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General Assembly Issue Five: General Assembly Liberals Take Page From Lady Gaga Playbook

This is the fifth in a series about key issues facing the 2011 General Assembly, which starts January 12. Issue One, Life Defined And Protected, was posted Tuesday; Issue Two, Eliminate ObamaCare Induced Abortion Funding In Virginia, was posted Wednesday; and Issue Three, Restoring The Balance Of Power, was posted Thursday; and the fourth, Transparency Isn't Just A Word, was posted Friday.

Richmond's liberal political class appears to have completely missed the message of the voters in Virginia concerned about over spending and joblessness. Instead, taking a page out of the Harry Reid-Lady Gaga playbook (see Film Industry Network blog), they plan on making homosexual issues their top priority (see Richmond Biz Sense) the coming General Assembly session.

Building on what they view as "momentum" from the lame-duck Congress' vote to repeal the military's "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, Democrat leaders will focus their energies on passing legislation that would give special protections to homosexuals, not just in state government hiring as they tried in the past, but in all hiring — public and private — across Virginia.

This fulfills the dream of the ACLU's Kent Willis who said last year:

We hope this is only the beginning, and that [it] will inspire legislators to finally pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both private and public sector employment. (Emphasis added.)

This blatant attack on religious freedom would pose a threat to every church, faith based ministry, adoption agency, school and charity in the commonwealth. No longer content with an incremental approach, it appears that Virginia liberals want it all and they want it now.

Of course, we are confident that their legislation will go no further than it did last year. The fact is that there is no evidence of broad discrimination against homosexuals taking place in Virginia. Even The Washington Post admitted that there are "thousands of homosexuals" working in state government. Proponents of the measure can point to one —just one — case where someone filed suit that they were fired because of their "sexual orientation," but even that case has been disputed.

According to one of the nation’s leading homosexual activist leaders and recent Obama appointee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (approval for her nomination took place in the late night final hours of the lame duck Congress), Chai Feldblum:

There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases sexual liberty should win. I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.

Those who advocate for the advancement of sexual behavior protections in our law have little or no room for those who have religious convictions on those issues. In her paper, Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion, Feldblum, who authored the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), argues quite openly that it is the primary goal of this political movement to elevate (either through legislation or the courts) homosexual orientation to moral equivalence with heterosexual orientation, and to do so at the cost of religious liberty. She admits in her assessment of the clash that:

We are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side, (but) in making the decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the (sexual) liberty of LGBT people.

So there you have it, the true motivation behind the so-called "non-discrimination laws." It is to discriminate against people whose faith teaches that homosexuality is wrong.

Prepare And Inform Yourself (And Others). Then On Tuesday, Vote.

Regardless of who you intend to vote for on Tuesday, polls showing large gaps in the statewide races are no excuse to not vote. Every pro-family, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-traditional values Virginian must take the responsibility of voting seriously and exercise that sacred freedom at every opportunity. We urge you to ignore the polls and news stories and vote on Tuesday. The Family Foundation has produced one million non-partisan Voter Guides to educate voters for this year’s elections so that citizens can be prepared when they vote. If your church has yet to distribute these guides, we urge you to contact us at 804-343-0010 so we can get them to you in time. Sunday is the last opportunity to educate your fellow church members concerning where candidates stand on pro-family issues.

Please click here to review the statewide Voter Guide that includes the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Read the Voter Guide and study where the candidates stand. Also, please forward this blog post link to your family and friends and on your social networking sites, so others can be informed.

We also urge you to watch our online Video Voter Guide and share it as well. You can even  download it to a disk to show at your church. This is another way in which we are trying to educate Virginians prior to this year’s crucial elections.

Samuel Adams, one of our nation’s leading Founding Fathers, said:

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote . . . that he is executing on of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

We I trust that you will vote on Tuesday, and that your vote will reflect your values.

Deeds: New Job = New Taxpayer

For perhaps the first time in this entire campaign, Creigh Deeds today stated very succinctly the primary difference in economic philosophy between statists (sometimes referred to as "liberals") and conservatives. At a meeting with business leaders in Richmond, Deeds said, "When you create a job, you create a taxpayer." Note that the first thing Deeds sees when someone gets a new job is an opportunity to TAX them! One can almost see him salivating at the potential for more money in the state coffers to spend to keep the unions and to the VEA neutralized. 

Conservatives, on the other hand, see a new job as an opportunity for someone to feed and take care of their families, a chance to make a better life for themselves and their loved ones, a step toward the American dream, a place to learn and develop a skill to be able to advance to even better employment opportunity, and a means to give philanthropically to their church and favorite charities to better society.

Finally, a clear statement from Mr. Deeds. Too bad for him that it reveals his true philosophy.

Our Favorite Campaign

Most people might think we at The Family Foundation of Virginia, as involved in Virginia policy and politics as we are, love this time of year for its campaign season. Yes, but . . . not exactly what you might think. It's a different type of campaign that stirs our hearts. The campaign we speak of has nothing to do with politicians, ads or promises. This  campaign is called 40 Days For Life and we encourage you to take part in this wonderful, prayerful opportunity for Virginians to take a stand against abortion.

Unlike our statewide political campaigns, we're not alone. Beginning this Wednesday, September 23, and through the next 40 days ending November 1, citizens in Richmond, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Falls Church, Manassas and Roanoke will unite with more than 200 cities in 45 states for the largest simultaneous nationwide pro-life mobilization in history.

The 40 Days for Life campaign is a focused pro-life effort that has generated measurable lifesaving results in every community where it has been held. Some cities have reported as much as a 28 percent drop in local abortions and hundreds of new people joining local lifesaving ministry efforts. It is made up of three key components:

» Prayer and Fasting: inviting people of faith to join together for 40 days of fervent prayer and fasting for an end to abortion;

» Peaceful Constant Vigil: standing for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness outside a local abortion center; and

» Community Outreach: taking a positive, upbeat pro-life message to every corner of your city through media efforts, church presentations, petition drives and public visibility.

For more information about events in your area, please click on one of the following links:

Alexandria   Charlottesville   Falls Church   Manassas   Richmond   Roanoke

We encourage you to get your church involved. Volunteers are needed to take part in each aspect of 40 Days for Life. Along with prayer and fasting, people need to sign up for the vigil at a local abortion center, and for the community outreach. Please consider joining this important effort.

If you do not live in, or near, one of these localities, then think about starting a 40 Days For Life campaign where you live. For more information, visit 40 Days For Life, here.

This unique opportunity does require a commitment of time. But we truly believe that we need God’s direct intervention if we are going to renew a culture of life in America. We hope you will join thousands of citizens from across the nation and be a part of 40 Days For Life.

Forty Days For Life 

40 Days for Life

It Must Be Postmarked By October 5, Or You Will Miss The Biggest Opportunity Of 2009!

Now we’re not talking about any prize winning sweepstakes — it’s much more important than that. We’re talking about the opportunity to make your voice heard for traditional values in the most important election in the nation this year and the most important Virginia election in modern history.

By making sure you, your friends, family and fellow church members are registered to vote and go to the polls on Election Day, you will help send a strong message that secular progressivism has no place in a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.

You can also do a lot to help make sure others are registered. If you are a pastor, please hold a voter registration drive in your church and encourage your congregation to get registered. If you are not a pastor, please ask your pastor to allow you to run a voter registration drive in your church. We have kits available with everything you need to run such a drive, and can get those to you ASAP.

Also, churches can urge people to register and to vote by including an announcement in the church bulletin. Sample language for your bulletin can be found, here, on the TFF Action Website.

There are only three Sunday’s left before the voter registration deadline, so don’t let time run out!

In order to be eligible to vote in the November 3 election, all voter registration applications must be postmarked by no later than October 5.

So, make sure you are registered! Should you have any question as to whether or not you are, please go ahead and complete the application, closely following the instructions provided, and send it to your local registrar’s office. If you already are registered, your application will simply be discarded. However, please make no assumptions. Your voice is too important during this crucial time.

Should you need a voter registration application, or know people who do, please visit tffaction.org or familyfoundation.org, and there you will find a link to the State Board of Elections where an application can be downloaded, printed, completed, signed and mailed according to the instructions on the application.

If you have further questions about voter registration, please feel free to contact John Smith at john@familyfoundation.org or call him at 804-343-0010. We are glad to assist you.

Thousands have registered to have their voices heard this election year; make sure yours is one that will ring loud and clear for traditional values!

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.

Introducing The Virginia News Stand

We are pleased to bring to you a new feature: The Virginia News Stand. Everyday our crack communications staff puts together the best and most significant political news articles and commentary from newspapers across Virginia for our staff and board members, including The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Roanoke Times, Washington Times, Washington Post, The Daily Press and many more. It's a great way to brief yourself on all matters Virginia — political and policy. In order to continue to our efforts to become the best blog and one-stop center for policy and political discussion and activism, we decided not to limit the party. We want to include as many information resources here as possible to give you every tool to better inform yourselves and your family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors and members of your church on the important issues of the day. Here's how it works: Everyday that our crack communications staff is in the office, we will create a post of links to the same articles, columns and editorials on Virginia policy and politics we are reading internally. (If a particular article deserves to be singled out for some reason, post your comments on that day's thread.) These daily news clips will be archived in a new category called The Virginia News Stand, which will archive only these posts. That way, if you want to research a certain day's articles from a few days or few weeks before, you can click on the category and search out what you need rather simply, without any cross-referenced  commentary posts to sort through. You can use our very accurate search engine as well. The headlines will be uniform for research simplicity. For example, Virginia News Stand: November 13, 2008.

Your friendly admin will even include an occasional editorial cartoon which the communications staff doesn't do. We hope you like this convenience and depth of information every bit as much as we will enjoy bringing it to you. In the meantime, if you have suggestions, about this new feature, or anything else about the blog, please let us know.