Support Defunding The Attorney General's Attack On Marriage!Feb 19, 2014
Ever since Attorney General Mark Herring disenfranchised more than a million Virginia voters and turned his back on his oath to uphold Virginia's constitution, citizens across the commonwealth have been asking, "What can be done?" Every option is being explored, but tomorrow, the House of Delegates likely will try to hit Herring where it can — in his budget. Multiple budget amendments will be introduced tomorrow, when the House debates and amends its budget bill, by Delegates Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) and Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock) that would prohibit the Office of Attorney General from using taxpayer dollars to challenge Virginia's Marriage Amendment.
Regardless of one's position on the Marriage Amendment, the decision of Attorney General Herring to not only abandon the state constitution — and the voters — but actually attack it by joining in a case in to overturn one of its amendments, is both unprecedented and dangerous. It bases the defense of every law and constitutional amendment in Virginia on the whims of one individual.
So outrageous is the arrogance of the attorney general, that he has added a statement to his website proclaiming:
The Attorney General is the sole person empowered to present the Commonwealth's position in legal matters and it is up to him or her to determine that position through rigorous legal analysis.
Until Attorney General Herring took office, laws in the commonwealth were assumed to be constitutional until a court ruled otherwise. Now, this attorney general has placed himself above the law, the constitution, and above the courts as the final arbiter of what is constitutional.
The House of Delegates is fighting back. Tomorrow, it will vote on its budget. Please encourage your delegate to stand up for your vote and the rule of law, and adopt budget amendments that defund the attorney general's attack on the Virginia Constitution!
Voice Your Support for Abortion Center Regulations
Voice Your Support for Abortion Center Regulations
Yesterday, the public comment period opens for the Virginia State Board of Health’s review of the previously passed abortion regulations. Visit here and then click “Enter a Comment” to voice your opinion.
The public comment period on these regulations will be open for 45 days, ending on July 30, and then in its December meeting, the Board of Health will decide whether or not it will rewrite these much needed regulations. It is imperative that the Board leaves these regulations as they are.
Prior to the implementation of regulations in 2012, the Virginia abortion industry had gone unregulated for too long. Department of Health inspections revealed widespread health and safety violations, including blood splattered exam tables and equipment, unsterilized equipment, poorly or untrained staff, violations of state parental consent laws, and the lack of reporting of possible cases of child sexual abuse, along with over 300 other violations. These violations reveal a serious need for regulations of these facilities in order to protect women who seek out abortions.
While focusing on the construction standards included in the regulations, the media has almost completely ignored the blood stained and unsterilized equipment, along with all the other health and safety violations. The construction standards are necessary to improve access for emergency personnel and equipment when medical emergencies take place, but the rest of the standards are basic to any medical facility that puts its patients ahead of its profits.
Recent information that has come to light about Virginia abortion center owner, Dr. Steven Brigham, exemplifies the need for regulations. Brigham’s license to practice medicine has been revoked in five states because of his complete disregard for the safety of women. The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners revoked Brigham’s license declaring, “Dr. Brigham’s continued practice would present clear and imminent danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.” Virginia inspections found gaping holes in the ceiling of his abortion center, unsterilized needles, outrageously high complication rates, and incomplete lifesaving equipment. If an abortion doctor like Steven Brigham can continue to operate two abortion centers here in Virginia, it is clear that the regulations must remain in place to protect the women of Virginia from Brigham’s harmful practices.
It is vital that the Board of Health understands how important health and safety regulations on abortion centers are to the people of Virginia. This can only be done by your participation in the public comment period. Leave your comment encouraging the Board to maintain the regulations as they are and ensure that the voices of pro-woman, pro-life Virginians are heard loud and clear!
40 Days Of Prayer, Fasting And Repentance For Marriage
40 Days Of Prayer, Fasting And Repentance For Marriage
. . . remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses. - Nehemiah 4:14
The Family Foundation is asking that you join us for 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance for Marriage from August 27 until October 5, 2014. Our state and nation are mired in a morass of confusion and post-modern thinking that does not believe in absolutes nor that any truth can even be known. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current debate raging about what constitutes marriage. Pagan philosophies, a secular humanist education establishment and an entertainment industry that is absolutely determined in pushing the envelope on decency and morality have all combined to turn this great land into a country that our forefathers could not even begin to recognize.
How did we get here? We must look within and ask, "Have we as believers been the salt and light that Jesus commanded us to be?" So many churches in America have become lukewarm and have lost the ability to impact culture in the way they once did. Our nation, built on a Judeo-Christian foundation, has been greatly blessed by the Lord, but instead of being thankful, we have turned our back on the Lord and His teachings and have and followed after other gods. That is why we are asking you to join us zealously in humility and fasting in repentance before God and implore Him to heal our land.
The Virginia Marriage Amendment, which affirms God's design for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is being challenged in federal court. Our recently elected Attorney General, Mark Herring, has not only refused to defend Virginia in court, he has joined the plaintiffs in attacking our Marriage Amendment. The issue of marriage is out of the hands of the legislators and the people they represent, and is now in the hands of unelected, unaccountable judges.
The Supreme Court begins its session on October 6. We fully expect it to take a marriage case sometime in the next year. In the natural, it looks like a David vs. Goliath battle. The federal government, the news media, Hollywood, the public education system and big business all are arrayed on the side of same-sex "marriage." Only the church stands in support of God's design for marriage. Our 40 Days will culminate on October 5 just before the court begins its session. We don't know what the Lord will do. We do know that He is sovereign. Whatever happens, we must adopt the attitude of the three Hebrew children who refused to bow before the golden image in Babylon:
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. - Daniel 3:17-18
If you are a pastor, please consider having your church join with us in this effort. The Family Foundation is partnering with other nationally known organizations to provide talking points, sermon outlines, bulletin inserts, video clips and other resources to help you lead your congregation through the 40 Days. We will also send a daily prayer journal to everyone to help guide our prayers and devotions during that time. Click here to be directed to a page where you can sign up as a partnering church in this effort. You also can indicate on that page that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us.
If you would like a representative from The Family Foundation to come and speak to your congregation about the 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance please contact us 804-343-0010. If you are not a pastor, click here to sign up and then forward this link to your pastor to encourage your church's involvement with us.
Urge Override Of Governor McAuliffe’s Vetoes!
Urge Override Of Governor McAuliffe’s Vetoes!
Recently, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed two bills that would protect religious liberty: SB 236, a bill that would protect the free speech rights of public school students; and SB 555, a bill that would have prohibited government censorship of military chaplain sermons. Both passed with large bipartisan majorities, including a unanimous vote in the Senate for SB 555! The General Assembly will hold its annual "veto session," where it reviews vetoes and amendments to bills, on Wednesday, April 23:
Please urge your senators and delegates to vote to override the governor's vetoes of SB 236 and SB 555 (click the links to find their contact information). If you don't know who your legislators are, click here.
SB 236, patroned by Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax), would create "limited public forums" at certain public school events. Limited public forums restrict the schools from censoring speech simply because it is from a faith perspective. The schools can still "limit" the speech to the matter at hand; for example, a graduation speech still has to be about graduating, but it can contain statements about the importance of faith. The bill also protects students' rights to organize prayer groups, have events such as "see you at the pole" gatherings and wear clothing with religious expressions.
Students in our public schools shouldn't be treated as a second-class citizen simply because their viewpoint is motivated by their faith, regardless of what faith perspective they have. It is tragic that in Virginia, the birthplace of religious freedom, Governor McAuliffe has chosen to listen to the ACLU and has trampled on the right of Virginia's students to simply express their beliefs.
SB 555, patroned by Senator Dick Black (R-13, Leesburg), prohibited state government from censoring sermons given by chaplains in the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force. This reasonable, common sense measure passed the Senate in January 37-0! The governor's explanation for vetoing the bill is a remarkable misunderstanding of the actual definition of a chaplain.
Overriding a governor's veto requires two-thirds support from both chambers, meaning that 27 members of the Senate and 67 members of the House of Delegates have to vote for an override.
At what point do we finally say, enough is enough? Our God-given, inalienable right to exercise our faith, live according to our conscience, and speak truth to culture is in serious jeopardy if we allow people like Terry McAuliffe to dictate what we can and cannot do in the public square.
Your legislators, regardless of party, need to hear from you. They need to know that you are not going to stand for this type of discrimination any longer! Please act today:
Contact your senators and delegates today and ask them to override Governor McAuliffe's vetoes of SB 236 and SB 555 at the upcoming April 23 Veto Session.
Economic Reality Check
Economic Reality Check
Imagine for a moment you lived in a state:
- That has created over 300,000 new jobs since 2013, including over 30,000 net new jobs since April 2016
- That has seen unemployment decline from 10% to 4.9% (under the national average);
- That has a $425 million budget surplus (not a deficit of over $1 billion);
- That has improved its ranking in CNBC's best states for business in 2016, jumping from #9 up to #5;
- Was named by Forbes Magazine the second best state for business in America for the second year in a row in 2016;
Sounds pretty good, no?
Then you better move to North Carolina.
That’s right, the state the hysterical left – including our own Governor – is painting as being on economic life support is actually doing just fine. In fact, it's doing better than the Commonwealth in several key economic areas – including job growth – as it’s rankings in key surveys from CNBC and Forbes indicate. North Carolina's unemployment rate dropped seven-tenths of a percent over the year, the fourth-best improvement in the nation, while Virginia's has recently inched up. Forbes ranks Virginia the sixth best state for business, a decline from past years and behind NC.
And all this is happening despite the fact that – hold on – North Carolina would prefer men use men’s restrooms and women use women’s restrooms.
Even if you buy the argument that North Carolina’s effort to protect the safety, dignity and privacy of women and children has had a negative effect on its economy, the state is still doing better than Virginia in many ways!
The hysteria from the media, political class and pseudo-conservative bloggers over legislation before the Virginia General Assembly regulating bathroom use in government buildings (i.e. public schools) was as swift as it was predictable. The belief in an underlying reality that biology and DNA matter and that common sense dictate that no one should expect young school girls to be exposed to members of the opposite sex in school showers and locker rooms are now labeled bigotry, hateful and worse than all – bad for the economy.
Of course, this is politics in Virginia, so the narrative being forced on us by a mainstream media no one is supposed to believe any more will likely win out over objective reality. But reality is something different, regardless of what the media and political class are telling you.
Surrounded by melting snow and warming temperatures, lawmakers returned to Richmond yesterday for the start of the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session.
To kick off the session, we hosted our Family Advocacy Day and 5th Annual Prayer Walk. Dozens of citizen activists roamed the hallways of the General Assembly, met with their legislators and joined in prayer groups around the Capitol to pray for our elected officials and the new session. We were also honored to host several dozen pastors and ministry leaders with our Virginia Pastor Network Luncheon, with special guest speaker former Governor Bob McDonnell.
The next 45 days will set the stage for the 2017 statewide elections. In November, Virginians will vote for a Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General, as well as all 100 members of the House of Delegates. Consequently, expect a lot of posturing, partisanship and media-driven hysterical narratives about what’s happening in Richmond, which started last night with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s State of the Commonwealth address, in which he warned against legislation that would protect the safety, privacy and dignity of women and children in Virginia.
And, just yesterday I saw an email from the Democrat Party of Virginia hysterically attacking a bill that would prohibit abortion after the mid-point of pregnancy – when science indicates an unborn child can feel pain – calling it a “restrictive, abominable abortion ban bill.” Incredibly, the US is one of only seven countries around the world that still allows elective abortions after the mid-point of pregnancy! That is abominable! And it's high time Virginia join the 18 other states that have passed similar protections for the unborn.
Regardless of the narratives, The Family Foundation comes into this year’s session with a common-sense, broad-based agenda that advances our principles.
A top priority will be the reinforcement of religious liberty protections that would prohibit state government from penalizing entities such as faith-based charities and colleges for their moral or religious beliefs regarding marriage and sexuality. This legislation passed the General Assembly last session, only to be vetoed by Governor McAuliffe. Just last week Governor McAuliffe issued an Executive Order that constitutes one of the most anti-religious freedom policies in the nation by restricting the charities and businesses with which the state does business to only those that have a viewpoint of marriage and sexuality that is in line with the Governor’s personal beliefs. State Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax) and Delegate Nick Freitas (R-30, Culpeper) are carrying crucial religious liberty legislation.
The Family Foundation will once again support efforts that protect Virginia taxpayers from being forced to subsidize Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, particularly in light of a recent Congressional investigation that confirmed that organization’s involvement in a fetal-body-part-selling-for-profit-scandal. There are well over one hundred community based health centers in Virginia, many in areas that do not have Planned Parenthood abortion centers, that offer real health care for women. Those health centers should be prioritized for taxpayer dollars before a dime goes to Planned Parenthood. Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst) is once again patroning this important bill.
We are also supporting legislation this year that will protect the free speech rights of students on college campuses. The reports around the nation of conservative speakers being denied opportunity to speak, speech codes and “safe spaces” on college campuses indicate a campus culture run amok, and the victims of this discrimination are usually conservative Christians.
As always, we will also fight against bills that threaten religious freedom and seek to roll back important pro-life, pro-family gains from recent years. Already, secular liberals in the General Assembly have introduced numerous bills that elevate sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) to special status in the law. Couched as bills that will “help our economy” and “stop discrimination,” the truth is that these laws are used to discriminate! In every case you’ve heard about where a business owner has faced fines or jail for not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding, the attacks are based on these “SOGI” laws.
I hope you will commit to taking action when we call on you over the next few weeks. Legislators need to hear from you! When you get an “Action Alert” from us, please take just a moment to influence your Delegate or Senator. We know that we send many Action Alerts during session, but the pace in Richmond is fast and furious and your activity is critical!
I also ask once again this year that you pray for our elected officials, their staffs, and our team here at The Family Foundation during the next 45 days. Session is a physically, emotionally and spiritually draining time, and we need God’s wisdom, discernment and protection each and every day.
Tar Heels Still Beating Virginia
Tar Heels Still Beating Virginia
Governor Terry McAuliffe with assistance from his media allies has spent the better part of his administration carrying the message that Virginia must be a “welcoming” state to successfully attract businesses, and therefore jobs, to the Old Dominion. By “welcoming,” of course, he means disregarding religious liberty, personal privacy and safety, abandoning common sense and imposing McAuliffe’s so-called “progressive” agenda on the Old Dominion.
When North Carolina was ground zero last year for the hysterical left’s latest fear campaign during debate over that state’s effort to protect privacy and dignity, Governor McAuliffe went so far as to invite businesses in NC to move to Virginia.
The latest analysis from Forbes magazine indicates that Mr. McAuliffe’s efforts have done little to help Virginia, while NC’s economy is doing just fine.
Forbes recent list ranking the best states in which to do business found North Carolina at #2, ahead of the Commonwealth's 6th place ranking.
Not a big deal, you say?
How about this. Seven of the top 10 states in Forbes rankings have not caved to the progressive left’s anti-freedom agenda that elevates sexual behavior to protected classification by adding “sexual orientation/gender identity” at the expense of safety, privacy and dignity.
Oh, and while Virginians are learning on a seemingly regular basis that many of Governor McAuliffe’s press releases about new jobs and business to Virginia have been unfulfilled or are just a tiny bit exaggerated, North Carolina has added thousands of jobs, particularly in high tech. In fact, despite the rhetoric that NOVA is the Silicon Valley of the east, Raleigh, NC has seen an over 38 percent increase in tech jobs since 2010, second only to San Francisco in that time period. Charlotte was also in the top 20 list of cities with increased tech jobs. No city in Virginia is on the list. It seems the new economy Terry McAuliffe promised has moved just a little bit down the road, to North Carolina.
Despite the well-funded, cultural elitist driven campaign of fear against North Carolina and the best efforts of Virginia’s salesman-in-chief, the Tar Heel state is crushing Virginia in jobs and business climate.
But wait, you say, the North Carolina governor just lost his race! See, there’s proof that protecting human privacy and dignity are losing issues.
Not so fast. While that race is still being contested, it’s important to note that nearly every Republican who favored the bill the left is hysterically attacking as hateful and bigoted kept their seats. One state House leader of the bill easily won a seat in the state Senate – in a district near Charlotte, the epicenter of the left’s fear mongering.
If we learned anything from this year’s national election it’s that you really can’t believe anything the national media tells you. Sadly, this has brought about so-called “fake news,” but it also must make you question everything you’ve been told by the media about what’s been happening in North Carolina and the consequences for that state’s economy. The reality is, North Carolina’s economy is booming while Virginia’s remains stagnant and continues to rely too heavily on the federal government.
Virginia’s lawmakers are likely to use the potential defeat of Governor McCrory as reason enough not to defend and protect the privacy and safety of women and children in Virginia. They’ll conveniently argue that such efforts will make Virginia less “welcoming” to business and hurt our economy. In doing so, they will have fallen for the media-driven narrative that makes their fear of taking a stand seem reasonable. The Virginia media and editorial pages will provide all the assistance they need, and they’ll all pat themselves on the back for their pragmatism and vision. But they’ll be wrong, and consequently, jobs will continue to flow to North Carolina instead of our Commonwealth, and the privacy and dignity of women and children will be sacrificed.