Quote Of The Day 1-29-14Jan. 29, 2014
Our Quote of the Day comes from Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71, Richmond), one who is about as nice and refined a woman as one will meet — but someone with whom we almost always have significant and substantial policy differences. This session, she is the patron of HB 1187, which adds a reference to "bullying" to a certain part of the code, and is a bill that we support, as we did last year in a predecessor bill she carried. Speaking to the bill today on the House floor, she said to great affect:
This will probably double my score with The Family Foundation.
Actually, that won't be hard to do. On our last Report Card she rated five percent. Five! That wasn't the lowest score — she tied with three others and four delegates came in at zero percent! — but she's pretty much propping up the table.
Yet, all that work may have gone for naught later in the day when she cast a wrong vote on an important bill (HB 1113) in the House Courts of Justice Civil Sub-Committee. As she left the committee room, she walked by a team of Family Foundation lobbyists and said, "I guess my score just dropped back down," which cracked us up. I provided the laugh for her when I told her she had already qualified for our Quote of the Day during her floor speech.
Not all down here is at the media and some partisans portray it. There is respect for those of opposing views despite serious disagreements. Cheers to Delegate Jennifer McClellan for being a great sport!
Yes, We Are Not All Like ThatSep. 06, 2013
Dan Savage. Do you recognize his name?
If you don't remember his name, you may remember the video of the National High School Journalism Convention on April 13, 2012 when students quietly stood up and walked out of the auditorium when their speaker ripped into the Bible calling it “b—s----” and declaring it wrong on issues such as virginity, homosexuality, and masturbation. Noting the mass exodus, the speaker then began taunting the students, calling them cruel names and gloating over their retreat.
That speaker was Dan Savage.
Dan Savage. The outspoken homosexual, sex advice columnist, leader of President Obama’s anti-bullying initiative, and LGBT advocate. He is not shy about his thoughts; rather his method of “conversion” is in-your-face, “win by attrition,” bully you into submission. You may have heard of his “It Gets Better” YouTube video series. It Gets Better is an attempt by Dan Savage and his partner to tell our children that it's okay to be gay.
But Dan hasn't stopped with our children. His newest video project targets our churches. Just two days ago, inspired by Dan Savage, “Not All Like That” was launched. The video series, Not All Like That (NALT), states on its website that its purpose is to “give LGBT-affirming Christians a means of proclaiming to the world – and especially to young gay people – their belief and conviction that there is nothing anti-biblical or at all inherently sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”
Arguing that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, the website makes many claims as to why Christians should be supportive of homosexual behavior. Here are but three of the many mentioned:
- “It is important to understand that even the most fundamentalist Christian sects do not take the Bible wholly literally.”
- “God does not ask Christians to choose between their compassion and their faith in the Bible.”
- “Because there was no concept of gay marriage when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts within the context of gay marriage.”
My heart is deeply, deeply grieved by this project. It is an attempt to split the body of Christ, an attempt to push man-defined love without truth, to set aside the authority of Scripture, to marginalize Christians who are faithfully living out God's call on our lives, and to be honest, to use the term “Christian” to apply to those who are living in rebellion to Christ.
Dan Savage's categorizing of real Christianity is not accurate. Let me be straightforward: unlike what Dan Savage claims, the Bible is clear – living out homosexual behavior, like all sexual sin, is incompatible with our faith. Dan Savage does not understand why Christians cannot just love and check truth at the door. He doesn't understand that we cannot because God created the institution of marriage, in the image of the Trinity and for our welfare. To alter this God-given institution is an attempt to alter the Creator Himself. Therefore we honor the one man, one woman marriage structure He created and by doing so, we are living out our faith. To ask anything else of us is to deny us our ability to practice our religion. To ask anything else of us is to ask us to deny the authority and infallibility of Scripture.
And yes, Dan, despite your website, we are not all like that – some of us still believe in Truth.
Governor McDonnell Signs Into Law Religious Liberty, Parental Rights, Other TFF Priority Bills!Mar. 27, 2013
Governor Bob McDonnell on Monday signed several Family Foundation priority bills into law! One set of bills he signed comprised our top legislative priority in 2013. They protect the freedom of association and religious liberty rights of student groups on Virginia public college campuses. These bills, patroned by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) and Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), simply ensure that student groups can set their own criteria for membership and leadership and not be discriminated against simply because a university doesn't like the content of their speech. The bills include language ensuring that the groups cannot violate state or federal discrimination laws regarding race, religion, etc.
The governor also signed bills that affirm that parental rights are fundamental. The bills, patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17, Fredericksburg) and Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown), elevate the common law understanding of parental rights in place in Virginia for 400 years to that of a fundamental right. While no rights are absolute, courts give special deference to fundamental rights, requiring the state's "compelling interest" to intervene. This is especially important since 24 other state courts have reduced parental rights to "ordinary" — a standard more easily trumped by government authorities that attempt to interpose themselves in family decisions. Distractors continue to make claims about the potential impact of this new law that are simply not accurate. The state's authority to protect children who need intervention doesn't change, nor will parents be able to disrupt public education.
In addition, Governor McDonnell signed into law HB 1871, patroned by Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71, Richmond), defining bullying in Virginia code. This will ensure that state education officials have clear guidance as they develop policies relating to the growing problem of bullying that needs to be addressed in an effective and reasonable manner. Having a clear definition of bullying will equip school leaders to develop the most effective strategies to keep children safe and produce an environment conducive to learning. The bill includes First Amendment protections to ensure that students cannot be punished for simply voicing an opinion that is unpopular.
Finally, the governor submitted clarifying amendments to another Family Foundation priority, a bill that removes a serious barrier to helping families in crisis limit the amount of government intrusion while providing opportunity for reunification. More and more, families are relying on close relatives to help take care of their children during a crisis, using what is called kinship care. But these relatives often face barriers when trying to enroll the children in their local school, as some school divisions require the relative caregiver to obtain legal custody of the child before enrollment is possible, which requires the action of a court. SB 960, patroned by Senator George Barker (D-39, Alexandria), allows for the use of a power of attorney, better enabling families to work together through a crisis. Once the governor's amendments are adopted, he will sign the bill into law.
Student, Parental Rights Bills Advance!Feb. 06, 2013
Yesterday was "crossover," the mid-point of the 2013 General Assembly session and the day when each chamber must complete work on its own bills. It's also a day that saw two substantial pro-family victories. The Senate passed a priority for The Family Foundation — legislation that protects the free association rights of students on public college campuses. SB 1074, patroned by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), ensures that the current practice on the majority of our campuses will continue and that religious and political organizations will not be discriminated against because of their beliefs and values. The bill passed 22-18 with several Democrats joining Republicans to pass the legislation. The House companion bill, HB 1617, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), passed 80-19 late last week.
In the House, legislation protecting parental rights as fundamental passed 70-30! The bill, HB 1642, patroned by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, James City County), reflects a recent decision by the Virginia Supreme Court that recognizes parental rights as fundamental. However, 24 states have reduced parental rights from fundamental to "ordinary," making it easier for government bureaucrats to interfere with families. This is significant because courts give special deference to "fundamental" rights and putting it in the Virginia Code secures it from a future Virginia court from rewriting the recent decision. Currently, Virginia law is silent on the status of parental rights, instead relying on hundreds of years of common law, which has granted parents fundamental in principle.
A similar bill previously passed the Senate, but because the bills are slightly different, we will continue to work with the patrons and representatives of parental rights groups to bring them into "conformity" for final passage later this session. The Senate bill is SB 908 and is patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17, Spotsylvania) and will be in the House Courts of Justice Committee today.
In the past two days, other legislation supported by The Family Foundation also advanced, including bills that combat human trafficking, help ease restrictions on the creation of charter schools, and provide a definition of bullying for the Department of Education as it works on guidelines to help schools combat that serious problem.
Unfortunately, all news today wasn't good. The Senate decided to send SJ 287, a religious liberty constitutional amendment, back to committee, effectively killing the bill for this year. Based on an amendment that passed last year in Missouri, the amendment would have given Virginians the opportunity to vote to re-establish our right to pray at the start of government meetings and protect students' religious liberty rights. As we continue to watch the federal government infringe upon our God given right to express our faith in the public square, Virginians want to be able to respond. Our goal will continue to be to reinforce our First Freedom, through statute and, if necessary, a constitutional amendment. We thank Senator Bill Stanley (R-20, Moneta), the resolution's patron, and Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax), the chief co-patron, for their very hard work and inspired and passionate words yesterday on the Senate floor.
In the coming days we will again notify you to take urgent action on key bills. Thank you to everyone who has contact their legislators so far! You voice does make a difference.
Meet Dan Savage: Bully In ChiefJan. 22, 2013
When the hard core, secular left tries to advance its agenda, it often resorts to demonizing Christians in order to distract from its agenda and its tactics. Accusing others of what you actually do puts them on the defensive, allowing the accuser to skate while the accused is busy fending off character attacks. One of the best at this is a guy by the name of Dan Savage, who routinely uses four letter words in describing Christians and wishes early death upon those who think differently than he. While he accuses conservatives of "bullying," no one does it better than Savage, whose nasty repertoire includes, but limited to, vile and vulgar language, misleading and misrepresenting conservative positions and values, redefining institutions, tarnishing reputations, and who never finds a tactic low enough to hurt others while "entertaining" with shock.
Of course, anyone defending him or herself against Savage's assaults is deemed as "mean" by leftists, while, Savage has no qualms denying he hates anyone. It's all documented in his video by FRC Action. Oh, by the way, President Barack Obama endorses his work. Refreshing, isn't?
The Commander-In-Chief's endorsement of this behavior must qualify Dan Savage as Bully-In-Chief.
Homosexual Indoctrination Coming To A Virginia Middle School Near YouJul. 09, 2010
Efforts to increasingly sexualize our children will be at an all time high this fall. The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national organization, recently selected its Richmond Chapter to conduct a pilot program to promote the homosexual agenda in 60 Central Virginia middle schools. GLSEN works through its local chapters with the goal of imposing its morality on today's youth. GLSEN explains its mission this way:
Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.
"Heterosexism"? (For that matter, "impacts"?)
In the next few months, GLSEN Richmond will contact the guidance director of each of the targeted 60 middle schools and provide them with a "Safe Schools Kit." This kit contains information encouraging the guidance director to create a "safe environment" for "LGBTQ" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or "questioning") students and specifically encouraging them to decrease bullying based on "real or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity."
Delegate David Englin (D-45, Alexandria) introduced a bill in 2009 that singled out bullying on the basis of sexual orientation. A House sub-committee passed a substitute bill instead, since the General Assembly previously passed comprehensive bullying reform a few years prior that does not single out any particular group, but applies to all students equally. Bullying, no matter the content and no matter the target, is not tolerated in Virginia public schools, making GLSEN's middle school initiative that much more inappropriate and unnecessary.
GLSEN's materials regularly undermine both parental authority and religious teaching. They seek to separate children from their families and from their faith upbringing.
Is this what you've intended your tax dollars to be used for in our public schools? GLSEN is encouraging students to question and ultimately reject what they learn from their parents and church community regarding sexuality. While no child should be bullied, the fact is that GLSEN and other pro-homosexual groups are using harassment as a way to promote a dangerous lifestyle and attack the values taught by families across our commonwealth.
Contact the guidance department at your local middle school and urge them to reject the GLSEN "Safe Schools" agenda. Additionally, if you have a child enrolled in a Central Virginia public middle school, get especially involved in your child's education this fall and keep an eye on what your child is being taught. Our schools should be safe — in the true sense of the word — and our children protected from liberal indoctrination.