citizenlink

Campaigns End, But Shaping The Culture Continues

Now that the campaign season is but a memory — all that time and money come, gone and spent in what seems like a flash now, though we thought it interminable when it was in full swing — except here in Virginia, where the campaign year hasn't even come upon us and it's already making national news, it is good to reflect on how to raise the culture as opposed to raising issues for candidates to address. Campaigns once were the place to educate the electorate about issues and sway voters to one side or another. Now, regular voters are so polarized, campaigns are nothing more than a race to identify the voters who mostly agree with either candidate and get those people to the polls. But by educating people in the absence of the vitriol of an election campaign, and instilling a sense of the proper culture, we can do more for our commonwealth and country than $100 million in television ads.

One way we try to do that is through our Pastors for Family Values ministry. During the fall, we hosted our annual Pastors Summit. It already has produced fruit and we are excited about how long lasting the impact will be on Virginia. More than 400 pastors ministry leaders attended and left Richmond motivated, informed and encouraged to be culturally engaged.

The summit, co-hosted by CitizenLink, featured Del Tackett. Dr. Tackett, a former Air Force officer and architect of The Truth Project, was superb in his two speaking sessions, tracing the origins of modern skepticism and presenting a contrast between the God-focus of a Biblical worldview and the self-focus of the secular humanist worldview that is common in the emerging generation. A man of remarkable insight and discernment with a gift for teaching, Dr. Tackett showed how the modern concepts of heart and mind differ from the Biblical view and what implications that has for the core beliefs that shape our thought and actions. It was a clarion call for pastors to affirm a Biblical worldview in such a way that it becomes a transformational belief at the center of who we are.

Pastors also heard from Erik Stanley, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, about their rights as pastors to speak out on issues and on ADF's "pulpit initiative." ADF is seeking pastors with the boldness to ignore the threats of intimidation by the IRS, and the likes of Mr. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and try to force the IRS to go to court over its attempts to limit free speech. Former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen of Ohio wooed the group with his analysis of the state of the government and its threats to our liberty.

At a separate evening event, Dr. Tackett addressed a crowd of nearly 500 at Richmond's Grove Avenue Baptist Church, where he talked about the inevitability of consequences to our actions, and the fact that acts based on truth bring better outcomes than those based on our emotional decision.

Pastors, and attendees at the evening event, were incredibly motivated. In fact, several pastors attended the Virginia Board of Health meeting the following morning after being motivated to take action at the summit. We are still hearing about pastors around Virginia who have gone back to their churches and are boldly speaking on cultural issues and the necessity of action by the church in Virginia! There is no doubt that this year’s summit will have a lasting impact on the culture of Virginia.

We appreciate all the pastors, ministry leaders and individuals who attended the Summit and the evening with Dr. Tackett. We pray that all who attended were blessed in a unique way and that the excitement and motivation of these events, and others we are planning and which will take place in the near future, will last long into the future. Because long after campaigns are distant memories, long after office holders names are forgotten, the day-to-day efforts needed to educate, motivate and shape the culture will continue to be necessary.

Are There Candidates Worthy Of Our Votes?

With a day before Election Day, it's hard to believe there are any so-called "undecideds" left. Yet, I've had recent conversations with people who really weren't well informed about where the candidates for President and U.S. Senate actually stand on important issues. It's not too late to educate them. Don't take for granted that your fellow church goers, friends and family have all the information they need to make wise choices come Tuesday. Take some steps to make sure they are fully informed and fully motivated. There's still enough time.

Of course, be sure that everyone you know has a copy of our 2012 Presidential and U.S. Senate Voter Guide, downloadable from vavotes.net. There is also a brief Voter Guide promotional video available on the site that you can share on your social networking sites (click on the slider panel as it comes up) as well as every bit of information you need about where to vote, what personal identification to bring, etc.

I hope you'll also share our "Boiling Frog" video on sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as our voter guides and other information.

If you have time, please plan on joining us at one of our four field offices to assist with voter identification calls in key areas of the Commonwealth. Our field offices have made tens of thousands of voter ID contacts in recent weeks and are working to ensure that every pro-family voter in Virginia is identified and mobilized to vote on Tuesday. The list of our field reps is below; just call ahead to find out when the offices are open.

Then, on Election Night, be sure to join CitizenLink for its live three-hour Election Webcast, beginning at 9:00 p.m. I’ll be on at 9:30 to analyze the results in Virginia, and they’ll be reporting on and analyzing poll results in key races from coast to coast as they become available. Don't miss it!

While some may argue that candidates for office this year don't merit their vote, I would encourage you or anyone you know to take another look. I believe we have a responsibility to vote even when the candidates aren't perfect. See which candidates support abortion on demand and which don't, which believe in marriage between one man and one woman, and which don’t, which candidates respect our religious liberty and which don't. I think there are clear choices worthy of our vote and there's still time to convince those undecided voters that there are.

TFF Action Field Offices:

Fairfax/Alexandria

William Zimmerman

T 703-568-4093

E-Mail william@novafamily.org

Prince William

Bill Pfister

T 515-505-5209

E-Mail: billpfister@verizon.net

Metro Richmond

Ron Gallagher

T 804-591-5909

E-Mail: FFA.Gallagher@gmail.com

Greg Culbertson

T 515-505-5280

E-Mail: greglc7@yahoo.com

Hampton Roads

Tim Pogge

T 515-505-5224

E-Mail: timpogge89@gmail.com

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Tomorrow Morning On DOMA, TFF Allies To Testify, Attend If Possible

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss S.598 — a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (read the bill here). Approved in 1996 by 84 percent of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, DOMA defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and protects states such as Virginia from being forced to accept another state's recognition of same-sex marriages. Both the House and the Senate have introduced bills to repeal DOMA and President Obama has called DOMA unconstitutional. His Justice Department decided, in the middle of the legal process, to stop defending DOMA in court, a radical shirking of constitutional responsibility to defend the laws of the country when challenged. The defeat of these repeal DOMA bills are crucial to the stability of God-ordained, traditional marriage as the bedrock of our society.

Several excellent scholars will testify in favor of keeping DOMA, all allies all of The Family Foundation: Tom Minnery (executive director of CitizenLink), Austin Nimocks (senior legal counsel for Alliance Defense Fund, see excellent blog post on marriage, here), and Edward Whelan (president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, see the written testimony he will present tomorrow). If you live in Northern Virginia, and if it is at all possible, please attend the hearing tomorrow morning to show your support for DOMA. Because of the anticipated size of the crowd, the hearing has been moved from the Dirksen Senate Office Building to room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Although the hearing begins at 10:00 a.m. attendees need to be in line no later than 8:00 to get a sea. We ask those who cannot that you keep Tom, Austin and Edward in your prayers as they defend for us the definition of marriage. (The proceedings may very well end up on C-SPAN and/or archived its web site.)

FRC Webcast Tomorrow On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal; New Radio Ad In Virginia

Despite a recent election where Americans rejected their radical agenda,  Congressional Democrats, during a lame duck session, are trying to force an end to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy regarding open homosexuals serving in the military. While the economy still struggles and nearly 10 percent of Americans are out of work as we approach Christmas, Congress focuses on repaying their shrinking base.

To learn more about this battle, Family Research Council Action (see Tom McClusky at FRC's The Cloakroom blog) will host a live national video Webcast tomorrow, December 2, at 1:00 p.m., entitled, Mission Compromised: How the Military is Being Used to Advance a Radical Agenda.

Veteran military commanders, Members of Congress, and policy experts will join FRC President Tony Perkins . . . 

to assess the Pentagon's study on the impact of open homosexuality on combat effectiveness and readiness. ... and discuss the report's shortcomings and plans by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to rush a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress without thorough hearings and testimony by battlefield commanders (see entire alert).

According to FRC, the Defense Authorization Act, on which the U.S. Senate may soon vote, not only would force open homosexuality on the military if enacted, it also will turn military medical facilities into abortion centers. Since the vote is expected to be very close, it's vital that you encourage your friends and family to tune into this live Webcast. Participants also will learn how they can help to stop this last ditch attempt by outgoing liberal senators to force a liberal social agenda onto the military.

In addition to briefing on the significance of this legislation, guests will answer viewer questions via SMS text or e-mail. Guests include: Gen. Carl Mundy, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; Sgt. Brian Fleming, Afghanistan war veteran and Purple Heart recipient; Douglas Lee, Chaplain (Brigadier General, Ret.); Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, (Ret), Senior Fellow, National Security, Family Research Council; Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, Family Research Council; and Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Family Research Council.

Please register now (click here) and help spread the word about the live Webcast on December 2.

Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb is a key vote in this fight. (Virginia's other U.S. Senator, Mark Warner, has indicated he supports repealing "don’t ask, don’t tell"). Because of the nature of this crucial vote, we have partnered with CitizenLink (see "DADT" article by Catherine Snow) and FRCAction on this ad running now throughout the commonwealth. Please listen and share this link with as many people as you can.

Click here to listen to the new ad on the U.S. Senate's vote to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.

CitizenLink Produces Ad Supporting Fimian In VA-11

CitizenLink has produced and is airing a radio ad in support of 11th district Republican Congressional candidate Keith Fimian. The 30 second ad denounces the record debt created, taxes raised and Washington's assault on our faith and values over the last two years.  The ad is in conjunction with a CitizenLink mailer (in which Family Foundation Action partnered) sent to 11th district values voters within the last few days that criticizes the Democrat incumbent Gerry Connolly (click here)

To hear the ad and to distribute it to voters in the 11th district via e-mail or social media sites, click here then scroll to the bottom of the page. 

11th District Voters, Check Your Mailbox: CitizenLink And TFF Action Sent You The Truth About Gerry Connolly's Record!

Our sister organization, Family Foundation Action, and CitizenLink, have partnered on a mailer sent to values voters in Virginia's 11th Congressional district. The campaign there is between first-term Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian. The mailer documents Mr. Connolly's voting record, which received a zero on the Family Research Council Action scorecard. Among the lowlights are a 97 percent voting record in lockstep with the Obama-Pelosi agenda, including voting for the $800 billion failed "stimulus" bill, the monstrous Obamacare government takeover of the health care industry and taxpayer funded abortions.

To view it online, to print or forward the mailer on Congressman Connolly's record to other voters in the 11th district (or if you don't live in the 11th but know people who do), click here. 

Most agree this is the most important mid-term election in decades, if ever. It will determine whether we continue on a course sharply to the left, or apply the brakes and set a steady, constitutional course. Be informed and make the best decision you can reach, then  exercise the full power of your citizenship and vote on Tuesday; and think about getting more involved by spreading the word about the 11th district campaign or any of Virginia's other 10 Congressional districts.

If you live in the 11th district, but didn't receive the mailer, sign up to get updates from  CitizenLink by clicking here. For those who visit this site but do not receive Family Foundation alerts, click here to sign up.

Family Foundation Wins Focus On The Family Award!

Yesterday, I was honored to receive Focus on the Family's 2010 Family Policy Council Family Champion Award in recognition of our successful Winning Matters 2009 campaign. Winning Matters was the largest voter education and mobilization campaign in our 25-year history. I received the award while attending Focus' annual Family Policy Council Leaders Conference in Chicago. We are particularly flattered to have been selected from nearly forty family policy councils from around the country to receive this special recognition from Focus on the Family. In presenting the award, Focus on the Family Action (CitizenLink) Vice President Tom Minnery said:

Because the results of their successful efforts were so decisive, Victoria Cobb and The Family Foundation of Virginia have distinguished themselves as a 2010 Family Champion Award recipient.

Winning Matters proved that with the right plan and the right message, values focused voters can be motivated to turn out and can make a difference in any election. We plan to use what we learned from our successes in 2009, combined with the instruction I am receiving this week in Chicago regarding campaigns, to begin formulating our strategy for next year's crucial state Senate elections.

You may recall the Winning Matters campaign included eleven staff, nine that were in the field working with churches across Virginia, meeting pastors, attending community and political events, and using social networking to educate and mobilize our voters. Together, they contacted more than 4,000 churches, distributed nearly 125,000 General Assembly Report Cards — more than twice as many as ever before — and conducted or initiated hundreds of voter registration drives. The Family Foundation Action also produced Get Out The Vote phone calls with Chuck Colson, Mike Huckabee and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Family Foundation Action mailed thousands of voter education pieces to key House districts and distributed nearly one million non-partisan Voter Guides for the three statewide races and 38 House races, to educate voters — including Spanish and Korean statewide Voter Guides for the first time. In another first, the non-partisan organization created a video Voter Guide as well, to distribute virally through social networking sites.

According to exit polls, the number of evangelicals who voted in 2009 surpassed the previous 2004 Virginia election benchmark, and 83 percent of these voters voted for pro-life, pro-family candidates. Consequently, nearly half of all Governor Bob McDonnell's votes came from self-identified evangelicals.

I would also like to express my appreciation to all of you who supported Winning Matters either financially or through your hard work on the campaign!

I am also pleased to report that there were no protests at today’s award presentation!

Family Foundation Files Brief In National Day Of Prayer Case

The Family Foundation today signed onto an amicus brief (see brief) by Liberty Institute filed in the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the National Day of Prayer in Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Obama (see news release). Those represented in the brief in addition to The Family Foundation include Dr. James Dobson, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family Action (CitizenLink), the American Civil Rights Union, Let Freedom Ring, and Liberty Counsel, as well as 27 other state family policy councils. On April 15, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the federal government's observation of prayer is unconstitutional (see Christian Post), despite numerous rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that protect long-standing traditions of religious invocations. Today's brief argues that not only is the National Day of Prayer constitutional, but that Judge Crabb's ruling establishes active hostility to religion and must be reversed.

When Congress passed a statute in 1952 calling for the president to issue a proclamation designating the National Day of Prayer, it memorialized the virtually unbroken tradition of presidents from Washington to Truman, each of whom designated a day of prayer.

In May, The Family Foundation also joined an amicus brief in the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in another important religious liberty case, Joyner v. Forsyth County (N.C.). The details of this case date back to March of 2007 when the American Civil Liberty Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit against North Carolina's Forsyth County Board of Supervisors stating:

[the Board] does not have a policy which discourages or prohibits those whom [the Board] has invited to deliver prayers from including references to Jesus Christ, or any other sectarian deity, as part of their prayers.

It is clear that attacks on our first freedom, the right of conscience, seem to be coming every day. The National Day of Prayer has been recognized by presidents of both parties and by Congress for decades and prayer has been part of our national character since its founding. It is appalling that a single judge can undermine that longstanding tradition but, unfortunately, the courts have a mixed record at best on protecting our First Amendment rights.

The Family Foundation has been, and always will be, a voice for religious freedom in our commonwealth. The words of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom — that are the foundation for the tradition of religious liberty in our nation and the precursor to the First Amendment — must be preserved and protected. That is a legacy that we have inherited and we must defend.

Adult Stem Cells Win And The Debate Is Dead: Dr. Oz Says So!

Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, but that's what he said. Now, excuse me if this video is a couple weeks old but, believe it or not, I'm not exactly an Oprah viewer, nor had I ever heard of Dr. Mehmet Oz until someone sent me a link of this Oprah clip. Regardless, I can say of him that he puts objectivity and honesty first. Would that extreme abortion-at-all-cost types were that honest, the same people who say, "science, not politics." Okay, then, live up to your credo. The science is in (actually, it has been for some time): 70-plus cures via adult stem cell research (and two methods for adult stem cell conversion to emulate embryonic stem cells), and zero cures from embryonic stem cell research. If one is a success and the other isn't, if there's a way for one to be created without the destruction of embryos, then what, other than politics, can be the reason for the persistence of embryo destruction? Other than the liberal sacrament of abortion, that is? Because once life is affirmed at the embryonic level, it must be affirmed at the next step in the birth development process, that's why and the hard left can't have that. Now, if a FOO (Friend of Oprah) says it, and she's TV's Queen of Liberalism, shouldn't liberals finally admit it so we can move on? Shamefully, in the face of all this evidence, the Obama administration decided against life by authorizing the destruction of embryos, not for science, but for crass politics — to appease his hard left supporters.

Here are three ways to see the (offending to liberals) video, in order of which provides the most of the interview. The second and third versions offer commentary as well:

Oprah's site won't let us share, so click here to see the meat of the segment uncut.

Here's the video from podcasters Life Report:

Here's a video report from CitizenLink: