Important Announcement from the Marion County Republican Chairman

Dear Indy Republicans,
On January 8th of this year I was fortunate to have been elected to serve as your Marion County GOP Chairman.  As you all know, the Marion County Republican Party is incredibly important to me.  The Marion County GOP brought me to Indianapolis – under former Chair Tom John in 2008.  Over more than a decade I have worked alongside you and we’ve built incredible relationships.

 

On that Tuesday night at Dallara, I envisioned my tenure with Marion County being measured in years, not months.  The lobby was filled with hundreds of passionate and dedicated volunteers who represent what is great about organizations – political or otherwise.  I was and remain humbled by the support shown by each of you and have always viewed that trust as a blessing.

 

Fast forward seven months and I am pleased with where we are.  We’ve built a strong and experienced team of candidates poised to reclaim the top offices in our county and return Indianapolis to a city of solutions, not just questions.  We have a terrific team of Township Chairmen focused on strengthening each township and supporting candidates at every level. Our new Executive Director brings great knowledge and relationships to our team and is committed to supporting candidates and volunteers.  We have incorporated new and more effective technologies to maximize the time of each and every volunteer.  Last but not least, we have the support of a generous and diverse donor network that sees the opportunities that lie ahead and believes in our mission and our plan.

 

As much as I value my role as Chairman, I’ve been presented with a professional opportunity that will demand more of my time, and will unfortunately leave me less time to focus on my duties to our party. Therefore, with a heavy heart, I will be resigning as Chairman of the Marion County Republican Central Committee effective July 30.

 

This is not a decision that has been made quickly or easily.  This decision does not change my belief in or my commitment to our Party.  I am confident that we will elect a new chair who will keep our commitment to strengthening our grassroots network, ensure our candidates represent the people of their districts and will deliver every technological and tactical advantage to our team.

 

We will be successful this November and will build upon that momentum in 2020.

Sincerely,
Bryce Carpenter
Chairman, Marion County GOP

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AFAIN: Alert Dangerous Bill in Senate; IN House Race Update

Let Indiana’s Senators Know that Religious Discrimination is Wrong

The US Senate may soon consider a misnamed bill called the “Equality Act.”  This dangerous legislation has already been passed by the US House.  It has 45 co-sponsors in the US Senate.  It only needs 51 votes to pass.

My national office has reviewed this legislation and warned that, “The deceptive Equality Act is a religious liberty wrecking ball.”

It would be hard to imagine a more anti-freedom bill than this one. This legislation would allow the government to discriminate against people of faith, ignoring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and forcing people to violate their consciences or face the full weight of government punishment.

Here are just a few of the many problems the “Equality Act” could cause if enacted:

  • It would force many faith-based organizations to pay for abortion in their health care plans by creating a right to demand abortion coverage from health care providers.

 

  •  It could force Christian schools, ministries, and churches to change employment policies that are currently aligned with traditional teachings on sex, gender, marriage and human sexuality.

 

  •  It would harm faith-based charities, such as adoption agencies, that believe in natural marriage and strive to place foster or adoptive children with a mother and father.

 

  •   It would embolden those in Indiana who have been attempting to harm our school voucher system by targeting Christian schools that have employment policies consistent with their religious beliefs on sexual morality.

 

  •  It could threaten the privacy and safety of women and children by forcing genderless bathrooms and showers upon sporting facilities, parks, rest areas and other public amenities.

 

  •   It could force schools to allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports if those males claim gender confusion or have a gender identity disorder.

Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun need to hear from you.   Ask them to protect religious freedom by voting “No” on the so-called “Equality Act.”

Senator Todd Young
(202) 224-5623
E-mail:  www.young.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mike Braun
(202) 224-4814
E-mail: www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike

Retirement Announcement Shakes Up Indiana Politics

As you probably know, 5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks has announced that she will not run for re-election next year.   This district covers northern Marion County and includes all of Hamilton, Tipton, Madison and Grant counties, and parts of Blackford, Howard and Boone Counties.

The district, long held by conservative leader Dan Burton, has shifted a lot with the changing demographics of Marion and Hamilton Counties.  In terms of voters, the district is about 75% urban or heavily suburban and 25% rural.  Rep. Brooks won this district with only 55% in her last run.  Democrat Joe Donnelly won this district, though not his race for Senate.   It is still a district that though perhaps not ranked “solid Republican” anymore, strongly leans Republican.

I almost never do this, but I am going to list names I have heard considering running, along with my comment, as a descriptor, not an endorsement for or against any candidate.  There may be other names yet to emerge and some I mention here may or may not ultimately run.  This will be an expensive and heated race.

The only name I have heard mentioned on the Democrat side is speculative.  It is former Indiana state representative Christina Hale.  She could potentially be a strong candidate for the Democrats.

On the Republican side there are many people reportedly considering a run.   In no particular order, here are some of those names.

Former State Senator, and soon to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, Mike Delph, has been a personal friend of mine for two decades going back to when he was Chief of Staff for Dan Burton.   Mike would likely have very strong support among the conservative base of the GOP.  Mike has state, congressional, and military experience that could appeal to many GOP voters throughout the district.

Current state Senator John Ruckleshaus is another name being mentioned.  I’ve known him for years in the legislature.   He would seem to have support among the establishment GOP.  I use that term in a positive way.  John is a standard, rank and file moderate Republican with what I would consider to be both good and bad votes cast.  For many politicians with this description, this would mean that neither the left nor the right would like him, but I don’t sense this with Ruckleshaus.  He is a very likeable person.  I am not sure how to assess his strengths.  It may depend upon how he is defined in this race by himself or by his opponents.

I met Micah Beckwith a few weeks ago, before Brooks’ announcement.  He was considering challenging Brooks due to a series of liberal votes she has accumulated. Micah is an energetic outsider who serves as a worship leader on staff at Northview Church, the largest Church in Hamilton County.  He may have the hardest path as a dark horse candidate without any political office in his resume, but he is certainly very capable of making an impact on this race.

Former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard would seemingly have a strong base in the Marion County portion of the district and name ID that stretches into Hamilton County. Also, if there is a Susan Collins or Jeff Flake wing of the GOP here, Ballard could own it.  The Republican candidates I have mentioned so far all pass the litmus test of being pro-life. Ballard may not meet that criteria. Ideologically, Ballard would seem to appeal to those uncomfortable with Trump and the more liberal wing of the GOP. . . but that doesn’t mean that he cannot win in a crowded field in the May primary.

Another name I have heard, but not seen in the news yet, is Kelly Mitchell.  She might have a big chunk of the structured party support given her position as the current Indiana State Treasurer.  Her position on issues before the US Congress are mostly unknown.

I have also heard that the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff is interested in running.  I believe that is still Megan Savage who has served Chief of Staff since 2015 and as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County prior to this position.  She would seem to naturally inherit some of Brooks base of support, if she runs.

In Their Own Words:

 “You can’t have a limited government if the family breaks down.”  – Former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum

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and Freedom in 2019!

There are 2 ways to support AFA of Indiana:

Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

OR Make a secure donation at https://afain.net/donation

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AFA-IN: New Polling on Religious Freedom, IN Abortion law Ruling

What Do Americans Think of Religious Freedom and the Constitution?

Last week, I mentioned an extensive new poll conducted by the Barna polling firm. I noted the hostility liberals have toward religious freedom and Christianity that was revealed repeatedly in the poll.

Barna’s poll involved over 70 questions covering constitutional terms, and phrases, religious terms, and feelings regarding monuments and public displays of religious content.

Every three years I have surveyed AFA of Indiana donors to see how we are doing as a policy organization and advocate.   The results have been fairly consistent, but in the last two surveys the top issue of concern switched from abortion to religious freedom.  For this reason, Barna’s new research is of particular interest to me.

I have been digging into seven components of the study and over 30 pages of results and conclusions.  Here are some of the findings of this unique national survey of US adults.

There is some significant ignorance of the U.S. Constitution that mirrors the media and cultural narrative in some ways.  (The younger the person, the less knowledge they have.)  For example, a high percentage of Americans (38%), did not know that the term “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in our founding document.

On a more positive note, nearly eight out of ten (77%) said the following statement is true:  “The U.S. Constitution gives American citizens the freedom to experience and express their faith without government interference of any kind.”

Seventy-five percent agreed with this statement:  “The Founding Fathers never intended for anything in the U.S. Constitution to hinder the free practice, expression, or experience of religion.”

Eight out of ten (81%) agreed with: “The sections of the U.S. Constitution regarding religion are meant to promote religious freedom, not to create religious penalties and punishments.”  

The survey also tested reactions to twenty religious and historic terms.  The responses by demographics and ideological differences was often interesting.   Four of the terms had very strong positive responses in which ideological differences had the smallest gap.

Liberty 83%
Freedom 80%
Religious Freedom 78%
Free Exercise of Religion 76%

Other terms’ responses also received positive reactions such as:

War Heroes 73%
Jesus Christ  72%
Faith 72%
One Nation Under God  72%
In God We Trust  69%   (our national motto)

The most ideological polarizing words and phrases were “Christian” which had a 39-point positive response difference between conservatives and liberals, “military” (33-point gap), “faith” (32-point gap), “Jesus Christ” (30-point gap), “Founding Fathers” (28-point gap) and “religion” (26-point gap).

Here are some of those specific wide differences in positive response:

Conservative                 Liberal

Christian             77%                    38%
Religion               67%                    41%
In God we trust    83%                    49%
Military                83%                    50%
Religious Liberty   69%                    54%
Founding Fathers  86%                    58%

In contrast, the terms “separation of church and state” and “humanist” were embraced by most liberals, but were rejected by a majority of conservatives as well as moderates.

Many cultural observers have noted the lack of faith among Millennials.  The words and phrases that particularly bother this young demographic are “atheist” (although they had the most positive rating of any generation for that word), “Christian” (only 48% see this term positively), “constitutional”, “military”, “Founding Fathers”, “humanist”, and “in God we trust.”

The term “secularism” and “atheist” had the most negative response across all demographic generations, with both terms receiving below 30% positive reactions.

Next week, I will reveal what Americans think of monuments and public displays with religious content, as well as religious speech, behavior and patriotic displays in the public square.  I will also include survey results to questions about public controversy and views on legal attempts to remove such things.

Indiana Law Goes Before the U.S. Supreme Court

As you may have heard, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling on an Indiana abortion law that AFA-IN supported in 2016.  The justices overturned a 7thCircuit ruling blocking a law allowing for the humane disposal, burial or cremation of an aborted child.

Largely unreported in this story was the background testimony before the Indiana General Assembly about local abortion clinics simply pouring the remains of children down drains or throwing them in the trash.

Senator Liz Brown noted, “This law creates rules for how to appropriately dispose of aborted fetal remains. Establishing standards brings respect to the woman, abortion staff and the aborted child. These standards require the facility to dispose of the baby’s remains properly, unless the woman chooses to bury her baby.”

The law was also passed in response to reports of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, selling aborted baby parts.

The Court recognized that this law in no way hinders a woman’s “right” to abortion, which explains the strong 7-2 ruling.

However, that also explains why the court also let stand a ruling blocking another law (over the strong objection of Justice Clarence Thomas) that AFA-IN also supported.  That law prohibited abortion for the reason of a child’s race, sex, skin color or fetal abnormality such as Down Syndrome.   One analyst described this as “a lethal discrimination.”

It seems clear that the court has no interest in chipping away at Roe v. Wade right now.  In my view, those hoping that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe  when ruling on Alabama’s law or several other states are going to be disappointed.  I suspect, based upon yesterday’s actions, they will let lower court rulings blocking these states stand, thereby punting on the question.

However, it is still possible that the court could revisit this question of discrimination or the use of abortion as a method of eugenics – giving birth only to a specific type of child based upon certain desired characteristics.

In Their Own Words:

“This law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics . . . Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is dutybound to address its scope.”  – Justice Clarence Thomas, Box v. Planned Parenthood, May 28, 2019

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and Freedom in 2019!

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Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

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AFA-IN Vote on In-Equality, Middle Class Mobility, Divorce & Men

US House Passes Dangerous In-Equality Act 

As you know, on Friday the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5 on a vote of 236 to 173.   Every Democrat supported the bill that would punish people of faith who do not bow to the politics of the LGBT movement.    Eight Republican members voted for this legislation, including Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks.

Among other things, H.R. 5 would undermine many legal precedents and exclusions including the Hobby Lobby decision that protected businesses from having to pay for abortion in their health care plans.  H.R. 5 would also force businesses to pay for gender reassignment services in health care plans.   It would also impact Christian school and college employment policies regarding human sexuality.  It would implement affirmative action policies for those who identify as homosexual or transgender.  H.R. 5 would also turn many school sports programs upside down by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sporting events and to use their locker rooms and showers.

The bill was so extreme and punitive that even some supporters of the LGBT movement opposed the bill.   University of Virginia law professor, Douglas Laycock, a supporter of same-sex marriage, told National Review that H.R. 5 would “crush” conscientious objectors. He explained its sinister nature in this way:

“It goes very far to stamp out religious exemptions. . . It regulates religious non-profits, and then it says that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not apply to any claim under the Equality Act.  This would be the first time Congress has limited the reach of RFRA.  This is not a good faith attempt to reconcile competing interests.  It is an attempt by one side to grab all the disputed territory and to crush the other side.”

Not a single Democrat anywhere in the US House stood up for religious freedom in this vote.  Indiana Congressman Peter Visclosky, a co-sponsor of the legislation, told those who called his office that he supported H.R. 5 because he “is strongly opposed to all forms of discrimination.”   Of course, that is a total lie since H.R. 5 blatantly discriminates against millions of people of faith and any ministries, charities, non-profits or businesses run by them.

This confirms a new poll from George Barna on religious freedom which finds deep animosity toward faith, particularly toward Christians, among liberals.  When asked about 20 different religious terms liberals had the most visceral negative reaction to the term “Christianity” and the one of the most positive reactions to the term “humanist.”    Only 38% view the term Christian positively, compared to 77% of those identifying as conservative.  That was the largest gap (39 points) among the differing worldviews in the “terms perceived as positive by respondent’s ideology” segment of the poll.

Hopefully the Senate leadership will reject even considering H.R. 5 as a viable bill.   President Trump has expressed his opposition to the bill, but we will need to be ready to contact Indiana Senators Young and Braun about this legislation.

An Underreported Story of Racial Stereotypes

Some recent Census Bureau data may surprise some who have a certain view of African-American males that is often upheld in the media and pop culture.  Today, more than one-in-two black males in America (57%) have made it into the middle class or higher as adults.  This is up from just 38% in 1960.  The share of black men who are poor has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18% today.

While economic employment is a key to this success, there are other factors that are often overlooked.   Marriage is one of those keys. Seventy percent of married black men are in the middle class, compared to only 20% of never-married black men. Church is another factor.  Black men who frequently attended church services at a young age are more likely to reach the middle class or higher when they are in their fifties: 53% of those men who attended church as young men made it to that level, compared to 43% who did not.   Military service has a positive impact too. Black men who served in the military are more likely to be in the middle class when they reach mid-life (54% vs. 45%) than those who did not serve.

As for the criminal justice system and black males, only 28% of black men who had contact with the criminal justice system when they were young have moved into the middle or upper class, whereas 52% of black men who had no contact with the criminal justice system at a younger age were in the middle class or higher.

In short, a very significant portion of black men in America are realizing the American Dream, most are not in poverty.  As with all demographic groups, marriage and faith are positive components.

Divorce Hurts . . . Men Too

Many years ago, I wrote an extensive report on the subject of divorce titled “Shattered Dreams.”   I can remember after it’s release spending several hours with a radio show host named Mike Pence discussing the research included in the nearly 40-page booklet.

Even in the 1990s there was a mountain of research on the societal costs of divorce and the impact of no-fault laws.    The impact upon women, men and children has been well documented over the last forty years.   Divorce often leads to negative economic harms for women and educational harms for children.  We have all heard many of those studies and statistics.

A study from Binghampton University in New York looks at an often overlooked negative outcome for men.   The study finds that while many women get hurt and recover, many men get hurt in a divorce and never recover.     The study finds that while women may hurt more emotionally at the time of the breakup, men tend to regret divorce more than women do, and they take much longer to recover.  Some never fully recover, they simply move on.

Most divorces are filed by women. It is likely that women are more divorce minded and farther down the emotional road than the man who may be surprised by the disruption or the sudden reality of the dissolution of the marriage.

One theory is that divorce is a bigger blow to a man’s ego of which his relationship status plays a part as the relationship initiator, breadwinner, etc.  Another theory is that women tend to have a larger emotional support group than their husband and thus they may bounce back faster or better because of this.

Obviously, this study involving 5,705 participants in 96 countries is a general finding.  Many people, male or female, recover from divorce. Yet, it is hard to argue that in most cases, particularly when there is no physical violence involved, easy divorce has been a good thing for society.

In Their Own Words:

“Turning a blind eye to evil, however, doesn’t make it disappear. It allows it to grow. And those who allow evil to grow in order to protect their own convenience will be held accountable for the end results of the evil they facilitate.” — Ben Shapiro

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Help us Defend Faith, Family
and Freedom in 2019!

There are 2 ways to support AFA of Indiana:

Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

OR Make a secure donation at https://afain.net/donation

Copyright © 2019 AFA of Indiana, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website or at one of our events.

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AFA-IN Vote on In-Equality, Middle Class Mobility, Divorce & Men

US House Passes Dangerous In-Equality Act 

As you know, on Friday the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5 on a vote of 236 to 173.   Every Democrat supported the bill that would punish people of faith who do not bow to the politics of the LGBT movement.    Eight Republican members voted for this legislation, including Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks.

Among other things, H.R. 5 would undermine many legal precedents and exclusions including the Hobby Lobby decision that protected businesses from having to pay for abortion in their health care plans.  H.R. 5 would also force businesses to pay for gender reassignment services in health care plans.   It would also impact Christian school and college employment policies regarding human sexuality.  It would implement affirmative action policies for those who identify as homosexual or transgender.  H.R. 5 would also turn many school sports programs upside down by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sporting events and to use their locker rooms and showers.

The bill was so extreme and punitive that even some supporters of the LGBT movement opposed the bill.   University of Virginia law professor, Douglas Laycock, a supporter of same-sex marriage, told National Review that H.R. 5 would “crush” conscientious objectors. He explained its sinister nature in this way:

“It goes very far to stamp out religious exemptions. . . It regulates religious non-profits, and then it says that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not apply to any claim under the Equality Act.  This would be the first time Congress has limited the reach of RFRA.  This is not a good faith attempt to reconcile competing interests.  It is an attempt by one side to grab all the disputed territory and to crush the other side.”

Not a single Democrat anywhere in the US House stood up for religious freedom in this vote.  Indiana Congressman Peter Visclosky, a co-sponsor of the legislation, told those who called his office that he supported H.R. 5 because he “is strongly opposed to all forms of discrimination.”   Of course, that is a total lie since H.R. 5 blatantly discriminates against millions of people of faith and any ministries, charities, non-profits or businesses run by them.

This confirms a new poll from George Barna on religious freedom which finds deep animosity toward faith, particularly toward Christians, among liberals.  When asked about 20 different religious terms liberals had the most visceral negative reaction to the term “Christianity” and the one of the most positive reactions to the term “humanist.”    Only 38% view the term Christian positively, compared to 77% of those identifying as conservative.  That was the largest gap (39 points) among the differing worldviews in the “terms perceived as positive by respondent’s ideology” segment of the poll.

Hopefully the Senate leadership will reject even considering H.R. 5 as a viable bill.   President Trump has expressed his opposition to the bill, but we will need to be ready to contact Indiana Senators Young and Braun about this legislation.

An Underreported Story of Racial Stereotypes

Some recent Census Bureau data may surprise some who have a certain view of African-American males that is often upheld in the media and pop culture.  Today, more than one-in-two black males in America (57%) have made it into the middle class or higher as adults.  This is up from just 38% in 1960.  The share of black men who are poor has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18% today.

While economic employment is a key to this success, there are other factors that are often overlooked.   Marriage is one of those keys. Seventy percent of married black men are in the middle class, compared to only 20% of never-married black men. Church is another factor.  Black men who frequently attended church services at a young age are more likely to reach the middle class or higher when they are in their fifties: 53% of those men who attended church as young men made it to that level, compared to 43% who did not.   Military service has a positive impact too. Black men who served in the military are more likely to be in the middle class when they reach mid-life (54% vs. 45%) than those who did not serve.

As for the criminal justice system and black males, only 28% of black men who had contact with the criminal justice system when they were young have moved into the middle or upper class, whereas 52% of black men who had no contact with the criminal justice system at a younger age were in the middle class or higher.

In short, a very significant portion of black men in America are realizing the American Dream, most are not in poverty.  As with all demographic groups, marriage and faith are positive components.

Divorce Hurts . . . Men Too

Many years ago, I wrote an extensive report on the subject of divorce titled “Shattered Dreams.”   I can remember after it’s release spending several hours with a radio show host named Mike Pence discussing the research included in the nearly 40-page booklet.

Even in the 1990s there was a mountain of research on the societal costs of divorce and the impact of no-fault laws.    The impact upon women, men and children has been well documented over the last forty years.   Divorce often leads to negative economic harms for women and educational harms for children.  We have all heard many of those studies and statistics.

A study from Binghampton University in New York looks at an often overlooked negative outcome for men.   The study finds that while many women get hurt and recover, many men get hurt in a divorce and never recover.     The study finds that while women may hurt more emotionally at the time of the breakup, men tend to regret divorce more than women do, and they take much longer to recover.  Some never fully recover, they simply move on.

Most divorces are filed by women. It is likely that women are more divorce minded and farther down the emotional road than the man who may be surprised by the disruption or the sudden reality of the dissolution of the marriage.

One theory is that divorce is a bigger blow to a man’s ego of which his relationship status plays a part as the relationship initiator, breadwinner, etc.  Another theory is that women tend to have a larger emotional support group than their husband and thus they may bounce back faster or better because of this.

Obviously, this study involving 5,705 participants in 96 countries is a general finding.  Many people, male or female, recover from divorce. Yet, it is hard to argue that in most cases, particularly when there is no physical violence involved, easy divorce has been a good thing for society.

In Their Own Words:

“Turning a blind eye to evil, however, doesn’t make it disappear. It allows it to grow. And those who allow evil to grow in order to protect their own convenience will be held accountable for the end results of the evil they facilitate.” — Ben Shapiro

Share
Tweet
Forward

Help us Defend Faith, Family
and Freedom in 2019!

There are 2 ways to support AFA of Indiana:

Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

OR Make a secure donation at https://afain.net/donation

Copyright © 2019 AFA of Indiana, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website or at one of our events.

Our mailing address is:
AFA of Indiana

PO Box 40307

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Alert: Stop Religious Persecution – Call Your Legislator Today!

URGENT ALERT:
Vice President Pence’s Religious Persecution Warning is Already Here!

Hoosiers know that our own Mike Pence is one of the best orators in Washington, DC.  It was no surprise to hear the positive reviews the Vice President received from his commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday.   If you have not read about this, you can watch his outstanding address here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XwJ_xgRliE

The Vice President warned the graduates of America’s largest Christian university that if they live out their faith in a Biblically consistent manner, persecution is to be expected.     This is a truth every discerning Christian should understand today.  As Christ said in John 15:20, “A servant is not greater than his master.  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

Here is one of Pence’s comments:

        “Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs.  So, as you go about your daily life, just be ready.  Because you’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them.  You’re going to be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture. . .”

His words are prophetic.   This week, the US House is expected to vote on H.R. 5, the misnamed “Equality Act.”

As my national office has warned, “The deceptive “Equality Act” is a religious liberty wrecking ball.”

It would be hard to imagine a more anti-freedom bill than this one. This legislation would allow the government to discriminate against people of faith, bypassing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and forcing people to violate their consciences or face the full weight of state punishment.  I have often said that LGBT stands for “Let’s Get Behind Tyranny.”   H.R. 5 is proof of where the sexual anarchy agenda is going.

Here are just a few of the many problems H.R. 5 could cause if enacted:

  • H.R. 5 would force Christian schools, ministries and churches to change their employment policies that are aligned with traditional teachings on sex, gender, and human sexuality.

 

  • H.R. 5 would force many faith-based organizations to pay for abortion in their health care plans by creating a right to demand abortion coverage from health care providers.

 

  • H.R. 5 would harm faith-based charities, such as adoption agencies, that believe in natural marriage and strive to place foster or adoptive children with a mother and father.

 

  • H.R. 5 would embolden those in Indiana who have been attempting to destroy our school voucher system by undermining the teachings of Christian schools on sexual behavior that have employment policies consistent with those beliefs.

 

  • H.R. 5 threatens the privacy and safety of women and children by forcing genderless bathrooms and showers upon sporting facilities, parks, rest areas and other public amenities.

        Your US Representative needs to hear from you today.  Here is a list of the Indiana House delegation. Do not assume that your member will vote for or against this dangerous legislation.  Please contact them anyway.  Ask them to protect religious freedom by voting “No” on H.R. 5.

District Name Phone
1st Visclosky, Peter (202) 225-2461
2nd Walorski, Jackie (202) 225-3915
3rd Banks, Jim (202) 225-4436
4th Baird, James (202) 225-5037
5th Brooks, Susan W. (202) 225-2276
6th Pence, Greg (202) 225-3021
7th Carson, André (202) 225-4011
8th Bucshon, Larry (202) 225-4636
9th Hollingsworth, Trey (202) 225-5315

 

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AFA-IN: Mental Health and Church Attendance

Mental Health, Society and Family Breakdown

One of the issues in the recently concluded 2019 Indiana General Assembly surrounded mental health problems in schools.   As you may have read in our many email alerts, there was a heavy push to expand mental health exams, surveys, and outside referrals in schools.  Some proposals would have required all 330,000 high school students to go through a mental health assessment.  Another bill would have set up a massive database, tracking mental health issues and beliefs of all 900,000+ public school students in Indiana from birth through age 22.

AFA of Indiana had concerns with these efforts because the proponents of these measures often seemed to blame the family for all these problems and look to the government for all the solutions.  One legislator boldly stated in her presentation of a bill, that “we (teachers) have to be the parents now.”   

AFA-IN has never denied that there are mental health problems in society.  But we questioned the government’s ability to fix this problem without involving parents, the very cornerstone of healthy families and children. (The government’s track record on fixing any social ill is mediocre, at best.)   Blaming parents for children with mental health issues may undermine the foremost, front-line institution that students most need to succeed.

There is an interesting article on mental illness from the Institute for Family Studies that asks a fascinating question. What if modern society is undermining the very institutions such as marriage, faith and community that have long upheld a healthy citizenry?

Researcher David Lapp writes:

“Mental illness is like any other bodily illness” is a common thing we say—and, in many ways, it’s true.  But what if modern society is also sick, tearing apart organic groups meant to grow and stick together? A mom and dad for a child, an extended family and a community to shelter the nuclear unit, and a web of meaning and support surrounding those core communities. What if there is something about modern life and modern family structures that make our brains more vulnerable to mental illness

You can see Lapp’s research and read his article, “The Mind in a Lonely Age” here:
https://ifstudies.org/blog/the-mind-in-a-lonely-age

Religious Holidays Are Important to Society

AFA-IN supporters are a diverse group in many ways such as age, income, demographic backgrounds, religious and policy beliefs.   One thing that I really count as a blessing is that while there are times that I certainly express strong viewpoints, overall, I seldom receive harsh criticism from actual AFA-IN supporters.

There have been many times that I have hit the send button on these weekly emails wondering if I have doomed our future as an organization, worrying that we will lose donors by the droves after something I have written.  That has never happened, in fact, it seems that when I am angry with our culture or political leaders, many of you are even more upset and thankful that I wrote what you felt.

I certainly get more than my share of hatred from those who hold a liberal worldview regarding the stands we take. That’s just a reflection of our impact and the spiritual battles in which AFA-IN engages.  I take those things in stride.

Yet, I always appreciate hearing where I may be mistaken from our supporters.  Those who have held me accountable or had concerns about, or disagreements with, things I have said, have always been very gracious.  I have learned as much from our supporters as some may have learned from my writings.

I have often told my staff that after years of surveying AFA of Indiana supporters there is only one thing that they all have in common.  Almost every Sunday, they are in church. 

Two weeks ago, Americans celebrated the Easter holidy.  In fact, 80% of Americans celebrated Easter, though not all did so in a religious manner. Recent surveys showed that nearly half of all Americans had planned to attend church on Easter.  According to the National Retail Federation, total spending for Easter, including purchases of apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food, flowers and more, is more than $16 billion a year.

Clearly this religious holiday has a huge economic impact, but what impact does church attendance have?    Attending a religious service on Easter or Christmas, the two Holidays when churches see the highest attendance, may not be life or society changing by itself, but it is something important to consider.

I recently put together a fact sheet on the importance of church.  I intend to include this resource in a mailing this summer.  (If any pastor, church leader or reader would like a copy of this now, feel free to email me.)

If you have ever wondered how important churches are, and maybe you did after seeing the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, here are just a few interesting research findings.  These would also apply to regular attendance at temples, synagogues or mosques:

  • Couples who attend church regularly together and are more religious have, on average, higher-quality marriages, which can serve as a buffer against societal breakdown and the social ills connected with it.
  • Individuals who attend church regularly, compared to those who attend only rarely or never, are significantly less likely to engage in violent behavior against their partners.
  • Youth who participate in religious activity, such as prayer or reading or watching religious content, are less likely to display antisocial behavior.

Active faith matters to a healthy society.  It is something to be encouraged rather than denigrated or dismissed.

In Their Own Words:

“Human societies, like human beings, live by faith and die when faith dies.” – Whittaker Chambers

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Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

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Copyright © 2019 AFA of Indiana, All rights reserved.

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Legislature Ends this Week – What Happened for Families?

A Mad Dash to the End

The Indiana General Assembly is rushing to end the 2019 session today.   For those who support family values the session was mostly good.   We had several positive things happen, but to use a football analogy, there was a painful fumble on the goal line when a touchdown for families seemed eminent at the end of the fourth quarter, as the clock ran out.

We were fighting hard to protect Hoosier families from having their children given psychological exams in school without parental consent.   This battle for parental rights started when we began to see various bills heavily pushing mental health screenings, exams, and outside psychological counseling through the schools.

One bill that we did stop would have created a massive mental health data-tracking base of all 900,000+ Hoosier students from birth through age 22.   We raised concerns about data security and mislabeling a child for life.  Even editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel mocked this in an outstanding cartoon depicting a child on a psychologist’s couch in school worried about being mislabeled for life.

The Indiana Senate did an excellent job with the leadership of Senators Jeff Raatz, and Dennis Kruse, the chair and former chair of the Education Committee.   Together, they added the best parental rights language I had seen in 20 years into House Bill 1004.   It would simply have made sure that parents are consulted and adequately involved in these sensitive non-academic issues.    Nothing in their language prevented a teacher or guidance counselor from helping a child in a crisis or safety situation.

However, this language brought out into the open some anti-family and big government attitudes in its opponents.   In the final step of passage, the House author and another legislator, both former school administrators, removed this language in what I perceived to be an underhanded, misleading manner.   Many of our pro-family House members were actually led to believe that those actions were a positive step for families.

We had no control over what happened to HB 1004 behind closed doors on Monday and Tuesday.   In addition to the bill being controlled by a big government House Republican, time was also running out.

This was a huge disappointment, but it did bring to light the intentions that many legislators, state agencies, and lobbyists have for schools becoming an agent of psychological and values transformation under the guise of mental health or school safety.    Dozens more legislators now see the need for parental involvement in these efforts. 
Social conservative leaders and legislators will come back to this important issue next year.  Advance America and the Indiana Liberty Coalition were two of several groups that did an outstanding job educating many, and building a movement for this legislation.

At the bottom of this email is a good video from the Pioneer Institute explaining what we ran into this session in numerous bills, and why we wanted parents aware of and involved in these new mental health and values clarification efforts.

On the plus side, we had many legislative wins in the 2019 session.  Although it wasn’t needed due to the longstanding ability of Hoosier judges to enhance a sentence for any victim of a hate crime based upon our 2003 bias crime statute and a 2005 state supreme court ruling, we did prevent the legislature from passing a California-style hate crime law harming free speech or religious liberty.

We also saw the passage of two major pro-life bills, one protecting the rights of conscience for nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists regarding abortion.  The other bill bans the gruesome second-trimester dismemberment abortion procedure.

We also finally passed a bill requiring Indiana high school students to pass the same basic history and civics test that all new US citizens must pass, affirming the importance of civics education for graduates.

There was also a good welfare bill, which we supported, making it easier for the state to coordinate charity needs with churches wanting to help in this arena.

We also successfully protected the religious freedom of private schools through the defeat of efforts to force Christian schools to hire, (or be unable to fire), people embracing homosexual or transsexual lifestyles that contradict with the religious teachings of the school.

In spite of a growing presence of gun control advocates at the state house in the last few years, (backed by some national left-wing billionaires) there were also multiple pro-2nd Amendment bills passed this session.

Your support of AFA of Indiana had some very positive results this year.  Your phone calls and emails to legislators had a huge impact in the passage of many good bills and the blocking of many bad proposals.

As always, if you would like to donate to support the work we do all year long in defense of truth and the principles that support a strong society and a free people, you can see several options for a tax-deductible gift at this link: https://www.afain.net/donation/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=32&v=6RUstt5FAT8

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Help us Defend Faith, Family
and Freedom in 2019!

There are 2 ways to support AFA of Indiana:

Send a check or money order to: AFA of Indiana P.O. Box 40307 Indianapolis, IN 46240

OR Make a secure donation at https://afain.net/donation

Copyright © 2019 AFA of Indiana, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you opted in on our website or at one of our events.

Our mailing address is:
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PO Box 40307

Indianapolis, IN 46240-0307

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