBT issues. She is supporting HR 447, which, if passed, would declare pornography a public health crisis. Additionally, CWA of Georgia is supporting SB 233, which is a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  They are also taking on the issue of so-called “hate crimes”.

Our state directors Marlo Tucker, from CWA of California, and Penny Morrell, from CWA of Maine, have already presented opposition to their state legislatures concerning abortion bills. CWA of California has strongly opposed SB 320. If passed, this bill will allow access to chemical abortions on all state-college campuses. CWA of Maine has opposed LD 1763, which would allow non-physician healthcare personnel to perform abortions. This would not only add to the number of abortions performed, but it could subject the women undergoing these procedures to additional risks.

Please pray for all of our state leaders and the many other pieces of legislation they will be working on throughout the year. Pray for them as they continue to stand for truth and fight for Biblical values.

If you would like to get involved with CWA in your state, please contact the National Field office at 202-488-7000.

Thought Crimes Bills Filed in Georgia Legislature

By | Georgia | No Comments

Three state-level “hate crimes” bills have been filed in the Georgia legislature. HB 660 has been introduced by Rep. Megan Hanson (R-Brookhaven). HB 663 and SB 316 have been introduced by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) and Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) respectively.  All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability.

Georgia is one of five states in the country that does not have some sort of state-level “hate crimes” law, and it needs to stay that way. “Hate crime” laws violate the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law, and they threaten freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.

Click here to read talking points.

Should HB 660, HB 663 or SB 316 pass, individuals in Georgia could claim, and courts interpret, that merely expressing one’s sincerely held beliefs is “intimidating” or represents a “threat” of force. “Hate crime” laws are already being used to intimidate and punish people who honor natural sexuality and value marriage as the union of a man and a woman. If a person speaks out against various sexual behaviors, they may be accused of “hate speech” and promoting “hate crimes.”

Would you make four phone calls today to stop these very dangerous bills?

Contact Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (Republican) and Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and respectfully urge them not to allow SB 316 to have a hearing.
#1 – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
Complete the contact page and/or call his office at (404) 656-5030.

#2 – Sen. Jesse Stone
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 463-1314.

#3- Contact the Speaker of the House, David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), and respectfully urge him not to allow HB 660 or HB 663 to have a hearing:
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5020.

#4- Contact Rep. Rich Golick, chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, and respectfully urge him not to allow HB 660 or HB 663 to have a hearing:
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5943.

Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray specifically for Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, Sen. Stone and Rep. Golick. Ask the Lord to move in their hearts and not allow the bills to be heard in committee.

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director
CWA of Georgia
[email protected]

Merry Christmas Greetings (and Looking Ahead to 2018)

By | Georgia | No Comments

We at Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia wish you the happiest of all Christmases!

Thank you for joining with CWA of Georgia in our efforts. Throughout the year, I have been reminded of your faithfulness to defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and Biblical values in public policy. Thank you for your commitment to pray, your voice for truth, and your generosity in resources! You have impacted our great state and nation by your service to God, family, and country. Be as encouraged as we are! Because of you, we have been able to take a stand for the unborn and against Planned Parenthood, for the privacy of women and children in restrooms, for the end of casino gambling, and much more.

Prayer continues to be the strength of CWA of Georgia. The backbone of our organization is our Prayer/Action Chapters – where attendees pray for their community, are educated on issues that affect our families, and then take action on those issues. Our goal is to have a chapter in all fourteen congressional districts. If you’re interested in starting a Prayer/Action Chapter, please e-mail me today to find out more!

Our much-loved annual Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) Prayer Project matches a state legislator with a prayer partner who is committed to sending pre-printed EAL postcards and covering their assigned leader in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 prayers during the legislative session. Legislators frequently thank us for these beautiful postcards and often display them on their desks. Learn how to sign up to participate here.

We also took our prayer efforts to the grounds of the state Capitol. Partnering with Cry Out America, we developed an 11-week prayer strategy to “plow” the ground at the Capitol to prepare Georgia for a “harvest” for Christ and His Kingdom. CWA of Georgia led a prayer walk at the Capitol, and for those unable to attend the prayer walk, we created an online virtual prayer walk. You can access the virtual prayer walk videos here.

Additionally, we hosted our inaugural Feisty & Feminine workshops this year. It was exciting to be with women who truly care about the condition of our culture and who desire to be an agent of change! We spent time sharing our concerns as women and identifying specific tools we can use to counter the message of the extreme feminist agenda. We explored Penny Nance’s book, Feisty & Feminine, and challenged ourselves to seize our Esther moment!

January through March, CWA of Georgia represented your interests at our state’s Capitol during the legislative session. We testified on bills, lobbied hard, and prayed even harder! Because of your voice, we were able to stop the casino and Daily Fantasy Sports bill for this year. We were not able to move forward on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation, but we look forward to continuing the fight for its passage in 2018.

Throughout the year, I was able to represent you at many events and speaking engagements.  It was a joy to meet many of you at these events, especially at the City Schools of Decatur school board meeting. Several CWA members attended the meeting to oppose the radical transgender policy that was implemented single-handedly by the superintendent without any vote by the school board. While they refused to take heed of our concerns, their deeds were no longer hidden.

CWA of Georgia partnered with other organizations to host the “Counting the Cost” luncheon event in Atlanta. The guest speaker, floral artist Barronelle Stutzman, shared her very personal story of how she was simply living according to her faith when she was attacked by the government and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Former Atlanta Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran, was also in attendance and shared his extraordinary testimony.  The highlight of the luncheon was the opportunity we had to pray for Barronelle and Kelvin.

Several dozen people attended our 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally in Marietta. We stood outside of the Planned Parenthood clinic to speak out and pray for the unborn and their mothers. The keynote speaker was Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, who is a strong pro-life advocate.  Following the prayer rally, we went to a local women’s pregnancy center where we heard from the director of the center. At the end of our meeting, Dr. King led us in prayer for the work of the center.

Now is the time to build on the conservative momentum happening across the nation and to pursue policies that will honor God, family, and country at all levels of government. Next to prayer, the strength of CWA is each of you. CWA allows flexibility for volunteers to maximize or minimize their participation while being edified, educated, and equipped to speak out on issues. If you feel called, we have a place for you in Georgia.

Have you ever considered lobbying? CWA has trained many Georgians on how to lobby from their laptops, at home, or in person at the legislature. Now is the time to press forward and take the next step!

As we approach 2018, I hope you will partner with CWA of Georgia in prayer, with volunteer opportunities, and with a gift of any size. Click here to give a tax-deductible gift online.  For your gift to stay in Georgia, be sure to click on the “Donate to Your State” box below my picture (not the donate button at the top of the page).  Or, send a check to CWA of Georgia, PO Box 671374, Marietta, GA 30062. Write it out to “Concerned Women for America” and put “CWA of GA” on the memo line. All donations designated to Georgia are used for God’s glory inside our state, and we work to be good stewards of every precious dollar you give.

Our prayers in the coming year are that the name of Christ will be lifted high, that we will continue to make progress in our state and nation for truth and righteousness, and that many will join us.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy, and peaceful New Year.

Season’s Blessings to You and Yours,

Tanya Ditty
State Director

Prayer anywhere! Georgia State Capitol Virtual Prayer Walk

By | Georgia | No Comments

Cultivating the Capitol Grounds
Georgia State Capitol Virtual Prayer Walk

Join believers across Georgia who are uniting in prayer to “plow” the ground at the Georgia State Capitol to prepare our state for a “harvest” for Christ. Our hope is to invite Christ to establish His Kingdom here in Georgia. One key aspect of this “rebuilding” is the passing of legislation that is in alignment with God’s moral law, including Religious Freedom Restoration legislation.

A Virtual Prayer Walk has been created to make it easier for you be a part of the “plowing” and to pray more effectively for our state leaders and legislators. Thanks to technology, you can virtually visit selected areas on the Georgia Capitol grounds that are determined to have great spiritual warfare.

We invite you to download the prayer points and watch the short video for each stop.

Sign Up Today – Prayer Project Right Here in Georgia!

By | Georgia | No Comments

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Do you want to make a “powerful and effective” investment in the state of Georgia? Consider participating in the annual Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) Prayer Project sponsored by Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia.  The program is designed to be simple, yet effective, as we pray for the hearts and minds of our legislators and their families.

We are very excited to be embarking on our fifteenth year of prayer and encouragement, and we want to invite you to join us! If you are new to CWA, the EAL project consists of sending postcards of encouragement and a commitment to pray for a state legislator(s) during the 2018 Georgia legislative session. The EAL Prayer Project is not used for lobbying purposes.

The EAL Prayer Project impacts state legislators in two ways. First and foremost, it intensifies and ensures consistent prayer for each legislator. Second, it encourages and builds bridges with the conservative legislators, as well as those who do not normally agree with CWA. As prayers are offered on behalf of the legislators, and as they receive your postcards, hearts are changed and encouraged.

CWA is prayerfully seeking faithful volunteers so that each of the 236 legislators will be individually prayed for during the 2018 legislative session, which begins January 8 and continues through March. CWA will provide the postcard. All you have to do is provide the stamps and a commitment to pray and encourage.

If you would like to participate, please e-mail CWA of Georgia’s state office. Specify whether you would like to pray for one or two legislators and provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

I cannot think of anything more powerful than praying for those in authority, as they are responsible for making policy decisions that impact our daily lives. This is a great project for churches, homeschoolers, women’s groups, and more!  I hope you will join us!  

We are looking for your commitment today. Your packet will be mailed to you this January. 

Decatur School Board Deciding Radical Transgender Student Policy

By | Georgia | No Comments

The City Schools of Decatur (CSD) School Board has indicated it will have a discussion (and a possible vote) on a very dangerous transgender student policy on Tuesday, October 10. If passed, this policy will have serious implications for our students’ privacy, safety, dignity, fairness in competitive sports, and our parental rights.  This attempt at indoctrination and harm to our children must be stopped in its tracks. It is a battle in which we must all be engaged through prayer and/or attending the school board meeting. If passed in Decatur, I can assure you it will be passed in your school district one day.

What Has Happened

In February 2017, it was discovered (via Facebook) that Superintendent David Dude had begun quietly implementing radical new guidelines concerning the handling of transgender students in Decatur City Schools.  In his own words, here is what Superintendent Dude said to his staff in a July 26, 2016, memo that was not previously released to the public:

To be clear, here are some examples of situations related to gender identity and how I expect them to be handled in compliance with this policy.  For the purpose of these examples, assume this student was assigned the sex of male at birth and now identifies as female.

  • This student should be treated the same as any other female student.
  • She should not be identified as anything other than female.
  • She should be allowed to use the female restroom.
  • She should be allowed to use the female locker room.
  • She should be allowed to try out for “female” sports.
  • She should be allowed to room with other females on field trips.

This policy was never submitted to parents or to the school board for a public vote.  In short, these guidelines – upending student privacy, equal opportunities in sports, and parental decision-making – were done in the dark without input from, or accountability to, us as parents.

What’s At Stake

  • Every student has the right to expect that his or her bodily privacy, safety, dignity, and equal opportunity will be protected at school.
  • Allowing biological boys to play on biological girls’ sports teams is unfair, poses physical risks to girls, and violates Title IX by forcing girls to compete against boys.
  • This policy poses serious risks to parental rights and First Amendment rights, and it would allow schools to indoctrinate our children on sensitive issues against the will of the parents.

Click here to read more on what is at stake.

Critical Action Alert

Your voice is critical if we are to stop this radical transgender policy. Please do the following five action items TODAY!

  1. Attend the CSD Board of Education meeting on October 10 at 6:30 p.m. if you live in or near Decatur.  The board has indicated it will discuss this issue, so expressing concern for how these guidelines will impact all students is very important. Meeting location: 125 Electric Avenue Decatur, GA 30030.
  2. Participate in an online prayer gathering on Thursday, October 5, from 7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and/or Tuesday, October 10, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Due to the sensitive nature of the call, we ask that you reply back to this email for the conference call number.
  3. Sign the petition to indicate that you seek transparency in this process and that the CSD School Board should uphold its duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students.
  4. Call or send an email to the CSD Board of Education urging them to oppose the transgender policy. A link to the CSD Board can be found here.Forward this e-alert to those in the Decatur area who you believe would be interested.  Include family, friends, and pastors.

Please be in prayer for this board meeting.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:18-19

Tanya Ditty
State Director
[email protected]

CWA of Georgia Launches “Feisty & Feminine Workshops”

By | Georgia | No Comments

Do these women speak for you?

As a conservative woman, do you have the desire to make a difference in the culture?
Do you feel isolated in your views, and do you wonder if anyone else is as concerned as you?

We cannot allow the extreme feminist agenda to define what a conservative woman is. Modern feminism is destructive to women, families, and our country, so we need to be equipped to speak out against this radical narrative while maintaining our inherent femininity.

That is why Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia is launching “Feisty & Feminine Workshops”! These informative sessions will encourage women to stand up, to be heard, and to make a difference in our culture. Participants will be taught how to engage our culture intellectually and respectfully. When we speak with facts, rather than emotion, we win.

Register for a “Feisty & Feminine Workshop” today! Additional workshops around the metro-Atlanta area and state will be added soon.  All workshop participants will receive the book Feisty & Feminine written by CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance. To find out why Penny Nance wrote Feisty & Feminine, click here.

Gwinnett County Event Details:
Date: Saturday, August 26
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: 2100 Pleasant Hill Rd., Duluth, GA 30096
Cost: $20 (Cost includes workshop materials, the Feisty & Feminine book, and refreshments.)
Registration: Click here to register for the August 26 event.
Flyer: Click here to view.  Print and distribute freely.

Kennesaw Event Details:
Date: Saturday, September 23
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: 1751 Waterside Dr., Kennesaw, GA 30152
Cost: $20 (Cost includes workshop materials, the Feisty & Feminine book, and refreshments.)
Registration: Click here to register for the September 23 event.
Flyer: Click here to view. Print and distribute freely.

Please keep these events in your prayers and forward this e-alert to those who may be interested in attending.

CWA of Georgia Event Updates (Past and Present)

By | Georgia | No Comments

Future Events: Feisty & Feminine Workshops

We are finalizing our plans for multiple, statewide Feisty & Feminine workshops. Our Feisty & Feminine workshops will embrace our God-given femininity, intertwined with a little feisty, to deliver a message of strength and redemption. We must not allow ourselves to be marginalized any longer because of our beliefs or values. God has gifted each of us with unique talents, ideas, and passions, and it’s our duty to be empowered and deliver a message that combats the destructive message from the left.

Watch for more information to come!

Future Events:
During the past few months, Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia hosted and co-hosted three informative and inspiring events.  We are excited about how the Lord is using CWA of Georgia in the fight for faith, family, and freedom!  Here are some highlights and pictures from the events.

Counting the Cost: The Price of Faith in America Today

On April 29, organizations from around the state hosted Counting the Cost: The Price of Faith in America Today, a lunch event that highlighted the ever-increasing infringement of government on religious freedom in America. Over 100 people attended the event to hear the keynote speaker, Barronelle Stutzman. The 72-year-old floral artist who owns and operates Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has been under attack by the government and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because her Christian values conflicted with a certain client. Hearing Barronelle’s inspiring story of faith and perseverance left an incredible impact on all who attended.

Attendees also heard from Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) attorneys, Matt Sharp and Kellie Fiedorek. ADF represented Barronelle in Court and Sharp and Fiedorek provided an update on her case. They detailed other religious freedom cases they are representing, including the pending case of Kevin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief.

100 No More: Human Rights Prayer Rally and Celebration

On June 10, CWA of Georgia hosted the 100 No More: Human Rights Prayer Rally and Celebration event.  African-American community leaders and pro-life advocates gathered in front of the Marietta Planned Parenthood clinic for a powerful time of prayer for mothers, fathers, the unborn, and Planned Parenthood staff.  We heard from keynote speaker Dr. Alveda C. King, Catherine Davis, Charity Ana Cosio Lewis, and Sancha Smith. Each of these inspiring women called attention to the devastating impact that Planned Parenthood has had on the Black community, the Hispanic community, and millennials.

After praying in front of Planned Parenthood, we drove a short distance to a women’s pregnancy center. There we heard from the pregnancy center director and the important work that pregnancy centers play in saving the lives of the unborn.  Dr. Alveda King led the group in a time of prayer for the pregnancy center and for all the women who will walk through its doors.

Directions in American Education

On June 27, CWA of Georgia and American Principles Project co-hosted an informal presentation, titled Directions in American Education. Presenter Dr. J.R. Wilson, who has more than 30 years of experience working in public education, including working for the Georgia Department of Education, looked beyond the Common Core and gave an update on what is currently being imposed on our education system by the corporate/federal education reform trust. Dr. Wilson also gave an overview of the elements of “Future Ready Schools,” the newest trend in public and private education.

 

Urgent! Extend Religious Freedom Protections in Georgia With Just Four Calls

By | Georgia | No Comments

Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tryone) is seeking to amend HB 257 to include a narrow, modest protection of our religious liberty. The amendment is a local Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This RFRA applies to all Georgia municipalities, and would merely require municipal governments to give Georgia citizens the same Constitutional protections they enjoy when dealing with the federal government.

The Harbin amendment directly references the federal RFRA, which Gov. Deal voted for in Congress.  And though the amendment is narrower than a statewide RFRA, it is a step in the right direction. It does not guarantee a win in court for a claimant or defendant, but requires the municipal government to honor your exercise of religious freedom unless it has a   compelling interest to the contrary, and uses the least restrictive means necessary to accomplish that interest.

Tomorrow (Thursday, March 30) is the last day of the Georgia legislative session so it is critical that calls be made today to the following four legislators.  Your message: “Support the Harbin amendment to HB 257.” If are reading this alert after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, please call and leave a message. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Your calls and emails will make a difference.  Your prayers can change the heart of the legislators.

  1. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle – (404) 656-5030 |Contact form
  2. Senate Pro Tempore David Shafer (R-Duluth) – (404) 656-0048 |E-mail
  3. Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) – (404) 463-1366 | E-mail
  4. Contact your state senator. Click here to locate your state senator.

NEW! Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Just One Vote Away From Passing

By | Georgia | No Comments

Updated March 27, 2017

Two days remain in Georgia’s legislative session; just two days left to defeat HB 118, the Daily Fantasy Sports bill.  Touted as a “consumer protection bill,” HB 118 is nothing more than a means to legitimize the newest form of online gambling – Daily Fantasy Sports.  Click here for CWA of Georgia’s DFS talking points.

HB 118 will be voted on by the full Senate either Tuesday or Thursday of this week (March 28 or 30).   Will you stop right now and make one call to your state senator and urge him/her to vote “NO” on HB 118 when it comes to the floor for a vote. Click here to locate your state senator.  Leave a message after hours if that is more convenient for you.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Your call will make a difference.  Your prayer can change the heart of your state senator.

Background on bill:
HB 118, the Fantasy Contests Act, is sponsored by State Representative Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown) and seeks to regulate and legalize paid-entry fantasy sports.

Daily Fantasy Sports is gambling. Supporters of the bill claim that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is not gambling – that it is a game of skill, much like entering golf or fishing tournaments (tournaments where you are normally betting on yourself).  The problem with their argument is that those who play DFS are betting on a player or players whom they do not control.  They cannot control injuries, coaching decisions, weather, and other similar circumstances. The bottom line with DFS – you cannot control the outcome.

When a similar bill was introduced last year, then State Attorney General Sam Olens was asked by the Georgia Lottery Commission to weigh in on whether fantasy sports games were illegal under Georgia law – whether they are games of chance or skill. According to a letter from Wright Banks Jr., Deputy Attorney General, to the Lottery Commission, “fantasy sports constitutes illegal gambling and are not allowed under Georgia law.”

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia opposes HB 118 because if passed, the state legislature will rubber stamp America’s newest form of predatory gambling, Daily Fantasy Sports.  Click here for CWA of Georgia’s DFS talking points.

Pray that the hearts of the representatives be softened toward righteousness and that they seek God’s wisdom and guidance on the issues that greatly impact Georgians and their families.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and action.  They make all the difference.

Educate yourself on DFS:

You Made the Difference! Casino Bill Dies in Committee.

By | Georgia | No Comments

Update

Your voice made the difference!  Thank you! We are cautiously optimistic that the effort to pass casino legislation in 2017 has failed.  There are still fourteen days left in the legislative session, and you can be assured that CWA of Georgia will be keeping our eyes open for legislative maneuvering to move the casino legislation forward.

Georgia Casino Gambling Bill Dies In Senate Committee

Georgia Casino bill dead for 2017

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
ACTION ALERT!

SB 79, the casino bill, is no longer on the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee hearing agenda for this coming Monday, February 27. Let’s keep it that way! The bill sponsor, Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), is trying to modify the bill enough to persuade senators to support the bill. Read all about the “goodies” here.

Will you make a few phone calls before noon on Monday, February 27, and urge these senators to vote “NO” on SB 79 should the bill be added to the Committee’s agenda on Monday, February 27?

Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville)
Capitol: (404) 656-4700
District: (706) 680-4466
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford)
Capitol: (404) 463-1368
Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville)
Capitol: (404) 656-5038
District: (912) 557-3811
Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough)
Capitol: (404) 463-1376
District: (678) 432-7676
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon)
Capitol: (404) 656-0045
District: (478) 749-9981
Call your state senator and urge him or her to oppose SB 79 should it come to the floor for a full vote.  Click here to find your state senator.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the first eight days of Georgia’s 2017 state legislative session, three bills have been introduced that will expand predatory gambling in Georgia, if passed. CWA of Georgia is lobbying aggressively on your behalf to stop the bills in their tracks.  Your voice is vitally important to the success of stopping the expansion of gambling in the state.  See our action alerts and call for prayer below.

The First Two Bills: Casino Gambling

The threat of state-sponsored predatory gambling via casinos is once again knocking at our door in Georgia.  Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) have filed their respective casino bills. SB 79 and HB 158, both named the “Destination Resort Act”, would allow up to two resort-style casinos to operate in Georgia under the governance of a newly created Georgia Gaming Commission.

You will pay even if you don’t play. 

Consider the social costs of gambling addictions obtained from the Georgia State University Problem Gambling Research & Intervention Project:

  • Bankruptcy – 20-30 percent of gambling addicts have declared bankruptcy, compared to 4.2 percent of low-risk gamblers and non-gamblers.  The average cost to creditors per personal bankruptcy is $39,000.
  • Debt/Spending patterns – 90 percent of gambling addicts gamble with their paychecks or family savings, and 30 percent reported gambling debts ranging from $75,000–$150,000.
  • Correctional costs – The estimated lifetime correctional costs of gambling addicts in Georgia is $249,159,000.
  • Costs of property crimes related to gambling – The average amount stolen per person who reported stealing (money and/or property) is $135,000.
  • Work related costs – The estimated cost to employers from gambling related absences is $45 million.

Georgia cannot afford casinos – neither economically nor socially.

Status on HB 158: HB 158 has been assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee. No hearing date has been set for the bill.   Action item: call your state representative and ask him or her to oppose HB 158 if it comes up for a vote. Click here to find your state representative.

Status on SB 79: SB 79  was heard in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on Thursday, February 9, 2017 but not vote was taken.  Action item:  If you have contacted the members of the Regulated Industries  and Utilities Committee, please contact them again and urge them to OPPOSE SB 79, the casino bill. In addition, contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose SB 79.  Click here to find your state senator.

Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)      (404) 656-7454     [email protected]
Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville)      (404) 656-4700     [email protected]
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford)     (404) 463-1368    [email protected]
Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville)                (404) 656-5038    [email protected]
Sen. Bill Coswert (R-Athens)              (404) 463-1366    [email protected]
Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus)     (404) 463-3931     [email protected]
Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth)            (404) 656-0048   [email protected]
Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough)  (404) 463-1376     [email protected]
Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega)      (404) 656-9221    [email protected]
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga)    (404) 656-0057    [email protected]
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon)         (404) 656-0045    [email protected]
Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus)      (404) 656-0074    [email protected]
Sen. Steve Henson (D-Tucker)          (404) 656-0085   [email protected]
Sen. David Lucas (D-Macon)             (404) 656-5035    [email protected]

Download these resources and educate others on why casinos are bad for Georgia.

Pray that the hearts of the representatives be softened toward righteousness and that they seek God’s wisdom and guidance on the issues that greatly impact Georgians and their families.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and action.  They make all the difference.


Read about The Third Bill: Daily Fantasy Sports

Sen. Marty Harbin Files Religious Freedom Bill

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Resource Page for Georgia’s Religious Freedom Legislation

Religious Freedom Alert!
Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone) filed Senate Bill 233, a state-level religious freedom bill that mirrors the 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  CWA of Georgia supported a similar bill in 2015. SB 233 provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia.

Action item: Contact your state senator and urge him or her to support SB 233 when brought to the floor for a vote. Click here to find your state senator.

Educate yourself on the need for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Action in Georgia. Read through the resources provided by below.

Pray that our state legislators, Speaker, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and Governor will stand on the side of religious liberty and not buckle to the pressure of corporations who do not see the need to pass a religious liberty bill.

Online Resources

CWA of Georgia Talking Points: Why Georgia need a religious freedom bill.

State Religious Freedom Restoration Act Resources:
This document contains the following:

  • View Historical Timeline of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (As a result of 1997 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Georgians have been left vulnerable to state religious discrimination lawsuits.)
  • Read Remarks by President Bill Clinton (Remarks by President Bill Clinton on signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.)
  • What a Religious Freedom Restoration Act Does and Does Not Do
  • Recent Examples in Georgia of Religious Discrimination (Read actual examples of religious discrimination in Georgia.)

Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act Resources:
The Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Woods Decision

Others:

Religious Liberty is one of CWA’s Seven Core Issues on which we focus our efforts. CWA is concerned about the trend of government to diminish and disregard the God-given inalienable rights of individuals, and are working to see our government strengthen and renew its commitment to respect and protect each individual’s exercise of his God-given inalienable rights. Click to read more.

Merry Christmas Georgia (and Looking Ahead to 2017!)

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A hearty “Merry Christmas!” to you from Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia. I pray this letter finds you enjoying the blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As we come to the end of another busy and productive year, we at CWA of Georgia want to pause and pass along some of the accomplishments and blessings of 2016 to our faithful members and supporters. We want you to know how much we appreciate your participation in our work. Your prayers are always appreciated and without them our work would not be fruitful. 

 

Legislation, Policy and Events

  • Lobbied full-time under CWA Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) as volunteers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC tirelessly for the passage of a broad-based religious protections bill that was passed by the state legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC against and successfully stopped a state-level casino gambling bill and a public accommodations bill (i.e., “bathroom bill”).
  • Testified under CWALAC before several House and Senate committees.
  • Partnered with several other faith-based organizations and schools to sponsor Georgia’s first Religious Freedom Day at the State Capitol.
  • Spoke at a press conference under CWALAC in response to Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of the religious freedom bill.
  • Participated in a press conference for Dr. Eric Walsh who was fired from a state job because of his religious beliefs.
  • Lobbied our Georgia Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. under CWALAC.
  • Attended CWA’s 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally in Washington, D.C.
  • Sponsored our 13th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. Over 70 faithful members prayed for and encouraged our state lawmakers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Met with the State School Superintendent, the State Board of Education Chairman, local school board members and local school district leadership to educate and voice opposition under CWALAC to the U.S. Department of Education directive on school bathrooms.
  • Actively opposed a private grant taken by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to develop Social-Emotional Learning standards. I met with the State School Superintendent, State Board of Education members and several state legislators to educate on the dangers of these types of standards.  Because of the pressure put on the GaDOE by CWA of Georgia members, the grant money was returned. This was an enormous victory!

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CWA Is On The Move in Georgia – Will You Join Us In 2017?
I hope you will prayerfully consider joining with CWA of Georgia in one or all of the following ways:

  • Prayer/Action Chapters – The heart of CWA is prayer and action, and we believe we will only see change in our nation when we as God’s people commit to both prayer and action. We want to grow our Prayer/Action Chapters by five in 2017. Consider starting a local Chapter where members meet monthly to pray and act on issues affecting the family and our Judeo-Christian values. Learn more about our prayer/action chapters
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project – 2017 will include our 14th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. We would love to have you on our team of encouragers and ga-ealintercessors. Sign up today! Encourage a friend to do the same!
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol – Join us for our very first Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol on February 8, 2017. Details about the event will be e-mailed to participants in the EAL project.
  • 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally – CWA of Georgia will host one of CWA’s 100 No More human rights national prayer rallies. In 100 years, Planned Parenthood has aborted over seven million babies. Over 30 percent of all Planned Parenthood abortions are performed on black mothers. We unite our voices and pray, “100 No More!” Details about the event will be e-mailed and posted on our state webpage (ga.cwfa.org).
  • CWA/YWA Partnership Event – We are in the planning stages of hosting our first ever event with CWA’s Young Women for America (YWA). We covet your prayers as we begin to plan this great event. Watch for more details to follow!
  • CWA of Georgia Leadership Team – To have an even greater impact in the state, CWA of Georgia is growing our state steering committee and grassroots activist team. Please pray for our state organization in this area, that the Lord will raise up like-minded women and men to help advance His kingdom values in the public policy arena. Perhaps the Lord might be moving you to get more involved with CWA of Georgia. Learn more about the positions here. Contact CWA of Georgia by phone at 770-617-1987 or email for more information on how you can get involved.
  • E-alert Response Team – Commit to faithfully praying and acting on the e-alerts we send out and forwarding them on to friends and family. Sign up today if you aren’t already on the list by e-mailing us at [email protected].

The Lord has called CWA of Georgia to be both salt and light in our state. We are working diligently in Georgia – standing for what is righteous, fighting for life and upholding faith and family.  But we cannot do this work as effectively without you.

Your generous tax-deductible year-end gift to CWA of Georgia will help us continue working on your behalf and our beautiful state. To support us financially, make your check payable to “Concerned Women for America” and send to CWA of Georgia, PO Box 671374, Marietta, GA 30066, or donate online. You will be sowing seeds into good soil!

Please know that what you do makes a difference!  We encourage you to continue standing for righteousness with us so that Biblical values are restored to our nation. Let’s honor God and His Word!

In Christ,
Tanya Ditty
State Director

CWA of Georgia Prayer Project Opportunity

By | Georgia | No Comments

Georgians: Can Prayer Make a Difference? Absolutely!

“The fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Do you want to make a “powerful and effective” investment in the state of Georgia? Consider participating in the annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project (EAL) sponsored by Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia.  The program is designed to be simple yet effective as we pray for the hearts and minds of our legislators and their families.

We are very excited to be embarking on our fourteenth year of prayer and encouragement, and we want to invite you to join us! If you are new to CWA, the EAL project consists of sending postcards of encouragement and a commitment to pray for a state legislator(s) during the 2017 Georgia legislative session. The EAL Prayer Project is not used for lobbying purposes.

The EAL Prayer Project impacts state legislators. It does this in two ways. First and foremost, it intensifies and ensures consistent prayer for each legislator. Second, it encourages and builds bridges with the conservative legislators as well as those who do not normally agree with CWA. As prayers are offered on behalf of the legislators and they receive your postcards, hearts are changed and encouraged.

Our volunteers will pray daily for specific areas of need for their assigned legislators. For example, they will pray for:

  • Wisdom and strength to uphold God’s principles
  • Family unity and peace
  • Suppression of weariness, depression and pride
  • Wise and godly decisions

CWA is prayerfully seeking enough faithful volunteers so that each of the 236 legislators will be individually prayed for during the 2017 legislative session (January 9 – end of March). CWA will provide the postcard; all you have to do is provide the stamp(s) and a commitment to pray and encourage.

If you would like to participate, please e-mail CWA of Georgia’s state office. Please specify whether you would like to pray for one or two legislators. Please provide the following information: Name, Address, Phone, E-mail

I cannot think of anything more powerful than to pray for those in authority, those who make public policy decisions that impact our daily lives. I hope you will join us!   

We are looking for your commitment today. Your packet will be mailed to you mid-January, 2017.

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