Judeo-Christian principles

Do It Today: Register To Vote!

With this election being one of the most important in our lifetimes, it is imperative that pro-life, pro-family Virginians register to vote, make an informed decision and cast their ballots on November 6. Just as other demographic groups are mobilizing, Christians should fully participate in faithful citizenship in our representative democracy. It is our Christian duty to fully participate in our country's future.

But while Election Day is less than a month away, today is the deadline to register to vote! 

If you are not registered to vote, or know of people who are not — members of your church, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors — use and share this information. Too much is at stake in this election. Know the issues. Educate others. Register to vote and cast your ballot! You can learn more at The Family Foundation Action's voter education site, vavotes.net.

If you haven't already done so, register to vote today! If your friends, family, and neighbors haven’t yet registered and are eligible, let them know that today is the deadline! Won't you take a few minutes out of your day today to download a form, fill it out and ensure it is postmarked by today? Or forward this information to others and encourage them to register? Or even go in person to your local registrar, library or DMV, and maybe take someone with you for such a crucial election that will impact not only our future, but our present? It's simple:

To register to vote, click this link to visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website, print the form that will appear and get it postmarked by today; or go by your local registrar's office, public library or DMV to pick up a voter registration form. Click here for more information.

Then encourage others to do so: Forward them this link via e-mail or post it on your social media sites. But please be sure to register to vote, then cast your ballot. If you are not available to vote on November 6, you can vote in advance (click here to learn more).

For the time being, though, be sure to register to vote. Then examine the candidates for all offices: President, U.S. Senate, House of Representative, and any local offices that may be on the ballot in your city, county or town, as well as the all-important ratification vote to secure your property rights from eminent domain in the Virginia Constitution. Click here to view our 2012 Voter Guide to learn which candidates will take responsibility for the issues that face our nation today and best reflect your foundational Judeo-Christian principles.

A Walk For The President

So President Barack Obama doesn't think the United States of America is a Christian nation. He cites the fact that Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and others are American citizens. True. Just as Christians and a very large number of Muslims are Israeli citizens, but Israel is a Jewish state. America was founded, no matter how much secularists and the president want to rewrite history, on Judeo-Christian principles. Our founding documents prove it. Our Founders' writings show it. The moral foundation of our laws confirms it. A memorial we left on the moon dramatically demonstrates it (see this great reflection from William Safire).

If President Obama, or any secularist or progressive, doubts it, they need only take a short walk from the White House to a few Washington, D.C. landmarks — and back to the White House.  Stuart Shepard from CitizenLink.com shows us the way in this short video tour of the Washington Mall.

Sign of the Cross: A walk to certain Washington memorials and back to the White House would demonstrate to the president that his assertion that America is not a Christian nation couldn't be further from the Truth.

Reminder: Day Of Prayer Tomorrow In Williamsburg, New Parking Information

Please join us tomorrow, June 1, as we unite in Colonial Williamsburg for another year with concerned citizens from Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth to call out to God to restore our nation to its Judeo-Christian principles and heal our land. The event commemorates the historic action taken by Virginia leaders more than 225 years ago in the same streets when they found themselves in need of God's intervention. On June 1, 1774, the Virginia House of Burgesses called a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer as American colonists called out to the Lord to intervene during the crisis that followed the British closing of Boston Harbor. Today, our foes are much different, but they are just as real. Whether the attack is on life, on marriage or on religious liberty, we know that there are real threats to our freedom, liberty and prosperity.

The Family Foundation is joining with an ad hoc group called Virginians for Liberty asking the Lord to have mercy on us and heal our land. Please see respected historian David Barton address this very important event in the video below.

We will assemble at the Colonial Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg promptly at 8:00 a.m. and walk to Bruton Parish Church where prayers will be offered along with some 18th-century hymns. This will cover several blocks, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. We will finish promptly at 9:00 a.m. Bring a U.S., Virginia or Christian flag and wave it as a symbol of your devotion to this cause.

After consulting with officials in Williamsburg, we encourage you to park either in the surface lots or the parking deck adjacent to Merchants Square, right next to Colonial Williamsburg. A previous recommendation, to park near Bassett Hall, is not available to the public. Merchants Square is more convenient to where we will conclude our prayer walk, making the walk back to our cars shorter.

Historian David Barton speaks to the importance of this important event: the one 225 years ago and the one tomorrow.

Recalling The House Of Burgesses: A Call To Prayer In Colonial Williamsburg

Mark your calendar for June 1 as we again gather in Colonial Williamsburg with concerned citizens from Hampton Roads and across the commonwealth to call out to God to restore our nation to its Judeo-Christian principles and heal our land. (See picture from last year's event.) On June 1, 1774, the Virginia House of Burgesses called a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer (see proclamation at CW's web site) as American colonists called out to the Lord to intervene when the British closed the harbor at Boston. Today, our foes are much different, but they are just as real. Whether the attack is on life, on marriage or on religious liberty, we know that there are real threats to our freedom, liberty and prosperity.

The Family Foundation will commemorate that important prayer event on Wednesday, June 1, in the historic colonial capital, with the ad hoc group Virginians for Liberty, to ask the Lord to have mercy on us and heal our land. See the video below to see historian and WallBuilders founder David Barton briefly recount the historic event and explain how to participate in this very important event. After watching it, please share it or this blog post's link with your friends, family members and especially your pastor. We have a similar video available that is designed to be shown in churches during worship services and will make that available to any church that would like to show it to their congregation. If your church does not have the ability to download and show the video, we can also make a DVD copy available for viewing.

We will assemble at the Colonial Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street promptly at 8:00 a.m. and walk to Bruton Parish Church where prayers will be offered along with some 18th century hymns. This will cover several blocks, so wear comfortable shoes. The event will end at 9:00. Bring a U.S., Virginia or Christian flag and wave it as a symbol of your devotion to this cause.

Parking can be confusing around Colonial Williamsburg. There is a parking lot near Bassett Hall, 522 Francis Street East, which is very convenient to the Capitol. For more information or questions, please call Roger Pogge in our office at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org. We look forward to seeing you there.

A Call to Prayer

Colonial Williamsburg

Wednesday, June 1, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m

Virginia Renewal Project Recap

Since we brought up pastors events and Winning Matters 2009 last post, we thought we'd review a major event that we had a hand in from earlier this month that, in essence, was a launch to the whole idea of more civic activism from people with a Biblical perspective. The Virginia Renewal Project took place at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel on June 4 and 5, and you know it was an important event when certain groups raised hackles about it

More than 450 pastors from across Virginia attended, and represented every denomination and ethnicity. The hotel's grand ballroom was packed as speakers such as historian David Barton, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke of the need to return America to its Godly heritage. 

Barton was especially moving as he related how the Founding Fathers all gave credit for their inspiration to the pastors of the day. We often hear that the Founders were a bunch of  deists and secularists, but Barton's research and documentation convincingly proves what used to be a common notion taught in America — that this nation was founded primarily by Christians on Judeo-Christian principles. 

Pastors at the conference were encouraged to engage the culture and make a difference by being salt and light in all arenas, even in the political realm.  They were told that despite the threats of the ACLU and People for the American Way, no church has ever lost its tax-exempt status. Everyone left encouraged and inspired to make a difference in our Commonwealth and in our nation.

Webster's Prophesy

Don't let the extreme/secular left know about this one. They don't think any of the Founders or other early American leaders had any intention for this country to be based on Judeo-Christian principles. But hear Daniel Webster:

"If we abide by the  principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering. But if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden  a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."  

More than a quote, it's prophetic, c. 2009.

Official Statement Of The Family Foundation On State Police Chaplain Prayer Policy

Statement of Victoria Cobb

President, The Family Foundation of Virginia

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia states:

"That all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." [Emphasis added]

Today, thanks to the action of the Virginia State Police Superintendent and its endorsement by Governor Tim Kaine, Thomas Jefferson's words are little more than ink on paper. The words of the Statute for Religious Freedom that is the foundation for the tradition of religious liberty in our nation and the precursor to the First Amendment rings hollow in the ears of those state police chaplains who have had their opinions in matters of religion diminished and their civil capacities affected simply because they refuse to silence their faith.

As is usual with the issue of religious liberty, the debate surrounding the policy and legislation before the General Assembly to correct it, including several editorials in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, is replete with misinformation, misunderstanding and confusion. Some, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, falsely claim that prayers offered before legislative or government bodies must be nonsectarian or non-denominational. Fortunately, the First Amendment and case law regarding this issue is absolutely clear and on the side of the chaplains.

Simply put, in no case involving public prayer at government-sponsored events (with the exception being public schools) does either the U.S. Supreme Court or any circuit court require that prayers offered be so-called "nonsectarian" or "nondenominational." In fact, the opposite is true. In the clear words of the Supreme Court's Marsh v. Chambers decision:

"In light of the history, there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society. To invoke divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not, in these circumstances, a violation of the Establishment Clause; it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country."

Recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Pelphrey v. Cobb dismissed the argument that Marsh permits only "nonsectarian" prayers:

"The taxpayers argue that Marsh permits only "nonsectarian" prayers for commission meetings, but their reading is contrary to the command of Marsh that the courts are not to evaluate the content of the prayers absent evidence of exploitation. ... The court never held that the prayers in Marsh were constitutional because they were "nonsectarian."

Supporters of censorship, like the ACLU, are claiming that the Fourth Circuit Court's Turner v. Fredericksburg decision requires the state police's policy of censorship. Again, this is blatantly false.

While that case upheld a policy in Fredericksburg that censors prayers, it does not require that policy. In fact, in the words of Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote the Turner decision:

"We need not decide whether the Establishment Clause compelled the Council to adopt their legislative prayer policy because the Establishment Clause does not absolutely dictate the form of legislative prayer."

Again, in Pelphrey, the Eleventh Circuit says:

"Although it upheld the policy of the [Fredericksburg City] Council, the Fourth Circuit expressly declined to hold that Marsh required a policy of nondenominational prayers." Adding, "[The courts] . . . have applied the precedents of the Supreme Court irrespective of the level of government involved."

Interestingly, in arguing against legislation reversing the state police policy in a recent Washington Post article, Kent Willis of the Virginia ACLU makes our case saying, "Maybe the worst part of all this is now you have the government deciding what's a proper prayer and what's not a proper prayer."

I couldn't agree more! The government should not be telling people how to pray or not to pray, and that is exactly what the state police policy does. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other faith, chaplains should be able to pray at public events according to their beliefs, and those prayers should not be censored by the government. The legislation that has been presented to the General Assembly this year would simply protect chaplains of every religion.

Virginians are growing tired of these attacks on public faith. Our Commonwealth and nation are founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and no amount of revisionist history or politically motivated anti-religious bigotry will erase the truth. The First Amendment and the Statute for Religious Freedom protect the right of individuals to profess their faith in public. They do not protect a crowd from hearing about an individual's faith.

Once again our sacred rights are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Unfortunately, expunging our religious heritage from the public square seems all too in vogue in 21st century America, with elected officials and their political appointees leading the way. In the name of tolerance, public faith is not tolerated. While we would hope that Virginia's rich heritage of freedom would insulate us from such discrimination, recent history proves this not to be the case.