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religious liberty 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.”

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Victory for Religious Liberty

By | News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

Victory for All Americans

Washington, D.C. –  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a final rule to protect the “conscience” rights of our nation’s health care professionals. This new rule will allow health care workers to follow their moral and religious convictions about the services they provide without discrimination. President Trump made the announcement at a National Day of Prayer event Thursday.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) applauded the administration’s move and made the following statement:

“Religious liberty lies at the foundations of American values. President Donald J. Trump’s Administration honors and respects the very essence of liberty by ensuring these principles are protected. The hundreds of thousands of Concerned Women for America supporters around the country stand with him in this endeavor and applaud his unwavering commitment to the protection of liberties for all Americans and not just a privileged few.

“We count this as another promise kept by President Trump who is simply living up to the vision he unveiled on the campaign trail. These regulations fully implement longstanding protections that had been shamefully neglected under previous administrations. We are grateful for these much-needed developments.”

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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]

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.

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.

graham4

Religious Liberty Bill Heads to Governor Who May Not Sign It

By | Georgia | No Comments

Calls and/or e-mails needed immediately!

HB 757, the “Free Exercise Protection Act” passed both the House and Senate on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, and is now on the way to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. HB 757 was a compromise bill between the House and Senate that provides broad-based religious protections for all Georgians. We are not assured that Gov. Deal will sign the bill so it critical that calls are made to him immediately.
Contact Gov. Deal and urge him to sign HB 757.

Phone: 404-656-1776 | E-mail

Pray that Gov. Deal will be God fearing and recognize that he is 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.

Urgent! Gov. Nathan Deal sides with global corporate giants and against religious liberty.

By | Georgia | No Comments

Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change…”

Gov. Nathan Deal has aligned himself with global corporate giants, such as Coca Cola, Home Depot, Delta Airlines and against people of faith in Georgia. Just last week Gov. Deal went public on how he feels about the religious freedom bill pending in the Georgia legislature. Here is one of the Governor’s comments, “I hope that we can all just take a deep breath, recognize that the world is changing around us, and recognize that it is important that we protect fundamental religious beliefs,” he said. “But we don’t have to discriminate against other people in order to do that. And that’s the compromise that I’m looking for.”

What Gov. Deal fails to understand is that the Word of God does not change no matter what the culture declares as “truth.” Jesus said this of marriage, “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'” Matthew 19:4-6

Scripture tells us in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Isaiah 40:8 testifies to the unchanging word of God, “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Mike Griffin, Public Affairs Representative with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board said this in response to Gov. Deal’s comments, “Christians and other people of faith love and serve any and all customers without discrimination, but should not be forced to promote or participate in behavior that conflicts with their religious faith.”

CWA of Georgia continues to support HB 757 (First Amendment Defense Act) as passed in the Senate, and calls on the Governor and Speaker to put their support behind the bill as well. Individuals, non-profits and businesses need First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) protections and should not be targeted or penalized for speaking and acting on the foundational religious belief that marriage is solely for one man and one woman.

Time is running out. With the legislative session ending on March 24, it is imperative that calls and e-mails be made NOW to Gov. Nathan Deal, Speaker David Ralston and your state representative.  Urge them to support HB 757 (First Amendment Defense Act) as passed in the Senate. If you have already contacted their offices, please contact them again. They are obviously not listening.

Gov. Nathan Deal
Phone: 404-656-1776 | E-mail

Speaker David Ralston
Phone: 404-656-5020 |E-mail

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Georgia Religious Freedom Bills – Calls Needed!

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2016 has turned into the year of religious freedom legislation. To date, a total of nine bills dealing with religious freedom have been filed.  While other religious freedom bills have merit, CWA of Georgia is supporting two bills we feel provide the most broad-based religious protections this year. We will not compromise. We want to see religious protections for all Georgians.

HB 837 “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) This bill replaces SB 129.
Rep. Ed Seztler (R-Acworth) is the bill sponsor of HB 837. Rep. Setzler says this of his bill, “HB-837 takes a balanced, time-tested approach to protecting the right of religious expression.  By simply referencing federal law (42 USC 2000, Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993), HB-837 ensures that Georgians have the same level of protection of their religious rights as do citizens of Washington, D.C., federal military bases, and inmates in our federal and state prisons.” 

Status
HB 837 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but has not been given a date for a hearing.

Take Action
Contact both Speaker David Ralston (404-656-5020) and Chairman Wendell Willard (404-656-5125404-656-5125) today and urge them to allow HB 837 to be placed on the committee calendar today.

SB 284 “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA)
Why we need to pass SB 284
The number one, immediate priority is to protect the religious freedom of those who will continue to regard marriage as only the union between one man and one woman, according to the Word of God. The state-level First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) has been introduced to clarify and strengthen religious liberty protections in state law and to safeguard from government retaliation against those individuals and institutions that promote traditional marriage.

FADA would prevent the state government from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, organization, or business just because of their beliefs on traditional marriage.

Take Action
Contact Gov. Nathan Deal (404-656-1776404-656-1776) and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (404-656-5030404-656-5030) and urge them to bring SB 284 to a floor vote.

City of Atlanta Admits “Religious Beliefs Are Not Welcome Here”

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Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired last year by the City of Atlanta for his religious beliefs. Earlier this year, Chief Cochran filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city. A hearing was held yesterday, October 14, 2015, on the City of Atlanta’s motion to have Chief Cochran’s lawsuit thrown out. CWA of Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty attended the hearing and was both disturbed and astounded by the comments made by the city’s chief counsel Robert Godrey. Read more here.

Chief Cochran’s Alliance Defending Freedom co-counsel provided the following update on yesterday’s hearing. Please continue to be in prayer for this case. The wheels of justice grind very slowly, as will this case.

Update from ADF co-counsel:

The Judge was clearly prepared and well versed in the contents of the briefs on the issues.  The hearing went much longer than I expected.  We began promptly at 10:00 AM and did not conclude until after 12:00 PM.  Hearings of this nature typically take no longer than an hour.  The Judge was thorough and I did not perceive any bias in her questioning of both sides.  She was courteous to both sides.  Unfortunately, she did not rule today.  At the City’s request, she allowed them 5 days to submit a supplemental brief and gave us 5 days after that to reply.

The most disturbing parts of the hearing were listening to Robert Godfrey, the chief counsel for the City, disparage Chief Cochran and all those who agree with biblical views of marriage and sexual behavior.  He opened the hearing with a gross distortion of the Chief’s book.  Repeatedly during the hearing he told the Judge that Chief Cochran accused homosexuals of engaging in beastiality.  He accused Chief Cochran of believing that women were second class citizens.  Anyone who has read the Chief’s book or met him would not recognize the man described by Mr. Godfrey.  It was shameful, in my opinion.

The most disturbing argument made by the City, repeatedly, had to do with our Free Exercise rights.  The City has now openly admitted in federal court that Chief Cochran was, in fact, fired for his beliefs.  He was fired for his faith.  Repeatedly, Mr. Godfrey stated that it was the content of Chief Cochran’s book, the views expressed in that book, that led to his termination.  If you hear anyone say Chief Cochran was fired for failing to follow some work policy or anything other than his faith, you can now quote the chief counsel for the City to confirm that this case is all about Chief Cochran’s beliefs, our common Christian beliefs on marriage and sexual behavior.

The City attorney explicitly argued that Christians, like Chief Cochran, like us, can believe what we want so long as we “Keep it to yourself.  Keep it at home.  Keep it at your bible study.”  That is an actual quote from the City attorney.  Our government officials do not hesitate to trample on free speech and freedom of religion where we dare to speak or act on biblical teachings about marriage or sexual behavior.

The thought police are alive and well in the City of Atlanta.  The City clearly believes, as argued this morning in open court, that the law in America can punish thoughts and beliefs rather than conduct and actions.

Despite these arguments from the City (and likely in large measure because of them), I believe the outcome will be positive for Chief Cochran’s case.  The Judge will probably dismiss a handful of claims but retain the majority of the claims, including the Free Speech and Free Exercise claims.  I anticipate it will be at least 1 – 2 months more before she issues a ruling and then we can proceed to discovery.

Please continue to pray for Chief Cochran, his family and his finances.  He is taking a bold stand for all of us and he is paying a worldly price for that stand.  Please also pray for me and the entire ADF legal team – that we remain sharp, professional and well prepared at every turn.  Pray for the Judge that she will issue a fair ruling based upon the facts and the law that is free from all politics and prejudice.  Finally, pray for the Atlanta elected officials who sincerely believe that we should keep our biblical beliefs to ourselves, our homes and our churches.

End of update.

Additional article and video:  City Made ‘Dangerous’ Admissions About Faith in the Workplace, Atlanta Fire Chief Lawyer Says

Check this out: “One Generation Away” Movie Viewings – Defending Religious Liberty in Georgia

Updated 10-8-15 “One Generation Away” Movie Viewings – Defending Religious Liberty in Georgia

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You are invited!
Attend the viewing of “One Generation Away”, a timely movie that reveals how quickly First Amendment freedoms can disappear if Americans do not remain vigilant to defend them. “One Generation Away” is the winner of five Dove Awards and was awarded Best Documentary in the 2015 Christian Worldview Film Festival.

Date: Monday, October 19, 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Praise Center, 1857 US-78, Monroe, GA 30655
Additional Details: Directly following the movie there will be a question and answer session with Congressman Jody Hice and movie Director Ken Carpenter.  Click here for press release.

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Calhoun Community Church, 222 WC Bryant Parkway, Calhoun, GA 30701
Additional Details: Directly following the movie there will be a question and answer session with movie Director Ken Carpenter, Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, and Sen. Josh McKoon, the sponsor of Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 129).   Click here for press release.

Date: Sunday, October 25, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: First Baptist Church of Ellijay, 164 Dalton Street, Ellijay, GA 30540
Additional Details: Directly following the movie there will be a question and answer session with movie Director Ken Carpenter, Sen. Steve Gooch, and Sen. Josh McKoon, the sponsor of Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 129). Other legislators, including the Speaker of the House, David Ralston, may also attend if their schedules permit.    Click here for press release.

Check back frequently – additional dates will be added in the coming weeks.