Category

Religious Liberty

Trump Administration to Reverse Obama-era Regs that Sidelined Faith-Based Adoption and Foster Care Agencies

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

UPDATE:

President Trump just issued the new proposed rule that would reverse an Obama-era regulation that harmed faith-based adoption and foster care providers. This Obama “nondiscrimination” mandate, imposed just days before President Trump was inaugurated, jeopardized the status of faith-based adoption and foster care providers who work with adoptive and foster families who shared their beliefs. President Obama added categories to HHS nondiscrimination laws that require grant recipients to accept unorthodox, ideological views on gender and sexuality. The result has become government discrimination against faith-based providers used as a weapon for lawsuits and disqualifying them from serving families and children.

In the new rule, the Keep Kids First Rule, the Trump Administration has reversed this activist policy and clarified that discrimination laws enacted by Congress, not imposed by unelected bureaucrats, apply to adoption and foster care providers. The Administration’s effort to restore religious freedom and include all child welfare providers on the playing field is especially important as the need for loving families is on the rise.

The Trump Administration needs your help to make the Keep Kids First Rule a reality.  Public comments supporting the rule are the key to guaranteeing the religious freedom of all providers and ending government discrimination against them. Your positive comment supporting the Keep Kids First rule must be submitted by December 19 at 11:59 p.m. 

Click Here to learn more.  

 

Last Friday the Trump Administration announced its intention to reverse Obama-era regulations that have sidelined faith-based adoption and foster care agencies. CWA has been working with Congress and the Administration on this change for nearly two years!

President Obama added categories to nondiscrimination laws that require grant recipients to accept ideological views on gender and sexuality. Such government discrimination has been weaponized against faith-based providers – several are facing lawsuits; others have discontinued operations. The Administration’s effort to restore religious freedom and enable all qualified child welfare providers to be eligible for placing children in loving homes is especially important as the need for loving families is on the rise.

As with other proposed rules that represent major changes, like the Protect Life rule and the Conscience Care Rule, supportive comments of the new rules will be crucial! The timeline to comment will only be 30 days. We will need your help to get the word out. We are awaiting publication in the Federal Register this week before we are able to submit comments, and we will alert you as soon as the comment period begins!

Penny Nance on Religious Liberty Case

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

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and over 40 members of Congress filed an amicus brief to support Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington. CWA’s CEO and President Penny Nance made the following statement in support:

“Conservative women understand the fundamental principles of liberty enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We are thankful for Members of Congress who are unwavering in their commitment to protect them from recurring threats. To compel someone, as the Washington Supreme Court did in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, to use her artistic expression to support something that violates her conscience and tenets of her faith is an anathema to the Founders intent and to our Constitutional principles. It simply must not stand.”

Read the Entire Press Release from Sen. Marsha Blackburn Here:

Woman and children in Africa

CWA Thanks President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Secretary Azar for their Defense of Life and Religious Liberty

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

In three separate letters to President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary Azar, CWA CEO and President Penny Nance and our Vice President for International Affairs Dr. Shea Garrison send heart-felt thanks for their work to promote international religious freedom and defend life at the United Nations 74th General Assembly.

CWA Letter to President Trump

CWA Letter to Secretary of State Pompeo

CWA Letter to Secretary Azar

 

SCOTUS Rally

Transgender Legislative Petition Before SCOTUS

By | Case Vault, Family Issues, Feminist / Women's Issues, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Oral Arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

“Aimee Stephens is a transgender woman,” started the argument at the United States Supreme Court in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, where Stephens is asking the Court to include “gender identity” within the definition of “sex” discrimination in federal civil rights law (specifically Title VII, the employment context in this case) . With that simple statement David Cole of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who represented Stephens, glossed over the most important fact to remember in this debate. Aimee Stephens is biologically a man. Aimee undoubtedly feels like a woman and has decided to live as a transgender woman. But the biological fact (reality) remains.

This is why, it is no violation of civil rights, to ask Aimee to use the men’s bathroom or at least to refrain from using the women’s bathroom (in many cases a single stall, private bathroom is available). Aimee is scientifically a man. If someone like Aimee wishes to enter athletic competitions, there is a place for males to compete against other male athletes. For someone like Aimee to demand to compete among female athletes is a great injustice to those who in fact are female.

This is plain for all to see. It is not bigotry.

The reality is most people empathize and even identify with the conflict between Aimee’s biology and psyche at some level. Most people in the U.S. would stand against harassment or beratement directed at Aimee. The great majority would fight against those wishing Aimee harm.

But the reality, once again, is that that is not enough for Aimee and most vocal transgender individuals. In their mind, to say they are not the sex they identify with is to discriminate against them. This is why we are seeing a push for laws that demand we refer to them as the pronoun of their choice.

Mr. Cole at oral arguments tried as hard as he could to say that that was not the issue in the case. He danced around multiple questions from Chief Justice Roberts on the issue of bathrooms, ultimately admitting to Justice Neil Gorsuch that it would be harmful to ask transgenders to follow sex-specific bathroom rules.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: “… but ultimately came to, I believe, a submission that a reasonable person in the transgender plaintiff’s position would be harmed if he or she were fired for failing to follow the bathroom rules or some sort of dress code that’s not otherwise objectionable …”

COLE: “Yeah.”

Mr. Cole’s effort to avoid the issue was so blatant, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the most liberal voice on the Court, called him out on it.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Mr. Cole, let’s not avoid the difficult issue, okay? You have a transgender person who rightly is identifying as a woman and wants to use the women’s bedroom, rightly, wrongly, not a moral choice, but this is what they identify with. Their need is genuine. I’m accepting all of that –­

COLE: Yeah.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: –and they want to use the women’s bathroom. But there are other women who are made uncomfortable, and not merely uncomfortable, but who would feel intruded upon if someone who still had male characteristics walked into their bathroom. That’s why we have different bathrooms.

So, the hard question is how do we deal with that? And what in the law will guide judges in balancing those things? That’s really what I think the question is about.

Still, the ACLU attorney refused to acknowledge reality. “Well, that is –that is -­that is a question, Justice Sotomayor. It is not the question in this case.”

That is the sort of unreasonable halt to logic the Court would need to do to go along with the LGBTQ-affirming demands in this case.

Both Justice Samuel Alito and Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried to engage Mr. Cole in the discussion of women’s athletics (under Title IX). Round and round Mr. Cole went to avoid the issue, knowing, as we all do, the disastrous consequences for women if he were to win in this case. There are no consequences according to the way he argued the case. The hundreds of thousands of people expressing concerns, including Judge Gerard Lynch of the Second Circuit are just hysterically overreacting.

Judge Lynch supports LGBTQ protections but acknowledged the text of Title VII does not include sexual orientation and gender identity under the word “sex.” “Congress did no such thing,” he acknowledged painfully in his dissenting opinion on the case.

There was no such consideration on behalf of the arguing attorney, and in fact, there was no such introspection on behalf of the liberal side of the Court. Justice Sotomayor tried to hold it in for most of the argument but finally, let it out at the conclusion of arguments.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “May I just ask, at what point does a court continue to permit invidious discrimination against groups that, where we have a difference of opinion, we believe the language of the statute is clear. I think Justice Breyer was right that Title VII, the Civil Rights Act, all of our acts were born from the desire to ensure that we treated people equally and not on the basis of invidious reasons.”

Did you notice the shift? The text of the statute means nothing really. Passion rules. It appears Judge Sotomayor is ready to make “sex” mean whatever they feel like, as long as she perceives “invidious reasons.”

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan all seemed open to the idea of manipulating the text as needed. We can only hope they realize the consequences beyond personal passion.

Though there are forceful emotions involved in this case, and even difficult cases left unaddressed where legislation is needed, the judicial action demanded is deference to the legislative branch who has not included sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII. And, were they to do so, would have to inevitably consider the many examples of significant harm to women’s rights that the LGBTQ-affirming side refuses to acknowledge.

John Bursch, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued on behalf of Harris Funeral Homes, said it plainly, “Treating women and men equally does not mean employers have to treat men as women. That is because sex and transgender status are independent concepts.”

Noel Francisco, arguing as Solicitor General, agreed, “There’s a reason why when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on the traits of sexual orientation and gender identity, it lists them separately. It doesn’t define sex as including these traits.”

That should be the end of the inquiry here. This is a legislative matter, not a judicial one, and the Court should resist the temptation to engage in judicial activism, as it has done in the past with disastrous consequences.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Will Supreme Court Try to Redefine Sex?

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Our CEO and President Penny Nance spoke with CBN’s Paul Strand about the Harris case currently before the Supreme Court about the ramifications for women if the definition of “sex” were to change to include gender identity.

“On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court heard three major cases that could affect a wide swath of the American population.

At the core of these cases is what does the word “sex” means when it comes to law. In 1964, when it first became illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex, it meant “male” and “female.”  Now, at least one side in these cases is arguing it should be a bit more complicated: gender identity and sexual orientation should be included.

The cases involve two homosexuals and one transgender fired from their jobs. Gerald Bostock is one of the gay men.

He said outside the court after his case was heard, “Millions and millions of people go to work every day fearful for being fired for who they are, how they identify and who they love. And that’s wrong.””

Watch the entire video and read the full story here:

Will Christians Become Outcasts at Public Universities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the Entire Article Here:

How China ‘Is Home to the Worst Human Rights Crises of our Time’: It’s Why the US Commission on Unalienable Rights is so Necessary

By | International, News and Events, Religious Liberty, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA

CWA’s Dr. Shea Garrison, the organization’s Vice President of International Affairs, writes a new opinion piece featured this week in The Washington Times.

“The Trump administration led the fight for human rights at the U.N. General Assembly last week, calling out China for forced internment of more than 1 million Uighurs in “training camps” to be “re-educated” and “saved” from their culture, language and faith.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China is the perpetrator of “the worst human rights crises of our time.” China denies this, touting itself a defender of human rights by providing “development, health, nutrition, and housing” — its own “approach” to human rights that has nothing to do with individual freedoms.

China’s approach is not surprising given that international human rights advocacy is so “watered down” by political agenda that it’s hard to tell the difference between protecting God-given natural rights and government entitlements.

To help rectify this, Mr. Pompeo recently announced the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedom. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), are guides for the commission.”

Click to read the entire article here:

Click here for additional articles from Shea Garrison:

 

An Open Letter to Mr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Social / Cultural Issues | No Comments

Natasha Chart, Board Chair of Women’s Liberation Front and Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America wrote an open letter to Dr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University asking him to meet with them to discuss eroding women’s rights on college campuses.

President Trump Brings Truth to the UN

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

President Donald J. Trump will forever be “the first President of the United States to host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom.”

Not only that, President Trump brought down the house with a message full of truth and hope.

“America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere,” he said to the applause of the attendees, “No matter where you go, you have a place in the United States of America.”

Listening to the president, one can’t help but wonder who is the man being demonized every moment of every day by the news media? The president spoke of the fundamental truths upon which our country was founded:

 

The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God.  This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.  Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.

Those inalienable rights that government can’t take away because it does not grant them are the foundation of religious freedom. Those are the sort of human rights on which the United Nations (UN) is supposed to focus, but that have been so blatantly neglected. The president highlighted the problem, “Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world.  Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.”

The president expressed disbelief when he first heard the 80 percent statistic, as most people would. But it is correct. Two hundred and fifty million Christians around the world are experiencing persecution today. We’ve all witnessed a surprising rise in anti-Semitism in recent years. The president spoke of appointing “a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.”

He expressed his commitment to protect people of all religious faiths, “These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity.  We must all work together to protect communities of every faith.”

And that is the most impressive thing about the Trump presidency. More than the inspiring speech, the president has put action behind every word he’s said on this topic. He highlighted some of the things his administration has done:

In this year’s ministerial [a first-of-its-kind religious freedom meeting also created under President Trump], Secretary Pompeo announced plans to create the International Religious Freedom Alliance — an alliance of likeminded nations devoted to confronting religious persecution all around the world …

We’re also urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities …

The United States is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom.  This is the first time this has been done.  This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.

This last coalition he mentions is yet another ground-breaking effort that comes at a crucial moment in our history. President Trump shows he understands what is at stake. He said, “Too often, people in positions of power preach diversity while silencing, shunning, or censoring the faithful.  True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.”

The president’s leadership on this issue at home is praiseworthy. And his call to the rest of the world was no less inspiring:

Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution …

To stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief, protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed, America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.

When the president speaks in this manner, he truly speaks for all Americans. Religious freedom has always been a unifying force in our land, and we pray that it may spread around the world.


Click here to read additional posts from Mario Diaz, Esq.

Concerned Women for America 40th Anniversary Gala with Vice President Mike Pence (with Photos)

By | Defense of Family, Education, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Press Releases, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Exploitation, Support for Israel, YWA | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  CONTACT:   Toni DeLancey, Ph.D
September 12, 2019                                                                                        [email protected]      202-527-3434

Washington, D.C. – Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, celebrated and honored 40 years promoting Biblical principles and pro-women policies today at the Trump International Hotel. The Honorable Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States and his wife, Karen, and the Honorable Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas attended and addressed the attendees at the Anniversary Gala. President Trump sent taped remarks to view during the festivities.

Founded by Dr. Beverly LaHaye in 1979, CWA has been instrumental in advocating for their seven core issues: Sanctity of Life, Defense of Family, Education, Religious Liberty, National Sovereignty, Sexual Exploitation, and Support for Israel.

“This event is so special for me and for Concerned Women for America,” Mrs. Beverly LaHaye said. “For CWA to continue to draw notable honored guests like our Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, and his lovely wife, Karen, and Governor Mike Huckabee – is an indication of God’s continued favor over Concerned Women for America these last forty years. I am grateful for that favor and blessing; it has truly been the honor of my lifetime to lead CWA.”

The staff and grass roots volunteers of CWA are known on Capitol Hill and at state legislatures across the nation for their tenacity when it comes to protecting women, our children, and America’s future. They are never afraid to speak out, stand up, and make a national impact. Among recent notable accomplishments:

  • Helping to re-shape the U.S. Supreme Court and helping to set a new record of constitutionalist judges in circuit courts around the country,
  • Strengthening legislation to prioritize rape kit testing to bring justice to women victims of sexual assault,
  • Forming a powerful women’s coalition to oppose gender identity laws that overturn women’s rights to privacy, safety, and Title IX protections in female sports,
  • Securing promise for presidential veto of any legislation that would compromise protections for life,
  • Advancing defunding of abortion clinics with thousands of public comments supporting new Title X regulations, and
  • Defending family and life, empowering women, and advocating for religious freedom around the world.

“In the last 40 years CWA has journeyed from a small but passionate group of activist women to a mighty army of amazing, accomplished women with enormous influence on our culture and government. We are now a formidable Washington institution. Today, we celebrate our grassroots leaders who are the power behind our organization and reason for our success. With the retirement of Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, who has served God faithfully, we’re marking the passing of the baton on the firm foundation from which she built this organization,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President. “As we move into the dawn of a new era here at CWA, we welcome Linda Murphy as Chairman of the Board and look forward with enthusiasm and passion to the future.”

Throughout the evening, notable guests including senators and former officials and friends honored the accomplishments and work of CWA. For an overview of the heart of Concerned Women for America, see the below photos and watch the linked video.

See Photos of CWA through the years.

See Video: Who is CWA?

See News Stories from the Event from Daily Caller and The Washington Examiner, Western Journal, and see C-SPAN’s coverage of the Vice President’s Remarks.

Read Vice President Pence’s Remarks from the White House Transcript.

Images from the event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Link: Penny Nance on Political Correctness on Campus

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

Our CEO and President Penny Nance shared the story about her son’s college freshman orientation at Virginia Tech with Wendy Griffith and Charlene Aaron of CBN’s Prayer Link.

They discussed what we can do to speak out about liberal indoctrination on our college campuses.

See the Entire Prayer Link Interview Here:

Tell Your Story at [email protected]

Read Penny’s original Op-Ed in The Federalist Here:

Take Action Now: Comment Period Open to Protect Religious Liberty in the Workplace

By | News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Today you have another opportunity to use your voice to support the good work that President Trump is doing.

Last week, the Trump Administration issued a proposed rule clarifying the rights of faith-based organizations in applying for government contracts. The proposed rule upholds long-established First Amendment and civil rights protections passed by Congress and reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court. This rule is now open for comment; click here to learn more and submit your comment!

Even if you’re not a government contractor and have no plans to become one, the rules imposed on government contractors will likely still affect you if they have not done so already. These rules are usually adopted by companies, corporations, state and local governments, and become commonly accepted business practices. It is also imperative that we support religious freedom for all people.

As we continue to witness these attacks on people of faith who run businesses according to their religious beliefs, such as Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, these types of clarifying regulations are necessary to ensure our liberties are protected. This rule does not change federal law, it merely clarifies that existing laws, like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), already prohibit this type of discrimination.

The deadline to comment is September 16, and we encourage you to submit your comment today and support President Trump’s actions!

 

Sincerely,

Penny Young Nance
CEO and President
Concerned Women for America LAC

Conservative Leaders Call on Google to Explain Claims the Site Is Blocking Conservatives

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

CWA’s CEO and President Penny Nance signed on to this letter to Google to explain their treatment of Conservatives.

“On Tuesday, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and other conservative leaders released a letter calling on Google to explain reports and allegations that the search engine is attempting to block conservative sites and exclude voices that don’t fit the liberal narrative. (A similar letter has also been sent to members of Congress, asking them to investigate.)”

See Media Research Center’s Article and the Letter Here: