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News and Events

Capitol Hill Brief — Religion and Abortion

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I have some hard news.  Thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identified as evangelical or Catholic.

Though self-identification may be a poor form of measuring religious engagements, these findings show that women getting an abortion are willing to be thought of as religious, but are still willing to get an abortion.

This is a tragic failure of the Church to truly educate women on what it means to trust God’s providence and forgiveness in difficult circumstances.

What can we do to help our churches teach pro-life values and support girls who get pregnant?  I think this is a fundamental question that every Christian church has to face, and I hope you will take it in prayer today.


Join us on the front lines, defending critical issues like the sanctity of life through prayer and action. Together, we’ll bring Biblical and constitutional values back to our nation. Stand with us, and give today at www.CapitolHillBrief.org.

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What a Trip to the Grocery Store Taught Me About Israel

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


I have been in Israel for less than a week and I have already learned so much! In the Holy Land, God and history permeate the atmosphere wherever you go.

It’s Ramadan, the Muslim month-long religious observance, and tensions are noticeably high. At the Shabbat (Sabbath) meal my friend Anna and I were invited to, the host made it clear she would not recommend we go anywhere on our own.

I can’t help but be nervous as I remember stories I’ve heard on the news about terror attacks. In Israel, the possibility of an attack is a daily reality. How do Israelis live this way? I suppose they get used to it – but the fact that they have to get used to it is a tragedy in itself.

Keren, a Fellowship staff member who lives in what most of the world would call a “settlement,” drove us around her neighborhood the second day we were here. Two things she showed us stood out to me.

First, we saw the bus stop where three Jewish boys – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – were kidnapped in 2014. They were murdered – today, at the spot where their bodies were found, there is a beautiful park built in their honor. Kids play and family events are held in this park, and the mothers of the boys attend regularly.

The second site was a grocery store where Keren shops with her beautiful family. Here, Arabs, Jews, and Christians stand side by side as they pick out their items, and stand in the check-out line together just like any other country.

But this isn’t any other country. In this country Jews are threatened, hurt, or killed regularly by Palestinian terrorists, simply because they are Jews. Yet Jews and Arabs still stand next to each other in mundane places like the grocery store.

In light of the tension I can feel here during Ramadan, and the fact that terrorists have been waging war against Israel for decades, this seems like a miracle. Maybe, after the recent attacks in London and Manchester, the world is getting a taste of why it’s such a miracle that Israelis are still able to go about day-to-day life – that Jews and Arabs are able to mix freely and peacefully at places like that little grocery store.

There’s so much to learn here in Israel and I’m so excited to see what God has in store. I’ve already seen Him move and I’m confident He’ll show me more. God has such a heart for Israel, and I can’t wait to see more of it through His eyes.

Editor’s Note: Claire Nance is a Christian college student interning with The Fellowship in Israel this summer. She’s from Washington, D.C., and studies Communications with a minor in International Relations at Liberty University in Virginia. This post was first published on the blog of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Don’t Let Them Win

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In late May, the world was once again struck by the evils of radical Islamic terror. Seven innocent lives were lost and countless more injured in a type of attack that is becoming all too common. In an increasingly dark and violent world, it can be difficult to find God. Where was He when three men decided to rampage through the streets of London? Where was He when innocent people died? And where was He when people cried out for help?

All around the world, people are asking these questions, longing to make sense of the chaos that surrounds them. As Christians, it is our responsibility to be ready to answer these questions, because we must “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15). We are not defeated by the darkness, and we must fulfill our calling as the salt and light of the world.

Yet, every time we doubt the sovereignty of God, and every time we allow the terrorists to strike fear into our hearts, we let them win. However, it is important for Christians to acknowledge these questions that can be difficult to answer for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.

While the world around us continually rejects the truth, we must live out this one fact: God is sovereign. This is our comfort and our joy as we face events such as the terrorist attack in London. This is also the answer to the question, “Why?” It isn’t an answer that the world likes, and it isn’t an answer that the world accepts, but it is an answer that allows us to trust that God is in control — no matter what.

Jesus reminded His disciples that, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But, after this warning, He offered a reminder that is extremely poignant for today: “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” For the sake of those who lost their lives, don’t let the terrorists win. We must carry on with our heads held high. One day Jesus will return in victory, and all will be made new. This promise is our hope when the world turns upside down.

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America.

Victory for CSU Students for Life Group

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

CSU campus by Spilly816 (own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Students for Life won a decided victory this past week when it reached a settlement with Colorado State University (CSU) in its fight for equal standing with other school organizations. In January Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of the Students for Life chapter at CSU after the university denied funding to the group because of the pro-life views of a potential speaker.

CSU originally denied the request for funding because the content of the speech “did not appear entirely unbiased as it addresses the topic of abortion.” School officials further stated that if the group hosted the speaker, “Folks from varying sides of the issue won’t necessarily feel affirmed in attending the event.” Evoking their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the student organization sought to overcome the discrimination it faced from CSU and to receive the requested funding.

The settlement encouraged CSU to reevaluate and revise its unconstitutional policies concerning funding for student organizations in two ways. First, the new policies abolished CSU’s Diversity Grant program, the program through which CSU denied funds to the Students for Life chapter. Second, CSU clarified and neutralized the criteria for evaluating funding requests. This new criteria forbids discrimination based on the religious affiliation of a student group. ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer commented, “University officials shouldn’t use mandatory student fees to favor some views while shutting out others.” Additionally, the settlement recouped the cost of the speaker as well as the student fees of the Students for Life members, a total amount of $600.

Casey Mattox, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, explained the significance of this case: “Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, commissioners, and voters. That’s why it’s so important that public universities model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”

As Concerned Women for America (CWA) continues to expand its Young Women for America (YWA) college chapters, we are committed to fighting for the rights of conservative women to freely express their views.  It is a travesty that colleges and universities have been overrun by left-wing ideologies for so long that conservative students are often marginalized.  We are committed to changing that, and we are thankful for the work of other organizations like Students for Life and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Kelsey Gold, CWA’s Young Women for America Coordinator, who applauded the resolution in this case and said, “YWA has experienced the targeting of left-wing academics first hand, so we know this is a widespread problem that young conservative women continue to encounter regularly.  But we are not deterred.  We are determined to make our mark for freedom, liberty, and intellectual diversity on every campus in the U.S.  Truth is a powerful antidote that refuses to be suppressed.”

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America.

Bernie’s Oppressive America

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ socialism enjoyed surprising popularity in the last presidential election.  This is disturbing to any student of history, given the overwhelming evidence of oppression that follows the implementation of that treacherous philosophy anywhere in the world.

That explains, in part, his popularity with young people, who are unfortunately and increasingly unaware of the perils of socialism and communism throughout history.

But I hope these young people got a chance to see what Sen. Sanders’ insidious philosophy leads to, as he shamefully attacked Russell T. Vought, who is nominated to be the next deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, for his Christian faith.

Sen. Sanders said, “You wrote, ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ His Son and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that statement is Islamophobic?”

As Mr. Vought sought to humbly and patiently explain that yes, he was indeed a Christian, Sen. Sanders continued to interrupt him and press him for his “intolerance.”

At one point Sen. Sanders rudely interrupted to say with much vigor:

I understand you are a Christian, but this country is made up of people who are not just … like I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the face of intolerance and oppression.  In Sen. Sanders’ warped, darkened mind, to believe in any religion is bigoted.  To have an internal peace and assurance of what happens after death is offensive to others.  Just stop and consider how pernicious that is.  What difference does it make for me if someone believes in his mind that I am going to Hell?

None.  Unless it is true, and then I should probably reconsider what I’m doing.  But someone else’s thinking has no bearing on me.

Not in Sen. Sanders’ deviate mind.  His sort of childish maliciousness was described by the famous English writer and philosopher G.K Chesterton when he said, “The homeless intellectualism of an unhappy age often uses the term [bigoted] for anybody who is sure that he is right and other people are wrong.”

This is true enough of Sen. Sanders and contemptible to be sure.  But Sen. Sanders takes his personal insecurities one step further, seeking to implement them in public policy.  Therefore, he condemns this nominee for his Christian faith, saying, “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about. I really don’t.”

All because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

In Sen. Sanders’ America, no serious Christian could have a job in government, because they believe in John 3:16, that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Sen. Sanders should be ashamed of himself, and all his supporters should open their eyes to the truth about him.  Not to mention he should be ostracized by his colleagues.

He is no pioneer.  Many communist dictators shared his crooked ways while they killed millions and oppressed their countrymen — which is why when our Founding Fathers conceived of our Constitution, they enshrined a clear guard against such imposition by radicals like Bernie Sanders.

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution concludes by saying:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. (Emphasis mine.)

Sen. Sanders seemed concerned with the number of Muslims in our country.  He said, “I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. I really don’t know, probably a couple of million.”

What difference does it make?  Perhaps Sen. Sanders thinks in those terms, in terms of voters.  But Mr. Vought tried to explain the Christian view that all men, regardless of their religion, are to be respected, having been created in the image of God.

Vought started to explain before Sanders interrupted again, “As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect, regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that, as a Christian, that’s how I should treat all individuals …”

Sen. Sanders’ willful blindness ignores that the freedom and tolerance we enjoy in America were born out of Biblical soil.  Because we believe in a Creator, to Whom we are accountable, we are encouraged to engage one another in conversation, persuading one another with respect and dignity as to the dictates of our faith.

Following Sen. Sanders’ bigoted ways, engagement loses its appeal (as the government demands, under the threat of law, that all beliefs are equal), and we grow divided and fearful of one another.

Bernie Sanders’ America is a dark, oppressive place that would be the death of America as a beacon of freedom, and I hope Americans, regardless of political persuasion, will unite in condemning such a hideous political philosophy.

CWA Statement on President Trump’s Newest Judicial Nominees

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Today, the White House announced a new list of federal judicial nominations. Below is a statement from Concerned Women for America:

“President Trump continues to fulfill his promise to the American people by appointing supremely qualified, constitutionalist judges for judicial nominations. We are thrilled to see that Justice Gorsuch was just the beginning. The president’s faithfulness on this issue renews American’s faith that our judicial system will remain true to the Constitution– reviewing law rather than legislating from the bench.”

Statement of Penny Nance Regarding Planned Parenthood’s 2016 Annual Report

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood released their 2015-2016 annual report — six months later than usual. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement in response:

“In the midst of a desperate fight to prove their relevance and fitness for federal funding, Planned Parenthood quietly released their latest annual report to their stakeholders (read: taxpayers). Planned Parenthood is hoping this year’s release will go unnoticed and is counting on the mainstream media, which basically serves as an extension of their PR department, for that cover.

“For an organization that is so ‘proud’ of what they do, yesterday’s release was met with radio silence. With the exception of a subtle website change noting the decrease in patients served, there was no Tweet storm or Facebook live update, no Twitter-sponsored hashtag, no bright pink email blast, and no celebrity endorsement. Upon glancing at the report, it is no surprise why.

“Since 2012, Planned Parenthood has suffered a steady loss of 600,000 patients; this year serving only 2.4 million compared to 2.5 million last year. Prenatal services are almost cut in half from last year’s numbers, although they did perform 4,349 more abortions this year. Contraception services are down; cancer screening and prevention services are down, and overall services have suffered a 12.6% drop since 2011. Government funding made up 41% of their revenue this year.

“This year’s report isn’t a fluke or a result of bad press from ‘heavily edited’ videos. It is a pattern. For an organization who spent millions this past election cycle, who has $1.5 billion in net assets, who’s CEO got a substantial bump in pay, its unfounded to say women will lose care or that Planned Parenthood will shut down without federal dollars. They’re fine.

“Planned Parenthood’s annual report spends pages in La-la-land pretending last year’s Center for Medical Progress videos were the first inclination of their shady practices. As if the criminal and regulatory referrals made by the House in 2016 to the Department of Justice are meaningless. Planned Parenthood workers have been caught on tape aiding and abetting sex traffickers and failing to report statutory rape. Furthermore, fifty-one known audits of Planned Parenthood and affiliate billing procedures showed chronic Medicaid over billing totaling almost $8.5 million in false claims. This isn’t exactly a smear campaign based on ‘fake news’ and ‘heavily edited footage.’

“Most women don’t choose to go to Planned Parenthood, but instead choose to visit one of the almost 14,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers located nationwide. This year’s reconciliation bill redirects Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid reimbursement to these centers which care for the whole woman and serve the underinsured, rural, and low-income communities. Women are going elsewhere, and federal funding should follow.”

Capitol Hill Brief — No Constitutional Violation

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The government in the Trinity Lutheran religious liberty Supreme Court case tried to have it both ways.  They assured the Court there was no establishment clause violation with their program, but then argued they excluded the school in this case to avoid an apparently non-existent violation.  Here’s Chief Justice Roberts and the attorney for the state:

[Audio Clip] Chief Justice John Roberts: The entire basis for your rule is that you’re afraid of violating the establishment clause even though you’re sure there’s no violation of the establishment clause?

[Audio Clip] Attorney James Layton: No. I … It is that we do not want to come to the edge of violating the establishment clause.

You heard that right, the government knows it’s not establishing a religion by giving safety materials to this religious school. Yet it still feels it can discriminate against them.


Protect your First Amendment rights. Speak out and tell President Trump how important religious liberty is to you and your family. Sign this powerful petition today. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org for your copy today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

If I Were Kathy’s Friend

By | News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

If I were Kathy Griffin’s friend, I’d want to be by her side now. It must be tough.

Most people by now have seen the horrible picture and video. It was bad. Really, bad. She has apologized. But it won’t be easy.

I hope she has some good friends by her side at this moment. I hope she doesn’t just have enablers, saying the world is just mad, that she was hilarious and people just didn’t get it. I hope she doesn’t have only the life-drainer types that hang around celebrities so often, just looking to better themselves. Nor just the ones who want to drag her out to a party and forget all about it, just to drop her off at home in the morning to deal with herself the next day.

If I were her friend, I’d want to talk to her about who she is, her feelings and emotions, but also her purpose. I’d want to talk to her about faith. I’d want to offer my love (frail as it is, as will be explained below) and offer the only meaningful hope I have ever found in life: the love of God.

What follows is what I might say.

You are so loved, Kathy. I know it is hard to see right now with all the brouhaha over your picture. I understand. I’ve done worse. You probably have, too. God is not impressed by how much attention our failings get. He is offended by our sin just as much when nobody knows about them.

Yet He pursues us. “While we were yet sinners,” Scripture tells us, He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for our “fumblings” — for our many sins.

That’s how He demonstrated His love for us, according to Romans 5:8. That’s how much He loves you. Not what you have done; we must all repent of our sins.  Not the personas we have created for others to see as a way of guarding our hearts to ease our loneliness and pain; He sees right through that.

He loves us. You.

It’s miraculous. It’s unbelievable. And it is truly lovely. To receive this kind of love is true liberty. Won’t you give that love a chance?

True love. It’s not like what you see between men and women. This love — this love is different.

It’s captured in 1 Corinthians 13, and there you can easily see why it seems preposterous when we use it to describe the type of love we show for one another.

My wife and I have the verse on a big painting in our living room, and I often go through it and try to put a mental check mark on the things I’ve been doing right.

It’s bad.

First one is brutal for me. “Love is patient,” it says. Well, I’m out right off the bat. If God were as patient with me as I sometimes am with my wife and children, I would’ve been the one on that cross.

“Love is kind”? Oh boy. I mean, it’s not like I don’t try to be kind. But I fail so often that I could never put a check mark on that one. The best I can say is that I have recurring flashes of kindness. But that’s just being kind with myself, which is nothing to brag about.

Love “does not envy.”  Fail. “Does not boast,” fail.  “It is not proud,” [laughter that turns to tears and then turns into 15 minutes of prayer].

“It does not dishonor others.” Ok, I might put a check mark here, but truth is I’m not fully confident. Especially if we consider our past.

I hope you see that aspect of love gets at the heart of the failure of your picture.

Love “is not self-seeking,” continues the passage. I got married precisely for this. I wanted someone to make me happy. Isn’t that what everyone tells us, “You deserve someone that will make you happy”?

It’s all baloney. Trust me. But that’s another conversation. For now, just know that it is not love.

Love “is not easily angered.” We all get angry, so we just have to reckon with the “easily” part, and I have to say I’ve learned to do much better. Check mark?  I hesitate. Truth is, if you catch me on the wrong day, “bye-bye” check mark.

Love “keeps no record of wrongs.” I kept a gold star on this one for a long time; I thought I did so well. Then I realized it was partly because I thought my wife did not do so well with it. That meant that I was keeping a record of her keeping a record, and there went my gold star — along with my pride.

We could go on (Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never ends), but you get the picture.

God loves you that way. In a supernatural way. Your friends and family might give up on you. They will all fail you. But God’s love still pursues you. No matter what you have done.

You are not this picture. You are not your career. You were created “in His image.” That’s where your purpose comes from. Not from fame. Not from comedy.

You were created by God for God. Could I pray for you?

This Memorial Day: We Remember

By | Blog, National Sovereignty, News and Events | No Comments

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
— 1 John 3:16

 

All gave some… Some gave all. Join CWA as we remember those who have died defending our country and our freedoms. Let us pause to remember: With blood was our freedom bought, and with blood it is kept. Heroes one and all. May we never forget.

We hope that you will join us in commemorating Memorial Day by doing something special this year to honor those who have died defending our country, whether it be paying your respects at a veteran’s cemetery, taking your children to a Memorial Day parade, or simply putting the American flag up outside your house. (Here are guidelines on how to correctly display the flag.)

Don’t forget to thank all of the men and women we currently have serving in the Armed Forces. We’ve included two graphics below for you to share on Facebook to show your gratitude.

May God bless our troops and may God bless America.

The History of Memorial Day

By the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Did You Know?

On December 28, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed S. 3181, the National Moment of Remembrance Act, into law that declared 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day of every year as the National Moment of Remembrance “in honor of the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”

In President Clinton’s speech after signing the National Moment of Remembrance Act, he said, “This Act recognizes in law a commemoration begun on Memorial Day in May 1997, when “Taps” was played at 3:00 p.m. on many radio and television stations across the Nation as Americans paused to remember the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our country. This past May, both a Congressional Resolution and a Presidential Proclamation called for the observance of a National Moment of Remembrance. It is my hope that the establishment of the National Moment of Remembrance in law, along with the creation of the White House Commission, will promote greater understanding of the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday for all Americans.”

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