A Campaign For The Unborn: 40 Days For Life About To Begin Largest Ever Effort

Next week, the largest ever campaign 40 Days for Life will commence. People in an incredible 238 cities across the nation and across the world will join together to impact our society for the glory of God and the protection of His children. So far, there are 40 Days for Life campaigns in eight Virginia cities: — Alexandria, CharlottesvilleFairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach. (Click on the cities for more information, or the link prior to learn how to start one in your area.) From Wednesday, September 22-October 31, from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., 40 Days for Life will focus on:

» 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 everywhere possible, through media efforts, the Internet, church presentations, petition drives and public visibility.

I strongly encourage you to get involved in this movement. Time and time again, God has used the faithful few to bring about a beneficial change in their nations. However, not only must we ourselves become active, we must also tell others about this campaign. We must gather together as many people as possible in order to peaceably show abortion advocates and society in general that abortion is most certainly not the best choice — that it is a poor choice. I would urge you to inform your churches of this tremendous opportunity to serve the Lord and show His love.

Although participating in the 40 Days for Life movement will incur a commitment of time and energy, The Family Foundation of Virginia believes that in light of the importance of the cause, the effort will be well worth it. I hope and pray that you will join us in supporting the value of human life, and in affirming the continued power of our great God in this nation.

Virginia News Stand: October 23, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Substitute

Filling in for Admin today, so the comments will be brief! In today's news we have the White House beginning their tactical distancing from Creigh Deeds, that way the stories following November 3 are sure to say "Virginia Elections No Reflection on Obama." But the most fun news comes from yesterday's debate between candidates for Attorney General. Now, if Creigh Deeds is the Democrat candidate in this race that's baffled by simple questions, and Jody Wagner is the most clueless, then clearly Steven Shannon is the angriest candidate on the ticket. I mean, seriously, I know the job of AG is important, but Steve, smile once in a while. Everyone knows that you are running for the job of the Commonwealth's top prosecutor, even though the AG isn't the Commonwealth's top prosecutor, but lighten up. Yesterday Steve decided that Creigh couldn't be the only one to run a nasty campaign, so he played the race card. I guess the only question remaining: Is anyone listening anymore?



Election Eve Event: Capitol Commission's Capitol Prayer Walk

“…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:16b-18

When God hears the prayers of His children, He listens and grants such petitions as befits His plan. If we desire to have government that works in its proper God given role of promoting good a culture of life and Godly values, then we must do more than be active and vote. As His children, we must pray.

This is why The Family Foundation is pleased to support Capitol Commission, under the leadership of Virginia State Director David Andersen, in its upcoming election eve Capitol Square Cookout and Prayer Walk, Monday, November 2 (download flyer, here).

Here are the details:

» Virginia Capitol Cookout and Pre-Election Capitol Square Prayer Walk

» At Old City Hall, 1001 East Broad Street, Richmond, directly North of the capitol, across Darden Mall

» Monday, November 2, 5:00-7:30 p.m.

» Catered by Brock’s Bar-B-Que

» Featured Speaker: Fourth District U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) 

» Preview Rep. Forbes' remarks by viewing one of the most watched Congressional speeches ever (click here)!

» RSVP at (804) 784-3903 or e-mail by October 26 

The Capitol Commission's motto is Reaching Our Leaders One Heart at a Time. We hope you can attend this special event and help with that mission. Your support of Capitol Commission will be greatly appreciated and, more importantly, your prayers can bring Heaven’s reign to the public square.

From Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

A Open Letter From Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, On The Meaning Of Independence Day

In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams told her of the actions of the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. "The second day of July, 1776 [the actual day the Declaration was adopted], will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever."

As we celebrate Independence Day, as John Adams so aptly predicted, we must not forget nor overlook the intense struggle our Founding Fathers faced. Their Christian faith played a critical role in an era that altered the history of the world.

There is not a better example of this seamless devotion to God and country than Samuel Adams. In his time, Sam was far more famous than his cousin, John. Sam was known as the last of the great Puritans and the father of the Revolution. It was Sam Adams who organized the Sons of Liberty and the Committees of Correspondence. (By the way, if you're going out to a Tea Party on Saturday, historians believe that the first tea party, the one in Boston, was organized by Samuel Adams. It was that Boston Tea Party that lit the fuse of the American Revolution).

When Sam Adams was elected to that First Continental Congress and traveled to the gathering of leaders in Philadelphia, he thought the Continental Congress needed to begin its work on its knees — in prayer. But when the motion was made to call in a local clergyman to lead the worship, John Jay of New York and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina objected. We are too diverse, they said. We could never agree on whose prayers to say.

Rising to his feet, Sam Adams spoke: "I am no bigot," he said, "I can hear the prayer of any man of piety and virtue who is a friend to his country." Deeply moved, the delegates voted to approve Sam Adams' idea. The next morning, amid reports of the British moving against the people of his hometown of Boston, Sam knelt in prayer with his fellow delegates, as the Rev. Jacob Duch? prayed. "Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me, and fight against them that fight against me."

That inspired move by Sam Adams did much to overcome suspicions among the delegates. Joseph Reed of Philadelphia called that prayer "a masterly stroke." Those Founding Fathers could now work together for liberty.

Soon, Sam Adams would sign the Declaration of Independence. Alongside Sam Adams' name you can find that of Charles Carroll, a delegate from Maryland. Carroll was the richest man in Congress and the only Roman Catholic. Nowhere else on earth in 1776 could you find an Evangelical like Sam Adams pledge "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" alongside a Catholic like Charles Carroll. They both risked death by hanging for signing that great Declaration. But they served the King of Kings and had no fear of King George III.

In our efforts to maintain the freedoms won by our forefathers we must be like them — people of action and prayer. We must never sever our personal faith from our public stand for faith, family and freedom.

After we celebrate our independence as a nation on Saturday, I invite you to join thousands of Christians from across the nation on Sunday as they fall on their knees in prayer as a part of FRC's Call2Fall, declaring their dependence upon God, just like our Founding Fathers.

Real Threats

Each Monday morning I join a small group of friends at a local coffee shop for a Bible study. This week I was chatting with the shop manager, thanking him for allowing us to meet and take up space for an hour each week. He said he was just happy to have the business and enjoyed the "atmosphere" we create.  Apparently, not everyone feels that way. He went on to share with me that another group began meeting at his shop for Bible study after they were thrown out of another local eating establishment. I wondered what they could possibly have done to earn such action and he told me that the someone had complained to that coffee shop's manager about the group. What for, you ask? Were they loudly prostelytizing customers? Were they beating their Bibles on the tables?  Singing hymns off key?

Nope — the person complained that "people like that should not be allowed to read their Bibles in public."

To which, apparently, the establishment's manager agreed and promptly asked the group to leave. 

As we ponder the culture we live in where simply reading a Bible in public is now an act that deserves punishment, and where we see our government officials censoring prayers (see State Police Chaplains), and where story after story of anti-Christian bigotry find their way into the news, we have to take heart that there are groups ready to fight for us and for our rights.

A few weeks ago, one such group, Alliance Defense Fund, held a regional litigation academy here in Richmond. The Family Foundation was thrilled to be able to co-host the event, where nearly three dozen attorneys met for a full day of training from ADF experts on how to defend religious liberty rights in court. No group is better equipped to protect our religious liberty rights than ADF, and we are thrilled to be their partner. Knowing that their allied attorneys are ready and abundantly able to take on these cases gives us some comfort that we won't go down without a fight.

Prayer Vigil At New $3.5 Million Richmond Abortion Center Tomorrow; That's A Lot Of Money For A "Non-Profit" That Gets State Funding

Planned Parenthood is moving to a larger abortion center in Richmond tomorrow, per Saturday's Richmond Times-Dispatch. According to the article, it will be twice the size of the current abortion center and cost $3.5 million to buy and remodel. Hmmmm. With all that money Planned Parenthood 1) shouldn't have the need for state funding, now should it? And 2), if it is so up-to-date-modern, it shouldn't object to opening its doors for inspections and have life saving equipment on site, either, right? Those are two of three measly requirements the Senate Education and Health Committee has rejected the last two sessions of the General Assembly

The soon-t0-be-vacated location was easily marked by passers-by as an abortion center by constant prayer vigils by Richmond Coalition for Life, which sponsors the highly successful 40 Days for Life program, and other pro-lifers. Tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., Planned Parenthood will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new abortion center at 201 North Hamilton, in the city. But RCL will be there, too, continuing its vigils. It says in an e-mail:

"In response to this event, we would like to organize a peaceful group to pray. ... Our goal is to show our community that we are against the opening of this new facility through our peaceful  presence. In addition, we will pray for an end to abortion in our country, the moral conversion of the doctors, nurses, and supporters of this new facility, and the closing of this clinic."

Anyone promising to engage in peaceful prayer is welcome to attend. For more information, follow this 40 Days for Life Facebook link. Regardless of whether you can attend, the prayer vigils at the new location will continue — and individual prayer is always needed.

You Had To Be There . . .

We've received a few questions about yesterday's vote in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on HB 2314, the chaplain prayer bill. The most asked question is simple: What was the actual vote on the bill? Unfortunately, because of the game played in committee, its not as simple as that. In fact, the final vote on the bill is in no way a reflection of where individual legislators actually stood on issue of chaplain prayer or religious freedom. Essentially, an amendment to the bill (herein referred to as the "Norment Amendment") added by the committee changed the bill from a pro-religious liberty bill to an anti-religious liberty bill. It changed the bill into what is the current state police policy that censors prayers. Because of the Norment Amendment, we wanted the bill to fail (as did the patron, Delegate Bill Carrico). However, some of the members of the committee (who support religious liberty) voted against killing the bill in hopes that they could fix it later.  Thus, the final vote is very mixed and does not reflect the actual positions of legislators.

Because of the confusion over the final vote, we are counting the vote on the Norment Amendment as the actual position of legislators on the bill (shockingly, this vote is not available online). We do, however, have the entire meeting on video so we have record of that vote.

In a true "you had to be there" example, this is a debate and outcome that can be very confusing. Some legislators who voted to keep the bill alive at the end actually had ill intent for the bill, but my guess is they will attempt to hide behind that final vote. We won't let them.

We have a small sampling of yesterday's debate in the video below:

In Jesus Name . . . NOT

Earlier this General Assembly session, the Senate Courts of Justice committee defeated legislation by Senator Steve Martin that would have protected the religious liberty and free speech rights of Virginia citizens asked to pray before government meetings. The bill, SB 1072, was a response to both the Fourth Circuit Court's Turner decision, and the state police's decision to censor prayers by its chaplains.  Opponents, such as the ACLU, lined up to ensure that our religious liberty and free speech rights were trampled. Once again opponents completely misrepresented the facts and misused the law — big surprise. 

On the side of religious liberty were the Alliance Defense Fund's senior counsel Mike Johnson and the Soliciter General of the Commonwealth Steve McCullough. Despite their clear and honest presentation of the facts, the committee killed the bill. 

Take a look for yourself at some of the testimony and questioning:

"Chaplain-Gate" Not Going Away

State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty's decision, since endorsed by Governor Tim Kaine (contact here), to forbid Christian chaplains from praying "in Jesus name" during "public events" is causing quite a commotion in the capital city. Tomorrow, The Family Foundation and our pastor outreach arm, Pastors For Family Values, will participate in a press conference with several other groups urging a reversal of the policy.  In addition, citizens are making their voice heard. Through The Family Foundation and Pastor For Family Values e-mail alerts, both Kaine and Flaherty have received dozens of e-mails in the past 24 hours from concerned citizens wanting the policy to be changed.

Regardless, this issue isn't going away. We're looking at both legal and legislative options, so if Kaine and Flaherty decide to ignore the voice of Virginians and hide behind their friends at the ACLU, we'll take the battle to court or to the statehouse.