Category archives: Religious Liberty

California’s AB 493: The Very Definition of Indoctrination

by Matt Carpenter

August 6, 2019

The dictionary defines “indoctrination” as “the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” The California legislature is considering a piece of legislation that fits that description exactly: AB 493, or the “teacher indoctrination bill.”

Under the guise of creating a “safer environment” for students, AB 493 would require every junior high and high school teacher in the state to undergo training written by LGBT activist groups. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. This bill requires California teachers to perform “sustained input and participation,” affirmation of LGBT identities, and requires teachers to refer their students to LGBT activist groups in the community.

Anytime a person’s “sustained input and participation” is required, it can aptly be described as indoctrination, even more so when someone’s job is on the line. The changes AB 493 would make to teacher training in California clearly amounts to state-sponsored indoctrination.

Earlier this year, concerned parents and students in California rallied in opposition to the state’s new sexually explicit health curriculum, but now the legislature is taking it a step further by considering the teacher indoctrination bill.

Many parents today are rightfully concerned about school curriculums that seek to indoctrinate their children with leftist agendas rife with sexual anarchy that run counter to biblical values. Children, after all, are impressionable and parents are right to question school curriculum especially when what their children are being taught directly contradicts what they teach their children in their homes.

AB 493 would force Christian junior high and high school teachers to affirm LGBT identities despite a lack of beneficial medical evidence and which are counter to their personal beliefs about sex and sexuality. This bill presents a real religious liberty threat to people of faith who simply want to teach children, not become activists for LGBT organizations.

Unfortunately, this training has already been implemented in one California school district. Teachers in the state are already being shamed for their belief about sex and sexuality. One teacher described her experience:

Many times we were asked harsh questions and asked to raise our hands,” the first-grade teacher explained. Questions included, “Were you raised to only believe there are two genders? Did your parents ever discuss choices to you of gender?”

Teachers who admitted their parents had a binary/biblical view of gender were told how wrong and backward those views were. “I was truly offended knowing my parents raised me in a solid Christian home,” the teacher wrote. “I know my parents were outstanding parents. I was also blessed to attend a wonderful church.”

Teachers also received instructions on keeping secrets from parents. “It was shared with us that when a child tells us they are transgender, gay, or want to be the opposite sex we are not allowed to share it with their parents,” the teacher explained. The preferred name and pronoun of the student should be used, but “it should be kept private until the child is ready to share it with the parents.”

To be sure, everyone is an image-bearer of God and should be treated with dignity and respect, including junior high and high school students who identify as LGBT. Everyone should have access to a learning environment free of harassment, including teachers who hold a biblical view of sex, sexuality, and marriage.

If the California legislature implements this change to teacher training, they will find themselves harming the dignity of teachers with sincerely-held religious beliefs to pay for the LGBT activism in junior high and high schools. Ultimately, AB 493 amounts to nothing more than a displacement of harassment—not the eradication of it.

Fortunately, there is still time. Soon the California Senate Appropriations committee will meet to discuss AB 493. Take a stand for California teachers. Click here to email the California Senate Committee on Appropriations and tell them you oppose the indoctrination of California’s teachers!

The Religious Freedom of Public Officials Is Under Attack. These Three Aren’t Backing Down.

by Worth Loving

May 15, 2019


The liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will is a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.” - Thomas Jefferson

Often called America’s “first freedom,” religious freedom was key to our founding. In fact, it’s no accident that the Founders listed it as the first freedom in the Bill of Rights. It was the reason the Pilgrims made the treacherous journey across the Atlantic—to escape persecution and establish a haven of religious freedom.

In both their public and private lives, the American Founders were not shy about expressing their faith. But today, there is a growing movement to silence the religious expression of public officials, particularly Christians. On Easter Sunday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a born-again Christian, posted John 11:25 on his government social media accounts. The verse reads, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.’” Next to the picture was the caption “He is risen! Have a happy and blessed Easter!” The Arizona Republic quickly denounced the post as a violation of the separation of church and state, arguing that Gov. Ducey cannot use his government social media accounts to promote a particular religion. Yet when former President Obama wished everyone a “Happy Ramadan” in 2013 and 2015 from his official White House account, he was never criticized for endorsing Islam.

But Gov. Ducey isn’t the only public official who has faced such unfair scrutiny. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was attacked a few days prior for his comments about a Christian ministry. At a fundraiser for Capitol Ministries, an organization whose sole mission is to reach every public servant with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Bridenstine gave a few words of praise for the ministry: “I love what Ralph said earlier: We’re not trying to Christianize the US government. We believe in an institutional separation, but we also believe in influence. And that’s a big distinction and an important distinction, and that’s why I love this ministry.” Once again, leftist groups were quick to denounce Bridenstine’s comments, claiming that he used his government position to endorse a religion and violated the Establishment Clause. Yet these groups were strangely silent when former President Obama spoke at fundraisers for Planned Parenthood and even called for God’s blessing on the abortion giant.

The Left won’t even leave the Second Lady alone. In January, Karen Pence was lambasted for teaching at a Christian school that holds to a biblical view of sexuality, meaning that individuals who identify as LGBT are prohibited from working at the school. Apparently, the Left believes any association with Christianity by a public official is tantamount to violating the Establishment Clause.

It seems the Left is intent on silencing Christians who hold public office from expressing their faith. However, they seem to conveniently forget that our nation was founded on freedom of religious expression and that our Founding Fathers actively exercised that freedom while holding public office. In fact, as President, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all called for national days of prayer. In the states, many governors including Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Caleb Strong, and Jonathan Trumbull all called for days of prayer and repentance.

Furthermore, the First Amendment is clear that there should be “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This was directly in reference to the Church of England, which the former British colonies were required to support and attend. Under the new Constitution, Americans were free to support or not support the religion of their choice without any fear of government repercussion—and they don’t forfeit this right just because they serve in public office. It is just silly to claim that the comments and actions of Gov. Ducey, Jim Bridenstine, and the Second Lady “established” a religion.

One doesn’t leave their religion behind when they are elected or appointed to a government office. Yes, public officials are rightfully held to a higher standard. But one’s faith remains just as much a part of him or her as it was before, and we remain free to express it while holding public office.  

Gov. Ducey was quick to respond to his critics and showed no intentions of backing down: “We won’t be removing this post. Ever. Nor will we be removing our posts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Palm Sunday, Passover, or any other religious holiday. We support the First Amendment and are happy to provide copies of the Constitution to anyone who hasn’t read it.” Responding to The Arizona Republic, Ducey said: “With respect to your ‘experts,’ people don’t lose the right to free speech when they run for office. So, no, we STILL won’t be taking the post down. Not now, not ever.”

Gov. Ducey is right—it might do the Left some good to read the Constitution. They’ll be surprised to find that “separation of church and state,” which they are so quick to espouse, is found nowhere in the Constitution. In fact, it is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1801 to a Baptist church congregation from Danbury, Connecticut—and the letter states just the opposite of what the Left calls for today. A committee from the church had written a letter to President-elect Jefferson, congratulating him on his election and urging him to protect religious freedom. President Jefferson wrote “that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God.” Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptists of his commitment to protecting the freedom of religion. He went on to quote the establishment clause and that it had built “a wall of separation between church and state.” Jefferson still made public expressions of faith as president but never came close to establishing a religion as defined by the First Amendment.

The Left’s double standard is unbelievable. While advocating for tolerance, they demand that every public official submit to their agenda. Those that do not face a complete sabotage of their career. Because of this, attacks like the ones on Gov. Ducey, Jim Bridenstine, and Karen Pence will continue to escalate on Christians in public office. Like Gov. Ducey, we must be ready with swift responses. The key to preserving our freedoms—including religious freedom for public officials—lies in exercising them. If we don’t exercise those rights, we will lose them. But as long as we keep fighting, religious liberty will remain alive and well.

Standing Against Religious Persecution in Communist Countries

by Anna Longbons

March 8, 2019

Bob Fu from China Aid recently joined a panel discussion at FRC to highlight the religious freedom abuses transpiring in China. Similarly, President Trump’s recent summit with Kim Jong Un brought renewed attention to the humanitarian and religious liberty crisis in North Korea. Both Chinese and North Korean citizens live under communist regimes. Although much of communism dissipated when the Iron Curtain fell away, it still survives in five countries, including North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, China, and Cuba. In all five nations, people of faith suffer persecution.

Divided Allegiance

To live as a Christian in a communist nation is to live with competing loyalties. Communism demands allegiance, but so does Christ. Because religion threatens their authority, communists regulate religion or try to abolish it altogether.

Historically, communism and atheism have worked hand in glove. Marx famously referred to religion as “the opium of the people,” while Lenin asserted that “a Marxist must be a materialist, i.e., an enemy of religion.” More recently, the Communist Party of China has reiterated that all party members must ascribe to an atheistic worldview.

International Christian Concern lists Marxist persecution as one of the top three forms of religious persecution. Likewise, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) groups all five communist nations on its top two tiers of religious hostility. Many conservatives object to communism for economic and political reasons. However, the tie between Marxism and religious persecution gives Christians added reason to learn about and stand against communism and the accompanying persecution that these regimes inflict on people of faith.

North Korea

USCIRF reports thatthe North Korean government’s approach toward religion and belief is among the most hostile and repressive in the world.” Open Doors lists North Korea as the top country for Christian persecution on its world watch list. In North Korea, the government mandates the worship of the ruling Kim family. Because of the government’s hostility toward religion, many believers hide their faith to defend themselves and their families. Believers face arrest, prison, and death because of their faith.

Vietnam

Like North Korea, Vietnam also ranks as a Country of Particular Concern with USCIRF. Open Doors reports that although believers enjoy greater liberty in Vietnam than in North Korea, they still live with the risk of persecution. Believers encounter both racial and religious oppression. They also suffer attacks from gangs that may be state-sponsored. 

Laos

In nearby Laos, Christians also face persecution. USCIRF reports that “the Lao government tightly manages religious groups much in the same way it controls any individual or group it perceives could deviate from the state’s agenda or who expresses dissent or criticism.”

China

The Chinese Communist Party took a more direct role in governing religion in 2017, which triggered a subsequent increase in religious persecution. China Aid reports that “more than 1,000,000 people were persecuted in 2018, which is three-and-a-half times more than those recorded in 2017. Of those, more than 10,000 church leaders were persecuted, which is five times greater than those recorded in 2017.” China Aid’s 2018 annual report chronicles case after case of heightened persecution in China, from churches being demolished to school children being questioned for their faith.

Cuba

The Office of Religious Affairs in Cuba works for the Cuban Communist Party, giving the communists great authority over believers. According to USCIRF, “the government continues to interfere in religious groups’ internal affairs and actively limits, controls, and monitors their religious practice, access to information, and communications through a restrictive system of laws and policies, surveillance, and harassment.” A number of religious groups spoke out recently against the new constitution being proposed for the country, which would curtail religious freedom.

Protecting Religious Freedom Through Education, Donation, and Prayer

Christians can stand against communist persecution by educating themselves, praying for those affected by persecution, and supporting human rights advocacy organizations. Through education, Americans can better understand and influence our foreign policy regarding these communist nations. Christians can also donate to advocacy organizations who are working on the ground to provide material and spiritual aid to the persecuted, such as China Aid, Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, and International Christian Concern. These organizations also offer information that equips Christians to pray for the specific needs of their suffering brothers and sisters around the world.

Christianity threatens communism, because communism depends upon citizens’ brainwashed, undivided loyalty. However, Christianity bolsters democracy, because democracy rests on natural law and personal freedom. Therefore, preserving democracy means preserving religious freedom, while standing against communism means standing against oppression. By opposing communism worldwide through education, financial support, and prayer, we support our brothers and sisters and safeguard our own country. 

More information on the persecuted church can be found at FRC’s Remember the Persecuted webpage.

Anna Longbons is an intern with FRC Action.

Religious Tests Have No Place in America

by Worth Loving

January 11, 2019

Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The Founders included this clause so that any American, regardless of religious affiliation, could serve their country. Unfortunately, it seems that this clause has been forgotten by some of the very people who swore an oath to uphold it.

In the first two years of the Trump presidency, at least four nominees to various federal offices have faced questions about their religious beliefs, with several senators implying that those beliefs disqualify them from serving. Most recently, this happened to Brian Buescher, President Trump’s nominee to be a U.S. District Court Judge for Nebraska. During his confirmation hearing, Buescher faced questions and criticisms from Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, with Hirono stating in her questionnaire that the Knights of Columbus holds “a number of extreme positions.” Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization that does charitable and volunteer work around the globe, including feeding the poor, picking up trash, and collecting coats for children. Both senators attacked Buescher and the Knights of Columbus for their beliefs, which are loyal to Catholic teaching that abortion is wrong and that marriage is between one man and one woman. And Buescher isn’t alone. Just a few weeks ago, Hirono and Harris attacked Paul Matey, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, for his membership in the Knights as well.

But that’s not all. In 2017, Russell Vought was nominated by President Trump to be Deputy Director for the Office of Management and Budget. During the confirmation hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) angrily questioned Vought over his belief as an evangelical Christian that Muslims are “condemned” in the eyes of God. Later that year, Amy Barrett, the nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, faced similar scrutiny. A devout Catholic, Barrett was berated by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for adhering to her Church’s teaching on abortion, with Feinstein stating: “the dogma lives loudly within you and that is a concern.”

This is certainly not what our Founding Fathers envisioned. The United States was founded as a haven for religious freedom, not an oligarchy for the elite few. In fact, it was one of the main reasons that the Pilgrims and other religious dissidents made the treacherous journey across the Atlantic. They were so desperate to escape religious persecution that they risked their own lives and the lives of their families. During that day in Great Britain, sworn loyalty to the king and membership in the Church of England were required to serve in public office. Other religions need not even attempt a run for office. The colonists wanted the freedom to practice their faith openly and be able to participate in society at the same time, including serving in public office.

Since our founding, every public servant has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution; and while a person’s religion affects his worldview, each one is bound to that oath, regardless of their religion. In fact, it was a diversity of religions that helped form the Constitution. What these recent attacks represent is a disturbing trend and a very real threat to religious conservatives who want to serve in public office. As a nation, we are getting precariously close to the religious tyranny the Pilgrims experienced under British rule, the very tyranny by which patriot blood gained independence. Thousands more have died in the decades since to preserve this sacred human right. We must continue to defend the right of every individual, regardless of their religion, to serve in public office. And we must pressure elected officials to uphold all of the Constitution, not just the parts that fit their agenda. If we don’t, religious freedom—and the Republic—is in grave jeopardy.

The Power of Prayer and What It Should Mean for Christians in America

by James Selvey

October 16, 2018

Andrew Brunson is not hesitating to fulfill his pastoral duties, even after just returning home from Turkey after two years of imprisonment. The pastor visited the Oval Office on October 13, asking the President if he could pray for him. “I need it probably more than anyone else in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you,” the President replied.

Brunson’s prayer follows: “Lord God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump. That you give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him. I ask that you give him wisdom on how to lead this country into righteousness. I ask that you give him perseverance and endurance and courage to stand for truth. I ask that you protect him from slander from enemies, from those who would undermine. I ask that you make him a great leader for this country. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance, and we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus’ name, we bless you. Amen.”

Brunson’s wife Norine, also offered condolence in prayer, “I pray that the spirit of the Lord rest on the president. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. Amen.”

The emphasis of Pastor Brunson and his wife’s prayers lays a heart-warming and encouraging message for the Christian community. No matter what trial we may be experiencing, Christians are called to be God-conscious in their lives to allow God to work through the people who are representing us as a nation. George Washington once said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” Prayer is an action we take of opening a door to allow God to answer the needs we place before Him. In addition, prayer isn’t solely the act of supporting one another, but also the allowance of God to work in our hearts and be changed more to reflect His image instead of of our own. Our President, Congressmen, Supreme Court justices, and those even at the state and local levels, need our prayers of support for decisions to be made with prudence, since what they do will effectively either prosper or harm us. Romans 1:28 forewarns us of those who don’t acknowledge God. Those who don’t are declared by God to be given “up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Without the action of prayer, God cannot lead us in unity or humble us to live in His fruit of humility, kindness, patience, and joy. We will be more susceptible to giving in to our own ambitions.

American Founders such as Samuel Adams heeded prayer as a necessity to keep the blessings of God abounding throughout our nation. “May every citizen in the army and in the country have a proper sense of the Deity upon his mind and an impression of that declaration recorded in the Bible: ‘Him that honoreth Me I will honor, but he that despiseth Me shall be lightly esteemed’” [1 Samuel 2:30]. Mankind alone cannot hope to obtain the right to true wisdom and understanding if they do not understand the precedent of acknowledging the Creator. The Creator who crafted us in principle and love to serve each other under the guidelines of the teachings of Jesus Christ, who He himself arose “early in the morning, while it was still dark,” (Mark 1:35) to pray to the Father. Jesus came to earth as a servant, to be obedient to the Father and submit Himself to His will. If we truly desire an eternal relationship with the Father, then we must abide by the Son’s example. 

Let us remember what Abraham Lincoln once said: “[I]t is the duty of nations as well … and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord [Psalm 33:12]… . But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace — too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

In our time, let us never allow ourselves to be too proud or distracted by what happens on this earth to drive us astray from praying to our Father in heaven for each other and our leaders. Take some time in a quiet place. He’s always willing to listen.

Putting Children Before Politics

by Worth Loving

May 1, 2018

For decades, faith-based adoption and foster care organizations have played a critical role in providing services to children in need. They have excelled in this and serviced the neediest of these already needy children. As reported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 45 percent of the 3,794 adoptions completed by Catholic Charities in 2009 were of children considered to have special needs. Also in 2009, 32 percent of the 1,716 adoptions completed by Bethany Christian Services were of hard-to-place older children previously in foster care.

It is imperative for these children that all agencies, both faith-based and secular, remain in the adoption and foster care system. Without them, many children would have no place to turn. Today, 440,000 children are in foster care, and 100,000 of those are awaiting adoption. The opioid crisis is only adding to these numbers. In 2016, 92,000 children alone were in foster care because of drug abuse in the home. In fact, drug abuse is the number one reason why children are placed in foster care. With so many children desperate for stable homes, it would seem obvious to provide every avenue possible for that to happen. However, there is a growing movement to remove faith-based adoption agencies from the equation. Due to their deeply held religious beliefs, many faith-based adoption agencies seek to place children in homes with a married mother and father. Recently, in the scramble to embrace “LGBT equality,” lawsuits were filed in Michigan and Texas, challenging each state’s laws protecting faith-based adoption agencies. In Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and California, similar lawsuits succeeded, resulting in the shutdown of several Catholic adoption organizations. In Illinois, approximately 2,000 children were displaced as a result of one of these lawsuits despite that fact that every state allows LGBT adoption and has numerous agencies willing to facilitate these adoptions.

Such threats to the well-being of children prompted Representative Mike Kelly (R-Penn.) to introduce The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 1881) in the House of Representatives and Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) to introduce it in the Senate (S. 811). This bill protects faith-based adoption agencies from discrimination by letting them continue their work of placing children in adoption and foster families while remaining loyal to their deeply held religious beliefs and does nothing to prevent LGBT adoptions. The bill simply seeks to keep faith-based agencies in the business of helping children, free of government discrimination.

Those fighting to remove faith-based agencies from the table have a specific agenda in mind, an agenda that seeks to silence those with whom they disagree while trampling on the best interests of children. The fight to protect faith-based adoption agencies is about ensuring families have a wide range of options to select an agency that meets their physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs. It’s about ensuring that some of the most overlooked members of our society will no longer be forgotten.

The House sponsor of this bill, Rep. Mike Kelly, spoke at FRC this past Thursday on the importance of passing this bill. Speaking on the importance of keeping faith-based agencies at the table, he said:

All service providers, religious or secular, who work to provide children with loving families should have a seat at the table and never be disqualified from doing so because of their deeply-rooted religious beliefs. The more groups providing these crucial services, the better.

How ironic that leftists want to exclude faith-based agencies from placing children in loving homes while rabidly defending federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a group that only provides one adoption referral for every 82 abortions.

Our goal should be to place children in loving homes. Any agency that provides this service should be allowed a seat at the table. To learn more about the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, please watch this FRC Speaker Series event. And then, contact your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators and ask them to support this bill.

Free Speech in the Era of Social Media

by Worth Loving

April 20, 2018

In the last decade, the explosion of the internet has allowed us to reach a global audience almost instantly. Online social media platforms have become the primary way that people express their views, with 69 percent of American adults using some form of social media every day. And while these companies claim to be open platforms for all political discussion, some groups and individuals are finding there are limits to free speech.  

Since 2010, there have been an alarming number of incidents where conservative and Christian views have been censored on the internet. For example, in April 2015, GoFundMe deleted the fundraising campaigns for Sweet Cakes by Melissa and Arlene’s Flowers, two businesses that have declined to provide services for same-sex weddings and were raising money to help pay for legal fees. In January 2017, D. James Kennedy Ministries was denied access to AmazonSmile, a program developed by Amazon to allow customers to donate to the non-profit of their choice when making a purchase. Amazon based its decision on the SPLC’s designation of D. James Kennedy Ministries as a “hate group.” In July 2017, Facebook temporarily blocked over 20 pages of Catholic organizations and individuals that were followed by millions worldwide.

On Tuesday, “True Blue” recipient Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a leading voice in Congress on digital free speech, joined a panel of experts at FRC to discuss solutions to online censorship. Rep. Blackburn was herself a victim of online censorship last October when Twitter blocked an ad for her Senate campaign, which they deemed “inflammatory.” The ad called out Planned Parenthood for their illegal sale of baby body parts.

Today we are faced with the difficult question of whether government regulation of a private enterprise is necessary to protect free speech. We encourage you to take time to watch the panel discussion and learn more about one of the most critical free speech issues of our time.

Michigan Pastors Deliver 23,000 Petitions to Legislators in Support of Metro City Church

by FRC Action

April 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Yesterday, Michigan pastors delivered over 23,000 petition signatures to state legislators in support of Pastor Jeremy Schossau of Metro City Church and FORGE Ministries. The petitions were addressed to Rep. Camilleri and Rep. Zemke who called for an investigation into the church and ministry for hosting “The Unashamed Identity” Workshop — an event offered for teenage girls to learn what the Bible teaches about sexuality.

The petition urges Rep. Camilleri and Rep. Zemke to withdraw their request for an unconstitutional government investigation into Metro City Church and FORGE Ministries, and to respect the freedom of this church to teach what the Bible says about human sexuality.

Randy Wilson, Family Research Council’s National Field Director for Watchman on the Wall, made the following comments:

Pastor Jeremy Schossau’s leadership at Metro City Church has created a place that is governed by the precepts and principles of God’s word and is compelled by the love of God. The workshop offered by Metro City Church and FORGE Ministries was created to answer difficult and sensitive questions on identity and sexuality from a biblical perspective. Metro City is putting love into action by offering a safe place for teenage girls struggling with sexual identity issues from a biblical perspective not a personal opinion. For elected officials to call for an investigation into matters of the church is a gross violation of the First Amendment and government overreach.”

We’re seeing that the church is increasingly under attack. These petitions condemn this type of overreach by legislators Rep. Camilleri and Rep. Zemke who demanded a government investigation into Metro City Church. We encourage bold spiritual leaders like Pastor Jeremy Schossau to continue to stand by the truth of God’s word and speak it in love. This type of speech should always be protected by our government, not regulated,” concluded Wilson.

Click here to read the full petition.

Even in Retirement, Air Force Veterans Continue Their Fight for Freedom

by Worth Loving

April 11, 2018

For over thirty years, Oscar Rodriguez served his country honorably as a Senior Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Since 2001, Rodriguez has delivered a speech at over 100 flag-folding civic and military events. The speech makes six mentions of God, mostly near the end:

Our flag is a beacon, recognized around the world to represent freedom during times of peace, or during times of war. This is what we live for. This is what we will fight for, and if necessary to touch the hand of God in her defense, the charge that we accept as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines is a noble one for there is no heart stronger than that of a volunteer. Let us pray that God will reflect with admiration the willingness of one nation in her attempt to rid the world of tyranny, oppression, and misery. It is this one nation under God that we call, with honor, the United States of America. God Bless our flag. God bless our troops. God bless America.

Rodriguez delivered this speech many times in his official role as a member of the honor guard. In 2005, the Air Force issued an official script that was the only one to be recited at flag-folding ceremonies.

Rodriguez continued to deliver his own flag-folding speech, albeit not in any official capacity. In March 2016, the now-retired Rodriguez was asked by fellow airman Master Sergeant Chuck Roberson to give his flag-folding speech at Roberson’s retirement ceremony.  After learning that he could not prevent Rodriguez from attending, Roberson’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Sovitsky, told Roberson that Rodriguez could not give the speech as it ran afoul of the codified scripted speech, especially the references to God. However, because Rodriguez was retired from the Air Force and therefore a private citizen, he was entitled to give whatever speech he chose for the ceremony. Even after the disagreements over the speech, Roberson still wanted Rodriguez to give the speech at the retirement ceremony. On April 3, when Rodriguez rose to give the speech at the ceremony, he was forcibly removed by three uniformed Air Force officers. On June 19, 2016, the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps recommended an assault charge be filed against the officers who removed Rodriguez. The next day, Rodriguez’s attorneys at First Liberty sent a letter to the Air Force demanding an apology. On February 1, 2018, the Air Force refused to do so.

On April 3, 2018, two years to the day after the incident occurred, Roberson and Rodriguez are now suing the Air Force, Sovitsky, and the officers who removed Rodriguez. The charges include violations of due process, freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and unreasonable seizure.

What seemed like a move towards uniformity was actually a veiled attempt to squelch Oscar Rodriguez’s freedom of speech. There is so much more at stake in this case than simply a formal apology from the Air Force; the First Amendment rights of every member of the U.S. military are in jeopardy. In 2016, 44,365 of you signed a petition in support of Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez (Ret.) and Master Sergeant Charles Roberson, demanding that Colonel Raymond A. Kozak, commander of the 349th Air Mobility Wing, issue a formal apology on behalf of the Air Force. Now, we must continue to pressure the Air Force to acknowledge that they violated the First Amendment rights of Oscar Rodriguez, assaulted him, and disrupted a memorable ceremony for Charles Roberson and his family.

Our forefathers fled the persecution and oppression of western Europe because their freedom to speak and live out their faith had been compromised. Countless men and women have sacrificed life and limb so that everyone—civilian and soldier alike—may enjoy the God-given rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. That’s why we must continue to stand with Oscar Rodriguez and our friends at First Liberty as they continue fighting for the right of every American to freely express themselves.

Why FRC Action Supports the Graham-Cassidy Legislation Repealing Obamacare

by FRC Action

September 19, 2017

 

Family Research Council Action along with FRC and Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) support the FY17 reconciliation legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The Graham-Cassidy legislation would reapply to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized. It redirects taxpayer funding away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and provides better state-based health insurance solutions for families than Obamacare.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following joint statement in support of the Graham-Cassidy legislation:

We applaud Senators Graham and Cassidy for their leadership and strongly endorse the bill they have crafted. This legislation offers Republicans the best chance to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, stop taxpayer funding of abortion, and redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to comprehensive health care alternatives.

It is now well past time for Republicans in Congress to deliver on those promises. The Graham-Cassidy bill offers them the best chance to do that, with only 51 votes needed in the Senate to pass it before the September 30 deadline. The prior Congress passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and fund alternatives instead of Planned Parenthood that would have become law had it not been vetoed by President Obama, and now they have a commitment from President Trump to sign it. The pro-life majority controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. The GOP is without excuse. We urge them to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare and end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. Failure to keep their promise to voters will bring into question whether this Congress can truly be called the ‘pro-life Congress.’ Rhetoric must be translated into verifiable action.

Should robust efforts to enact the Graham-Cassidy legislation through the FY2017 Reconciliation bill run out of time, then the fight to redirect funds from Planned Parenthood must move immediately to the FY2018 Tax Reconciliation bill. Planned Parenthood proudly self-reports taking the innocent lives of 328,348 unborn children last year and nearly one million over the past three years. That is 900 lives snuffed out before their first breath every single day by a single taxpayer-funded abortion chain. This tragedy is compounded every day that passes with inaction. The time for results is now. Lives depend on Congress’ leadership and action to enact the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

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