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Graham-Cassidy Bill: Last Chance for Health Care Reform

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life, Senate Legislative Updates, Uncategorized | No Comments

Washington, D.C. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) as well as Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) have teamed up and introduced a bill that gives power over health care decisions back to the states and the American people. The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is the Senate’s last chance to pass health care reform with a simple majority vote through the reconciliation process in 2017. The Senate has a hard deadline of September 30.

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

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is proud to support the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. It is time to make good on the promise made to the American people to end ObamaCare.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for health care. Sens. Graham and Cassidy have provided a bill that gives power back to the states.

“Improving health care means protecting life at all stages, and Graham-Cassidy does just that. This legislation ensures that no funds within the bill will be, or can be, used to subsidize plans that provide abortion coverage &emdash; something every other bill has failed to address. Most importantly, it redirects Medicaid funds away from Planned Parenthood and gives them to federally qualified health centers which provide care for the whole woman.

“All the funds provided through this legislation will go through CHIP (Child Health Insurance Programs) &emdash; a bipartisan effort to ensure underprivileged children are able to receive healthcare. It is time to give Americans real care instead of “insurance” that is not worth the plastic on which it is printed.

“While it may not solve every problem plaguing the American health care and insurance industry, Graham-Cassidy is a vast improvement over the status quo, providing momentum that enables other issues to be addressed.

“The American people have been waiting eight years to be given back their right to make their own health care choices.

“Now is the time to make good on the promise made to the American people.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.

Capitol Hill Brief — Free Exercise

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

 

The government’s action in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court case we’ve been highlighting this week, violates two provisions of the First Amendment.

This is the case where a Christian baker is being forced to design a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex wedding celebration in violation of his deeply held religious beliefs.

This is a violation of the Free exercise clause which says that, “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.

Here Jack, the artist, is being prevented from exercising his religious beliefs through his artistic work. He may ultimately go to jail if he insists on living out what he believes. Outrageous!


It’s vital that president Trump knows he has our support in fighting for conservative, Christian values. Please sign the open letter at www.CapitolHillBrief.org and express your support of his administration’s protection of religious freedom. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

For America (Day 81)

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

foramericaprayerjournal
All-loving God, Creator, Savior,
You are our safety and refuge.
Provider, Sustainer, All-forgiving Father,
We lay all our anxieties before You.

With a thankful heart, conscious
That all is a gift from You,
We come with sincere supplications
And prayers for our people.

Our undeserved blessings are always before us.
Each day, the sun and air, the stars and rain
Proclaim Your mercies anew,
And we are reminded of our dependent state.

Thank You.
Thank You for a minute of peace,
For silence to think and dream.
Thank You for laughter and consolation.

Thank You for friendships and
Family, and colleagues,
Leaders, and talented artists.
Thank You for music.

Thank You for the universe —
The wonder and mystery of it all.
Thank You for this place we call “Earth” —
And for the United States.

Thank You for freedom and liberty.
Thank You for the blessing of community.
Thank You for language and our limited understanding.
Thank You for the blessing of work.

We thank You for those who serve
Unselfishly to protect our freedoms
Around the world. Putting their lives on the line,
Allowing the Great Commission to spread.

We pray Your protection on them,
Your blessings upon their families.
Help us to be sensitive to their needs,
And quick to give sacrificially to their aid.

We pray for wisdom for our leaders:
For the president, vice-president,
Heads of departments, security and intelligent officials;
We pray for our judges.

We ask most earnestly for a Great Awakening.
Let Your Word rule every heart, house, town, and state.
Let Your songs spread through the air
In the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Amen.


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

No God, No Justice

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

The constant cry for justice in our times is tiresome and boring. Like my six-year-old’s toy train’s sounds, they were cute at first. After a few hours, they’re just insufferable. The “justice now” train is not going much farther than my son’s convoy tracking around him in circles as he plays on his knees. They, too, are not really trying to get anywhere. They’re just having fun — while annoying the rest of us.

It’s not that there are no injustices in our polity. Injustices are plain for all to see. The problem is that our response to injustices requires us to define justice in the first place. The childish, emotional reactions of today are so confused people cannot see the irony of their unjust responses to injustice.

Fighting evil with evil brings us no benefit. Who cares who wins that fight? We are left with evil either way. It is evident the Apostle Paul was right to encourage us to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, emphasis mine). That is easier said than done. Once again, the challenge of semantics, with its dispassionate demands, must be dealt with if we are to find some solutions.

However, the spirit of this age is particularly dreadful at this most needed of tasks. Having abandoned all objective standards, we find ourselves incapable of defining anything. “Justice,” “evil,” “virtue,” “sin,” what is all this but whatever you opine? Even more basic, what is “man,” “woman,” or even “human”?

The results of our willful blindness have made us insecure — fearful. And fear is the foundation of defeat.

Can you see that? Can you see that the promise of “freedom” and “equality” of those who urge us to abandon objective standards is a lie? Having tasted the rotten fruit of secularism, do you hunger for beauty and wonder, peace and benevolence, stability and truth?

If you do, I suggest you move towards reality. The reality of the human heart is a good starting point. All other things are outside of us and somewhat foreign, but we know our own hearts.

The condition of the human heart is nowhere better dissected than in the Bible. You do not have to believe in God or the inspiration of the Scriptures to see that. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” asks Jeremiah 17:9.

The picture of man’s heart in the Holy Scriptures comports with reality — what we see in ourselves and in those around us. Even the men of God — think David, Moses, or Paul — do despicable things. “[N]o one does good, not even one,” in the language of Romans 3, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (verses 12 and 23).

In this sense, no one can rightly claim the moral high ground.

But if the Scriptures rightly diagnose the human heart, why not consider its other claims? Might they not properly reflect reality, too?

There is no more important claim in Scripture than its solution to the human condition. It is surprisingly verifiable. For the Bible focuses not on philosophical or spiritual proclamations, but on a person — Jesus of Nazareth. More specifically, a real, historical, empirical event in space and time. Namely, His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead.

This Jesus is a problem. You see, his life was remarkable — exemplary, really. Every standard we can think of when it comes to “good” and “just” comes from His example. The Golden Rule, doing unto others as you would have them do to you, is His (Luke 6:31). His was the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). More profound still, He was the personification of those teachings. He lived them.

Jesus was real.

Facing this reality then, what is our response? If, as St. Augustine reminds us, justice demands “giving every man his due,” what is due Jesus?  Well, we must make up our minds about Him. Is He the Son of God? He said, “I and the Father are one,” in John 10:30. And, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” in John 14:9.

If this is true, justice demands we give Jesus what is due to God. There can be no justice without Him on the throne.

But this is the very thing the spirit of this age denies: Jesus. It’s Jesus that’s most offensive. Even the abstract idea of “God” is okay, as long as we keep the title open for Muslims, Buddhists, and any others. Jesus’ exclusionary claims, on the other hand, are offensive. Dare we say, “hateful.”

Our predicament is plain to see. We have rejected the very foundations of justice and are surprised when the entire structure comes crumbling down. This is what we are seeing unravel in our streets every day to the bewilderment of all but those holding tightly to that old, ancient script long forgotten by most: The Word of God.

CWA President Penny Nance on Charlottesville

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I just wanted to take just a moment to offer a thought about what’s going on in our country today, specifically the sad sad stories coming out of Charlottesville. You know, I don’t know about you but I was completely shocked and appalled by what transpired on Saturday – the violence and the vile, hateful talk, words that were flung against minorities and against Jewish people.

I was reminded of something that happened to me as a little girl. One day I was with my dad who was a pastor in Eastern Tennessee at the time. We were visiting with someone – someone I think we maybe didn’t know very well. During that conversation the man said something negative about interracial marriage. It’s really the first time I had maybe ever heard someone bring up this issue. When we got outside I said to my dad “what do you think about that? What he just said?” He said, “Penny, you cannot love God and hate your brother.”

I love the verse he was pointing me to. “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

I just want to make this brief point: This hateful, insidious ideology coming out of the KKK, coming out of the neo-Nazis, and these white supremacist groups is antithetical to Christianity. In fact, the Bible gives us the absolute opposite view. Galatians 3:28 says “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

You see, together at the foot of the cross there is complete equality. We are all one in Christ. And anyone who does not see that, who does not believe that, cannot have Christ in them. So I would ask you today to join in prayer for people around this country, that we can unite in Christ, and that we can unite in truth and love and goodness. We must be very clear in our beliefs and defend what the Bible says on love and what really unites us.

 

Google Is Holding Women Back

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It is not a surprise to anyone that there is a dearth of women employed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs.  Recently, my sixteen-year-old son attended a week-long engineering summer camp.  Upon his return, he said that out of about 25 kids, only three were girls.  The question is, “Why?”  Is it nature or nurture, or some combination of the two?  The discussion of this rages everywhere except, apparently, in the place it most honestly should be addressed: Google.

This issue was highlighted by two recent events: Google’s firing of James Damore, the author of an internal Google memo that went viral, titled, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” in which he critiqued Google’s diversity programs. The second is the story of a brewing lawsuit by women at Google alleging pay discrimination.

Damore was fired on the grounds that the memo touted women’s biological attributes as something that keeps them from being successful in tech fields. He has been accused of being against diversity and perpetuating gender stereotypes.

A closer examination of the 10-page memo revealed little more than a mixed statement, albeit long, of opinions and facts. Is it controversial? Perhaps some of it, but so what?

At the end of the day, there is a gender gap in tech. The vast majority of people on both sides of the political spectrum want to see it reduced. Ivanka Trump and Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, have made it clear that supporting women in STEM fields is a priority of theirs. It makes sense – female voices in matters of medicine, computer science, and engineering are crucial to creating effective service for half of the American population. (When, oh when, is a woman going to take a crack are redesigning mammograms? But I digress.)

The illusive question: “How do we bring more women into the STEM?” There is not a simple answer to that question, and there will surely not be any conclusions if major companies freely fire their employees just for sharing their opinion in answer to that very question.

Google spent over $265 million in the past few years to try to fix their “diversity” problem and recruit more minorities, including women. The result? Absolutely no change in the percentage of women employed at the company. Something didn’t go well. Maybe it’s because the company has been systematically underpaying women. They are currently embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor on this very issue, and 60 women may take legal action for discrimination.

This controversy aside, it is inexcusable (and illegal) that someone should be fired from their job because they stated their opinion and specifically disagreed with the arbiters of political correctness. This is viewpoint discrimination, and it was ruled as a violation of the First Amendment by the Supreme Court in Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois in 1990.

But here is an idea, maybe better pay would increase the number of female employees as well as job satisfaction. Instead, Google has set a frightening precedent by firing Damore and revealed an even more pressing question: “Why should we be afraid of this conversation?”  This is a necessary discussion and one that strong, confident women are not and should not be afraid to address and discuss.

Google has done a disservice to themselves by firing Damore for exactly that which he was critiquing them: “a culture of shaming and misrepresentation.” Why is the culture of Google so restrictive and authoritarian that no ideological dissent can be allowed?

But far more detrimental, Google has done a disservice to women by shutting down an important dialogue about ideas such as nature vs. nurture and everything else that goes into the cause of a gender gap in tech.

Do they view women as snowflakes incapable of taking in other’s opinions, digesting them logically, and refuting them gracefully? Are we so fragile that controversial opinions surrounding the gender gap must be shut down and those voicing them fired?

As a woman, I am not offended by Damore’s memo. However, I am offended by Google feeling the need to shield us from an opinion that they believe we are apparently too weak to handle.

How paternalistic.  Articles regarding pay inequity at Google make one wonder if all this diversity “training” isn’t smoke and mirrors to distract from the real issues.  If, indeed, the company with all their big talk about diversity is simply not paying women equally, then we may have uncovered the crux of the issue.  Ping pong tables, massages on site, and even childcare can’t make up for a good paycheck.  All their moralizing is tedious and pretentious.

This entire sordid story is, however, instructive to the bigger picture.  Honest dialogue is important so that this crucial question can be answered, and the next generation of women can increase their presence in the STEM fields in an organic manner. There is one thing all women can agree on — women want to advance their careers because of hard work and achievement, not because of pity handouts. Silicon valley could take the hundreds of millions sunk into sensitivity training, increase pay, and achieve far more diversity in their work force.  Just pay women what they deserve, and fire sexual predators who behave as if they are in a frat house instead of work.  It doesn’t seem that complicated. Shutting down debate isn’t the answer.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published at The Daily Caller.

 

ITN: Grass-Roots Conservative Leader: Pence Speculation ‘Designed to Sow Discord in the West Wing’

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In the News …

CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) Penny Young Nance said Monday a weekend report alleging that Vice President Mike Pence was gearing up for a 2020 presidential bid “absolutely” was “designed to sow discord in the West Wing” and strain Pence’s relationship with President Donald Trump.

Nance, who met Pence when he was first elected to serve Indiana in the House of Representatives before his time as governor, blasted The New York Times for publishing the article titled “Republican shadow campaign for 2020 takes shape as Trump doubts grow.” The piece analyzed Pence’s numerous political and fundraising appearances and claimed that the vice president sought to build a base separate from Trump’s base that could carry him to the presidency. [More …]

Do Transgender Rights Trump Women’s Rights? The Left Needs to Decide

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As the Left have attempted to stake their claim as the only group who represents and cares about women, they have also managed to simultaneously stab these same women in the back, betraying the very essence of their femininity and steamrolling over the uniqueness of the sexes in order to elevate their own agendas.

The debate over the role of transgendered individuals (people who identify as one gender but have the anatomy of another), has risen again in recent weeks, with President Trump’s declaration that transgendered individuals will no longer be able to serve in the military. It will no doubt continue to be a hot debate as the culture wars rage on. The issue of gender dysphoria is real and painful and we must have love and compassion for them.

But I fear they are being politically and monetarily used as the Left, always looking for a new group to exploit, opens new fronts in the culture wars.  Feminists should wonder, however, that if we reconstruct male and female to sixty-three and growing definitions, who is protected and who is hurt? Does this new idea of no binary definition of gender displace and demean the hard fought and won accomplishments of women?

I think yes. Consider the issue of women’s sports. When men are allowed to compete as women, women lose no matter how hard they work.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was crafted to ensure that female athletes were not left out of sports and created a level playing field which encouraged excellence in competition. Congress and feminists understood that boys and girls are physiologically different and that boys vs. boys and girls v. girls was fair because of basic biological and hormonal differences.

Title IX has nothing to do with character, power, or intelligence.

Fast forward to 2016, when a boy identifying as a girl qualified for the Alaska State Championships in the 200-meter dash, displacing a female athlete for third place. The senior competed against girls as young as freshmen. Hardly fair.

In June of this year, a boy identifying as a girl was allowed to compete on the female high school track team in Connecticut and was lauded for placing first in two races. His time would have placed him last in the same races in the boys division.

Colleges offer sports scholarships for both genders based on high school accomplishments. But now, these scholarships have the potential to be monopolized by boys in both male and female categories.

Last month, it was announced that for the first time since all combat roles were opened to women in December of 2015, there are two female candidates in the Navy SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program (SWCC) programs.

This watershed moment for women in the military has the merit to stand alone, but instead, the news story went on to undercut the success of these two women by saying that, in fact, the first woman to join an elite Navy force could be a transgender woman who came out in 2016.

Sports titles have been stripped from women, and military achievements by women are being given to men, but surely women can maintain their right to privacy and their respect as child-bearers, right? Wrong.

The women’s bathroom is no longer a secure place for women and children to go for privacy. Security is not so narrow as to imply only physical safety, it also encompasses emotional safety. The women’s bathroom is a place where women are vulnerable. To have a man present, no matter his self-perception, compromises that vulnerability. Talk about a need for safe spaces.

As if this is not enough, the Huffington Post highlighted a transgender individual holding a sign that read, “Periods are not just for women” while flaunting blood-stained pants between spread legs. If not so horrifying and disrespectful, it would be comical. Of course, periods are just for women and most of us have more dignity than to flaunt them for a political stunt.

By using a woman’s menstrual cycle, which indicates her unique role as a foundational creator and nurturer of life, these activists betray women and use her for cheap political props. This is an attack on a woman’s amazing biological ability to bear and give birth to children.

This is gender appropriation – stealing something precious that distinctly belongs to women, demeaning it, and distorting its purpose. Historically, women have fought to defend and protect their position and authority within society. Our spaces and institutions have value and therefore deserve respect and protection from encroachment of the entitled Left.  The emperor has no clothes and our pretending otherwise only degrades women.