If same-sex marriage became legal today, would your church and pastor be protected from lawsuits brought by homosexual activists? In June, the U.S. Supreme Court may decide that homosexual marriage should be a legal right in all 50 states, a decision that would threaten the religious liberty of all who support Biblical values. However, legal experts suggest there are several ways to protect your church from possible sexual-orientation discrimination lawsuits. Alliance Defending Freedom has published several suggestions and guidelines for what churches should add to their bylaws in order for them to protect their religious beliefs. ADF believes there are seven essential items every church should include in its bylaws, including a formal church membership policy and a statement about the church's religious beliefs regarding marriage. For more information, click here and share this information with your pastor and church leaders and even more details are available at the link in the first paragraph.
During the recently completed statewide campaign, Family Foundation Action, our sister organization, conducted its largest ever voter education and mobilization effort — Winning Matters 2009. We know those efforts were not in vain as a record percentage of values voters voted in the November 3 election. Our work, though, is not through, and your financial support is needed. In November, Virginians — to the great consternation of hyper liberals — resoundingly chose Senator Ken Cuccinelli, with 58 percent of the vote, as their next Attorney General. However, his election created a vacancy in the Virginia Senate. Now, there will be a special election in the 37th Senate district (Fairfax County) on January 12, 2010, to fill out the remainder of the term. Because this seat is critical to advancing our pro-family agenda, we are planning to continue our Winning Matters efforts for the duration of this campaign. Our project manager and two area coordinators will continue their work on focusing, educating and mobilizing values voters for this upcoming special election.
Senator Cuccinelli has been a champion for issues that are important to the family and to Christians. He has been a leader in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, protect property rights, bring transparency to government spending and strengthen marriage. In 2006, he was the only elected official who actively campaigned for the Marriage Amendment in Fairfax County. This year, he successfully shepherded the "Choose Life" license plate bill through both houses of the General Assembly.
It is vitally important that his seat be filled by another pro-family conservative. Senator Cuccinelli’s senatorial district has become very competitive. The last Senate race there was decided by only 92 votes. In a special election, the turnout is typically very low and every vote carries an even greater importance.
The Family Foundation plans to educate pro-family voters on the contrasting views of the two candidates and needs your gift to do so. Please donate today.
The Republican candidate for the seat is Steve Hunt, a long time conservative activist, and a former elected at-large member of the Fairfax County School Board. The Democrat candidate is Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41, Burke). Delegate Marsden did not live in the 37th Senate district but "moved" into a friend's house in the district to be eligible to run for the seat. He earned a 20 percent score on The Family Foundation Action’s 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card.
We believe it is every Christian’s sacred duty as a citizen to participate in the electoral process and vote their Biblical values. Our Winning Matters staff is dedicated to making sure that happens on January 12. To ensure that voters are educated about where the candidates for this Senate seat stand, we are producing a Special Election Voter Guide for the 37th Senate seat. This guide will not only educate voters, but also remind them of this special election — less than one month away.
But to do all that we have planned we need your support. We spent nearly all of the funds raised for Winning Matters during the general election. So, to support Winning Matters' efforts in this very important election, we hope that you will click here and send a special "Win the 37th!" Winning Matters contribution.
The Family Foundation and Pastors For Family Values will join the Alliance Defense Fund Tuesday, August 4, to produce an outstanding event for pastors and church leaders. Even if you are a pastor who has already attended a Winning Matters 2009 briefing, or plan to attend one, we promise this is one you will regret not attending. This special pastors briefing will take place at the Fredericksburg Expo and Convention Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In the morning, ADF will educate pastors on their legal rights and discuss their willingness to defend those rights — ADF is one of the nation's premier legal advocates for religious liberty rights.
In the afternoon, two outstanding speakers will address attendees: Pastor Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church, who opened the House of Representatives today with prayer (see video below), and Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church (see video here). These two prominent leaders will encourage and motivate you.
Pastors also will learn about opportunities to partner with us in Winning Matters 2009 — an effort to assist Virginia churches in registering their congregations to vote, educating people of faith on important public policy issues, and encouraging them to vote in Virginia's statewide elections on November 3rd, an election that will send a message one way or another to the entire country. If you are not a pastor, please forward this link with your own personal message encouraging your church leaders to attend.
Although Pastors For Family Values is a year round association dedicated to much more than "political" involvement, we believe that appropriate occasions call us to take a more active role in making sure our voices are heard about our stance on traditional and Biblical values. This event will be informative and timely, with many resources for pastors to use in their efforts to encourage and equip their communities and churches to champion traditional values.
A Special Presentation for Pastors
Tuesday, August 4
Fredericksburg Expo and Convention Center
2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Speakers: Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., of Hope Christian Church
Pastor Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church
This event, including lunch, is free to pastors. To RSVP, or for more information, call 804-343-0010 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor Jonathan Falwell, seemingly an unlikely choice, opens today's session of the U.S. House of Representatives with prayer "in Jesus' name," something Virginia state police chaplains are not allowed to do.
In May, we noticed that none other than Right Wing Watch, the blog of the well known national liberal organization People For The American Way, had commented about us. In fact, it was concerned about the launch of our "Winning Matters" program, which engages pastors to lead their congregations into full participation into the public square. We noted at the time that we must be doing something right if such a large, national organization and RWW were keeping their eyes on us, a lil' ol' state policy organization. So, imagine how we feel now that they've mentioned us again (see here), this time ridiculing Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., for speaking at some of our pastors events around the commonwealth. Wearing this online red badge of courage, we thought we'd report on something they really could chew on.
People For The American Way and other liberal, secular progressives believe, given recent election trends, that the death of Christianity in America is near — or at least we've been minimized to the point of a curious, but irrelevant, nuisance. It's apparent to the collective liberal institutional genius (media, academia, public education, special interest groups, unions, etc.), that many Americans finally are enlightened, no longer hold the traditional values that are the result of one's faith in God, and that the country has reached the Rubiconof a mother state with no looking back (the flipping of conservative Virginia their prize possession).
Those of us who still dare live in the Stone Age are so few in number that we can be essentially forgotten by society and left to dwell in our caves. Finally the progressives can officially progress . . .
But maybe not. In Roanoke last week, we hosted a pastors event in connection with the Winning Matters 2009 Campaign. Approximately 40 pastors from around the region filled the room and were encouraged, equipped and empowered to continue influencing their congregations and communities on traditional values issues. (For information on other pastor events around Virginia, click here.)
Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University's School of Law, reminded them of their personal and congregational rights to speak freely on the issues of the day. Rick Scarborough, of Vision America, challenged them to speak truth to their communities and leaders, as he has done for many years with great success. Family Foundation staff offered practical steps to make their churches more effective voices, including:
» Preaching a citizenship sermon; » Holding a voter registration drive; » Distributing General Assembly Report Cards; and » Distributing voter guides.
Each pastor there decided to stand up and be counted for the cause of Biblical values. They certainly didn't look dead in their passion to make a difference. Besides, even if they were, secular progressives forget that we serve a God who raises the dead. That alone, should give Right Wing Watch plenty to blog about.