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religious freedom Archives – Concerned Women for America

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

CWA of Georgia Responds to Amazon’s HQ2 Pick

By | Georgia | No Comments

Dear friends,
For over a year, Georgia courted Amazon to bring its second headquarters (known as HQ2) to the state. And for over a year, as CWA of Georgia fought tirelessly to pass a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), all we heard was Amazon would never do business with Georgia if a religious freedom bill were to be passed and signed into law.

This week, Amazon announced they would locate their new HQ2 in three states – two of which have RFRA laws!  CWA of Georgia joined in a press release with other faith-based organizations in response to Amazon’s announcement.  You can be assured that CWA of Georgia will continue to be on the front lines in 2019 working aggressively for the passage of a state-level RFRA.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

State Legislative Update: Adoptions, Hate Crimes, and Religious Freedom

By | Georgia | No Comments

The 2018 legislative session is at its halfway mark, and CWA of Georgia is actively representing you at the State Capitol on issues that are important to you.  I wanted to update you on three issues that we have been working on very closely.

Adoption and Foster Care Legislation
The House and Senate passed HB 159, the massive rewrite of Georgia’s adoption code which hadn’t been updated since 1990. Because faith-based adoption agency protections were removed from HB 159, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”  SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done. This State has the constitutional duty to proactively protect the first freedom of the First Amendment for religious persons and their institutions.

Status: HB 375 is working its way through the Senate. I testified in support of SB 375 at the subcommittee hearing. It should be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Action: Call or e-mail your state senator and urge him/her to support SB 375 when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Click here to locate your state senator.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray that SB 375 will pass both the House and Senate and that Gov. Deal will sign the bill. The spiritual warfare is great on this bill. There are many who want faith-based adoption agencies and faith-based foster care organizations eliminated in Georgia.

Hate Crimes Legislation
Three state-level “hate crimes” bills have been filed in the Georgia legislature. HB 660 has been introduced by Rep. Megan Hanson (R-Brookhaven). HB 663 and SB 316 have been introduced by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) and Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), respectively.  All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability.

Please read our talking points concerning the dangers of “hate crime” laws.

 Status: HB 660, HB 663, and SB 316 were heard in subcommittee this week, but no votes were taken. I testified at all three hearings in opposition to the bills. Read my testimony here.

Action: No action is needed at this time. 

Religious Freedom Legislation
The fight to pass modest religious freedom legislation still continues! SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia, is languishing in committee.

Watch this video that explains why Georgia must pass SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Action: No action is needed at this time.

Pray that SB 233 moves and that the Senate will have an opportunity to vote for the bill.

Additional Legislation
We are monitoring several other bills on issues such as casinos, marijuana, sex trafficking, and pornography. Click here for the latest updates on CWA of Georgia’s targeted list of bills.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

You Need to Watch This Video

By | Georgia | No Comments

The fight to pass modest religious freedom legislation is alive and well in Georgia! Watch this video that explains why Georgia must pass SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act. After watching the video, please take action, let others know about the video and pray.

Take Action
Contact Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Rules Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-District 53) and urge them to support SB 233 and to allow the bill to move with no amendments. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
Complete the contact page and/or call his office at (404) 656-5030.

Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-0057

Please alert your friends and family to this video and action item.

Background

For the past five years, people of faith in Georgia, for the most part, have been ignored and marginalized by top leadership – specifically Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and Speaker David Ralston (R-District 7).  Religious freedom bills have either been vetoed or have languished in committees where they eventually died.

Last year, Sen. Marty Harbin (R-District 16) filed SB 233, a state-level religious freedom bill that mirrors the 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  SB 233 provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia. Unfortunately, Senate leadership hid behind Gov. Nathan Deal’s threat to veto the bill and refused to move the bill forward.

Concerned Women for America of Georgia, along with other faith-based groups, have been on the front lines at the State Capitol fighting for the passage of a religious freedom bill.  Supporting religious freedom is paramount because it is a fundamental right every Georgian enjoys and must not be infringed upon. That is why we are asking Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to allow SB 233 to move out of the Rules Committee and on to the Senate floor for a vote.

Educate yourself on the need for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Action in Georgia. Click here for CWA resources.

Pray that Lt. Governor and Sen. Mullis will understand that religious freedom must be protected here in Georgia. Pray their hearts will be moved to allow SB 233 to be voted on the floor of the Senate.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director

Thought Crimes Bills Filed in Georgia Legislature

By | Georgia | No Comments

Three state-level “hate crimes” bills have been filed in the Georgia legislature. HB 660 has been introduced by Rep. Megan Hanson (R-Brookhaven). HB 663 and SB 316 have been introduced by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) and Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) respectively.  All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability.

Georgia is one of five states in the country that does not have some sort of state-level “hate crimes” law, and it needs to stay that way. “Hate crime” laws violate the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law, and they threaten freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.

Click here to read talking points.

Should HB 660, HB 663 or SB 316 pass, individuals in Georgia could claim, and courts interpret, that merely expressing one’s sincerely held beliefs is “intimidating” or represents a “threat” of force. “Hate crime” laws are already being used to intimidate and punish people who honor natural sexuality and value marriage as the union of a man and a woman. If a person speaks out against various sexual behaviors, they may be accused of “hate speech” and promoting “hate crimes.”

Would you make four phone calls today to stop these very dangerous bills?

Contact Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (Republican) and Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and respectfully urge them not to allow SB 316 to have a hearing.
#1 – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
Complete the contact page and/or call his office at (404) 656-5030.

#2 – Sen. Jesse Stone
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 463-1314.

#3- Contact the Speaker of the House, David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), and respectfully urge him not to allow HB 660 or HB 663 to have a hearing:
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5020.

#4- Contact Rep. Rich Golick, chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, and respectfully urge him not to allow HB 660 or HB 663 to have a hearing:
E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5943.

Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray specifically for Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, Sen. Stone and Rep. Golick. Ask the Lord to move in their hearts and not allow the bills to be heard in committee.

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director
CWA of Georgia
[email protected]

CWA of Georgia: Counting the Cost – The Price of Faith in America Today

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Barronelle Stutzman, a 72-year-old floral artist who owns and operates Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, was simply living according to her faith, when she was attacked by the government and the ACLU.

Join CWA of Georgia and other organizations from around the state to hear Barronelle tell her personal story of faith in the midst of religious persecution.

Be sure to include the coupon code CWA when registering to receive $2..00 off the ticket price.

Download event flyer.  Please print and distribute liberally.

 

Urgent! Extend Religious Freedom Protections in Georgia With Just Four Calls

By | Georgia | No Comments

Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tryone) is seeking to amend HB 257 to include a narrow, modest protection of our religious liberty. The amendment is a local Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This RFRA applies to all Georgia municipalities, and would merely require municipal governments to give Georgia citizens the same Constitutional protections they enjoy when dealing with the federal government.

The Harbin amendment directly references the federal RFRA, which Gov. Deal voted for in Congress.  And though the amendment is narrower than a statewide RFRA, it is a step in the right direction. It does not guarantee a win in court for a claimant or defendant, but requires the municipal government to honor your exercise of religious freedom unless it has a   compelling interest to the contrary, and uses the least restrictive means necessary to accomplish that interest.

Tomorrow (Thursday, March 30) is the last day of the Georgia legislative session so it is critical that calls be made today to the following four legislators.  Your message: “Support the Harbin amendment to HB 257.” If are reading this alert after 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, please call and leave a message. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Your calls and emails will make a difference.  Your prayers can change the heart of the legislators.

  1. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle – (404) 656-5030 |Contact form
  2. Senate Pro Tempore David Shafer (R-Duluth) – (404) 656-0048 |E-mail
  3. Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) – (404) 463-1366 | E-mail
  4. Contact your state senator. Click here to locate your state senator.

Sen. Marty Harbin Files Religious Freedom Bill

By | Georgia | No Comments

Resource Page for Georgia’s Religious Freedom Legislation

Religious Freedom Alert!
Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone) filed Senate Bill 233, a state-level religious freedom bill that mirrors the 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  CWA of Georgia supported a similar bill in 2015. SB 233 provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia.

Action item: Contact your state senator and urge him or her to support SB 233 when brought to the floor for a vote. Click here to find your state senator.

Educate yourself on the need for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Action in Georgia. Read through the resources provided by below.

Pray that our state legislators, Speaker, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and Governor will stand on the side of religious liberty and not buckle to the pressure of corporations who do not see the need to pass a religious liberty bill.

Online Resources

CWA of Georgia Talking Points: Why Georgia need a religious freedom bill.

State Religious Freedom Restoration Act Resources:
This document contains the following:

  • View Historical Timeline of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (As a result of 1997 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Georgians have been left vulnerable to state religious discrimination lawsuits.)
  • Read Remarks by President Bill Clinton (Remarks by President Bill Clinton on signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.)
  • What a Religious Freedom Restoration Act Does and Does Not Do
  • Recent Examples in Georgia of Religious Discrimination (Read actual examples of religious discrimination in Georgia.)

Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act Resources:
The Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Woods Decision

Others:

Religious Liberty is one of CWA’s Seven Core Issues on which we focus our efforts. CWA is concerned about the trend of government to diminish and disregard the God-given inalienable rights of individuals, and are working to see our government strengthen and renew its commitment to respect and protect each individual’s exercise of his God-given inalienable rights. Click to read more.

Update: Georgia Attorney General Back Off Demand for Sermons.

By | Georgia | No Comments

Thank you for your phone calls and e-mails made last week to Gov. Nathan Deal and the Attorney General’s office concerning the ludicrous demands that Dr. Eric Walsh turn over copies of his sermon notes and transcripts to the State of Georgia. Because of public pressure, the Attorney General withdrew their request for Dr. Walsh’s sermon notes and transcripts!

While this was a huge victory, there is still work to do! The demand that Dr. Walsh turn over his sermon notes and transcripts was only one of five egregious requests on the part of the state against its own citizen. As was pointed out by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys at the October 26, 2016 press conference, the State of Georgia is also demanding that Dr. Walsh submit the following:

  • Validation of Dr. Walsh’s credentials as a minister
  • Proof that Dr. Walsh has served as a minister with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination
  • Production of any and all contracts Dr. Walsh has, or has ever had, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its subsidiaries or affiliates
  • A report to the State of Georgia on how—and how much—he has been compensated for producing and delivering his sermons

This invasive request by the State of Georgia (even though the state claims that Dr. Walsh was not fired on religious grounds) is a disturbing display of injustice, intolerance and outright government overreach into the sacred life of a pastor. The state’s actions in this case are reminiscent of the sort of “monitoring” the great German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced in his time. We must demand an immediate end to this type of anti-religious bigotry on the part of state authorities.

Take Action Today!
On November 1, 2016, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Chris Carr to replace Sam Olens as Georgia’s Attorney General.  Contact Gov. Deal and urge him to instruct his newly appointed Attorney General to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-1776 | Online contact form

Contact Attorney General Chris Carr and urge him to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-3300 | Email

If you made calls last week, please call again. Gov. Deal and Attorney General Carr must hear from you!

Pray that Gov. Deal and the Attorney General will be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Tanya Ditty
State Director

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Georgia: “Pastors, Turn Over Your Sermon Notes.”

By | Georgia | No Comments

The witch hunt against people of faith in Georgia is on the rise. Remember Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran? He was fired by the City of Atlanta for writing a book on the Biblical view of marriage on his own time (read here, here, and here). In 2014, Dr. Eric Walsh accepted a job in Georgia as a district health director with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GPH). However, within a week of being hired, the GPH abruptly fired Dr. Walsh for his religious beliefs (read here and here).

You see, not only is Dr. Walsh a public health expert; he is also a lay minister. According to First Liberty Institute, who filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit in 2014 against the State of Georgia on behalf of Dr. Walsh, shortly after hiring Walsh, “state officials requested copies of his sermons and searched online for others. His sermon topics included following Christ, having compassion on the poor, health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science, creationism, and more.”  Dr. Walsh was not fired for anything he said or did at work. Dr. Walsh was fired because of what he said outside of work. 

Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty, said: “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, then they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything. We must ensure every American has the right to talk about their faith at church without getting fired or being barred from public service.” Read First Liberty Institute’s background on the case here.

Fast forward to today.  CWA of Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty attended a press conference (read CWA press release) yesterday at the Georgia State Capitol and listened as First Liberty Institute release this chilling information in their ongoing lawsuit against the State of Georgia, “the State of Georgia served a Request for Production of Documents on Dr. Walsh, which requires Dr. Walsh to surrender copies of all his sermon notes and transcripts.”  In this blatant government overreach by the State Attorney General’s office, the State gave no date limit or specific sermon topic to this request. What this means is that Dr. Walsh must turn over any and all sermon notes, whether written or typed, with no specific time period given. Any notes in Dr. Walsh’s Bible(s), journals, PowerPoint presentations, or even scribbled on a notepad is fair game for the Attorney General’s office.

This should concern all Georgians!  No one in Georgia should be fired from their job over their religious beliefs or over something they said in their church. Should a public school teacher lose his or her job simply because they teach a Sunday school class?  Should employees who work at the State Capitol be fired because they choose to lead a Bible study in their own home? Should an employee with the Department of Juvenile Justice be fired because they work with at-risk youth through a church-sponsored program? Should a receptionist at any state agency be fired for teaching ESL at their church?  According to the State of Georgia, yes they can.

Take Action Today!
Contact Gov. Nathan Deal and urge him to do the following:

  1. Take whatever action is necessary to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
  2. Instruct the Attorney General not to demand sermon notes.

Phone: 404-656-1776 | Online contact form

Contact the State Attorney General’s Office and urge the Attorney General to withdraw the “Request for Production of Documents” that demands sermons and sermon notes.
Phone: 404-656-3300 | Email

Pray that Gov. Deal and the Attorney General will be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” Proverbs 9:10.

Additional press conference articles and videos:

Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty Institute, speaks in defense of Dr. Eric Walsh at a press conference at the Georgia Capitol building. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty Institute, speaks in defense of Dr. Eric Walsh at a press conference at the Georgia Capitol building. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Wake Up Now America!

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Featured speakers: Kris “Tonto” Paronto, Army Ranger and Benghazi survivor; State Senators Josh McKoon, Mike Crane and Marty Harbin; Republican nominee for State Senate Mike Brass; Jane Robbins, American Principles Project; Kevin Shipp, retired CIA agent; Phil Williams, radio talk show host.

Georgia’s 2016 Legislative Wrap-Up

By | Georgia | No Comments

Concerned Women for America of Georgia Legislative Action Committee
2016 Legislative Session Wrap Up

 The fast-paced 2016 state legislative session came to a close at midnight on March 24. The 40-day session opened on January 11, and State Director Tanya Ditty represented your interests as a volunteer lobbyist at the State Capitol throughout the entire legislative session.

Concerned Women for America’s seven core issues are: Sanctity of Life, Defense of Family, Education, Religious Liberty, National Sovereignty, Sexual Exploitation, and Support for Israel. Legislation this session encompassed several of these core issues. On-the-ground lobbying efforts combined with grassroots prayer and action gets results! Without calls and e-mails from CWA members and friends, successes would have been more difficult to achieve.

CWA of Georgia had an aggressive list of legislative priorities for the 2016 legislative session.  Many of the legislative priorities were not addresses by the General Assembly this year. We did want to highlight for you a few of the bills that we fought hard to support or oppose.

Religious Freedom
VETO-stampAfter a three-year battle to pass a religious freedom bill in Georgia, a compromise was reached between the House and Senate, and HB 757, the Free Exercise Protection Act was passed. Less than two weeks later, Gov. Nathan Deal caved and vetoed the bill. Was HB 757 perfect?  No.  Was the compromise bill worth supporting? Yes. Georgians saw nothing unreasonable in this legislation, yet Gov. Deal chose to turn his back on people of faith. Read CWA of Georgia press release.

In a poll taken by national pollster Clout Research after the passage of HB 757, this question was posed:  Should Gov. Nathan Deal sign the [religious freedom] legislation?  Sixty-six percent agreed that Gov. Deal should sign the legislation. There was majority support for the bill across political parties, in all fourteen congressional districts and across all demographic groups.  The poll also showed that 80 percent said the tide of political correctness has run amuck in this state, endangering our fundamental right to freedom of conscience – the right to think and believe what we want without fear of punishment.

At a press conference following the veto announcement, CWA of Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty made this statement, “Clearly Gov. Deal is out of touch with the people of our state. This is why people are angry with the politicians in our nation. They are elected to represent the will of the people – not Hollywood values, not Wall Street values. They are elected to represent the voters of Georgia, and that does not preclude the people of faith.”

Sadly, Gov. Deal sold our religious freedom protections for thirty pieces of silver. Instead of signing a bill that provided broad-based religious freedom protections for all Georgians, Deal buckled to the pressure of the LBGT community, the film industry, the NFL, Atlanta’s hometown teams the Falcons, Braves and Hawks, and large corporate interests, such as the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Home Depot, Delta, Coca Cola, SunTrust, UPS, Disney, and Salesforce.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Speaker David Ralston have vowed to work on religious freedom legislation next year. There is a strong appetite for religious liberty in this state, and CWA of Georgia will continue to work tirelessly until a broad-based religious protections bill is passed and signed by the governor.

lobby 1Defense of Family
STOPPED sign“Georgia Civil Rights in Public Accommodations Act”
Introduced by Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), HB 849 would have placed in state code the federal code that prohibits public accommodations discrimination. Taken at face value, this bill posed no dangers to Georgians. However, CWA of Georgia opposed HB 849 for several reasons. First, HB 849 was not necessary – public accommodation protections are already codified in 42 U.S.C. Section 2000a.

Second, HB 849 could have easily been amended to include “sexual orientation”. Data shows that of the 45 states that have embodied the federal code in their respective state code, 22 states now prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and 18 prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

Third, HB 849 was amended in committee to include “sex.” Here was the danger in the amendment: the Obama administration has deemed “sex” an elastic term, and regards “gender” (how one feels) synonymous with “sex” (biology), and is aggressively embedding “gender” as a part of federal policy, including Title IX funding.  As recent as December 2015, a Chicago suburb high school must now allow a transgendered male to female student full access to female restrooms and locker rooms or risk losing Title IX funding.  Passing the bill could have had grave consequences for our public school students.

Lastly, CWA of Georgia opposes any real or potential Sexual Orientation Gender Identity nondiscrimination legislation, i.e., “bathroom bills”, which would allow transgendered men and women to utilize the bathrooms, showers and locker rooms of their choice.

Stopping HB 849 was a victory for the privacy and safety of women and children.

Gambling: Casinos and horse racing
STOPPED signThe efforts to expand predatory gambling via casinos and pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing were stopped for this year! The following bills were passed out of their respective committees but were not voted on by either the House or Senate.

  • HR 807, the proposed constitutional amendment for casino gambling and HB 677, the enabling legislation for HR 807.  Bill sponsor: Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah).
  • SR 135, the proposed constitutional amendment to allow pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing and SB 264, the enabling legislation for SR 135. Bill sponsor: Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta).

Stopping the gambling bills was a major victory, because any form of gambling is destructive and causes irreversible harm on individuals and families.

Marijuana:  In-state cultivation of marijuana
STOPPED signIntroduced by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), HB 722 sought to permit in-state cultivation of marijuana for the purpose of extracting cannabis oil for medicinal purposes. The bill would have also expanded the medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana (cannabis oil). HB 722 passed the House but died in the Senate.

CWA of Georgia opposed HB 722 because it would have brought Georgia one step closer to the outright legalization of recreational marijuana.

Education
Textbook transparency

Introduced by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), HB 739  provides for an open and transparent approval process for state and local instructional materials and content. The bill also requires school districts to post online the textbooks that are currently be used in their schools. HB 739 passed the legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature. CWA of Georgia supported this bill.

Digital Learning Platform transparency bill
Sponsored by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), SB 281 would require schools to notify parents prior to using any digital learning platform. The bill was tabled in the Senate Education and Youth Committee. CWA of Georgia supported this bill.

You can review all the bills that CWA of Georgia tracked this year by clicking here.

Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project
This was CWA of Georgia’s thirteenth year to pray for and send note cards of encouragement to state legislators. Scripture commands us in I Timothy 2:2 to pray for “kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness,” and over 60 volunteers did just that!  These volunteers prayed and encouraged 100 state legislators during the 40-day session. 

So what lies ahead in 2016?
One doesn’t need to look far to see that powerful forces are at work to destroy not only our state and nation, but our culture, our families and our way of life. But even in these unsettling times, God had promised restoration to that nation whose people will humble themselves and pray.

In the midst of attacks on our faith, it is easy for people of faith to retreat and to simply close their hearts and minds to the madness happening all around them.

But we can do the opposite! Instead of retreating and closing off the world, CWA of Georgia is boldly moving forward in strength and confidence, seeking God’s face and calling on Him to reset our state…as we work to restore our foundational stones. CWA CEO and President Penny Nance said this, “During this time in our country’s history – with the cultural battle raging around us – it’s never been more important that the voice of conservative women be heard – loud and clear.”

Get involved with CWA of Georgia
Psalm 11:3 says “When the foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?” If you are interested in becoming a leader who thinks big and would like to be where the action is, we have a place for you!  Click here for exciting CWA opportunities.

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Gov. Deal buckled to bullies – important press conference planned

By | Georgia | No Comments

Gov. Nathan Deal held a press conference this morning to declare that he is going to veto the religious freedom bill, HB 757, the Free Exercise Protection Act.  Click here to read CWA of Georgia’s press release.

Attend press conference on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In response to Gov. Deal’s threat to veto the legislation, a press conference is planned for Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. on the South side of the second floor of the State Capitol.  CWA of Georgia will join other faith leaders and pastors to discuss the veto and a call to action.  Click here for media advisory alert.

Please make every effort to attend!