FHA Action Endorses Kristi Noem

South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance Action Endorses Kristi Noem for Governor of South Dakota

Having already served in the South Dakota House, Kristi Noem burst on the statewide political scene in her 2010 U. S. House campaign against a popular Democrat incumbent. Her perfect pro-life, pro-family record and an unshakeable faith in Almighty God was evident in her campaign and the people of South Dakota responded approvingly.

Over her nearly eight years of service in Congress, she has enhanced her perfect record of advocacy for issues of Faith, Family & Freedom.

Kristi’s outspoken support for life from conception to natural death, her consistent work to strengthen families while walking-the-walk of exemplary parenthood herself and her steadfast defense of freedom in the public square caused Family Heritage Alliance to recognize her as the recipient of the William Wilberforce Elected Leadership Award in 2014.

Her long record of standing for His righteousness with grace and her commitment to her Family First Initiative has made FHA Action’s choice easy; we enthusiastically endorse Kristi Noem for Governor of South Dakota.

 

Continuing the WDT Discussion

There is a growing number of people in the Rapid City area that are concerned with the addition of gender identity into the policies of Western Dakota Tech. On September 17 the Rapid City School Board voted 4-3 to add gender identity into the list of classes mentioned in policy #2005. Although the motive was understandable, the unintended consequences could be harmful.

A number of local Church-based Culture Impact Teams are concerned about the passage of this policy, and are committed to respectfully asking for the policy to be changed back. If you are interested in making your voice heard on this issue, you can still sign the petition we created and the public is always welcome to attend the school board meetings. Click here for the School Board Schedule, attend any or all of them! We are not asking for a large number of presenters at each meeting, but rather a large group of people, with one person simply expressing the concern of the group.

Click here for the original petition

School Board Meeting Schedule

Policy #2005

Norman’s Letter to the Board

Talking points from Ed Randazzo

Email the School Board

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

Laying the Groundwork for a SOGI

Recently, we have noticed a billboard in Rapid City that seems innocuous enough at first. But when you visit the website noted it is clear that its purpose is to promote LGBT individuals as a legal protected class in South Dakota.

It showcases a LGBT couple, Crystal and Amanda, who claim to have been the victims of discrimination because Crystal is male but has “transitioned” to female. The website seeks to influence states to enact laws making LGBT individuals a protected class. It is quite possible that effort may be forthcoming in South Dakota, promoted by organizations and interests outside South Dakota, to enact “sexual orientation or gender identity” (SOGI) laws which would then include LGBT individuals as a protected class.

These laws create new rights based on sexual behavior and identity, placing those rights at the same level as other freedoms, such as speech, religion and association. This inevitably leads to conflict with those who hold a Biblical view of sexuality that will increasingly find their voices marginalized and eventually banned from the public square.

FRC Call to Action – HHS Defending Life

Tony Perkins, July 11, 2018

President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is trying to defend life! HHS issued a proposed change to the existing regulations governing the Title X family planning program. Right now programs can receive Title X money even if they perform or refer for abortions in the same location as their Title X activities. This means Planned Parenthood clinics, many of which perform abortions, are being subsidized by taxpayer dollars! This proposed rule will make sure that taxpayer dollars stay out of the abortion industry and will protect the Title X program from subsidizing abortion.

President Trump’s HHS needs you to provide public comment supportive of this regulatory fix, since liberal groups are criticizing the rule because they want the government to continue to subsidize abortion across the nation!

When Congress created the Title X family planning program nearly 50 years ago, it was never intended to subsidize the abortion industry. The federal Title X law even states that money cannot go to programs that use abortion as a method of family planning. President Reagan put regulations into place that upheld these statutes, by ensuring all Title X funds had to be physically and financially separate from all abortion activities, including referrals. Despite the protests from the abortion lobby, Reagan’s regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991. Unfortunately, when President Clinton was elected, he changed the Title X regulations once again, allowing Title X recipients to perform abortions at the same location, and even requiring that all Title X recipients provide abortion referrals. As a result, Title X has been pouring millions of dollars into the abortion industry for decades. Planned Parenthood alone receives $60 million annually from the Title X program.

President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are working to put a stop to taxpayers being forced is indirectly subsidize abortion. The proposed rule put forward by HHS would once again require Title X recipients, if they also perform abortions, to do so in a separate physical location, and would remove the mandate for abortion referrals. This would allow pro-life organizations that do not refer for abortion to apply for Title X funds.

The proposed rule would also require Title X clinics to abide by state reporting laws for rape and abuse in order to put a stop to the exploiting of young women and girls, many of whom are brought to Title X clinics for contraception and abortion by their abusers. The proposed rule would ensure that these girls will be protected and their abusers brought to justice.

We need your help! To ensure that this proposed rule receives public support, please submit this comment to thank HHS for their efforts and encourage them to continue their defense of the inalienable right to life.
To submit comments to HHS, please go to this link.

Tony Perkins,
President, Family Research Council

President Trump Nominates Judge Kavanaugh

President Trump promised to appoint justices committed to faithfully interpreting the Constitution of the United States as the Founders intended. His nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record reflects that commitment. We commend President Trump for this excellent pick.

We are hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the First Amendment and the original public meaning of the Constitution. His extensive judicial record demonstrates that he understands that power under our Constitution ultimately rests with the American people, and that it is the structure of our Constitution that protects our liberties.

At a 2006 administrative law conference, Judge Kavanaugh described how he rejects judicial activism: “The judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to make the law or make policy.” A defender of religious liberty, just last year he dissented from his court’s ruling that the Washington, D.C. transit authority could ban religiously themed advertisements, including a Christmas ad; he called the policy “pure discrimination” and “odious.” Judge Kavanaugh has also defended the traditional role of religion and prayer in the public square, vigorously arguing in Newdow v. Roberts (2010) for the Constitutionality of prayers at government ceremonies and the phrase “so help me God” in the Presidential Oath of Office

Like President Trump’s recent appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch, Judge Kavanaugh is a person of impeccable character, extraordinary qualifications, independence, and fairness. He received bipartisan support in the Senate in his last confirmation and deserves no less now. Judge Kavanaugh will be another great justice.

We appreciate President Trump’s continued transparency and principled process for choosing the next Supreme Court nominee, and are pleased with his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

 

Are You Ready for the Schumer Storm?

On Monday July 9th, President Trump will reveal his choice to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States. As he is doing so, U.S. Senate Democrats will viciously attack whomever he chooses.

First, they will demand that the Senate’s Advice and Consent should not even be taken up until after the November general elections. When they come to the realization that their delay tactic will not prevail, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will launch the opening salvos of the Schumer Storm.

Schumer’s hue and cry will be that the Senate must interrogate the nominee as to their legal “doctrine.” He will orchestrate the ideological testing of the President’s nominee.

A little history here is worth mentioning. There is no constitutional precedent for subjecting judicial choices to a senatorial third degree. No Supreme Court appointee was even interrogated by the Senate until 1925, and committee questioning was irregular until it became standard confirmation practice in 1955.

But then there is the “Ginsburg Standard.”

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she still serves today. Six years earlier, conservative Robert Bork was denied confirmation when hostile questioners drew him into a debate on judicial philosophy. But Judge Ginsburg was up to the challenge at her Judiciary Committee interrogation.

Judge Ginsburg said in her remarks:

“You are well aware that I come to this proceeding to be judged as a judge, not as an advocate. Because I am and hope to continue to be a judge, it would be wrong for me to say or to preview in this legislative chamber how I would cast my vote on questions the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide. Were I to rehearse here what I would say and how I would reason on such questions, I would act injudiciously.

Judges in our system are bound to decide concrete cases, not abstract issues. Each case comes to court based on particular facts and its decision should turn on those facts and the governing law, stated and explained in light of the particular arguments the parties or their representatives present. A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”

The Judiciary Committee and the Senate should examine the appointee on the basis of their qualifications, especially on their written record of their judicial rulings, briefs and articles, not on their judicial philosophy or anticipated leanings on specific issues.

President Trump’s appointee would be well advised to adopt the “Ginsburg Standard” in the face of the Schumer Storm.

Board of Regents Free Speech Hearing

During the hearings for HB1073 and SB198 this last legislative session, it was mentioned several times that the policy fixes being discussed should be taken care of at a more local level. Namely, the Board of Regents policies and several of the South Dakota University policies. Thursday was the first significant step towards that goal. Near the end of the committee hearing on SB198 Senator Soholt explained that she would be voting against the bill, but that the Board of Regents needed to take a serious look at the policies and practices of our universities. Senator Bolin made similar remarks, explaining that in South Dakota we are in the habit of letting local control work the problems out.

The free-speech hearing was added into a two-day board meeting by the Regents on the campus of South Dakota State University. They gave opportunity for testimony from University faculty, students as well as national experts. The overall flavor of the hearing: let’s tweak what we have and get it right. The Chicago Statement was mentioned by several of those giving testimony, as well as several board members as a good standard to glean from. One concept outlined in the statement that was discussed throughout the hearing is that the proper response to a message someone deems offensive or even abhorrent is more speech, not censorship.

Blake Meadows with Alliance Defending Freedom outlined 5 common miss-steps they have seen by universities: Misunderstanding who qualifies as a State actor, granting too much power to administrators, vague or unconstitutional policies, speech zones and limiting equal access or expressive association. Tyler Coward with The F.I.R.E. recommended ensuring that all university harassment policies are in line with Davis v. Monroe.

A few other key points made during the hearing:

-Many messages are controversial, but the right to express them must be protected if we value free-speech.

-Controversial speakers and events may result in the need for significant security costs. It was expressed that charging the student groups or the speaker an extra security fee because of this fact may be a barrier to that groups right to present their message.

-Universities in South Dakota aren’t significantly hampering free speech on their campuses, but they are modifying the definition of it and have policies that may prove unconstitutional.

-It is not the role of a University to shield students from views or messages.

-Security fees should be charged based off a viewpoint-neutral standard, and allowing campus and local police the ability to act will often times reduce the potential for a problem.

-Actions that cause damage are illegal, but words, no matter how offensive, are not actions.

-We should not wait until we have a significant event that outlines problematic policies, we should fix them beforehand.

-Including an explanation of free-speech rights in student orientation may be a low-cost way to increase understanding on the issue.

The next step is for the Board to examine their policies and compile possible fixes. They expressed a desire to send the verbiage changes to the major stakeholders for input/advice before they finalize the new policies.

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