Category

North Dakota

State Director Linda Thorson Testified Today Before the House Judiciary Committee in Opposition to the Disclosure of Original Birth Records to Adopted Individuals

By | North Dakota | No Comments

To the House Judiciary Committee

 In Opposition to HB 1319

January 25, 2017

 Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Linda Thorson, and I am the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation.  We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in opposition to HB 1319 to amend North Dakota Century Code relating to disclosure of original birth records to adopted individuals.

Disclosure of information identifying the adopted individual’s genetic parents or to initiate the disclosure of non-identifying information not on file with the department or child-placing agency for adopted individuals who are 18 years of age without the birthparents’ authorization, when the adoption agency had agreed to confidentiality, does not respect the previously agreed upon wishes of the birthmother.

In addition to taking the privacy rights away from the birthmother, we are concerned that HB 1319 will serve to reduce the number of adoptions to wonderful awaiting families, and worse, make abortion a more attractive option to the birthmother when considering her options.

Changes that prevent an agreement of confidentiality in closed adoptions could cause more pregnant mothers to choose abortion over adoption.  Today, many women work with adoption agencies to place their children in loving families because promises of confidentiality are agreed upon.  CWA of North Dakota strongly supports adoption and all those involved in this loving choice.

An adoption statistic from American Adoptions finds that 90 percent of adopted children ages five and older have very positive feelings about their adoption.  This is true even though the majority of adopted children have little or no contact with their birth parents.[1]

We ask you to consider the experience of an adoptee, who like many, has only limited information about her birthmother.  She writes, “The nineteen-year-old, unwed girl who gave me life is my hero. I don’t know what she was going through before and during her pregnancy with me, but I do know that she chose to give me the most incredible gift that can be given – life!

“Contrary to feeling abandoned by being adopted, I have always felt gratitude to my young, desperately scared birthmother who showed such bravery and love for me and love to my adopted family … I am intensely loved. I am adopted.”

CWA of North Dakota asks you not to put future adoptions in jeopardy.  We urge a “Do Not Pass” on HB 1319.

[1] https://www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/adoption_stats

State Director Linda Thorson Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee Today in Support of Voluntary Prayer in School

By | North Dakota | No Comments

To the House Judiciary Committee

 In Support of HB 1275

January 25, 2017

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Linda Thorson, the State Director for Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota.  CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation and our state.   We are here today on behalf of our North Dakota members in support of HB 1275.

This amendment which states, “A student may voluntarily pray aloud or participate in religious speech at any time before, during, or after the school day to the same extent a student may voluntarily speak or participate in secular speech,” is a statute supported by the U.S. Department of Education.  The “Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools,” February 2003, “Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) of 1965,” as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires the Secretary to issue guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools. In addition, Section 9524 requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, a local educational agency (“LEA”) must certify in writing to its State educational agency (“SEA”) that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in this guidance.”[1]

The U.S. Department of Education guidelines further state, “To avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate, neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech (whether religious or nonreligious) is the speaker’s and not the school’s.”Religious liberty was at the forefront of our Forefathers’ minds when the Founders of our nation declared sovereignty and separation. Religious freedom is a fundamental right of every person and the bedrock of any free society. In our democratic nation, the government exists to protect the essential, inalienable right to personal conscience. For schools to deny any student something so basic is incompatible with the values upon which “The Free World” was established. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation where all people were given the right to exercise their beliefs — free from government intrusion. Unless there is an undeniable interest for involvement, the same should be true today.

Our inherent liberties are threatened by opponents of religious freedom because some have taken statements, such as “the impregnable wall” and “separation of church and state” and made them pseudo-rule of law, even though these phrases are not found in any line of our nation’s founding documents but in Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists Association. Skewed interpretations of those phrases have redefined the First Amendment to be the direct opposite of the Founders’ original intent.

The statement that one should “leave religious beliefs at home” or be thought intolerant, under the First Amendment, is ironically something the Founders sought to prevent. The First Amendment was created to liberate and protect the convictions of even the minority, not to stifle religion.  For those of deeply held beliefs, religion is not a “pastime”; it is a core value.

In our current society, schools have become so concerned with offending those that do not share similar religious views that the fundamental right to participation in prayer as set forth in the constitution and supported by The Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, is unprotected.

“Hostility toward religion is neither required by our Constitution nor desirable in a free and just society. Only those who are insecure of their position seek to impose it by force by silencing their opposition. The Christian citizen must be alert to those who seek to silence religious views and reject their freedom-stifling ideas. As long as we are able and committed to fight the abuse of the First Amendment with the virtues of the First Amendment, we shall preserve liberty and freedom. If we fail, oppression is sure to follow,” [2] said Mario Diaz, CWA Legal Counsel.

When lawmakers and school authorities choose to forego a students’ right of conscience in the name of political correctness, liberty and freedom are at genuine risk.  James Madison once said that, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property” — for all people, not just Christians. It is the personal duty and right of conscience of our citizens to preserve liberty and freedom for all, including those attending school.[3]

We urge your “Do Pass” vote on HB 1275.  Your consideration of this request is appreciated.
[1] Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, February 7, 2003, https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html

[2] Diaz, Mario, Be Spent, Winning the Fight for Freedom’s Survival, 2015

[3] Wegman, Hannah, #PrayforParis But Condemn #CoachKennedy? America’s Prayer Paradox http://www.christianpost.com/news/prayforparis-but-condemn-coachkennedy-americas-prayer-paradox-150826/#QFZMAbFTS8VOHGqD.99

Ask Governor Burgum to Issue Sanctity of Human Life Proclamation

By | North Dakota | No Comments

On January 3, Governor Doug Burgum highlighted government reinvention in his State of the State address, “Anything being done simply because ‘that’s the way we have always done it’ should be and must be rigorously and respectfully questioned,” Burgum said, “and no matter what, we must have the courage to admit that we can always do better.”

For the first time in decades,  North Dakota does not have a Sanctity of Human Life proclamation up on the Governor’s website.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota, in this case, believes this is not the “better” way! Our newly-elected Governor has often commented, “We can and should continue to try to advance our abilities to listen to each other.” Let’s be sure he hears from us!

On January 12, 2017, The Rural Leadership North Dakota Day Proclamation was made by Gov. Burgum.  Are not our unborn children worthy to be recognized as well?

Take action: Contact Gov. Burgum today. Ask that, with January 22 being the National Sanctity of Human Life Day, he issue a Sanctity of Human Life Proclamation.  Let him know that you are disappointed that for the first time in decades there is no such proclamation on the Governor’s website.  Contact his office at (701) 328-2200 and/or e-mail him at https://www.governor.nd.gov/contact-us. Be sure to let his office know that you are a Concerned Women for America of North Dakota member.

Please pray: Pray our governor will see the wisdom of issuing a Sanctity of Human Life proclamation and have the courage to do so.  Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.”  (Psalm 127:3)

On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued the first proclamation designating January 22 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day (January 22, 1973, was the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states). Churches around the United States use the day to celebrate God’s gift of life, commemorate the many lives lost to abortion and commit themselves to protecting human life at every stage.

To President Ronald Reagan, all life was sacred. He once said, “We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.”

Great News! North Dakota Senate Vote – Marriage Defined as Between One Man and One Woman, Only

By | North Dakota | No Comments

SB 2043, a bill attempting redefinition of marriage in North Dakota, did not pass yesterday! This means our statutes will continue to follow our State Constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Thank you everyone for diligently praying and contacting your lawmakers!  CWA of North Dakota knows your voice was heard!  We needed 29 “nay” votes to defeat the bill; the final tally was 31-15!

CWA of North Dakota is thanking God for respectable leadership in our state!   Be encouraged.

Senator Janne Myrdal (R-District10) carried the bill to the Senate floor and asked for a “nay” vote from her fellow Senators:

“ … SB 2043 seeks to redefine the statutes — the terms ‘spouse’ and ‘marriage’ as ‘two individuals living together who are  married to each other’.  However, currently subsection 1 of section 12.1-23-09 of the North Dakota Century Code defines clearly the terms spouse and marriage as persons living together as husband and wife.  The proposed changed seems arbitrary; however, our North Dakota Constitution clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it reads, ‘marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman, no other domestic union however denominated may be recognized as marriage’.  Something that is defined in the North Dakota Constitution should not be redefined in statute.…  SB 2043 will actually accomplish functionally nothing, though it will serve to diminish with official intent the honor and sacredness of what the human institution of marriage is described as in North Dakota Constitution as it stands today … my Judiciary members can concur to this; we have been overwhelmed with e-mails and phone calls and the last count as of a few days ago, it was 90 percent in favor of ‘do not pass’.”

Watch for yourself the discussion and vote on the senate floor.  Click here and begin viewing at 1:16:00.

“Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart.” (Ps. 119:2)

“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws.”  (Ps 119:30)

“Righteous are you, O Lord, and Your laws are right.  The statutes You have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.”  (Ps. 119:137, 138)

Praise the Lord!  He alone is worthy of our praise!

Now, one more thing; please take a moment today to thank your senator if he/she voted against SB 2043.  Some are reporting that they are getting significant kickback from constituents who disagree with their “nay” vote. If you do not know who you senator is, click here.

January 10, 2017 “Nay” vote on SB 2043

Sen. Howard Anderson, (R-District 8) [email protected]

Sen. Bill Bowman, (R-District 39) [email protected]

Sen. Randall Burckhard, (R-District 5) [email protected]

Sen. Tom Campbell, (R-District 19) [email protected]

Sen. Jonathan Casper, (R-District 27) [email protected]

Sen. David Clemens, (R-District 16) [email protected]

Sen. Dwight Cook, (R-District 34) [email protected]

Sen. Dick Dever (R-District 32) [email protected]

Sen. Jim Dozenrod, (D-District 26) [email protected]

Sen. Robert Erberle, (R-District 28) [email protected]

Sen. David Hoguem, (R-District 38) [email protected]

Sen. Jordan Kannianen, (R-District 4) [email protected]

Sen. Ralph Kilzer, (R-District 47) [email protected]

Sen. Jerry Klien, (R-District 14) [email protected]

Sen. Curt Kreun (R-District 42) [email protected]

Sen. Lonnie Laffen, (R-District 43) [email protected]

Sen. Oley Larson, (R-District 3) [email protected]

Sen. Diane Larson, (R-District 30) [email protected]

Sen. Gary Lee, (R-District 22) [email protected]

Sen. Larry Luick, (R-District 25) [email protected]

Sen. Janne Myrdal, (R-District 10) [email protected]

Sen. Arne Osland, (R-District 20) [email protected]

Sen. Larry Robinson,(D- District 24) [email protected]

Sen. Jim Roers, (R-District 46) [email protected]

Sen. David Rust, (R-District 2) [email protected]

Sen. Donald Schaible, (R-District 31) [email protected]

Sen. Ronald Sorvagg, (R-District 45) [email protected]

Sen. Jessica Unruh, (R-District 33) [email protected]

Sen. Shawn Vedaa, (R-District 6) [email protected]

Sen. Terry Wanzek, (R-District 29) [email protected]

Sen. Rich Wardner, (R-District 37) [email protected]

 

Linda Thorson
State Director
CWA of North Dakota
[email protected]
nd.cwfa.org

Urgent Update on North Dakota’s Anti-Marriage Bill, SB 2043 — Senate Votes TODAY! (1/10/2017) 

By | North Dakota | No Comments

Great news! Thank you, CWA friends, for responding to the e-alerts sent out last week!   The senators on the Judiciary Committee heard you and, as a result, the bill to amend North Dakota Century Code relating to the definition of marriage and the recognition of marital relationships came out of committee yesterday with the majority voting with us 4-2. We were heard!  

This bill now will be voted on by the Senate tomorrow, January 10.  

Take Action: It is very important that you contact lawmakers in the Senate this morning and voice your disapproval of Senate Bill 2043.  Every email and phone call is counted!   Call and/or email these state senators.  Tell them you uphold traditional marriage, and ask them to vote down, SB 2043.

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

Example of the email message you may consider leaving:
Dear Honorable Anderson,
I support marriage between one man and one woman.  Please vote down SB 2043.
Thank you,
Jane Doe, Fortuna, ND

Pray that our state leaders do not change the laws in our state Century Code to redefine God’s plan for marriage. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,” (Genesis 1:27).

Thank you for partnership in this issue.  Together we are making a difference!

CWA of North Dakota State Director Visits Senator Heitkamp’s Office

By | North Dakota | No Comments

As the state’s largest public policy women’s organization, Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota brought a message to U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s (D-North Dakota) Grand Forks office on Friday.  I met with one of her staff members and asked him to relay to her that the members of CWA of North Dakota request that Sen. Heitkamp confirm her colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) on his nomination for U.S. Attorney General.  Her staffer guaranteed me that Sen. Heitkamp would receive the message.

It is clear Sen. Heitkamp believes Sen. Sessions is an honorable man; she has co-sponsored legislation with him like the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, aimed at helping small businesses, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, meant to hold the Executive Branch accountable on its infamous Iran deal negotiations.

CWA of North Dakota supports Sen. Sessions based on his outstanding and honorable record of protecting civil rights throughout his career.  In fact, Sen. Sessions has made equal justice under the law the cornerstone of his career.  Sen. Sessions’ record shows he is more than qualified to take on this important position. Click here to read more about our position on Sessions which includes my letter to the editor on InForum.com.

The hearing is tomorrow and Wednesday, January 10 and 11. Your prayer and action are needed!

Please pray: Pray for Sen. Heitkamp and her staff.  Pray that they would see the wisdom in supporting Sen. Sessions and then confirm his nomination.

Please take action: Call Sen. Heitkamp’s office at (701) 775-9601 and/or e-mail her.  Let her know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of North Dakota, that you are grateful the staff in Sen. Heitkamp’s Grand Forks office met with your State Director, and that you would like for her to strongly consider all that was communicated during that meeting.  Ask her to support the confirmation of Sen. Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. If time allows, please write her at 33 South Third Street, Suite B, Grand Forks, ND 58201.

 

 

Urgent Update on the Anti Biblical Marriage Bill

By | North Dakota | No Comments

“And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” (Matthew 19:4)

Thank you for contacting the State Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to SB 2043, a bill to amend North Dakota Century Code relating to the definition of marriage and the recognition of marital relationships.  The proposed changes effectively negate state laws safeguarding marriage between one man and one woman.

The North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee met on Wednesday but did not vote.  They plan to vote on January 9.

 Our voices were heard; however there is a renewed effort by the supporters of the bill!  I have heard from several state capitol contacts and the opposition is coming out in large numbers. We need you!  This is not the time to be quiet.

Please contact, or contact again, lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee and voice your disapproval of Senate Bill 2043 relating to the definition of marriage in North Dakota.

Take Action!   Email and/or call the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Tell them you uphold traditional marriage and ask them to vote down SB 2043.  Then, aggressively contact friends and family via e-mail, Facebook, text, tweet, etc., and ask them to do the same.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong (R- District 36at 701-227-0811 or e-mail [email protected]

Sen. Diane Larson (R-District 30) at 701-400-7218 or e-mail [email protected]

Sen. Larry Luick (R-District 25) at 701-474-5959 or e-mail [email protected]

Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-District 10) at 701-331-0946 or e-mail [email protected]

Sen. Carolyn Nelson (R-District 21) at 701-235-5161 or e-mail [email protected]

Sen. Arne Osland (R-District 20) at 701-436-6155 or e-mail [email protected]

Pray that our state leaders will support Biblical marriage and prevent the erosion of religious liberty and the legal and cultural imposition of anti-Judeo-Christian philosophies upon our society will stop.

Thank you in advance for your diligent prayers and actions.

 

 

 

 

 

A Law to Change North Dakota Century Code Relating to Marriage

By | North Dakota | No Comments

As a result of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage (United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S., 2015), a bill will be introduced during the North Dakota Legislative Session on Wednesday, January 4 to amend North Dakota Century Code relating to the definition of marriage and the recognition of marital relationships.  The proposed changes would negate North Dakota laws safeguarding marriage between one man and one woman.

These changes are unnecessary and only advocated to appease those that support same-sex marriage. Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota stands on God’s Word and believes it is a mistake to redefine marriage in our state Century Code in response to a divisive Supreme Court decision.

We need you!  Please contact lawmakers TODAY on the Senate Judiciary Committee and voice your disapproval of Senate Bill 2043 relating to the definition of marriage in North Dakota.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of North Dakota holds high respect for the distinctiveness of men and women.   The consequences to same-sex marriage laws are profound.  It is extremely important that our state not bow down to federal government interference. Our freedoms of speech, press, religion and association are all affected by the issue of same-sex marriage.  It is not “homophobic” to disapprove of same-sex marriage.

CWA of North Dakota understands the family is to be esteemed as the bedrock institution of society consisting of individuals related by blood, marriage (the legal union of one man and one woman), birth, or adoption. We hold high respect for the distinctiveness of men and women. It is our desire that society value and respect marriage, encourage sexual abstinence before marriage and educate on the dangers of promiscuous sexuality.

Senate Bill 2043, a bill to amend and reenact North Dakota Century Code relating to the definition of marriage and the recognition of marital relationships, is an attempt to eliminate natural distinctions between men and women and shows disrespect for family and for the unique contribution of fathers and mothers.  Once the definition of marriage of one man and one woman has been changed, the number of individuals in a marital relationship becomes arbitrary as well!
Senate Bill 2043 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, January 4.

Take Action:
1. Call and/or e-mail these State Senators on the Judiciary Committee.  Tell them you uphold traditional marriage and ask them to vote down SB2043.

2. Forward this e-alert to friends and family and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee concerning SB 2043.

Pray:

  1. Our leaders will support Biblical marriage and protect each individual’s exercise of faith with an understanding that religious liberty is provided in the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Our state leaders will prevent the erosion of religious liberty and the legal and the cultural imposition of anti-Judeo-Christian philosophies upon our society will stop.

“And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate’” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Thanks in advance for your prayer and action!

Casting Upon the Waters

By | North Dakota | No Comments

As we enter into 2017, my prayer for every believer involved with CWA of North Dakota is that we enter the year with hope and trust in God and diligently work to protect, defend and promote traditional Biblical values, especially the life of the unborn.

Hope in His Timing

As the Israelites waited for the promised Messiah, there were times of discouragement and unfaithfulness. Simeon and Anna, however, did not give up hope!  Daily, they were in the temple praying and waiting.  And so it was that they praised God when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be dedicated. “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel’” (Luke 2:28-32).

Trust in His Timing

Although He often does not act according to our timetable, God is always on time.  We remember, “When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman … that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Diligence in Casting

What part do we play as we stay in hope and trust God’s timing?  What are we believers to do?  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.  Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.  If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth.  Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie.  Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.  As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.  Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6).

Our part to play is diligence and action. The Most High God’s design often isn’t for automatic success.  He challenges us to be diligent as we wait for the results.  We will win some and lose some.  We are asked to start and not make excuses or give up, but to be diligent in our refusal to quit.

Keep casting. Though our success may not be immediate, keep casting.  Because He desires it in both our hearts and deeds, keep casting.

May 2017 be a year of casting, for His glory.

Linda Thorson
State Director
CWA of North Dakota
[email protected]
nd.cwfa.org