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South Dakota

Celebrating Independence Day

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For many people today, July 4th is a holiday filled with picnics, friends, and fireworks. But it is also a commemoration of America’s Declaration of Independence. The freedom call was not only against a political and economic system, but it was also a cry for independence from the spiritual tyranny of the Anglican Church.

In 1775, there were 668 congregational churches in America.  Seventy-five percent of all Americans, at that time, belonged to churches of Puritan derivation. The religious makeup was 98.4 percent Protestant, 1.4 percent Roman Catholic, and three-twentieths of one percent Jewish. America was a nation deeply concerned with religious freedom.

Religious freedom today is far from what the original founders intended. What Americans wanted was a government that did not favor one Christian sect over another. The idea was never to erode Christianity through the separation of church and state. John Jay, after the war, described the homogeneity of America in Federalist 2 (*see below).

Competition between the various churches, early Americans thought, was healthy; it kept them from becoming complacent, comfortable and arrogant like the nationally endorsed Anglican Church. In 18th century America, men and women adhered to the Protestant conviction that all men and human institutions were fallible. Americans fought hard for seven years during the Revolutionary War to rid themselves of the shackles of imperial England and her state controlled church.

The men who called the people of America to independence were men committed to their country and the freedom of her people. They paid a great price for our independence and religious freedom: five signers were captured by the British army and tortured; 12 men’s homes were destroyed; two had sons who died during the Revolutionary War; one had two sons taken prisoner by the British; and nine signers of the Declaration died in the war.

This July 4th, let us remember those courageous men who helped to establish a free nation. Let us thank God for religious freedom won and exercise that freedom by reaching our generation with the Gospel. Liberty without religious freedom is bondage.

*Federalist 2

I have taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who … fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence. This country and this people seem to have been made for each other … Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and denominations of men among us. To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people. — John Jay

Blessings to you on this Independence Day, 2018.

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org

New Brochure Now Available: The Constitution is NOT the Problem

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More and more on a state level we are seeing both conservative and liberal groups wanting to change the constitution with a Con Con (Constitutional Convention, Article V Convention, Convention of States, Amendments Convention or a Con Con: Different names, but same concept. All done under Article V of U. S. Constitution.) Though on the surface it may sound like a good idea, it is a dangerous one.

Be informed, check out our new brochure, The Constitution is NOT the Problem.

Recommended Reading: Convention of States ‘not worth the risk’

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A must read on ArgusLeader.com concerning the problems with Article V Convention, AKA Convention of States.

Convention of States ‘not worth the risk’

Polls are strange creatures. A pollster can get just about any outcome he wants just by the question’s language. “Send Message to Washington: Pass SJR3” touted that 72 percent of South Dakotans want the legislature to pass the Convention of States (COS) resolution.

Was the poll question, “Do you support limited federal spending or limited federal power?” Who wouldn’t want to send that message to Washington? Did the pollster mention that the COS scheme, in order to achieve their goal, will put our U.S. Constitution at risk? Did he cite that we currently have fiscal and power restraints clearly enumerated in our Constitution? Did he point out that the COS already has stated their ambition to “clarify” the Second Amendment as was also advocated by Former Justice Stevens? Was it mentioned that two states have proposed eliminating the Electoral College? If that can be accomplished, how easy is it to make other revisions proposed by special interests at COS?

Maybe our lawmakers who are out of compliance with the Constitution should just read and obey the document that has outlasted every government document ever written worldwide.

The COS plot sounds like pie-in-the-sky, and is it worth the risk?

Recommended Reading: Defining the ‘Swamp’

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A must read on ArgusLeader.com concerning the problems with Article V Convention, AKA Convention of States.

Defining the ‘Swamp’

A good discussion needs clear definitions, so I am going to define “swamp” for Jeffrey Church re: his March 9 letter to the editor (‘Eighteen state senators vote to keep the swamp’) and for readers, as it will clear up the issue.

The swamp is the entrenched, rut riding bureaucrats that permeate our civic institutions. It is not the institutions and it is not the Constitution that is the problem. Let us keep the focus on the problems. If we can maintain our focus, then we do the hard work of replacing bureaucrats with statesmen.

Church will not fix “decades of overreach, judicial legislation and surrender of state sovereignty” with a new Constitution and the same bad riders. Our Constitution is neither vague nor silent, our legislators are. We need new riders, not a new Constitution. Fear sits on the gate with those that beg for a new horse when all we need is a better rider. In the history of modern government, there has never been such a fine, longstanding and democratic document as our U.S. Constitution. Leave it alone. Retain the focused senators that see the problems with an Article V convention and don’t let the “swamp” change the Constitution.

Recommended Reading: U.S. Constitution Requires No Revising

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Excellent letter on ArgusLeader.com concerning the problems with Article V Convention, AKA Convention of States.

U.S. Constitution Requires No Revising

Kudos to the South Dakota State Senators who see the inherent problems with an Article V Convention application regardless of the supposed purpose. Those 18 senators rightly opposed Senate Joint Resolution 3, the measure that would put our U.S. Constitution up for grabs. They are the ones who are watching our back and not succumbing to the false notion that an Article V Constitutional Convention, aka Convention of States, would cure all ills in our federal government. It simply is the wrong and dangerous tool to control an out-of-control government. The Constitution is not the problem and does not need revision or amending. It needs observance.

State Legislative Update: Education and State Constitution

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EDUCATION

SB94 would make the Opportunity Scholarship available to qualifying homeschool students.  We support this good bill, and it has been receiving good backing in the legislature.

STATUS: SB94 passed in the Senate, passed in the House State Affairs yesterday morning with a vote of 11-1, and will now be voted on in the House. Click here to view the bill, the votes, and track the status.

ACTION:  Contact your state representatives and ask them to vote YES on SB94. Us this example: [email protected], phone the House lobby and leave a message at (605) 773-3821, or click here to find out who your representatives are and how to contact them individually.

SB117 is another good bill that is receiving favorable consideration.  It would make a few adjustments to the Partners in Education program that they are required to do as the program progresses.

STATUS: SB117 passed in the Senate and passed in the House Education Committee.  It will next be heard in the House. Click here to view the bill, the votes, and track the status.

ACTION:  Contact your state representatives and ask them to support SB117. Use this example: [email protected], phone the House lobby and leave a message at (605) 773-3821, or click here to find out who your representatives are and how to contact them individually.

STRENGTHEN OUR STATE CONSTITUTION

SJR1 is a joint resolution that would be submitted to the voters in the November 2018 election for their approval.  If approved, it will change the threshold to make an amendment to our state constitution.  Any change thereafter would require a 55% vote of the people rather than the current 50%.

CWA supports this effort because any amendments to our Constitution should be considered with arduous and careful effort.

STATUS: In January it passed the Senate. SJR1 passed in the House State Affairs Committee yesterday, February, 26 with a vote of 12-2.  Click here to view the resolution, the votes, and track the status.

No action needed at this time.

PRAYER:  Please pray for these issues.  Pray for your representatives by name as you contact them.  Pray they do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord.

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]

Urgent: Your Action Needed on Gambling Bill to Be Voted on Tomorrow, February 21

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“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil:  Who put darkness for light and light for darkness;Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

Gambling is not good for South Dakota!

 SJR9 is a Joint Resolution submitting to the voters in the next general election permission to give the city of Yankton authority to erect a casino for games of chance (roulette, keno, craps, limited card games, and slot machines).  SJR9 will be heard in the Senate Local Government Committee tomorrow, February 21.

ACTION: Contact the members of the committee and your state senator and ask them to vote NO on SJR9.  Stress that we do not need any further expansion of gambling in our state. Let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of South Dakota.

  • Click here to contact the members of the Senate Local Government Committee.
  • If you know who you senator is, use this example to email him/her: [email protected], or phone the Senate lobby and leave a message at (605) 773-3821. Click here to find out who your senator is and how to contact him/her individually.

PRAYER: Please pray that the efforts of those pushing gambling in our state would be thwarted.

Sincerely,

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org

Legislative Update: Sanctity of Life and Education

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“The question is not whether we legislate morality, but whose morality we legislate.” Chuck Colson

 SANCTITY OF LIFE LEGISLATION

We are pleased to report that SB 110 passed the Senate on Tuesday, February 6, by a vote of 27 to 8. Check the votes here. It will now head to the House.

This bill will bring some transparency to the disclosure of information given to women seeking abortion at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, our only remaining abortion facility.  It aims to set right the wrong done to our legislators and governor who passed and signed additions to our abortion disclosure law in previous years.  In addition, this bill exposes Planned Parenthood’s failure to adequately present the disclosures (informed consent) as required by state law. It requires Pregnancy Help Centers to also provide certain disclosures, ensuring pregnant mothers receive accurate information when considering an abortion.

ACTION:  Contact your representatives and ask them to vote YES on SB 110.  You may email using this example[email protected],  call the House lobby at 605-773-3851 to leave a message, and/or click here to find out who your representatives are and how to contact them individually.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of South Dakota.

HOMESCHOOL LEGISLATION

HB 1120, the “Homeschool Activities Equal Access” bill,  failed in the House Education Committee on January 31.  Check the votes here. HB 1120 would have provide[d] equal access for all students to activities sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association or school districts. However, the “smoke out” of the bill was successful, thus forcing the committee to send it to the House floor for debate and a vote.  Check the votes here.  We wanted a “Yes” vote.  As of today, HB 1120 has not been placed on the calendar for a vote pending an amendment.

We are pleased to report that SB 94, the “Homeschool Opportunity Scholarship Equity” bill, passed in the Senate.  Check the votes here. The bill will establish certain provisions regarding the opportunity scholarship program, making the program fair for homeschoolers.

It has not yet been scheduled in the House Education Committee.

ACTION:  Contact your state representatives and urge them to support these two homeschool bills. You may email using this example[email protected],  call the House lobby at 605-773-3851 to leave a message, and/or click here to find out who your representatives are and how to contact them individually. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of South Dakota.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION LEGISLATION

Two bills, SB 117 and HB 1221, have made a few adjustments that they are required to do as the program progresses. The purpose of SB 117 is to revise certain provisions regarding the partners in education tax credit program. The purpose of HB 1221, a program that was passed into law two years ago that we were involved in, is to expand the partners in education tax credit program to include tribally controlled schools on a federally recognized Indian reservation.

ACTION:  No action is needed at this time.

 PRAYER:  Please pray for the success of each one of these bills.  May their opposition be thwarted.

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org

Legislative Update: Life, Homeschool, and the State Constitution

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“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” — Ephesians 6:13

The South Dakota Legislature has important bills that need your support and prayers.

LIFE

SB 110 is an excellent pro-life bill that will bring transparency to the disclosure of information given to women seeking abortion at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, our only remaining abortion facility.  This bill exposes Planned Parenthood’s failure to adequately present the disclosures (informed consent) as required by state law.  It requires pregnancy help centers to also provide certain disclosures, ensuring pregnant mothers receive accurate information when considering an abortion.

Status: The Senate Committee on State Affairs is likely to hear SB 110 on Friday, February 2.

CWA supports this bill that aims to set aright the wrong done to our legislators and governor who passed and signed additions to our abortion disclosure law in previous years.

Action:  Contact your state senator and ask him/her to vote YES on SB 110.  You may email using this example: [email protected]. Click here to find out who your senator is, or call the Senate lobby to leave a message at (605) 773-3821.

HOMESCHOOL
SB 94, the “Homeschool Opportunity Scholarship Equity” bill, will “establish certain provisions regarding the opportunity scholarship program,” making the program fair for homeschoolers.

Status: SB 94 passed in the Senate and will now head to the House.  Check the votes here.

HB 1120, the “Homeschool Activities Equal Access” bill, will “provide equal access for all students to activities sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association or school districts.”  

Status: URGENT – HB 1120 will be heard in the House Education Committee TOMORROW, January 31.

Action:  Contact your state legislators and urge them to support these two homeschool bills.  Call the Senate lobby phone at (605) 773-3821 and the House lobby phone at (605) 773-3851.

STATE CONSTITUTION

SJR1 is a joint resolution that would be submitted to the voters in the November 2018 election for their approval.  If approved, it will change the threshold to make an amendment to the South Dakota Constitution.  Any change thereafter would require a 55% vote of the people, rather than the current 50%.

Status: SJRI has passed in the Senate and will now head to the House. Check the Senate votes here.

CWA supports this effort, because any amendments to the South Dakota Constitution should be considered with arduous and careful effort.

PRAYER

Please join us in prayer concerning these four bills.  Pray that all opposition to these bills would be thwarted and that each one passes.

God bless you for your faithfulness in prayer and action.

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org