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YWA in Israel

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DAY 1

Everyone was tired when we landed in Israel, but our excitement trumped our lack of sleep! We landed around noon and headed straight to Ceasarea, a town on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast. Ceasarea was a magnificent port city built by Herod the Great. The 2000-year old Roman Amphitheatre, the city’s center of entertainment, still stands and is used today. We actually sat inside while a band set-up for a concert that night.

Ceasarea is breathtaking. It was our first glimpse of the Mediterranean before we got to our hotel that night which was right on the beach.

Photos by Annabelle Rutledge, CWA Communications Coordinator and Alixanne Kramer, YWA Tucson Chapter President

DAY 2

In the morning we visited Alfei Menashe, a town overlooking the West Bank and took a tour of an archeological site, Tel Shimron, in the Jezreel Valley. From there we went to Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home. We visited a museum, toured the old village of Nazareth, had an authentic Nazarene lunch and toured the Church of Annunciation. We ended the day at Mount Precipice. This is the cliff where Jesus passed through the crowds who attempted to throw him off the edge. (Luke 4:16-30)

Photos by Alixanne Kramer, YWA Tucson Chapter President

“The grounds of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth were remarkable.  I marveled at the beautiful mosaics along the walls, which showcased different depictions of Jesus’ Mother from around the world. Once I entered the basilica, I began to contemplate how impactful Mary’s ‘yes,’ or fiat in Latin, was to the life of Christ.  By Jesus calling her ‘woman,’ she became the ‘New Eve’ whose ‘yes’ to Gabriel overcame Eve’s ‘yes’ to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.” -Valeria Tkacik, former YWA Chapter President, now alumni, of Ave Maria University

Photos by Valeria Takcik, former YWA Chapter President, now alumni, of Ave Maria University

“As I look back on our first full day touring Israel, I am touched by how fitting it was that one of the first sites we visited was the Basilica of the Annunciation. Our pilgrimage began where salvation history began all those centuries ago. It was here that Our lady’s humble and obedient ‘yes’ procured for humanity, Salvation itself, through the immaculate conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As I looked upon that Holy grotto where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, I was struck by the unassuming and lowly nature of the place. How modest and plain the spot where the Divine would make an entrance into our everyday world. This mystery is so compelling because it mirrors the interior experience of our souls, as Our Lord reveals Himself to us, though unfit and limited, and we are to then respond to His grace. And so I uttered once more, yes, to Our Lord, in that same place as did The Sweet Virgin, whose trust was so fearless and so complete in The Divine Will.” -Veronica Hays, YWA Member at George Mason University

Stormy Daniels And Her $130,000 Donation To Planned Parenthood

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Lest her calm, cool, and collected 60 Minutes interview give the wrong impression, it’s important for us to remember that Stormy Daniels is in no position to establish herself as a role model for women and young girls.

Having received some backlash for accepting what has been characterized as hush money, Daniels is now trying to emphasize her selfless and philanthropic nature by donating the cash. She could have chosen to donate to any charity — perhaps an organization that helps sex trafficking victims or victims of assault and violence. Instead, she has chosen that $130,000 will be going to the bank account of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor who has been caught on tape aiding sex traffickers — and then training employees on how to not say incriminating things on camera to undercover journalists.

This reeks of another expensive public relations campaign by Planned Parenthood to get their name in the press and attach themselves to a national story that isn’t going away anytime soon.

It’s their MO. The Women’s March was shaping up to be huge in 2017, so Planned Parenthood decided to sponsor it and ultimately became a key player in the movement. The March for Lives was a huge national story dealing with gun violence; Planned Parenthood tweeted out their support (and subsequently got slammed for their hypocrisy). The immigration debate – why not? The non-profit supports illegal immigration because they sell more abortions that way.

It’s not much of a surprise that Stormy Daniels is on the Planned Parenthood train and vice versa. Daniels was a “successful” star in pornography and is continuing her run next week with a cover shot on Penthouse along with a nude photoshoot. This is the kind of modern day feminism Planned Parenthood loves, where women shed their dignity and damage their souls in exchange for money and power.

The connection between the porn industry, sex traffickers, and Planned Parenthood is well documented.  Porn is often used to groom sex trafficking victims so they can learn what they are expected to do. When sex trafficked victims become pregnant as a result of their abuse, they are often coerced into having abortions. Planned Parenthood has been caught on film helping pimps obtain abortions for their victims, including minors. The only thing done to fix the situation after it was made public was train employees not on how to identify victims of sex trafficking but rather how to avoid making incriminating statements.

In addition, promoting pornography is not a new concept for Planned Parenthood. In other undercover videos by Live Action, Planned Parenthood staff teaches teenagers how to access pornography and experiment with whips, chains, and choking, all while hiding it from their parents.

Pornography, particularly today’s ubiquitous, violent version, is anything but harmless. Studies have found it can adversely affect the brain, create problems in one’s sex life, become addictive and break apart families, negatively warp views on relationships, and is linked to prostitution and sex trafficking.

The thing is, Planned Parenthood doesn’t even need Stormy Daniels’ money. In 2016, they had excess revenue of $98.5 million. The same year, they also spent an astounding $38 million trying to elect Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. And they recently announced they plan to spend at least $20 million in this year’s midterm elections.

Stormy Daniels and Planned Parenthood have much in common, but the most insidious is the lie (straight of out the pit of Hell) to young women that a life of sexual promiscuity is glamorous and freeing.  Their glossy promotion of pornography casts women as objects devoid of worth beyond their use for the sexual pleasure of men. They divorce body and soul. And they profit from human misery.

Feminist Naomi Wolfe said, “The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today’s woman has become her ‘beauty.’” There is nothing remotely feminist in the arrangement of sex for money.  Those who promote “sex work” as a valid career choice for women, (ahem, the Women’s March) are guilty of shameful devaluation of women.

It’s time that we were honest about the porn industry. Linda Lovelace, perhaps the most famous porn actress in history, tells the true story of abuse and manipulation at the hands of men who profited from her.  Her story is not unique. Men and women must be disabused of the idea that the smiling faces being violated on camera will walk away whole when the bright lights are off.

Stormy Daniels believes she has been wronged, and maybe that’s true.  I would simply ask her not to hurt others as she seeks whatever it is she needs to feel vindicated. Continuing to perpetuate the lie that abortion and porn are just another choice harms young women.  Money is clearly her love language. I would recommend she choose other ways to spend it.

 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Townhall.com. Click here to read it.

Who is Training our Boys to be Violent Towards Women?

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Throughout the decades, “prudish” Christian conservatives have been known for warning against the dangers of pornography. But long gone are the days of Playboy’s nude women — the pornography of today is so violent and so pervasive that even the New York Times published an op-ed this month voicing deep concern.

They are not alone.  This month, the Kansas Senate joined five other states in taking an important step and declaring pornography a public health crisis. Utah did the same in 2016, and other states are considering following suit, including Florida. It’s about time.

When it comes to the topic of sex, our nation is in utter conflict and chaos. One moment we’re leading a movement against sexual harassment and the objectification of women, and the next moment we conflate love and violence by paying to watch the movie Fifty Shades Freed on Valentine’s Day. Americans are basically desensitized to the issue of sexual spousal abuse, a concept feminists once fought hard to legitimize. What happened?  Now those of us who are offended are labeled “prudes” by the same movement.

The reality is that if we really believe in the #MeToo movement, and if we actually want to decrease child-sex abuse and sex trafficking, then everyone should be offended by portrayals of sex that not only degrade women but are abusive towards women. Pornography thrives on the lie that women enjoy violence.

An analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos found that 88% of scenes contained physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. Recent studies have found that the majority of the most-watched porn scenes contain abusive behavior against women, including slapping and gagging. The worst part is that women are depicted as enjoying this treatment. The studies went on to find that, not surprisingly, men are more likely to act aggressively towards women after watching these videos.

It’s either naïve or dishonest to downplay the role of pornography in the sexual objectification of our women and children. Today, violent pornography permeates our culture.  PornHub, a leading site for pornography, boasts 92 billion video views a year with over 75 million daily visits.

These are horrifying statistics.

Don’t think for a second that any of these statistics are escaping our children; the normalization of violent sex is being passed down to future generations. We live in a culture in which it is almost impossible to shield our children from hardcore pornography. Twenty-seven percent of millennials report being exposed to porn before they reached puberty. The Pediatrics journal found in a 2014 study that 20% of middle school kids have engaged in sexting.

Repeated exposure to porn rewires the human brain. It changes how young men view sex and how they view women. It teaches young men that abuse of women is not only normal but that women, in fact, enjoy it. Meanwhile, porn teaches young women that to object to anything sexual, even if it is painful or demeaning, is abnormal.

This false view of sexuality fuels behaviors in which young men behave as predators while young women are silently compliant. This is the state of sexual “normality” that is being fed to our children.

Repeated exposure to pornography hijacks the brain’s pleasure centers, leading to addiction. We’re watching a generation that has been so exposed to hardcore pornography that they are now nursing an addiction that they are unaware is even something of which to be wary.

And this shouldn’t have even been allowed in the first place! According to the Supreme Court, if something is prurient in nature, completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value, and violates the local community standards, then it is obscenity.

Much of the porn on popular websites meets the Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity. Rape, gang rape, and other abusive images are not legal, because they don’t meet community standards.  The Department of Justice has kowtowed to the porn industry which has dumped untold millions into lobbying and public relations efforts to silence them, and our kids are paying the price.

Utah, Kansas, and Florida are all on the right track. We are indeed facing a public health crisis. Recognizing this crisis for what it is gives health officials the ability to draw attention to the negative impacts of the pornography industry.  The bully pulpit of public health has helped with smoking, HIV/AIDs prevention, and lead paint poisoning to mention a few examples.  Why not educate the public on the health risks of violent porn?  It may be a stepping-off point to urging the Department of Justice to enforce obscenity law, but even if it’s not, it’s helpful.

It’s time to be honest with ourselves. We can engage in hashtag activism all we want, but we most certainly cannot claim to stand for women and children while turning a blind eye to the dangers of violent pornography. It’s time to stop living in a constant state of cognitive dissonance.

 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by the Hill. Click here to read it. 

CWA Advocates for Pompeo’s Swift Confirmation

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Moving this week is support for President Trump’s new nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.  You will see CWA becoming more active later this month on the Hill when Pompeo appears in the Senate for his official hearings for his new position as Secretary of State.  This week we joined with other conservative organizations to lend our voice to his swift approval by signing on to a letter of support that will hit the Senate soon.

The letter stated that, “Mike Pompeo’s career also shows a regard for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of the family, and the solemnity of marriage.  These principles will be key in re-building a State Department that, under President Obama, actively pushed a radical social policy around the world.  His belief in religious freedom as a foreign policy priority is equally important in directing the State Department’s efforts to protect the freedom of all people.

“Mike Pompeo will be a positive agent for change at the State Department, and a valuable asset to President Trump in imparting his agenda at home and abroad.  We support his nomination and urge his swift confirmation.”

Fighting for Justice in Judicial Nominations

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The radical left’s unjust definition of justice prevents it from impartiality, the very essence of the role of a judge. Its partisan opposition to any and all of President Trump’s judicial nominees is a prime example.

One nominee, Kyle Duncan, who has been nominated to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has been especially targeted by the left because of his involvement in protecting religious freedom and the rights of conscience in relation to one of the left’s holy grails, same-sex marriage.

Duncan is an exemplary nominee. His temperament and judicial philosophy, as with Justice Neil Gorsuch, is tailor made for the judiciary. He strongly believes a judge should interpret law and not write law to accomplish personal social, cultural or political aspirations. He is the type of judge both left and right should champion.

His academic and legal preparation is also stellar.  His undergraduate and law degree are both from Louisiana State University — his home state and the region that is overseen by the 5th Circuit. He also has a Master of Law (LL.M) from Columbia. He clerked for Judge John M. Duhe, Jr., also on the 5th Circuit. He has served as Assistant Solicitor General at the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and as Solicitor General for the State of Louisiana.

But it is his work as General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that has many in the left hysterically protesting him. As lead counsel in the landmark Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, which protected the rights of conscience and religious liberty for business owners, Duncan has become a target for the radical left. He also admirably defended Louisiana’s marriage laws, and that is also an unpardonable sin to them.

So, the left wants to smear this great nominee’s character, regardless of the truth of the claims they make. He is a “hater.”

I will let Paul Baier, his opponent in the same-sex “marriage” litigation, set the record straight. Here is what  he wrote in a recent op-ed for The Hill:

Having battled on the front lines in the same-sex marriage litigation, I can attest to the passionate disagreement and often contentious nature of the issue. Emotions were particularly raw when I litigated opposite Kyle in the immediate wake of Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell.

Through it all, however, I always appreciated and respected Kyle’s advocacy for his client and his respect for the humanity of the same-sex couples who would be most affected by the case. While I disagreed with many of his arguments, often emphatically, I never found a trace of bias, bigotry, or any disrespect towards the same-sex individuals in the case.

Both of us strove mightily as adversaries. But we continue to eat and drink as friends.

Kyle knows well the difference between the advocate’s role for his client (in the same-sex marriage case, the State of Louisiana) and what he would be called upon to decide as a judge on the Fifth Circuit. I maintain this view of Kyle even after having faced off against him in the highly charged atmosphere of same-sex marriage litigation. His ability to act as a judge and not advocate will surely carry over to other questions of public importance facing the Fifth Circuit.

As an appellate lawyer, Kyle Duncan is uniquely qualified. I have long taught Appellate Practice and Procedure at LSU Law Center, where I have my students listen to Kyle’s successful U.S. Supreme Court argument in Connick v. Thompson.

The left’s hollowed, emotional opposition to this nominee is a great injustice and should be emphatically rejected.  Even the liberal American Bar Association rated him “well qualified,” their highest rating.

The Senate should confirm Kyle Duncan as soon as possible.

CWA Represents You at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

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This week CWA’s Senior Advisor for Foreign Affairs attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held March 12-23 in New York City where UN member states met to address the priority theme “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.  The commission, held each year, is the main forum where international norms, policies, and programs are established with the goal of achieving protection, empowerment and rights for women.

High on the agenda for conservative and faith-based groups at CSW is to influence UN consensus to align with President Trump’s executive action to restore and extend the Mexico City Policy. The Mexico City Policy, originally introduced by the Reagan Administration in 1984, prohibits U.S. funds for family planning programs to go to any nongovernmental organization that promotes or performs abortion as a method of family planning. Trump’s executive order created the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) plan which expands the policy to include funding for all global health assistance programs, such as “HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, family planning and reproductive health.” Under PLGHA, any organization that offers abortion counseling or advocates for abortion rights in other countries is prohibited from receiving U.S. funding.

Conservative groups are working to strengthen that pro-life stance by calling for the rejection of abortion-related terms in UN negotiations such as “reproductive rights” or “sexual and reproductive health services”—ambiguous terms, often used to promote abortion as a method of family planning. These terms written in international policies and programming can ultimately undermine the U.S. policy goal of protecting life overseas. Meanwhile, liberal leftist organizations, which greatly outnumber conservative or faith-based organizations advocating at the UN, continue to press for “comprehensive” reproductive health services and rights (to include abortion) based on the tenet that these contribute to educational attainment, economic prosperity, and longevity for women around the world.

Why should Americans who value the tenets of family and life care about what happens in UN negotiations and resolutions? Currently the U.S. is the largest provider of money to the UN, contributing 22% of the UN budget in 2017 (i.e. your tax dollars) and supporting the approximately 40,000 UN staff members who are bound by and implement the policies and ideology established in UN resolutions. Perhaps more importantly, U.N. agreements often influence national law or policy and greatly contribute to the creation of national and international social norms.

Join with CWA as we advocate and fight for family values at the United Nations and around the world. We will continue to attend UN events to represent you and conservative Biblical principles and to address the most important challenges to family, life, and women’s well being in the international arena.

CWA Legislative Victory – Senate Passed FOSTA

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This week the Senate passed the House-passed Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA). We were apprehensive about the senate vote because Sen. Wyden (D-Oregon) has had a hold on this bill which prevented it from moving forward. Sen. Wyden, working with the tech industry, was planning to offer several amendments that would have drastically changed the bill and would have rendered it useless should they have been adopted. We worked with a pro-victim, anti-sex trafficking coalition to educate senators that these amendments were horrible and would significantly hurt the bill. The first amendment Sen. Wyden offered failed 2-97 and the second one was withdrawn, theoretically, because it would have suffered the same fate.

Sen. Wyden was one of the two senators to vote against final passage; the bill passed 97-2, and now the bill heads to the President’s desk to be signed. FOSTA provides survivors and law enforcement with new tools available to hold bad actor websites that are knowingly participating in sex trafficking accountable.

This is a victory for law enforcement officers who are working relentlessly to combat sex trafficking in their communities. This is a victory for prosecutors and the 50 state Attorneys General who support FOSTA who have asked for better tools and resources so that they can better prosecute those involved in sex trafficking. Perhaps most importantly, this is a victory for victims who have encountered substantial obstacles while trying to achieve justice against those found complicit in their trafficking.

Less than 24 hours after the bill passed, “adult” “escort” websites like cityvibe have already shut down because they know this bill will hold them accountable for selling human beings online. The language in FOSTA not only allows prosecution of websites who knowingly traffic humans, but also allows prosecution of websites who knowingly facilitate prostitution. We all know that backpage is responsible for trafficking women and minors, but this bill is about more than shutting down backpage, it is about stopping the next backpage, and it is clearly working before it is even the law of the land.

CWA: A Young Woman’s Training Ground

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Magnify your voice.  Lead a movement.  Impact culture.

That is what we encourage young women across the country to do through Concerned Women for America’s Young Women for America (YWA) program.

The past few months here at YWA have been very busy with traveling, training, and introducing young ladies to our organization. I was able to travel to Dallas, Texas, and Ft. Collins, Colorado, to meet with current and prospective leaders, as well as give some much-deserved thanks to some very generous people. We approved three new college chapter presidents in the last month — Micah Mays in Texas, Lillian Vasquez in Kansas, and Jerica Washington in Massachusetts. These ladies are excited and ready to lead a movement on their campuses, and we are thrilled to be their training ground. I would ask you to keep them, along with all of our other leaders, in your prayers, asking God to protect them as they stand for truth.

Just before Christmas, I traveled to Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, to sponsor a YWA exhibit booth. Some of our current YWA leaders were able to attend this conference, and spending time with them was an added blessing to the trip. After countless conversations and introductions of CWA and YWA to other students, we had young ladies from 21 different schools sign up to start Young Women for America chapters. They are currently in the application process. Please join us in praying that God would raise up these young leaders and that they would not be discouraged or back down.

In early November, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) hosted a panel of young female evangelicals rising in their field of public policy. We at CWA are proud to say that three of the five panelists are “our people.” Patrina Mosley, Alison Howard Centofante, and Chelsen Vicari are just three of the many young women who have walked through the doors of Concerned Women for America and have been forever changed as a result.

Whether it be starting Young Women for America chapters, joining a chapter on campus, coming to CWA training, interning in our headquarters, joining our staff, or listening to the testimony of CWA Founder and Chairman of the Board Mrs. LaHaye, we are being changed. The resources and educational materials that CWA has are equipping young women across the country. From the Godly leadership of Mrs. LaHaye and CWA CEO and President Penny Nance to the steadfast examples of our seasoned state directors and leaders, we are learning, growing, and being led by the best of the best. Whether or not you have personally met each young lady, we are standing on your shoulders. The time and resources that you have sacrificed are indeed training strong, Godly, conservative young women. Thank you for playing a part, no matter how small, and seeing the value of investing in the next generation.

 

Is this the Ninth Year of Obama? Congress Must Confirm Trump Nominees

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Almost a year has passed since the Trump Administration entered the White House, yet the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development are still in “the ninth year of Obama,” as a senior State Department official describes it.  The reason for this description? Both organizations continue Obama-era programs and policies with a staff the majority of whom support spending billions of taxpayer dollars to promote “reproductive rights” (read abortion) and LGBT ideology in foreign countries.  As Trump nominees await Senate confirmation to vacant positions in the State Department, Obama-era staff run amuck with little accountability and full rein to ignore, block, and generally derail the new administration’s agenda. Unfortunately for the Christian conservatives who helped get Trump elected, a source in the State Department, who spoke to us under condition of anonymity, estimates less than 2% of State Department staff actually represent those values.

Recently, Fox News reported 96 vacant positions in the State Department alone. Of those vacancies, 73 have no nominee and 21 are Trump nominations still awaiting Senate confirmation.  Approximately 14 of those are ambassadorships. On the State Department’s webpage listing the “Assistant Secretaries and Other Senior Officials,” 45 positions are currently listed vacant as of this writing.

It is true that President Trump plans to reduce the number of staff within the State Department, but the Democrat’s intentional obstruction of President Trump’s nominees is hurting the country. In the first six months of Obama’s presidency, a total of 206 judicial and executive branch nominees were confirmed; by comparison, President Trump had only 55 judicial and executive confirmations in his first six months. Obama’s nominees were confirmed at an average of 50 days; Trump nominees are taking an average of 69 days.  Those numbers indicate that the problem area is executive nominations because, as Mario Diaz, Esq., Concerned Women for America’s Legal Counsel has written, Trump has fared well when it comes to judicial nominations this year.

Still, at this rate, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it would take 11 years to confirm all of President Trump’s nominees. That’s because of the deliberate obstruction of executive nominations. Take Callista Gingrich, for example, she was nominated in May 25, 2017, as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and finally confirmed in October 16. That’s 144 days.

In large part, liberal senators are blocking Trump nominees by abusing the typical Senate procedure for confirmation. They continuously object to Trump nominations, whatever their record, triggering a default post-cloture debate rule that requires 30 hours of debate on the Senate floor before confirmation of each nominee. The rule, first adopted during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, was actually established to force an end to Senate stalling tactics and limit the consideration of an issue to 30 additional hours of debate.  Now it is being used precisely for stalling the president’s agenda.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) calls on Congress to speed up the confirmation process and quickly appoint those who will support the issues and ideology for which Trump was elected by the American people. We urge our members to call on their senators to push Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to stop the gridlock and confirm Trump’s nominees. Additionally, we call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change Senate procedure, reduce the debate time on nominations from 30 hours to eight or fewer hours, and allow the Senate to confirm more than one or two nominees a week. For the millions of Americans who elected President Donald Trump and his platform to make America great again, “the ninth year of Obama” is unacceptable—and time is moving on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Dear friend,

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!  With life’s busyness, it’s easy for me to go about my daily routine without a thankful and grateful heart. This can be a detrimental attitude. However, Thanksgiving gives me an opportunity to realign my heart to be grateful to Him in all things.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17

On that note, it is with gratitude to the Lord that I write to you today.  Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Maine has been blessed this year with so much.

The first blessing is you!  I thank the Lord for your participation in this ministry.  Your prayers for both CWA of Maine and the issues at hand are absolutely needed.  The actions you take, such as making phone calls, sending emails, and writing to our legislators, put feet to all that CWA does behind the scenes. I am grateful!  Your financial support literally keeps the gas in the car, the paper in the copier, the cell phone on, and much more.  I thank the Lord for your gifts.

The second blessing is Catherine (Cathy) Carsley.  She recently stepped into the Encourage-A-Legislator Coordinator position.  Cathy will be managing the volunteer encouragers as they pray for and encourage their assigned state senator and house member. As a natural encourager, Cathy will be a tremendous asset to CWA of Maine in this position.

The third blessing is Renee Fortin.  She recently stepped into the position of Prayer/Action Chapter Coordinator as well as Legislative Liaison.  It is her goal to have at least one chapter in each of Maine’s 16 counties by the end of 2018.  In addition, Renee will assist in all aspects of the legislative process.  She will be keeping track of legislation, keeping you informed of prayer needs, educating you on the issues/bills that are important to you, and advising action that needs to be taken.  As Renee is a longtime friend of CWA of Maine, I am excited to see how the Lord will use her as one of our leaders.

CWA of Maine has much to be thankful to the Lord for as we work together to make a difference in public policy.  We thank God for you and ask His richest blessings on you and your family during this season of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Penny Morrell
State Director
CWA of Maine
[email protected]
me.cwfa.org

House Republicans unveil tax reform

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Washington D.C. – Today the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled the Republican tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Job Act.  Among many changes, it was revealed that a typical family of four earning $59,000 (median household income) will receive a $1,182 tax cut. The child tax credit will be raised to $1,600 per child from the previous $1,000 per child while providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America had this to say:

“Thank you House Republicans for working to provide tax reforms that will directly impact the American family. Our nation has not seen an overhaul of our tax system since 1986 – we recognize that this was no easy task.

“I am encouraged by the pro-family focus of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which will better support American families who are struggling to keep up. An investment in American families is an investment in the future of America, and I hope that continues to be the focus as this bill moves to the Senate.

“Both the increase in the child tax credit and the preservation of the Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit are a step in the right direction. Americans should never be forced to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of their children or parents.

“Reforming the tax system is not easy, but it is vital, and every step needs to be taken to ensure that money is being given back to hard-working American families. And so I look forward to seeing the Senate take this even further, specifically in the area of the child tax credit. CWA has been working with Ivanka Trump and the Trump Administration on increasing the Child Tax Credit in this tax reform package to $2500 per child. These reforms demonstrate the fact that America’s economy is not only business-driven but fueled by the family.”

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal: Why Are So-Called Feminists Defending This Creep?

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Harvey Weinstein should go sign up for the dating website OkCupid and make sure he gets that pink ribbon on his profile, branding him a feminist and supporter of Planned Parenthood. The media mogul is the ultimate bro-choicer, an adoring donor to the Democratic Party, defended by some of the left’s most powerful women.

Weinstein has been accused in a lengthy New York Times story of doing some truly horrendous things to women, totally unsolicited − also known as sexual harassment − over a period of nearly three decades. His alleged victims were talented young actresses and other women who had the potential to build successful careers on their own without some ugly, creepy man coercing them into giving him a massage or worse.

But this is Hollywood, and the feminists are the women who defend creeps like Weinstein.

Anita Dunn, a close associate of President Obama who became his communications director for a time at the White House, has been reported to have counseled Weinstein after the allegations broke in the media.

Even more troubling is that celebrity women’s advocate attorney Lisa Bloom is representing Weinstein. This is a woman who has represented victims in high-profile sexual harassment cases. Throwing that legacy away, she agreed to represent Weinstein, whom she said she has counseled that “times have changed” and he “needs to evolve into a higher standard.” Really?

Bloom’s reasoning regarding Weinstein gets better, though: “He has acknowledged mistakes he has made. He is reading books and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. He wants to reach out to any of the women who may have issues with him to talk to them in a respectful, peaceful way, with me present if that is acceptable to them.”

I hope Bloom has a better answer for the women who Weinstein is accused of sexually harassing and forcing to look at him half-clothed or with no clothes at all, with tears in their eyes, as he emotionally blackmailed them for sex.

But this is Hollywood. This is Hugh Hefner’s world. This is the liberal paradise of promoting equal rights and justice for women, yet defending the men who use them for their own satisfaction, discarding them for younger versions every year, and then complaining about it years later when the women finally have the courage to say “enough!”

This is not true feminism. Supporting men who tear down women for their own use, supporting free access to taxpayer-funded abortion so men can cover up their own conduct, and mistreating women for decades is nothing for women to get behind.

These powerful women, these self-proclaimed feminists, are only hurting women when they stand up for and promote men who proudly use their own power to harass and demean women.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

CWA on the front lines of pro-family tax reform

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is encouraged by the tax reform proposals set forth by the Trump Administration. As the framework continues to be filled out, CWALAC is working tirelessly to more than double the Child Tax Credit. We believe tax reform should be pro-family, in addition to pro-growth.

We are working closely with Ivanka Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), as well as other organizations from varying backgrounds — all united in the belief that pro-family tax reform is an investment in America’s future.

Linked is a joint statement CWALAC signed outlining specifics for enhancing the Child Tax Credit.

We are proud to be at the tip of the spear promoting pro-family tax reform.

 

Graham-Cassidy Bill: Last Chance for Health Care Reform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Feminists went all-out Mean Girls on Melania and Ivanka Trump

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Feminists went all-out Mean Girls on Melania and Ivanka Trump, when a Newsweek piece called them out for — wait for it — wearing high heels.

I love a good pair of stilettos, block heels, wedge, you name it, but according to Nina Burleigh over at Newsweek, heels symbolize everything that is wrong with the Trump women. That’s quite a bridge to cross following any kind of logic, none of which exists in the piece.

In fact, it’s downright legit shoe shaming.

According to Ms. Burleigh, whom I picture as a sensible shoes kind of girl, stilettos are not in fashion.  That’s probably news to Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, or any of the other top designers on 5thAvenue.  But so what either way?  If the Trump women enjoy wearing shoes that make them feel good, why berate them for their choices?

High heels were around long before Ms. Burleigh decided to go all puritanical on us.  Her article suggested that those dirty shoes appeared earliest on the feet of Italian prostitutes in the 17th century.  Actually, no, Persian horseback riders first used high heels in the ninth century to help keep their feet from slipping out of the stirrups. The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto even showcases a 17th century Persian high heel.

And in the 1600s, King Louis XVI decided that red high heels would be a status symbol of nobility (plus, he was on the shorter side so the height helped him out).

While stiletto pumps are not for everyone and do require a certain amount of grace and stability on behalf of the women who dare to don a pair, many women wear them because they make women feel good and look good.  They can bring a certain air of power to women.  While the famous stiletto designer Christian Louboutin has been quoted saying that his work is geared towards pleasing men, women adore those red-soled heels.  Why? Because they look good, and women feel dressed up wearing them.  In fact, according to the Huffington Post, historically, in times of economic downturn, sales of bothlipstick and high heels go up.

So why does any of this have to be political in nature?  Imagine if a conservative writer wrote this piece about any shoe choice of Michelle Obama.  It would be the front-page headline.  Do feminists truly have nothing else to write about these days?

Even liberal women like Hillary Clinton, Cecile Richards, and Nancy Pelosi all wear high heels.  Ms. Burleigh would not dare to casually mention them in the same article as Italian prostitutes.  As much as Ms. Burleigh wants stilettos to reflect character, they do not, but being nasty about those wearing them does

This is just a catty way for a liberal woman to take a swipe at women who not only wear, but profit from, high heels.  Maybe she would change her mind if she tried on a lovely pair of Ivanka Trump shoes.  They not only look nice but are actually pretty comfortable.

Ironically, I first read the Newsweek piece while sitting in my podiatrist’s office.  I wasn’t there because of my stiletto habit, but rather one that stemmed from running (in running shoes).  Left-leaning women and women right of center have serious policy conflicts.  Fashion, Tom Ford aside, is wonderfully neutral.  Let’s keep it that way.

Statement of Penny Nance Regarding Kellyanne Conway

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Statement from Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization:

“I have known Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway for over twenty years.  She is woman of great integrity and spotless character.  I watched her build, from scratch, a highly successful business despite turning away clients who didn’t share her values and core beliefs.  As campaign manager, Kellyanne was the first woman to elect a president and had numerous opportunities to parlay that success exponentially.  If money was her motivation she would have cashed out instead of going to help our new president and her nation.  I am disgusted by the coordinated effort by the left to smear her name and can only shake my head at the incalculable level of hypocrisy practiced by her critics. Through all of the attacks she has remained steadfast and loyal to the president, and that is a great credit to her.”