Category

Religious Liberty

Young Women for America (YWA) responds to VT College Republicans on Leftist Indoctrination on College Campuses

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

YWA is CWA’s collegiate initiative with chapters all across the country. YWA is this generation of Christian, conservative women fighting to protect and promote Biblical values and conservative principles on campuses and in the community. These young women on college campuses around the country educate themselves on current issues, they gather to pray for our country, and they act to influence society.

Addressing Virginia Tech College Republican’s response to Penny Nance’s recent article in The Federalist, YWA released the following statement:

 

Time is Running Out. Take Action Now. Comment Period ends August 13 on Conscience Care Rule. That is next Tuesday!

By | News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposed rule surrounding section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This rule rolls back previous action taken by President Obama that wrongfully interpreted the word “sex” to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy” and prohibited so-called discrimination against these classes. This means that doctors who do not want to perform gender transition treatments would be forced to and doctors who don’t want to participate in abortions would be forced to participate, even if they have objections on moral or religious grounds.

This new rule clarifies that Section 1557 of the ACA cannot force a recipient of federal funding to provide or pay for an abortion. It will also be consistent with the First Amendment, the intent and language of civil rights laws, and consistent with pro-life provisions, conscience provisions, and religious liberty protections in current law. This rule is a timely clarification that the federal definition of sex discrimination in the ACA does not include abortion or gender transition treatments and thus aligns with existing civil rights laws. For many healthcare providers, performing abortions or gender transition treatments is a violation of conscience and sound medical practice.

We need your help commenting on this proposed rule so that it will move forward. You may remember that these proposed rules go through a public comment period, and then the issuing agency has to take public comments into account crafting a final rule. President Trump needs you to submit a comment praising this rule. Although these Obama-era rules never went into effect, HHS needs to uphold the biological definition of sex in civil rights laws. This proposed rule is now open for a public comment period that will close on August 13, 2019. After the comment period closes, HHS must then review each comment and issue a final ruling based on feedback. Therefore, our voice on this matter is crucial.

We’ve made it easy for you! Simply Click here to be taken to a page where we further explain what this rule is, provide a sample comment, and a place for personalization. You can submit an official comment with just one click!

Please join us and use your voice to tell President Trump to continue to protect religious liberty! Take action by next Tuesday, August 13.

Groups Unite to Support the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights

By | International, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of State Mike 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. A letter, signed by forty-six of the most influential human rights, women’s, and religious freedom organizations and leaders applauds Sec. Pompeo for his leadership in creating the Commission.

Concerned Women for America’s CEO and President, Penny Nance, and Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, had this to say:

“We applaud Secretary Pompeo for creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. This is a significant moment in our history as we refocus U.S. foreign policy on the
principles of America’s founding—that all people are created with unalienable rights such as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Many activists today promote their objectives as “human rights,” confusing government-given social and economic goals with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights. This
waters-down the essence of human rights, leading to less individual freedom, not more. Dilution of human rights takes the focus off of real victims of abuse and gives
authoritarian governments cover to promote economic or social benefits as fundamental human rights, all while oppressing religious liberty, censoring the press, or
imprisoning political dissidents.

But, when our fundamental or unalienable human rights are protected, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.

We are grateful for Sec. Pompeo’s leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. We believe the Commission can do more than secure unalienable rights and
remedy human rights abuse, it can reassert the right kind of American leadership in our world today.

The world is freer when America leads.”

###

Groups Unite to Support the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights

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

WASHINGTON, DC – Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, American Values, Independent Women’s Forum, Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF), and many more joined together to send a clear message of support to Secretary of State Pompeo on his announcement of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights.  Click here to read the official letter sent to Secretary Pompeo (pdf version).

August 6, 2019

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC, 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

So many people advocate today in the name of “human rights” that social goals are often confused with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights, a problem leading to less individual freedom, not more. Clarification of human rights is the first step in an effective strategy to protect human rights around the world. For this reason, we welcome your announcement of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights which will ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedoms, later reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As America’s founders state in the Declaration of Independence, unalienable rights are based in natural law and include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Rights like freedom of conscience, speech, and belief are “natural” or “God-given” because they’re inherent to all human beings—we are born with them. These rights are to be protected by the government, not given by the government, as demonstrated in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

In like manner, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognizes man’s inherent dignity and that “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Human rights are the foundation of our common dignity, and when we protect this foundation, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.

However, the foundation of human rights is being watered-down by activists around the world promoting political ideology and identity group goals as “human rights.” Examples of this type of activism include:  the right to a clean environment, the right to free university education, the right to internet access, the right of access to abortion as healthcare, and even the right to not be offended (in direct conflict with the clear right to freedom of expression). This dilution undermines fundamental principles, including the fact that all people are equal and have common dignity. While many such activists are busy furthering their policy preferences as “rights,” they ignore clear and expressed human rights like that protected by Article 18 of the UDHR—the right to choose and change one’s faith—which is still heavily suppressed in far too many countries around the world.

Ideological activism presented as “rights” distracts from the fundamental purposes of protecting human rights. This critically undercuts the focus on the real victims of human rights abuse such as—a pregnant Sudanese woman imprisoned for her Christian faith and forced to give birth with her legs in shackles, men in Syria and Iraq being thrown off buildings to their death, a girl being shot in the head for simply wanting to go to school, and the millions of Uyghur Muslims detained, imprisoned, and oppressed because of their faith.

A diluted human rights narrative allows totalitarian and authoritarian governments the guise of promoting social or economic benefits as “human rights,” while simultaneously becoming egregious violators of fundamental human rights themselves as they censor freedom of the press, oppress religious minorities, or imprison political dissidents. The UDHR called for “the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear…”

Fundamental human rights are for all people—regardless of their background, socio-economic status, or beliefs, and we believe the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can bring focus back to protecting needful victims of human rights abuse. For these reasons everyone—including the most prominent human rights organizations—should get squarely behind this commission.

We applaud you and your staff for your “fresh thinking” approach to U.S. foreign policy. Thank you for committing the time, resources, and effort to protecting the fundamental human rights of all people.

The U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can do more than clarify and help remedy human rights abuses; it has the potential to reassert the right kind of American leadership on the world stage. We have seen this before: Eleanor Roosevelt led and chaired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee. We are grateful for your leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to continue America’s legacy in defending universal human rights around the world.

The world is better and freer when America leads.

Sincerely,

Penny Nance
CEO and President
Concerned Women for America

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council

Carrie Lukas
President
Independent Women’s Forum

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Former, U.S. Ambassador
United Nations Human Rights Commission

Kay Coles James
President
The Heritage Foundation

Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values

Ralph Reed
Founder and Chairman
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman
Eagle Forum

William L. Walton
President
Council for National Policy

Peter Zoehrer
Executive Director
Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF)

Mr. Kelly Shackelford, Esq.
President, CEO & Chief Counsel
First Liberty

Mark Tooley
President
Institute on Religion and Democracy

Heather R. Higgins
CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

Wendy Wright
President
Christian Freedom International

Gary Marx
Former E.D.
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Rabbi Pesach Lerner
President
Coalition for Jewish Values

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life

Art Ally
President
Timothy Partners, Ltd.

John Stemberger
President & General Counsel
Florida Family Policy Council

Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
D. James Kennedy Ministries

Catherine Glenn Foster
President and CEO
Americans United for Life

James Bopp, Jr.
General Counsel
James Madison Center for Free Speech

Austin Ruse
President
C-Fam

David Nammo
CEO & Executive Director
Christian Legal Society

Eunie Smith
President
Eagle Forum

Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising, Inc.

Janet Morana
Co-Founder
Silent No More Awareness Campaign

Dran Reese
President
The Salt & Light Council

Steve Berger
Sr. Pastor
Grace Chapel

Marlo Tucker
State Director, California
Concerned Women for America

Ruth Smith
Area Director, California
Concerned Women for America

Terri Johannessen
State Director, Florida
Concerned Women for America

Barbara Ferraro
State Director, Hawaii
Concerned Women for America

Tanya Ditty
State Director, Georgia
Concerned Women for America

Deborah Leininger
State Director, Illinois
Concerned Women for America

Tamara Scott
State Director, Iowa
Concerned Women for America

Barbara Saldivar
State Director, Kansas
Concerned Women for America

Penny Morrell
State Director, Maine
Concerned Women for America

Haven Howard
Area Director, Missouri
Concerned Women for America

Jill Coward
State Director, North Carolina
Concerned Women for America

Linda Thorson
State Director, North Dakota
Concerned Women for America

Linda Schauer
State Director, South Dakota
Concerned Women for America

Kori Peterson
Area Director, Texas
Concerned Women for America

Beverly Roberts
Area Director, Texas
Concerned Women for America

Toni DeLancey
State Director, Virginia
Concerned Women for America

Maureen Richardson
State Director, Washington
Concerned Women for America

 

cc:    Senate Foreign Relations Committee
House Foreign Affairs Committee

 

Click here for a printer-friendly version (PDF) of the letter

House Condemns BDS, but Will Not Act on Bipartisan Sentiment to Advance Anti-Semitism Legislation

By | National Sovereignty, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Support for Israel | No Comments

This week the House expressed opposition to the anti-Semitic BDS Movement by passing H. Res. 246, “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” The vote on the resolution was 398-17 with 5 voting present.

This is a good first step, but further action is needed in the House for there to be any meaningful impact. The next step is to pass H.R. 336, which contains the Combatting BDS Act of 2019 and passed out of the Senate as S. 1 by a vote of 77-23 reflecting significant bipartisan support.

A resolution, H. Res or S. Res, expresses a sense or sentiment of Congress. It is a way for Congress to take a position without passing actual law. There is no action resulting from a resolution. A bill, titled H.R. or S., is legislation that if passed, becomes law—it has teeth where a resolution does not.

It is helpful that the House is on record against the BDS movement, but we need the House to do more than say BDS is bad; they need to take a stand and do something about it.

And that something is passing H.R. 336, a bill that mirrors the Senate-passed S.1, which was the top priority of the Senate in the 116th Congress. This legislation affirms states have the ability to choose not to do business with entities that participate in the BDS Movement. It provides legitimacy for states to enact anti-BDS legislation and ensure tax dollars aren’t going to entities participating in a movement that contradicts the foreign policy interests of the United States. States make their own laws regarding BDS; this just equips them to do so.

Despite the statement of opposition to BDS, Speaker Pelosi has been unwilling to bring H.R. 336 to the House floor. Republicans are using a procedural tactic called a discharge petition to try and force a vote. The petition needs a majority of the House, 218 votes, to bring H.R. 336 to the floor for a vote. It is puzzling that with 348 members opposing BDS with H. Res. 246, only 196 have signed the petition to take action and combat BDS by passing H.R. 336.

We are calling on Congress to take the next step and translate the high level of bipartisan cooperation standing against the BDS Movement into action by supporting and passing H.R. 336.  Please urge your member to sign the discharge petition opposing anti-Semitism.  Thank them if they already have.  To see the list of members who have signed, click here.

Your Help is Needed: Conscience Care Rule — Action Center

By | LAC Hot Topics/Alerts, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Earlier this week, we had a huge victory surrounding the Title X program and a finalized rule we asked for your help generating comments on last summer. Yet again, we have the opportunity to back up the good work that President Trump is doing through the official rulemaking process.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposed rule surrounding section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This rule rolls back previous action taken by President Obama that wrongfully interpreted the word “sex” to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy” and prohibited so-called discrimination against these classes. This means that doctors who do not want to perform gender transition treatments would be forced to and doctors who don’t want to participate in abortions would be forced to participate, even if they have objections on moral or religious grounds.

This new rule clarifies that Section 1557 of the ACA cannot force a recipient of federal funding to provide or pay for an abortion. It will also be consistent with the First Amendment, the intent and language of civil rights laws, and consistent with pro-life provisions, conscience provisions, and religious liberty protections in current law. This rule is a timely clarification that the federal definition of sex discrimination in the ACA does not include abortion or gender transition treatments and thus aligns with existing civil rights laws. For many healthcare providers, performing abortions or gender transition treatments is a violation of conscience and sound medical practice.

We need your help commenting on this proposed rule so that it will move forward. You may remember that these proposed rules go through a public comment period, and then the issuing agency has to take public comments into account crafting a final rule. President Trump needs you to submit a comment praising this rule. Although these Obama-era rules never went into effect, HHS needs to uphold the biological definition of sex in civil rights laws. This proposed rule is now open for a public comment period that will close on August 13, 2019. After the comment period closes, HHS must then review each comment and issue a final ruling based on feedback. Therefore, our voice on this matter is crucial.

Not sure what to say? We’ve made it easy for you! Click here to be taken to a page where we further explain what this rule is, provide a sample comment, and a place for personalization. You can submit an official comment with just one click!

Please join us and use your voice to tell President Trump to continue to protect religious liberty!

Road to Majority Conference 2019

By | News and Events, Religious Liberty, YWA | No Comments

Concerned Women for America attended the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road To Majority Policy Conference last week. CEO and President Penny Nance addressed the attendees and introduced one of our fellow women conservative leaders, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

Our Young Women for America coordinator Kelsey Good participated in the conference along with our summer interns manning our CWA/YWA booth. They answered questions, handed out our materials, and presented our Christian Conservative values to those visiting our booth.

Concerned Women Celebrate Major Win for Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court

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

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United State Supreme Court upheld (7-2) the constitutionality of a memorial cross on public land (The American Legion v. American Humanist Association). Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) had this to say:

“Today’s decision is an affirmation of the principles and freedoms our veterans have fought and died to protect. CWA members around the nation are celebrating the Court’s acknowledgment of a most common-sense reality, that this cross honoring our veterans is in no way religiously coercive.

“We are encouraged to see some justices reject the notion that a person’s distaste for a faith symbol merits the tying of government, and the American people through their tax dollars, via years of litigation.  We are grateful the Court is sending a clear message that it will no longer tolerate the sort of hostility towards religion the American Humanist Association and its sympathizers try to promote.”

Why doesn’t every persecuted group get a flag at US embassies?

By | International, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty | No Comments

June is designated LGBT Pride Month, and rainbows are displayed on everywhere from T-shirts to restaurant chains to the Uber app. Even with all the gay pride flags, parades, and recognition the LGBT community receives in the U.S. during June, the Left is still not satisfied. They demand that the rainbow flag be flown over U.S. embassies abroad.

Look at this practice that’s been in place since the Obama administration — President Barack Obama actively promoted the LGBT community not just domestically but also internationally through the U.N., State Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development.

First, we should recognize that the LGBT community does have reasons for fear. Their human rights are violated around the world through harassment, killings, beatings, and imprisonment, and homosexuality is criminalized in at least 73 countries. In Tanzania, laws against homosexuality carry a sentence of up to 30 years, and authorities have been accused by human rights groups of subjecting suspected homosexuals to “forced anal exams.” And who could forget the horrific 2015 images of ISIS pushing gay men off buildings to their death? There are other incidents equally as evil, and the U.S. must stand firmly against these insidious abuses.

We should all agree that addressing human rights abuses around the world must be a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy. But why is one group singled out and others ignored?

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed as featured in the Washington Examiner.

Top Faith Leaders Predict Evangelicals Will Show Up in Force for Trump in 2020

By | Family Issues, Feminist / Women's Issues, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, Social / Cultural Issues | No Comments

CEO and President Penny Nance is featured in The Western Journal along with other top faith leaders such as Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer.

“Some of the nation’s top Christian leaders believe President Donald Trump will once again enjoy the strong backing of evangelicals in 2020, noting he now has a record, and not just promises, to run on.

The Western Journal spoke with Rev. Franklin Graham, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance, American Values president Gary Bauer and Christian Broadcasting Network chief political analyst David Brody to gauge their views on why Trump enjoyed such strong evangelical support in 2016, and how he looks with these voters going into the 2020 election.”

Read the entire article here:

Penny Nance Discusses the “Equality Act” on Tucker Carlson Tonight

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


Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) CEO & President Penny Nance joins Tucker Carlson on his Fox News Show, alongside feminist Natasha Chart of the Women’s Liberation Front to express their historic joint opposition to the so called Equality Act, which will have numerous detrimental effects for women.

The “Equality Act” is a Danger to American Women

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

CWA’s Senior Director of Government Relations Doreen Denny‘s opinion piece was recently featured in “Human Events.”

“Where are the voices of the Women’s March fighting for women’s rights and #MeToo champions fighting against sexual exploitation and harassment? Conservative women and radical feminists are calling on Congress to protect women’s safety and dignity from the dangers of the deceptively-named “Equality Act” slated to be voted on this week.” Doreen Denny, Senior Director of Government Relations, Concerned Women for America.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article.

Penny Nance – Inequality Act Press Conference

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

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s (CWALAC) CEO & President Penny Nance joined with Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri), Jody Hice (R-Georgia), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Carol Miller (R-West Virginia), alongside other organizations from the left and the right to speak out about the Equality Act’s harmful effects on women and girls. The “Equality Act” will do away with women’s sports, safe spaces for women, and jeopardize parents’ jurisdiction over their child’s health care. It is dangerous for our country.

Penny Nance on the Equality Act on Fox News

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

Concerned Women for America LAC CEO & President Penny Nance was featured on Fox News opposing the so-called Equality Act. National grassroots women’s organizations with contrasting views on many issues are joining hands to raise mutual concerns over this dangerous bill. Making “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal law would erase the protected category of sex which has been a foundation for securing the rights and opportunities of women in the US.

Thoughts on the Bizarre “Easter Worshippers” Episode

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

The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka targeted Christians. Among the sites targeted were St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, and Zion Church in the city of Batticaloa. More than 300 died and hundreds more were injured. Naturally, the entire world condemned the terrorists who engaged in these suicide bombings, and millions sent words of encouragement to those affected.

One rather bizarre group of iterations on Twitter cause many to wonder if a coordinated effort to minimize the victim’s religious affiliation was underway. A group of prominent Democrat leaders decided to use the Euphemism “Easter Worshipers” to refer to the Christian victims.

 

I confess it is hard to conclude there was no coordination, though the motives are not entirely clear.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted: “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”

Why not say Christians? Why the hesitation? “Easter worshippers” is not a commonly used term so it seemed strange.

But then Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted using the term (spelled the same way) to send her condolences: “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.” Others followed suit.

Many took offense. Christians worship Christ, not Easter, they were quick to point out. I am not unsympathetic. Words matter. Jesus was called “The Word” (John 1:1). Of course, the Bible is known as “The Word of God” (Hebrews 4:12). And the schemes of Satan have always involved semantic deception— “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).

At a time when Christians are being persecuted all around the world in historic numbers, we need leaders (especially Christian leaders!) to be clear in their support for their brothers and sisters around the world. They are being targeted because of their faith and so their faith should not be minimized in any way.

According to Open Doors, every month, on average: “345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, 105 Churches and Christian buildings are burned or attacked, and 219 Christians are detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned.”

At one level, if this was an attempt to obfuscate the issue on the part of this group of Democrats, the attempt should be rightfully condemned.  But at another level, from the beginning in the first century A.D. those who followed Jesus have been described in many ways, almost always in an attempt to disparage our faith. In fact, the very term Christian was given to the disciples at Antioch (Acts 11:26) in a seemingly condescending way. Before that, they were known as people of ‘the way” (Acts 9:2; 11:26) or of “the book,” as identified in the Quran (5:77-80). These weird “Easter worshippers.”

I have a sense of pride then in standing with the brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever the world may want to call us. Even when done maliciously, to undermine us, “Blessed are [we] when people insult [us], persecute [us], and falsely say all kinds of evil against [us] because of [Jesus]” (Matthew 5:11).

So, I am a Christian. Count me in among those “of the book” or “of the way,” the “Easter worshippers,” speaking about the “unknown god” (Acts 17:23) and the crucified Christ, risen back to life (yes, in His physical body!) and sitting at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33). He is the hope of the world, and I will gladly suffer this and more to share that hope with you.


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

Easter and the Promise of Redemption

By | Blog, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In this Easter season, I have been thinking about the importance of redemption. Over the years, by virtue of circulation in political circles, I have known personally some people involved in public scandals. The world watches as the media follows them relentlessly for days, weeks, or even months and then evaporates, leaving behind a scene of complete and utter self-inflicted personal destruction. Some of these folks are often distraught to the point of suicide.

What the cameras don’t show is what happens after the hoopla dies down. Sometimes these folks turn inward and become bitter and permanently broken, but not always. The untold stories are the others, the ones who are open to healing and saving grace.

I had the privilege of reflecting on redemption not long ago through the eyes of a woman whose husband was recently the object of a very public humiliation. She spoke about the many, many acts of love and compassion that have been shown to their family.

Members of a local church congregation have come forward to help in tangible ways, but also by sharing their own stories of brokenness and the healing of Christ’s forgiveness and restoration. One woman texted my friend, “Call me, I can help you: signed a survivor of an international sex scandal.”

No one likes to remember their past mistakes, but when they are viewed in the context of sins atoned for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross then they become only a chapter of a story of victory and healing, not the last chapter. In most cases, the final story is much more important than the earlier narrative.

I was shocked recently when my daughter confessed distaste at the fact that my dear friend and mentor, Chuck Colson, served time in prison.

My husband and I both laughed as she stared at us in confusion.

Taking advantage of a teachable moment, we were then able to point out to her that Colson’s disgrace led him to the foot of the Cross, and from there he has become one of the greatest Christian heroes of our time.

Without the public brokenness, Colson would have never become the man that God has used to minister to literally millions of people, many of whom are or were in prison.

That’s called Grace, and it is at the crux of the Easter story.

As Christians, we believe that Christ, the Son of God, died specifically not for “the righteous, but sinners.” Who is a sinner? Well, all of us. Every single one of us who has ever been unkind, lied, or been disobedient. Yes, all of it counts. He was the only sinless man ever born, and yet, He stepped in to take our punishment and, in the process, conquered sin and ultimately death. He rose to new life and indeed, through his atonement, offers a clean slate before a Holy God. That’s what Easter is all about.

I know it’s interesting to read and watch bad people “get theirs” or to even feel a sense of self-righteousness perhaps watching the lives of Hollywood elites and political figures come crashing down because of bad choices and dishonesty. But we need to remember that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I stand with countless other broken humans over the millennia who claim Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. He is risen for all the people caught in scandals, and for those who were never caught, and for those who are just plain broken. I, like the Apostle Paul, stand with the sinners “of whom I am the chief.”

Jesus on the Cross took the punishment I deserve for my sins and now because of His resurrection I stand forgiven by His grace. He will do the same for you as He has done for other sinners just like us. He is risen indeed!