family research council

Watch The Values Voter Summit Webcast

Every October — for the last 13 years — FRC Action has hosted the Values Voter Summit. It is one of the premier gatherings, if not the most important, of annual, must-attend events for conservative voters and policy makers alike. Not only do thousands of informed, Christian conservative activists attend, headline makers from Capitol Hill and other walks of life address attendees amongst great gobs of media as well. To suffice, it's a must-do on the political calendar, and its sponsors include The Heritage Foundation, AFA Action, American Values, Liberty University/Liberty Council and Family Research Council. But if you could not attend, fear not. The summit is archived online.  It is free and includes remarks by conservative movement leaders and luminaries, including our Gala speaker, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. If you missed him in Richmond, see him online. Senator Cruz was greeted very warmly at the summit, just as he was here, and also protested by left-wingers (see GOPUSA.com), just as he was here, proving at once that the Left is unrelenting and that Senator Cruz poses a threat to it. Other prominent speakers include U.S. Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, Dr. Ben Carson, and radio talkers Glenn Beck and Mark Levin.

Just click the image below, then click on the speakers you want to see. It's that simple. Choose from among the speaker archives and sit back in the comfort of your home and hear and learn what some of the most influential thinkers and policy makers have to say about the state of our nation, our future, and what Christian conservatives can do to shape both.

Click to watch the VVS webcast live Friday and Saturday

Attend the Values Voter Summit — virtually — to hear an all-star lineup of conservative leaders speak.

 

 

Floyd Corkins, The Terrorist You Never Heard Of

It's a name you are probably not familiar with at all. He isn't someone that the media talked about much. There haven't been in-depth news specials about him. Even during the recent terror attack in Boston, where the media talked about just about every other terror attack on American soil, I don't think he was mentioned. But he's a rather interesting person of history. He is, after all, the first person to be convicted of domestic terrorism in Washington, D.C., under post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws. You would think his crime would be known.

Perhaps the reason the media doesn't like to talk about it is his target — The Family Research Council — and his motive, hate for people who believe in traditional marriage. Or perhaps it's the simple fact that not enough people were killed or injured to merit news coverage. Of course, the only reason for that is a man who in a moment became a hero, Leo Johnson, the security guard at FRC:

Maybe, since the Southern Poverty Law Center is a go-to organization for many in the media, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the link between that organization's bigotry and an attack on FRC would be suppressed. Unfortunately, this is the culture we live in today.  If the attack doesn't fit the media narrative, it is simply ignored or underreported. And organization's that may have contributed to the violence continue to be promoted by the same media.

After all, like Chris Matthews said of the Boston bombers, motive doesn't really matter anyway, right?

You Know You Live In A Battleground State If . . .

It almost sounds like a joke: You know you live in a battleground state if . . .  In this case, the punch line is: There's a national bus tour making a stop in your neighborhood.

Already this year rolling through the Old Dominion this year, to name a few, have been the: Women Speak Out: Abortion Is Not Health Care Bus Tour (which featured our 2012 Day at the Capitol keynote speaker, Jill Stanek); Americans for Prosperity's Obama's Failing Agenda Bus Tour; Concerned Women of America's She Votes Bus Tour; and the Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote Bus Tour, co-sponsored by The Heritage Foundation and FRC Action, which is informing the public on the relationship between strong traditional family values and economic well-being and security (click the links for in-depth information on the two topics).

The Family Foundation has participated in some of the stops on a couple of these tours. The "Values Bus Tour" may sound familiar to you. This past summer, in an earlier leg of its travels through Virginia, it's where this happened. It's worth a view. Now, it's making another run through the commonwealth, just as the campaign goes all out the final 10 days.

With only 30 million values voters out 60 million who could be registered to vote, there is still much work to be done in mobilizing Christians to actively participate in faithful citizenship. We need strong families and a strong economy to lead the way to restoring prosperity.specially when you consider:

» Each of us owes more than a $200,000 share of the national debt;

» Unemployment is at a chronically high rate of about 8 percent (and much higher when considering those who are underemployed or withdrawn from the workforce; and

» Our debt at $16 trillion and annual budget deficits projected to top $1 trillion for years to come.

If you see this bus, you know you're in a battleground or swing state!

So The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council continue their road trip in order to start a dialogue on today's critical issues with citizens and leaders. So, if you see the bus pictured above, you know you're in an important electoral state. Take advantage of the opportunity to drop by a tour stop near you to hear great speakers,ask questions, learn how to get involved and make a difference, and pick up some excellent materials for free. The events feature community events and local and nationally known speakers. Learn the critical issues and the action steps to make a difference. The tour also has special web page resources: Click here to learn about restoring the American Dream and click here to learn how to get involved and take action at the grassroots level.

Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote 2012 National Tour in Virginia

Friday, October 26 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote Campus Rally

Featuring Genevieve Wood of The Heritage Foundation, Bob Morrison of Family Research Council and local elected officials

Location: Near Liberty University, 3700 Candlers Mountain Road, Lynchburg

 

Friday, October 26 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote Citizens Rally

Featuring Genevieve Wood of The Heritage Foundation, Bob Morrison of Family Research Council and local elected officials

Location: State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond

 

Friday, October 26 3:00-4:00 p.m. 

Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote Family Event

Featuring Genevieve Wood of The Heritage Foundation, Bob Morrison of Family Research Council and local elected officials

Location: The Prayer Furnace, 4430 Lee Hill School Drive, Fredericksburg

 

Friday, October 26 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Your Money, Your Values, Your Vote Citizens Forum

Featuring insights and live Q&A with Genevieve Wood of The Heritage Foundation, Bob Morrison of Family Research Council and local elected officials

Location: Reconciliation Community Church, 14654 Joplin Road, Manassas

 

Saturday, October 27 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Values Bus at Roanoke Valley Gun Show

Offering free materials and action steps to make a difference in Virginia

Click here for ticket information and discounts

Location: Roanoke Civic Center, 710 Williamson Road, Roanoke

TFF Action Launches VaVotes.net, Be Committed To Vote!

The Family Foundation Action today launched VaVotes.net, a voter education website that provides voter registration and candidate education materials to assist Virginians in voting in November's crucial election. VaVotes.net provides links to information on how to register to vote, how to verify your current registration status, where to vote, how to vote absentee, important registration and election dates, and much more. You can also order a free voter registration kit so you can register voters at your church.

Click here or on the image to visit the new site.

In addition, the Family Foundation's Presidential and U.S. Senate Candidate Voter Guides also will be available through the site soon. Currently, the site links to the Family Research Council Action's Presidential Candidate Voter Guide. It's a one-stop-shop for all the voting resources and information you need and it makes it easy to help others register and vote. Simply forward this link or VaVotes.net to friends and family or share it on your social media sites.

With our religious liberty at stake, a federal government that has made access to abortion its number one priority instead of protecting our freedoms, voting our values this November is absolutely paramount. With Virginia being a top battleground state, the commonwealth could very well determine who the next president will be and which party will control the U.S. Senate. We need to ensure that we are all "Committed" to voting, registering others to vote, and educating Virginians on where the candidates stand on our issues.

Please visit VaVotes.net, take a look, forward this link to your friends and family, and share it on your social media sites.

 

Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.

Pro-Lifers Rally, Board Adopts Regulations!

The Virginia Board of Health Friday voted to adopt strong abortion center safety standards after a long day of competing protests, debate and tension. An estimated crowd of 500 people lined up at the building where the board met, evenly divided between pro-life Virginians and abortion supporters. It was a stark contrast to the June meeting where more than 100 abortion protestors dominated the day and where the board voted to water down abortion center regulations to exempt existing centers from important building standards required by the Code of Virginia. Because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli refused to certify those regulations — they didn't meet the demands of the code — the board had to revisit the issue Friday. For weeks both pro-life and pro-abortion groups encouraged people to attend, and hundreds did, in addition to several dozen uniformed and plain clothes police who where there to ensure security.

The day began early, as Family Foundation staff began lining up outside the building at 6 a.m. to ensure we would be in the meeting room to testify. Only 100 seats were available in the room, and only those in the room could testify. After going through security checks, including metal detectors, we settled into the room for a long day.

The difference between this meeting and the one in June was remarkable. That day, the room was dominated by radical pro-abortion protestors and, quite honestly, it was a very spiritually dark day. Friday was radically different. In the room were dozens of pro-life supporters, including several pastors. Those who attended both meetings could feel the difference in the atmosphere. A few pastors who attended our Pastors Summit in Richmond Thursday were there, as were several from the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists.

We could feel the prayers of pastors and pro-life Virginians! I cannot express enough of my gratitude for all of you who attended today's meeting, or who prayed for us. The support was incredible, and I have no doubt it made an impact on the results. During a year where elected officials and others have been viciously attacked by the abortion industry and media, and abortion supporters have mobilized in large numbers, pro-life Virginians needed to show up and prove again that we are the dominant voice in Virginia . . . and show up we did!

Public testimony was extended to one hour (normally 20 minutes) in an attempt to accommodate the crowd. In my testimony, I told the board that after the uncovering last week of more than 80 health and safety violations in nine abortion centers, the industry, which has claimed for years to be safe and in no need of oversight, was not in a position to be trusted and therefore should have no say in how it is regulated. Several other pro-life organizations also testified including the Virginia Catholic Conference, Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists, Family Research Council and the Rutherford Institute. Others attending included the Virginia Society for Human Life, Students For LifeAmericans United for Life and Concerned Women for America Virginia. Our special thanks to Alliance Defending Freedom, which sent a letter to members earlier this week to clarify the board's legal authority and to other groups who encouraged the turnout.

In addition, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) testified that the General Assembly did not intend to exempt any abortion centers. In 2011, Delegate Byron amended SB 924 to include abortion centers. She said that during the legislative debate, the intent was clear and that the bill was passed by chambers controlled by different parties. Her testimony was crucial to clarify some misunderstanding on the board over whether the General Assembly wanted existing abortion centers to be "grandfathered in" without the building standards. We so appreciate Delegate Byron's willingness to once again stand up for life in a hostile atmosphere, as she did time and again during this year's General Assembly.

Representatives of the abortion industry continued their pattern of deception. Incredibly, one person testified that the industry “supports regulations” but just opposed the building standards. The same individual has testified several years in a row at the General Assembly against bills that would have required only licensing, inspections and emergency equipment!

They also attacked The Family Foundation's release this week of inspection records showing widespread health and safety violations, saying that the centers inspected had received their licenses anyway and that the violations were minor. We don't consider a bloody patient table minor. We don't consider a freezer two-thirds filled with fetal remains and blood minor! But they do. The fact is, however, that those centers were not licensed until after they submitted plans to correct the violations and those centers are now subject to unannounced inspections. For years, they fought against the very inspections they now say they support and that uncovered the problems listed.

But the primary target of the abortion industry was, and still is, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. They continued their assault because he made the decision to uphold the law of Virginia and not certify the regulations in June. Of course, I'm sure they'd rather pick on the AG and cry "politics" instead of having to answer to questions about bloody patient tables, frozen fetal remains and untrained staffs.

The board, however, was not fooled. By an overwhelming vote of 13-2 it rejected several more attempts by one board member to water down the regulations and then voted to adopt the standards by the same vote.

While a major victory, the process to finalize these standards is not finished. They must go through several more steps in the next several months, including two lengthy public comment periods. It is crucial that pro-life Virginians make their voice heard once again during that time. If you spoke or wanted to speak Friday, please write your comments down and hold on to them for submission during the public comment period. We will provide ample notice.

Thanks again to everyone who attended Friday's meeting, testified or prayed. A special thank you to those post-abortive women who attended, some speaking publicly for the first time. We are so grateful and encouraged by your support, and I know the Board of Health members were as well. To get a feel for what it was like at the meeting, please click here for a series of photos.

Pro-life Virginians were not out manned at the crucial Board of Health Meeting Friday. For more scenes from the historic vote, click here or the image above.

Urgent: Prayer Request For Shooting At Family Research Council

We have just learned that a security guard at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., was shot this morning. Few details have been made available, but several media report that the guard is in stable condition. Please pray for the security guard, his family and the staff at FRC, and give thanks for the first responders who have professionally and securely handled the situation.

You can read more about this incident here at the Washington Post.

The Family Foundation is proud to be a partner with FRC, one of the premier pro-family organizations in the nation.

Heritage Foundation, FRC Lead National Values Bus Tour Into Virginia!

With the lousy economy the primary issue being addressed by the presidential candidates right now, where do values issues fit in this campaign? What about the so-called "War on Women"? Will women vote one way based on perceived "restrictions" on their "rights" or do a majority know demagoguery when they hear it? Two high profile, highly respected conservative policy organizations are shedding some light on these questions on a bus tour throughout Virginia. The Values Bus Tour —  driven by two leading public policy organizations, Family Research Council and The Heritage Foundation — started traveling through Virginia yesterday in Pearisburg and was in Harrisonburg and Woodstock today. It will be in Roanoke and Lynchburg Sunday and in Richmond Tuesday. This is part of a nationwide to advance the cause of fiscal and moral responsibility (see Laura Vozzella at the Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog).

Earlier today, Connie Mackey of the Virginia Values PAC, explained the tour on Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett on WRVA-AM/1140, with guest host Andy Jenks of WWBT-NBC12. Follow this link to hear the 4:47 interview.

The tour is bringing Americans around the nation together to voice support for fiscal responsibility, religious liberty, life and marriage. We encourage you to take time in the coming days to attend one of the Bus Tour events or rallies in a city or town near you. Click here for more information on the Values Bus Tour website and try to make your way to an event closest to you. Here's the tour's itinerary, including highlights of its previous stops in Virginia:

Thursday, July 5: Pearisburg

Rally at Giles High School

Pastor Shahn Wilburn of Riverview Baptist Church and experts from FRC and The Heritage Foundation discussed religious freedom and how we can save the American dream.

Friday, July 6: Harrisonburg

Lunch with supporters at the Wood Grill Buffet and press conference at First Presbyterian Church on Court Square.

Friday, July 6: Woodstock

Rally at the Old Shenandoah County Courthouse

Sunday, July 8: Roanoke

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family valuesFirst Baptist Church, 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Sunday, July 8: Lynchburg

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family values. Heritage Baptist Church, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Conservative Coalition Meeting with Virginia Institute for Public Policy

Bull & Bear Club, 901 East Cary Street, 10:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Myth of the War on Women Press Conference

James Center, 901 East Cary Street, 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Stop Obamacare's Conscience And Religious Rights Invasion!

The abortion center safety regulations under review here in Virginia are vitally important — and we urge you to make your voice heard (find out how, here). In fact, the prestigious World magazine details the importance of the situation in this recent article, in which it cites The Family Foundation extensively. But while these important regulations are under consideration by the Board of Health here, in Washington there are equally important regulatory actions to oppose. as well. If approved, these regulations, as part of ObamaCare, would strip away our religious liberty and rights of conscience. So,we also urge you to act now to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. Here is the core of a letter from Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins outlining the significance of these proposed regulations on you, as taxpayers, and on medical professionals:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services needs to hear your voice on a critical matter related to life and religious freedom.

Because of a provision in Obamacare, HHS convened the Institute of Medicine to make recommendations for what "preventive services for women" should be mandatory in all private health insurance, with no cost to the patient. The IOM committee (which included no pro-life representation) recommended in July that free coverage of all contraceptives and sterilization services be mandatory. HHS then on August 3rd issued a "regulation" accepting these recommendations, meaning all private health insurance plans in the individual and group market will be required to cover these services with no co-pay for the patient.

To be clear, the federal government is mandating that all private health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization services (including those with abortifacient mechanisms of action) free of charge. Organizations that provide insurance to their employees will be forced to cover such services, even if they object. The effect is that the cost of these "free" services will be shifted to plan participants through higher premiums both to employees in employer sponsored plans, and to individuals in the individual insurance market.

The HHS regulation contains an exemption only for certain group plans, not insurance in the individual market. Moreover, the exemption is unacceptably narrow for churches, but would not include religious businesses or other organizations that have moral or religious objections to such coverage.

The mandate includes drugs deemed "contraceptives" by the FDA even if they can cause abortions like Plan B and Ella. (RU-486 is not included since the FDA approved it as an "abortifacient".) Employers and people who object to these drugs should not be forced to bear the costs for free abortions. This mandate will violate the conscience of millions of Americans, and it goes against the current conscience protections in law precisely to stop government discrimination.

HHS is receiving public comment only on the definition of "religious employer" that is so narrow as to only include churches, but not businesses or other groups. We are writing to ask that you speak up on behalf of life and conscience protections for all groups or individuals that have conscience objections to any contraceptives as well as those that can cause abortion. We urge you to submit "public comment" to HHS by clicking on the following link. 

Click here to provide comment to HHS on federal contraceptive regulations that lack religious and conscience protections

NOTE: Please be aware that all comments submitted on this issue are public record.

 

Sincerely,

Tony Perkins

President, FRC Action

Stop Hating, Start Debating Part II

Yesterday, we commented on the far left Southern Poverty Law Center's aspersions on more than 150 organizations that stand for traditional marriage. Today, we share some thoughts on the subject of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. In a letter to supporters, he wrote:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents "hate groups." No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

These types of slanderous tactics are not limited to a handful of Christian groups. They have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them, as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement.

This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts. The SPLC has even admitted that their goal is to censor our views in the media.

We need you to stand with us. Please visit StartDebatingStopHating.com, and join with other national leaders and me in telling the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hate-charged rhetoric about individuals and organizations simply because they disagree with our ideas. Our debates can and must remain civil — but they must never be suppressed.

Remember, if they can silence pro-family organizations, they will attempt to use pressure and the power of government to target pastors and citizens like you who publicly stand for traditional principles.

This is the standard operating procedure for the Angry Left. Having nothing to offer but government control over people's lives, it demonizes anyone and any group of people who stand for traditional values, because those values are grounded in liberty and freedom which is antithetical to its aims. It's too much to ask, but if those in the Mainstream Media, who pontificate about the coarseness of our politics, didn't legitimize attack machines such as the SPLC, the political discourse in this country would improve the next day.

What is sad about the partnership of radical leftists and the MSM is that what they accuse values voters of cheapens the charge against those who actually engage in those behaviors. It's crying wolf. The fact that this partnership cares not about that reveals its sincerity in exposing true hate and harm at the expense of advancing their radical agenda.

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.

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.

Breaking News: Fox News Channel To Cover Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala!

Two days remain to buy tickets to see Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) deliver the keynote speech at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala, this Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Winner of the recent 2012 presidential straw poll at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit (see video for a preview of what to expect Saturday), Congressman Pence has been turning heads as a rising star in the conservative movement. So much so, in fact, we just learned that Fox News Channel intends to cover the gala! Last weekend, Congressman Pence, the third ranking member of the House Republican Conference, traveled to Iowa — not by accident, he joked — where he spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner (Iowa Independent). A hero among social and fiscal conservatives, Congressman Pence's remarks were enthusiastically received (see Kathie Obradovich at The DesMoines Register's Iowa Politcs Blog). In short, he is rising to the top of the 2012 GOP presidential field.

This quote from that speech is an example of why he is held in such high regard by social conservatives (see Caffeinated Thoughts and its podcast):

To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say, "What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?" To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, "You would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse."

In addition to registering online, you can purchase tickets by phone through Friday at (804) 343-0010 by Friday. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is preceded by a private sponsors' reception and picture opportunity with Congressman Pence at 5:15 p.m.

Here's one more sample of what you'll get with Mike Pence:

Pence: God planted America's seeds of liberty.

Watch FRC Webcast Presentation By Former TFF Gala Keynoter, Best Selling Author Eric Mataxas

Our 2007 gala keynote speaker and author of the New York Times bestseller Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, Eric Mataxas, will lecture on his new work, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. The speech will be Webcast October 7, from Noon-1:00 p.m. by the Family Research Council (register here). Those who saw Eric that night know how engaging, entertaining and enlightening he is. Mixed in with intellectual discussion was a hardy blend of humor and poignancy. In fact, FRC used a review of ours in promoting the lecture. We're sure this lecture will be worth every minute of your time. This is what we think of Eric:

[Metaxas'] speaking style, a combination of edgy wit, charm, inspiration, evangelization, thoughtfulness and historical narrative of lessons learned and values by which to live, took the crowd through laughter, pensiveness, inspiration and motivation. The feedback on the entire night was tremendous, with unsolicited compliments calling it the best gala ever.

In his new book, Mataxas took on yet another historical figure whose religious conviction moved him to right injustice: The Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who had a life mixed with religion and intrigue. Here's a synopsis of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy from Reed Business Information:

In this weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas offers a comprehensive review of one of history's darkest eras, along with a fascinating exploration of the familial, cultural and religious influences that formed one of the world's greatest contemporary theologians. A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research to unpack the confluence of circumstances and personalities that led Germany from the defeat of WWI to the atrocities of WWII. Abundant source documentation (sermons, letters, journal entries, lectures, the Barman Declaration) brings to life the personalities and experiences that shaped Bonhoeffer: his highly intellectual, musical family; theologically liberal professors, pastoral colleagues and students; his extensive study, work, and travel abroad. Tracing Bonhoeffer's developing call to be a Jeremiah-like prophet in his own time and a growing understanding that the church was called "to speak for those who could not speak," Metaxas details Bonhoeffer's role in religious resistance to Nazism, and provides a compelling account of the faith journey that eventually involved the Lutheran pastor in unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hitler. Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history and theology.

Click here for more reviews, information and registration (in person or online).

Judge On Embryonic Stem Cell Research: “Parade Of Horribles” Untrue

Today, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia lifted a ban on federal taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research pending further review (FoxNews.com). The ban was in effect from an injunction issued a couple of weeks ago by a federal district court judge in advance of his final (official) ruling in the case. However, the Appeals Court prohibited the injunction, saying it must accompany an official ruling. When he issues his ruling, expected in the very near future, and if he decides that funding embryonic stem cell research violates federal law, he then can re-issue the injunction.     Supporters of this failed research, which destroys human embryos, have been up in arms since the injunction — which blocks the new federal funding approved by the Obama administration — was issued by the judge, U.S. Chief District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District of Columbia (Washington Post). Because of the injunction, the National Institutes of Health suspended consideration of new grants for the research.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Judge Lamberth's . . .

opinion noted that "ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo," and the plain language of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, passed by Congress every year since 1996, says that no federal funds shall be used for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed."

Separately, when ruling on an appeal to stay his injunction (before the appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals), Judge Lamberth correctly noted that his decision was pretty simple to come by, especially since Congress was explicit in passing the law:

In this Court's view, a stay [of the injunction] would flout the will of Congress, as this Court understands what Congress has enacted in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. Congress remains perfectly free to amend or revise the statute. This Court is not free to do so. ... defendants are incorrect about much of their "parade of horribles" that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction.

This new legal battle has ripped open the debate over taxpayer funding of research that is unethical, illegal and a complete failure. Rhetoric from researchers who benefit financially from the grants, as well as the politicians and organizations bent on making sure human embryos are not recognized as having any intrinsic value, continues unchanged. They again claim that the use of embryonic stem cells is the only hope for those who suffer from disease and paint those opposed to embryonic stem cell research as "anti-science."

The truth is, as usual, much different (see StemCellResearchFacts.org). Those who oppose continued funding of failed ESC research instead point to the multitude of successful treatments and cures from adult stem cell research. Dozens of effective and lifesaving treatments are not simply a pipe dream but a reality with adult stem cells which can be manipulated to act in much the same way as embryonic stem cells. If we want to be pro-science and pro-hope for sufferers of disease, shouldn't we instead fund and support the science that actually is working and actually produces cures? (Even Dr. Oz agrees!)

That's the message The Family Foundation takes to the General Assembly every year. If Virginia's taxpayers are going to be forced to pay for research, it should be research that is not only ethical but also successful. While much of the rest of the world has rejected embryonic stem cell research as a hopeless waste of money, in the United States our politicians continue to try to raid ever diminishing public coffers to prop up failure. It's another bailout that simply must stop.

Sign The Petition: Defense Of Marriage Act Needs An Appropriate Defense By The Obama Justice Department

Even as the fallout from the Prop 8 ruling is still getting sorted, another legal proceeding dealing with a major marriage protection law is ongoing. But barely. Whereas the defenders of California's Marriage Amendment filed a prompt appeal and yesterday won a stay on San Francisco Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker's deplorable decision at least until the end of the year (San Francisco Chronicle), the Obama Justice Department's weak and meek defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act appears to have "thrown the match" and it says it is not certain whether it will appeal a recent Massachusetts Federal District Court's decision that ruled DOMA unconstitutional. As Chuck Donovan writes at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog:

Echoing some of the most notorious boxing matches in the history of the ring, the Obama-Kagan Justice Department engaged in what even one supporter of same-sex marriage, the distinguished constitutional law scholar Richard Epstein, labeled "almost like collusive litigation," where the adversaries in a case are secretly on the same side.

The collusion boils down to this: attorneys in the Obama Justice Department, who have sworn that they will "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office" in which they serve, abandoned not one but all four of the bases for DOMA asserted by Congress. "Congress" in this instance was no small minority cobbled together at the last instant for legislation it scarcely debated, but a bipartisan majority that encompassed 85 percent of both houses of Congress, joined by a Democratic president (Bill Clinton) who had access to comprehensive reports that amplified the many grounds for DOMA.

The Justice Department’s concessions were crucial to the outcome in the case. As Judge Joseph Tauro noted, he felt bound to address the detailed justifications Congress provided for DOMA only briefly, because, "For the purposes of this litigation, the government has disavowed Congress’s stated justifications for the statute[.]"

As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (see FRC Blog) wrote yesterday: 

The Defense of Marriage Act merely defines marriage — for federal purposes — as being between one man and one woman, and protects states from having to change their state definitions. Not surprisingly, a liberal court in Massachusetts — after a weak defense from the Obama Justice Department — ruled DOMA unconstitutional. Amazingly, the federal government appears to be dragging its feet as they contemplate whether or not to EVEN APPEAL the decision! If the Department of Justice does not appeal, it is unlikely outside defenders of marriage will even be allowed to defend marriage in court.

The Department of Justice is supposed to vigorously defend statutes passed by Congress, not to roll over to appease President Obama's political base.

So, FRC Action has started a nationwide petition to hold the Justice Department accountable and to do its job — appeal and aggressively defend the law of the land. Please take time to sign the petition (click here to sign) and send a clear message to the Obama administration. He has said he believes marriage is between one man and one woman (ABCNews.com). It's time he proves it with a vigorous defense of federal law he is sworn to uphold.

While You're Contacting Webb And Warner, Mention The "DISCLOSE Act" As Well

While contacting Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb over the Elena Kagan confirmation, bug them about the "DISCLOSE Act" as well. The DISCLOSE Act is one of the most anti-free speech pieces of legislation ever crafted and the Senate is close to bringing it up for a vote. The House already passed it. But don't take our word for it. The legislation's authors know its restrictions are unconstitutional because it blatantly put in a clause that prevents courts from hearing claims against it until after the November mid-term elections (see FRC.com)! The bill puts restrictions on what organizations can do and say during campaigns and, worse, must make public its top donors, making them subject to harassment by opponents, such as was done in California to people who donated to that state's pro-marriage amendment campaign in 2008.

One of its many provisions would curb what people or companies with contracts with the federal government can say or do in support of a candidate or issue in an election. That caused the National Association of Manufacturers, one of a long line of opponents, including National Right to Work, National Right to LifeFamily Research Council, FreedomWorks,  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more, to oppose the bill. More of its constitutional infringements are described here, by Hans von Spakovsky, at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog.

But wait. I was taught by a favorite (liberal) college professor never to generalize, so I won't. Not all organizations are constrained by this bill. You see, the Congressional liberals who wrote it neatly exempted labor unions and other liberal leaning groups, such as the AARP (See Fox News Channel's Speaker's Lobby Blog). Incredibly, in what many conservatives call a sell-out, the NRA also backs the bill after it bolted a coalition to receive its own carve out. The NRA's support was seen by many the reason it escaped the House. More inside D.C. special interest deal making. Wasn't that going to change with the liberals in charge?

Congresional liberals are running scared. Their agenda is massively unpopular with the public, they are behind in public opinion polls and are on the verge of squandering huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. A recent Supreme Court ruling opened up the gates for more free speech and loosened the strings (see the Chamber's explanation) on what activities businesses and other organizations can engage in during campaigns, further equalizing the advantages liberals have in the mainstream media, unions and the education establishment, to name a few. The DISCLOSE Act is a last chance, desperation play with the clock running out to preserve its grip on power.

Since the vote is imminent, phoning Senators Webb and Warner may be the most efficient method of voicing your displeasure with the DISCLOSE Act. They an be reahed at the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know you wish them to oppose S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act.

O'Reilly's Culture Appeasers

Perhaps the signature show on the leading news network on television is The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. Reviled by liberals and not often held in esteem by conservatives, Bill O'Reilly is nothing if not at least an interesting character. He certainly has legions of fans who watch his show and buy his books. But in this highly partisan time in our history, where almost everything on television, in movies, online and even on your phone is political, The O'Reilly Factor first got traction more than a dozen years ago not by discussing politics — which it does more than the political shows themselves — but by examining cultural issues. Mr. O'Reilly has a concern for the debasing of the culture and, long before Glenn Beck, exposed the destructiveness of secular progressives and gave voice to traditionalists who respect values long the bedrock of a flourishing American society that became the envy of the world. He wrote a best selling book, Culture Warrior, about it and even has a "culture warrior" test on his Web site. The questions look like they come out of a Family Research Council survey. 

Inevitably, his show got sucked into the political gabfest, but he reserves a weekly segment called "The Culture Warriors" that examines the debasing of society. It used to be instructive. Now it's useless. Whereas his original analysts were adversarial to the muck in pop culture that penetrates the innocence of children or leads to deleterious behavior, the bubbleheads he now employs as "warriors" are nothing more than culture appeasers. One, Gretchen Carlson (a former Miss America and Richmond news anchor), recently said she agrees with homosexual marriage and wouldn't say if she agreed with abortion. Yesterday, her substitute, Courtney Friel, couldn't, or wouldn't, say if she thought a Web ad with eight- and nine-year-old children using the F-word was a bad thing and, if that wasn't peculiar enough, the other regular, Margaret Hoover (a "pro-choice Republican" who also favors same-sex marriage) said she thought the ad was "funny." Children using the "F-word" is funny?

To be fair, Mr. O'Reilly remains true to his convictions. But he strains credibility by giving people who agree with the debasement of society the largest platform in cable news to dismiss its adverse affects, a pair who often respond with a rhetorical yawn and a nothin' to worry about snub. It's like asking an actor to review his own movie. If he wants people to disagree with him and debate, fine. Let's have at it. But he should not bill this pair as something they are not, which gives cover to those who can't wait to think of the next outrageous ad to produce, the next redefinition of marriage, or the next excuse for abortion on demand. If a warrior is one who is opposed to something and willing to fight against it, it looks as if they have already redefined that as well.

From BillOReilly.com: Segment Summaries: Culture Warriors:

On the issue of the kids saying the F-word, Friel pointed out that the parents were apparently okay with it: "The parents all gave permission, and they were on set." Hoover said that the kids cursing didn't bother her in the end: "At first I was offended, and then I realized it was a big joke. And I laughed. It was funny." The Factor didn't think it was appropriate for the children to be saying things like that: "I would not let my 9-year-old do that. No way."

Update: 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala Information

The Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that sponsorships and program ads for our 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala, featuring keynote speaker Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), are now available (here). Find event details, sign up for sponsorships for this exciting event or reserve a program ad by clicking here or by visiting our Gala Web page: www.familyfoundation.org/gala. Individual and couples tickets will be available in mid-August. This year's Gala is Saturday, October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. A private sponsors' reception and photo line will begin at 5:15, followed by dinner at 6:30. The suggested dress for the evening is business attire. Sponsorship benefits for the various levels include seats at Congressman Pence's table, a private reception and photograph with Congressman Pence, and a breakfast with Historian David Barton. Click here for complete details.

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. Human Events named Congressman Pence "Man of the Year" in 2005. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

For out of town guests who wish to stay overnight, a discounted group rate is available at Hilton Garden Inn, at 501 East Broad Street, located directly across the street from the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Please call 877-782-9444 and mention The Family Foundation Annual Gala for more information. The cut-off date for the group rate is September 9.

We look forward to another big turnout in what promises to be a major event in the midst of a potentially historic election year. To register online, click here; to register by phone or for more information, please call The Family Foundation at 804-343-0010 and speak with Dan Thompson or John Downer; or e-mail questions to Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Who Could Follow Mike Huckabee?

How about Mike Pence! In case you missed yesterday's big announcement, we ended months of speculation as to who the mystery keynote speaker is for The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that it will be Congressman Mike Pence!

Congressman Pence describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order!" An outspoken advocate for the values we share, he has been named one of the 20 most influential conservatives in America and has repeatedly received the "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council for his commitment to the family and sanctity of human life. An April 2006 profile in U.S. News and World Report said Pence "has emerged as a powerful force" in Congress. If you have not heard Congressman Pence speak you are in for a real treat!

We plan to make the 25th Anniversary Celebration a night to remember. For a quarter decade, The Family Foundation has been on the front lines of policy decisions in Richmond and we have much to celebrate! From parental consent to abortion to the Marriage Amendment to defunding elective abortion, our victories list is long. I hope you will join us to celebrate the legacy of Walt Barbee, Anne Kincaid and others.

The gala is Saturday, October 9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with a private sponsors' reception and photo line beginning at 5:15. Details for the evening are being finalized, but if you would like to be sure you receive an invitation, please e-mail your name, address and phone number to us at gala@familyfoundation.org. We also expect to announce other special activities surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime event that will make the gala a can't miss event. For more information, visit our Gala Web page or call 804-343-0010.

The invitation will include details of the sponsorship benefits including the private reception, and photo line. A discounted hotel group rate is being negotiated for people desiring to spend the night in Richmond. So please mark your calendar today and plan to be in Richmond the evening of Saturday, October 9, to hear Congressman Mike Pence at The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala!

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.