And Then There Were Three

A few weeks ago, Ed Randazzo published an article discussing a billboard that we spotted in Rapid City. Now, there are three such billboards that we have spotted. (See updates at bottom of page). We know they are sponsored by a foundation in Colorado, but what message are they spreading? What are they calling for? If you visit the website noted on the billboard and navigate to the South Dakota page, you will see the assertion that South Dakota is legally discriminating against members of the LGBT community. They give links to “fact-finding” pages, as well as the personal story of Crystal and Amanda. The article claims that Crystal was fired by an anti-LGBT boss, which caused great financial hardship. It never says that Crystal and Amanda are from South Dakota, but it makes the claim that a similar situation could easily arise here and that we need legal protections to prevent it. This request sounds quite reasonable and compassionate at first glance. Should someone be fired, or denied housing, or denied healthcare because of who they choose to be in a relationship with? Or because they identify as a gender other than their birth sex? The reaction of most people would be “No, that sounds really mean! We should protect against that.” And you’re right, we shouldn’t be mean. However, the solution they offer is to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) to the list of legally protected classes (race, sex, religion, etc.) and here is the problem…

SOGI ordinances and laws that are presented as protective shields, often become swords used against those of a Biblical worldview. The most prominent example is that of Jack Phillips (click here to watch his story). Jack was simply living out his faith in his business, when someone used SOGI protections against him. The same is true for Baronnelle Stutzman in Washington. And Blaine Adamson in Colorado. And the list goes on…

UPDATE: They are going after Jack AGAIN

Although we believe that we as Christians should show love towards those in the LGBT community and would never advocate for anyone to target them, placing sexual orientation and gender identity in the protected class list is not the right step. What is presented as a shield, will someday be used as a sword.

So what’s next? It’s yet to be seen. The BeyondIDo website doesn’t say what specific policy changes they will seek, nor does it tell us if they will be seeking state or local changes. But we do know this: once the proposals surface, we will need your help to spread the message of truth about these dangerous changes. Stay tuned, and let us know if you see a similar billboard in your community!

UPDATE: There are currently 5 Billboards in Rapid City, 1 in Sturgis, & 1 in Ft. Pierre

A Victory for Religious Liberty

Justice for Jack

That collective “Praise God” you heard on Monday morning came from the body of Christ, His Church, in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Jack Phillips. The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was brought by Jack Phillips, its owner. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission sought to force the cake shop to employ its considerable artistic talents to craft a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage.

Family Heritage Alliance Action, along with 31 other Family Policy Councils nationwide, signed onto an amicus brief on September 17, 2017 in support of Jack and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

The facts in this case are simple and painfully clear. Jack Phillips determined that he must not, consistent with the tenets of his faith, use his artistic talents to design and bake a cake that would celebrate the union of a man and a man. For Jack, his participation in celebrating this union would render him culpable before God.

While the verbiage of the decision will be dissected, parsed and spun I want to share with you, in part, a message I received from a fellow family policy council director, Allen Whitt of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.

Allen wrote:

“Jesus and Mohamed was both full of hate against the LGBTQAI community. And all of you following your skydaddy are using that silly myth to damage LGBTQAI citizens.” Robin Gomez , City Manager, Fairmont, West Virginia

I know it’s all our tendency to pick apart rulings and good news because we know the other shoe usually drops. But I share the above heinous quote that was spat into my face during a recent legislative battle for the following reason. 

My fellow warriors, today’s decision sends a clear message to Robin Gomez and all the others in your states. Do that again to a business owner of faith and we, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, will stop it!

The hostility expressed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the City Manager of Fairmont, West Virginia is becoming more common in the public sphere and is entirely unacceptable. It was a significant issue for the Court in this matter. This should remind us that we are to be salt and light while boldly defending our religious freedoms. This decision rightfully affirms that tolerance is a two-way street.

Praise God indeed. He has once again blessed all Americans of faith!!!

-Ed Randazzo

Click Here to read a further explanation of the victory from Alliance Defending Freedom

AB2943 Forces Summit Ministries out of California

Jeff Myers, May 1 2018

When I heard about the California Assembly bill AB2943, I thought “So this is the kind of trick leftists pull when they have a veto-proof majority in a state legislature.”

But when AB2943 actually passed the California house, I got chills. The bill, which is nearly certain to pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor, includes a prohibition on “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

Bottom line: AB2943 is a dog whistle to the left that Christians holding traditional views are fair game for discrimination, smears and frivolous lawsuits. It denies constitutional protection to those who hold traditional views of sexuality and marriage.

With this legislation looming, I decided to suspend our California conference and arrange for registrants to join us at one of our other locations. Summit will not bend God’s truth to accommodate the state of California. Nor can we put our students, staff, and faculty at risk.

Fortunately, we are still free to present our conferences in 49 states – and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Plus, we’re doing everything we can to mobilize our California alumni to demand that their representatives stop attacking free speech and freedom of religion. Our friends at the California Family Policy Council have excellent resources that explain the next legislative steps Californians can take.

Do not be fooled. This insanity is coming to every state: Iowa, Arizona, Florida—all of them. We must be on guard and work toward restoring common-sense governance.

Send your best young people to Summit this summer and we’ll equip them to stand with you. Why would we watch idly as freedom is attacked generation after generation when we can put a stop to it by training godly leaders?

People have asked about the financial impact of leaving California. It’s not cheap. Many California families are financially-strapped and I’ve committed to buy airplane tickets for every student who needs help to relocate. If you can chip in, I’d be grateful. Your financial partnership helps us train and walk alongside those who love Jesus and love liberty.

Please watch the urgent 80-second video message I recorded to explain this crazy controversy.

We will not leave our friends in California behind, and we will provide a way for these students to still experience Summit at one of our other locations. Please read the full press release. Let’s fight together, shall we? When everything we believe is being attacked, it’s time to stand.

Cheering for you,

–Jeff

Jeff Myers, Ph.D. President

Family Research Council Praises House Passage of Conscience Protection Act

Used by permission from Family Research Council

Editor’s note:  Family Heritage Alliance Action would like to recognize our U.S. Representative  Kristi Noem for her YES vote on this!

Kristi_Noem_portraitWASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conscience Protection Act to stop government discrimination against pro-life Americans who object to being forced to participate in abortion. Family Research Council urged Congress to pass this significant pro-life legislation.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“Only one day after the Republican Party’s platform committee adopted a plank protecting conscience rights, the House of Representatives stepped in to do the same. I applaud the House for voting to codify longstanding federal conscience protections, and to give pro-life victims of government discrimination the right to sue in court. No person, organization or healthcare provider should ever be forced by the government to participate in the abhorrent act of abortion.

“Since the federal Department of Health and Human Services has dragged its feet and is now ignoring the federal law, known as the Weldon Amendment, this legislation is necessary to enable victims of government discrimination over their pro-life views, including churches, doctors, and nurses, to pursue legal action against the state for violating their consciences. The Conscience Protection Act is about basic fairness for everyone.

“I want to thank Rep. John Fleming, M.D. in particular for his work drafting this legislation, and Rep. Diane Black for sponsoring it. Also, our thanks go to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Leader Kevin McCarthy for bringing this bill to a vote, and to Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Joe Pitts for their tireless work on this legislation. Now that the Conscience Protection Act has passed the House, we are one step closer to providing judicial relief from California’s unlawful and discriminatory abortion mandate. We are one step closer to ensuring that if the federal government and states discriminate against pro-life health care providers and even churches which object to abortion they can sue to obtain relief. I urge the Senate to follow the House’s example and pass this legislation and force President Obama to decide whether the freedom to believe still has a place in American society,” concluded Perkins.