I Agree With Michelle Obama

You read that correctly. It probably doesn't happen often, but I completely agree with the words spoken by First Lady Michelle Obama late last week where she implored church leaders at a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tenn. to drive political action (see Dan Gilgoff at's Belief Blog):

To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better. Because ultimately, these are not just political issues, they are moral issues.

As of today, I've seen no screaming press release from Mr. Barry Lynn of American's United for Separation of Church and State ridiculing the First Lady or demanding that the IRS investigate.

The fact is Mrs. Obama is absolutely correct on both counts. The church is the place to talk about the issues of the day, to ensure that people understand that their values have a place in the public square and that the church, the center of social change and political movements since before America began, has every legal right and a moral obligation to do so.

That is true because nearly every issue we are dealing with in America today — abortion, marriage, health care, poverty, ethics in government, etc. — are moral issues. To say that the church should not address what is clearly one of its fundamental obligations is not just silly, it's dangerous.

Unfortunately, too many church leaders and congregants have fallen for the "separation of church and state" myth, either from intimidation, ignorance or fear. Should the church be the center of partisan political activity? No, though frankly it is constitutionally protected to do so. Should politics be the primary activity of the church? Again, no. But addressing issues of the day, teaching people about their God-given civic responsibilities and providing information about candidates and elected officials are absolutely legal and important for congregations — and don't think Michelle Obama doesn't know that.

So, as we approach our celebration of Independence Day, the founding of our great republic — a moment in history driven by the clergy (see Joseph Loconte Houses of Worship column at the — let's all take the First Lady's words to heart and make sure that our churches remain the centers of social and political change in America and in Virginia.

Why Did Herman Cain Win Florida’s GOP Presidential Straw Poll Vote?

Why did Herman Cain win the Florida Republican presidential straw poll vote? Come see for yourself in 12 days, when Herman Cain offers the keynote address at The Family Foundation Annual Gala, Saturday, October 8. In case you missed it over the weekend, coming off Thursday night's Florida GOP presidential candidate debate, Mr. Cain received 37 of the vote in the Republican straw poll, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry (15 percent), former Governor Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (14 percent), former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (11 percent) and U.S. Representative Ron Paul (10 percent). All other candidates trailed in single digits. What makes this poll so telling is that the voters were delegates to a convention, and not activists who could be bussed in, fed for a couple of hours in a fun, tailgate atmosphere, and have their admission tickets paid for by a candidate — as was the case in the Iowa straw poll in August.

But it's not only Florida. Mr. Cain has been turning heads around the country for years, as a successful corporate CEO and a television and radio political and business news commentator — as well as a pastor and one with a compelling stage IV cancer survivor. So don't miss your opportunity to see what the buzz is all about. Although this is a non-political event, it's an opportunity to get to know Herman Cain* as an individual, and not as a candidate. Space is limited, so click here to purchase tickets to the gala. Better yet, not only can you hear him speak, you can have your picture taken with Herman Cain by signing up for a table sponsorship. Click here for details on this special opportunity.

Here is what people were saying about Mr. Cain this weekend:

» At a faith rally before the debate and a conservative forum after, Cain earned the loudest applause. By Friday night, he was so popular that his staff had to find a bigger room to accommodate admirers. But even then, in a room with a capacity of 700, a long line snaked out the door. (The Miami Herald)

» Cain was “not full of himself. He’s honest, he’s got a sense of humor, he’s got a plan.” (

» Cain, who charmed activists with a series of red meat speeches and a smooth debate performance, was mentioned frequently as a second choice among activists who came to Orlando ready to support Perry before changing their minds. ( blog)

More coverage can be found here:

» Human Events


» The Miami Herald


» Blog

Don't forget, visit our Gala Page today by clicking here to get ticket, sponsorship and all the gala information you need. For questions, please call 804-343-0010 or e-mail

2011 Family Foundation Annual Gala details

The Family Foundation Annual Gala featuring keynote speaker Herman Cain

Greater Richmond Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, corner of 5th and East Broad Streets

October 8: Private sponsors reception at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00

Business Attire

Register Online:

Register by Phone or Questions: Please call Dan Thompson or John Downer at (804) 343-0010



* DISCLAIMER: Mr. Cain’s appearance is in his personal capacity, not as a candidate, and does not imply any endorsement by The Family Foundation Action or The Family Foundation.

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Virginia News Stand: May 20, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Left Over The Long Term

Remember Tim Kaine? Barely? Yeah, that's him. He's in the news today, throwing it down at the Republicans. As we say in sports, that's why we play the game. In other news, the guy who succeeded Mr. Kaine, Governor Bob McDonnell, appointed a Family Foundation alumnus to his administration while arrogant academics scream foul at Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Also, the AG speaks frankly about what's at stake in the legal battle over the government takeover of health care. Meanwhile, Mark Preston and Dick Morris, in Analysis, get the gold medal in telepathy today with almost identical headlines. You'll have to read their columns to see if they are on the same wavelength about the midterm elections. Christopher Adamo adds his two bits in Commentary.

But there's more to scare liberals than pending elections. Education reform and freedom is gaining more momentum, yet the Left stubbornly resists to a long-failed ideology and continues to pander to unions. Joshua Mercer at CatholicVoteAction Blog comments on a Michael Steele op-ed and the we also posted the op-ed itself. Worse yet for the Left, long term, the pro-life movement looks bright. More and more young people are involved as the pro-abortion crowd dwindles in numbers and energy — a victim of age and technology. David Bass at The American Spectator explains.


*McDonnell announces appointments (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine: Democrats will hold congressional majorities (Richmond Times-Dispatch

Cuccinelli: Federalism itself is at stake in health care debate (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

Cuccinelli’s demand for U.Va. decried (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Academics fight Cuccinelli's call for climate-change records (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News

GOP stops $40 billion in future spending for science bill (AP/

Senators press for National Guard troops on border (AP/

'Modifying' Miranda modifies the political debate (AP/

Senate fails to end debate on bank regulation bill (AP/

Obama ramps up criticism of Ariz. immigration law (AP/


Open season on political incumbents (Mark Preston/

Open Season on Incumbents (Dick Morris/

The Golden Age of Centrism Wasn't So Golden (Michael Barone/


Pro-Choice Twilight Years (David N. Bass/The American Spectator AmSpecBlog)

Another Judicial Power Grab (Thomas Sowell/

Steele: Democrats fail on school program (Michael Steele/

Michael Steele slams Obama for killing DC voucher program (Joshua Mercer/CatholicVoteAction Blog)

Immigration and Liberty (Walter E. Williams/

May Primaries And The Coming Electoral Tsunami (Christopher G. Adamo/

Virginia News Stand: April 19, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Mostly All Virginia Edition

Today's News Stand is all Virginia, for the most part. Even The Weekly Standard'sMary Katherine Ham's feature on the use of the Internet by GOP campaigns has a lengthy portion devoted to the expertise in which Governor Bob McDonnell's campaign used new technology to find and target voters. We have a round-up of Tea Party Day across the commonwealth. Commentary also has a Virginia ledger today, with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion piece making National Review Online.


Va. public broadcasting funds in peril (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Roxann Robinson to run for Nixon’s delegate seat (

At UVa, Justice Scalia warns of scholars’ agendas, biases (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

How do LGBT people fare in the area? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Think tank says Virginia budget raises taxes on poor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Black Baptist pastors criticize McDonnell’s policies (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea-party supporters rally in Richmond (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hundreds of Tea Party activists rally in downtown Norfolk (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Election plans brewing for Roanoke Tea Party (Roanoke Times)

Tea Party activists sh0w frustration at local rally (Charlottesville Daily Progress

Lynchburg tea partiers sound off on Tax Day (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli: I’m fighting for Constitution (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli opines that taxes and fees can be embedded in the state budget (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Will Marshall run for U.S. Senate in Va. again? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays (Washington Post)

No hooking up, no sex for some coeds (


Tea-party influence could cut two ways (Tyler Whitley/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea partiers in two camps: Palin vs. Paul ( Virginian-Pilot)

Techno-GOP (Mary Katherine Ham/The Weekly Standard)


Unconstitutional Mandate: Virginia’s Obamacare lawsuit is about more than just health care(Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, III/National Review Online)

McDonnell is tarred by missteps (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Ending "Disposable Marriage"

In yesterday's News Stand, we posted a commentary from entitled, "Let's End Disposable Marriage," by retiring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. It is a startling piece about an issue that affects nearly every American family — divorce — yet is seldom addressed by the political class. In her column, Justice Sears wrote:

The coupling and uncoupling we've become accustomed to undermines our democracy, destroys our families and devastates the lives of our children, who are not as resilient as we may wish to think. The one-parent norm, which is necessary and successful in many cases, nevertheless often creates a host of other problems, from poverty to crime, teen pregnancy and drug abuse.

It has become too easy for people to walk away from their families and commitments without a real regard for the gravity of their decision and the consequence for other people, particularly children.

These are the words not of a "right winger," but of someone who has been mentioned as a potential Barack Obama nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court and who was a target of the Georgia Republican Party and Christian Coalition during her 2004 re-election. She has seen the catastrophic results of unilateral divorce both personally and professionally, writing, "As a judge I have long held a front row seat to the wreckage left behind by our culture of disposable marriage and casual divorce."

The tide is turning on the issue of no-fault divorce. Last fall, a poll found that 62 percent of Californians do not think that either spouse should be allowed to terminate marriage at any time for any reason. This from the state that gave us no-fault divorce in the first place! It is time that we address this issue head on, both in the church and in the arena of public policy.

Few can doubt the harm that unilateral divorce has brought to American families. Still, many think this is one of those issues where the most one can do is throw up their hands. It's not. 

The Family Foundation has proposed that mutual consent must be required for a couple to divorce when children are involved — meaning that one spouse cannot simply walk away without cause. Unfortunately, this proposal has met with little support from either political party in Richmond. In fact, when presented, most elected officials we've talked with have run for cover. But we will continue to advocate for this proposal until it receives a fair and complete hearing in the General Assembly and becomes law. 

We can talk all we want about fixing our tax code to help families. We can work toward "fixing" health care and all of the other economic challenges we face. But the fact is that we will not adequately address the issue of saving the American family until we address the issue of unilateral divorce. Until we elect representatives with the courage to tackle this issue we will be doing little to save the next generation from the same devastating consequences that we seek to overcome today.

Virginia News Stand: November 24, 2008

It's the beginning of a short week, with a major holiday approaching. So it's slim pickins out there (you know so when we're scraping the CNN barrel). Still, good reading none-the-same. Elections might bump transportation off road (The Daily Press

Will House GOP right the ship? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Huckabee tells Republicans how to recover (

Could Iowa conservatives undermine GOP in 2012? (Washington Post)

Prop. 8 backers splinter as court fight resumes ( via San Francisco Chronicle)