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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Alert: Protect Parental Rights in House Bill 1004

Alert:
Protect Parental Rights – House Should Pass HB 1004 As Is

Last week, the Senate passed strong parental rights and student privacy language in House Bill 1004.

HB 1004 is a school safety bill.  It is one of several bills and amendments this session concerning mental health screening of students in Indiana.  It also concerns referrals to outside mental health counselors or agencies.

When a school gets involved in these non-academic matters, parents need to know and give their consent to these mental health matters. The Kruse language added to this bill comprehensively protects parental rights and student privacy.

HB 1004 needs to be approved by the House as is – with no changes.

Regardless of what one thinks of these non-academic efforts, many schools are already involved in these programs.  After this session, more schools will be doing these screenings, tracking and referrals.   That is why HB 1004 needs to be passed as is, with no changes.   A change to HB 1004 now is an attack upon the fundamental rights of parents to be involved in their child’s school life.

Parents need to know of, and give their consent to, any psychological testing of their child in school. No child should be labeled with a mental health problem without the full knowledge and involvement of that child’s parent or parents.

 It is important to remember that nothing in House Bill 1004 prevents a teacher from continuing to be able to talk with a student about problems they are facing, including very serious issues like suicidal thoughts.

       Please call your State Representative and ask them to support HB 1004 as is,with its strong parental rights and student privacy protection language.

       Call your State Representative at: 317-232-9600    

You can find your legislator here:   http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

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AFA of Indiana: Gun Control in Legislature, Change Does Happen

Gun Control Issues Load Up in Legislature

Last week I mentioned numerous legislative issues we have been watching during this 2019 Indiana General Assembly.  One issue I have not addressed yet this year is the issue of gun control.

AFA of Indiana does not have an official position on this issue, but when we recently surveyed our donors, the issue had risen to a top ten concern for the first time.  Our mission statement does affirm the founding principles of our nation, and the 2ndAmendment was certainly one of those uniquely American values that were necessary to the formation of our nation.   We have often written that the problem of crime rests in what is in someone’s heart, not necessarily the item in their hand. That too, was a core belief of our founders.

In the last few years there has been a growing presence of gun control activists in the statehouse.  Almost every week this year I have noticed a large number of red T-shirt wearing gun control activists in the hallways connected with “Moms Demand Action.”    This group is part of an umbrella group called “Everytown for Gun Safety.”  It is part of a $50 million expenditure by liberal activist, and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Indiana is one of the original 15 states targeted by Bloomberg in 2014 for the passage of “common sense” gun control measures.  The group’s goal is to be a counter to the National Rifle Association.

The group has had an impact in the last couple of legislative sessions by stopping some pro-second amendment bills. One of those was a bill that I mentioned positively.  It would have allowed licensed concealed carry permit holders to exercise that ability in a church that happens to meet on school property on Sunday.  (With the growing bigotry toward Christianity in America, I believe this measure by Senator Jack Sandlin needs to pass.)

The emergence of this group here has made passage of firearms bills more difficult and more politically charged. It has also had the effect of loading up bills.  If only one or two bills on this topic are likely to pass now, they tend to get cluttered with multiple issues.

Most legislators want a “clean” bill with one subject.  Procedural and germaneness rules prefer such bills.  Bills cluttered with a wide variety of issues can tend to make it more difficult for legislators and the public to know exactly what is in a bill. I can also make it more difficult to get a consensus on that proposal.

For example, Senator Jim Tomes has tried for nine years to get a bill through that accurately defines an “assault rifle.”   His concern, which has proven to be true in other states, is that a poor definition of this vague term could lead to the restriction of semi-automatic firearms used by many hunters and the shooting sports for over a century.   His bills have often been amended to address all sorts of other issues, and though those changes were not meant to harm his bill, they made it a bigger target of controversy, and led to their stalling out in the process.

In this session, more pro-2ndAmendment bills have seen action, due in part to the NRA’s national convention coming to Indianapolis in a few weeks. That shouldn’t overshadow the significant emergence of “Mom’s Demand Action.”   The targeting of Indiana by national liberals like Bloomberg is a real political development.  It is something Hoosiers, (who may think we are free from gun control efforts due to our Midwest values), need to consider.

New Study Reveals Weakness of Homosexuality as a Civil Right

There is an extensive new study from the Family Research Council that points out how homosexuality is not a fixed unchangeable trait.  This often documented, but rarely reported fact undermines the movement to equate this behavior with immutable characteristics like race, national origin or gender.  Immutability is a key basis courts have historically used to determine civil rights protections.

Many young people have been indoctrinated into thinking that the gay political agenda is on par with the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s involving skin color, through a “born that way” notion attributed to a sexual lifestyle choice.   I am including the executive summary here, and a link to the full detailed study, which is well worth reading, here:    https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF19C38.pdf

Executive Summary

Many of the advances of the homosexual movement have been based on the claim that sexual orientation is “immutable.” For example, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the 2015 Supreme Court case that redefined marriage to include same-sex couples rested upon that assertion. Key policy issues still being debated in which the supposed “immutability” of sexual orientation can be an issue include efforts by LGB activists to expand non-discrimination laws to protect sexual orientation (such as the proposed federal “Equality Act”), and efforts to restrict or ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), sometimes called “conversion therapy.”

The concept of “sexual orientation” is multi-faceted, involving a combination of attractions, behaviors, and personal identity. Changes in any of these elements (sometimes called “sexual fluidity”), and a lack of “stability” or “exclusivity” in or among them, represents evidence that sexual orientation can change. This paper reports results from four large data sets reflecting longitudinal analysis of the same individuals over time in population-based samples (three from the United States and one from New Zealand). All demonstrate that significant change in each of the elements of sexual orientation is possible. The percentage changing from homosexuality to heterosexuality ranged from 13% to 53%, while the percentage changing from heterosexuality to homosexuality ranged only from 1% to 12%. This suggests that heterosexuality is largely stable, but homosexuality is not. In one survey of “same-sex attracted respondents,” up to 38% of men and 53% of women “changed to heterosexuality” in only a six-year period.

FRC endorses the call by pro-LGB scholars Lisa Diamond and Clifford Rosky to “abandon the immutability argument once and for all.” Diamond, Rosky, and others on the Left argue that a belief in personal freedom should be sufficient support for pro-homosexual policies. However, this amounts to substituting the principles of the sexual revolution for the principles of the civil rights movement. The public would be wise to question instead whether the goals of the homosexual movement can be justified at all.

In Their Own Words: 

“Liberty considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.”  – Alexis de Tocqueville

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Statehouse Update: Hate Crime Battle Ends, Conscience Rights & Racism

Big Issues on AFA-IN Agenda Headed Toward Governor’s Desk

I have some good news. First of all, the civics bill that we have supported for several years was not really watered down, like some headlines implied.   Senate Bill 132 changed the basic civics and history test required of new citizens from a graduation test to a test required to pass high school government, but that class is required to graduate.    We were fine with this change.  Yesterday, SB 132 passed the House by an overwhelming 93-3 vote.    The Senate will almost certainly agree to the House changes and send it on to the Governor, for his signature.

Second, last night, after a long debate and some unfortunate innuendo that those who supported SB 198 language covering everyone are virtual racists, the Senate “concurred” with the House changes to SB 198 involving bias crimes, on a 34-14 vote. This move avoided a conference committee on the subject of bias crimes.  The bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

When all is said and done, Indiana avoided a California style, left-wing, hate crime bill based on identity politics that could have threatened freedom of speech or provided justice for only a select few.  What the legislature passed keeps this issue in the hands of judges, giving them the broadest possible means of sentencing for these crimes, just as they have had since 2005. 

Freedom of Conscience Victory in Legislature

Yesterday, the Indiana Senate approved Senate Bill 201 on a 38-3 vote and sent it on to the Governor.  The House approved this measure on a 69-25 vote.  This bill extends the rights of conscience currently granted to doctors in our code.  It protects nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists who do not want to participate in an abortion procedure if these individuals object due to moral, ethical, or religious reasons.

Gun Issues Fire Up In the Legislature

I hope to cover several bills and battles regarding gun rights and gun control in this email next week.

Marriage Is a Key Part of Student Success

There is an interesting article from the Institute for Family Studies looking at recent information from the U.S. Census Bureau. It affirms a key part parents play in education.  They looked at school suspension rates and school activity rates and found an inverse outcome.

Students with two married parents had the lowest percentage of students being suspended from school (5.3%) whereas the highest rates of suspension were observed in children living with only a guardian (13.8%).    The rate of student activity in extra curricular clubs was highest among students with two married parents (33.7%) and the lowest among those not living with married parents.  (Children living with two unmarried parents had the lowest participation rate at 18.7%.  Those living with a guardian were at 20.1%.  Children living with one parent had a 25.7% participation rate.)

The Tragedy of Seeing Racism in Every Word 

I don’t think about race very often.  As a Christian, there is really only one race created by God in the beginning with Adam and Eve.  This is the human race from which we are all descendants.  When I do think of race, it’s usually due to the liberal media or liberal activists constantly making it an issue.

I made a comment about the hate crimes debate this legislative session often bordering on allegations that if one does not support a certain approach, then there is some kind of racist reason for it.   The line of argument was that if certain words were not part of a victim list, and someone supported that broader approach, then they may be racially motivated or lack of racial sensitivity.

I don’t like the idea of impugning people based upon words that are not unequivocally racist because of the seriousness of the sin of racism.  Tragically today so many on the far left seem to instantly label anyone with whom they disagree as a racist.

Yet, it reminded me of a study from Yale University last fall. Researchers looked at the words used by candidates and politicians speaking to differing audiences over a 25-year period.  What they found was that white Democrats, who are more liberal, used different words than white Republicans did when they spoke to minority groups.

The research team found that Democratic presidential candidates used fewer competence-related words in speeches delivered to mostly minority audiences than they did in speeches delivered to mostly white audiences.  “It was really surprising to see that for nearly three decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been engaging in this predicted behavior.”

The researchers found that liberal individuals were less likely to use words that would make them appear highly competent when the person they were addressing was presumed to be black rather than white.

No significant differences were seen in the word selection of conservatives based on the presumed race of their audience.

“It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect,” researcher Cydney Dupree said. “Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.”  She said that it is possible, “this is happening because people are using stereotypes in an effort to get along.”

Why would a liberal change words, talk down, or dumb down their speech to African Americans or Latinos, just to get along?  Don’t all politicians really need to speak equally with their words?

In Their Own Words:

“It must be felt that there is no national security, but in the nation’s humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence.”  – President Franklin Pierce,  Inaugural address, March 4, 1853

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Alert: Defend Parental Rights in Educational Fad Legislation

Alert:
Latest Education Fad Carries Serious Concerns

You may not have heard of a new fad in education circles known as SELSocial and Emotional Learning, but it’s becoming the center of attention at your Indiana legislature.

A brand new extensive review of Social Emotional Learning from the Pioneer Institute says that measuring a child’s SEL is “mostly hype with little research evidence to back up it’s claims.  Its risks to young children’s psychological health and privacy, however are significant.”

The authors further warn, “It is one thing to direct your own moral, ethical, and emotional development or that of your children, but having a government vendor or unqualified public school officials implement SEL curriculum based on coffee-table psychology is quite another.”

There are multiple bills in the legislature right now pushing SEL upon Indiana schools under the guise of “school safety.”

PARENTS NEED TO KNOW OF, AND GIVE THEIR CONSENT TO, ANY PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING OF THEIR CHILD IN SCHOOL.  

Senator Dennis Kruse has the only acceptable language on parental rights in this matter.  It has actual teeth to protect the rights of parents and families in these non-academic, values-based, assessments.

Please call your State Senator and ask him/her to support the Kruse Amendment to House Bill 1004 which may be heard on Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee.

Legislators need to know that parents’ rights in these sensitive topics are fundamental.  No child should be labeled with a mental health problem without the full knowledge and involvement of that child’s parent or parents.

Call your State Senator at: 317-232-9400 

Ask Your Senator to Support the Kruse parental rights amendment to HB 1004.

You can find your legislator here:   http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

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Understanding the Hate Crime win & Pro-Family Millennials ?

Understanding Our Victory in the Hate Crime Battle 

As you may have read in my Monday evening email, the Indiana House amended Senate Bill 198 to include bias or hate crime language.    In my email I said that this was a victory for equal justice under law.  There has been a little confusion over this.  Here is the amendment language and some reasons why this is still a win for us:

“The person committed the offense with bias due to the victim’s or the group’s real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attribute the court chooses to consider, including but not limited to an attribute described in IC 10-13-3-1.31”

• The amendment does not create new language that limits judges to a politically preferred victim list.

• Unlike the bill supported by the Governor and Senate liberals with a confining or exclusive list, this language covers everyone.  ( The original California style hate crime version of SB 12 had a list of 14 categories, but they removed three of them – belief, police and military victims, revealing that they wanted justice for some, but not all.)

•  The code citing contains a list in the definition of bias crime, but this list has been Indiana code since 2003. Due to the 2005 Witmer Indiana Supreme Court ruling, that list is superfluous. It does not limit a judge to sentencing enhancements only for certain victims.

• The amendment reiterates a judge’s broad sentencing ability in the Witmer ruling with the words “including but not limited to” as well as “other attribute the court chooses to consider.”

• This amendment is essentially just a restatement of current practice judges have employed since the 2005 Witmer ruling.    One could argue that this bill is not needed, and I would agree. It changes nothing. It simply is “doing something” to appease the business groups claiming that Indiana is on some activist group’s faulty list of states without a hate crime statute.

• Unlike other proposals, this language focuses far more on victims than it does on the motives or thoughts of the perpetrator.

Some have looked at this and concluded that, with the code citing, it does “include a list.”   We had put out the message repeatedly that we do not want a government referenced victim list.  I would have preferred that there be no reference to any list, whether it mean anything or not.  The Senate could still change this language if they choose to do so, and reaffirm what they did without a list in the amended version of Senate Bill 12, which the House has chosen to bypass through this change to SB 198.

Our attorney reviewed this language and explained it to me this way.  It is like a paint store advertising “we sell paint, including yellow, green and blue.”  But they also sell red, grey, orange, and all other colors.

Our number one concern in the battle over hate crimes was protecting equal justice under law and protecting speech and beliefs.  This amendment protects those values.

Addressing the Importance of Civics Knowledge in a Self-Governing Republic

I am at the statehouse today.  This morning I will be observing the House Education Committee as it is expected to pass Senate Bill 132, which requires Indiana high school students to pass the same basic history and civics test that we require all new citizens to pass.

AFA of Indiana has pushed for this legislation, authored by Senator Dennis Kruse, for several years.  I am very pleased that it will finally reach the House floor for a vote, and hopefully pass on to the Governor’s desk for his signature next month.   If you would like to take the test and see how you do, here it is:  https://joefossinstitute.org/civics-curriculum/us-citizenship-test/

You Mean Millennials Want What Other Generations Wanted Too?

There has been a great deal of political and cultural obsession with the views and values of the young, millennial generation.  Far too many politicians and business groups have catered to this group and their more liberal views.  The previous mayor of Indianapolis practically made all his economic decisions based upon what this group supposedly wanted.

However, a new study from the Brookings Institute actually finds that, as this group ages, they tend to want what similar groups wanted and still want now.  It finds that contrary to many economic and political theories, young millennials are not flocking to dense cities for their cultural opportunities, bike paths, mass transit or liberal social policies.  Rather than moving toward the large liberal cities, they are actually moving away from them.

According to demographer Bill Frey, the 2013 to 2017 American Community Survey shows that New York now suffers the largest net annual out-migration of post-college millennials (ages 25 to 34) of any metro area followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Diego. New York’s losses are 75 percent higher than during the previous five-year period.

The media frequently exaggerates millennial growth in the urban areas. In reality, nearly 80 percent of millennial population growth since 2010 has been in the suburbs where most families live.

Dense, high-priced cities attract young people straight from college, but many aren’t staying there. Some of the “best and brightest” still migrate to “superstar” cities, but they don’t stay long. The average resident in the downtown areas, so popular with post-college millennials, has lived in the same house for about 2.4 years, compared with seven or more years for those in the suburbs.

It seems that as life progresses, millennials are wanting what most others want, family-friendly, affordable housing and the family-centered amenities of the suburbs.

The study also finds that the cities that are seeing growth of post-college millennials and retaining them are in more conservative states including places like Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; and Fort Worth, Texas where family housing can cost one-third less than many liberal states’ cities.

In Their Own Words

“In a world which furnishes so many employments which are useful, so many which are amusing, it is our own fault if we ever know what ennui [weariness; heaviness] is, or if we are ever driven to the miserable resources of gaming, which corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind.” – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Martha Jefferson, 1787

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Indiana Crosses Center Lane with Genderless Drivers Licenses

“We’re Only One of Five States” . . . Crossing the Center Line to Appease the Gender Benders

Governor Holcomb, the mainstream media, and liberal business groups have been wringing their hands for months allegedly concerned that Indiana “is one of only five states without a hate crime law.”

In reality, Indiana judges have the broadest sentencing abilities for hate crimes of almost any state in the nation.  But because our law is allegedly “different,” (actually, they are all different), we are to follow the other 45 states where in two-thirds of them they have a bigger hate crime problem than we do in Indiana.

We have a better law than most states because it provides equal justice for all victims of hate crimes.  But critics of this propose limiting judges to a victim category list.  Why? Because 45 other states do it that way.

If that doesn’t frost you . . . now comes news that Indiana has done something that 45 other states have not.  Indiana is just one of perhaps five states that are offering genderless drivers licenses!   Why would this be, if our policies are supposed to follow the bulk other states?

A driver’s license is the most often used and common government document of a state.   You now have to take every document under the sun, that you haven’t needed in decades, as proof of your identity for a “secure driver’s license.”  Yet, the gender confused no longer have to be male or female, they can “identify” as gender “X.”    Our state is now appeasing that mental fantasy.  How secure is that?

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles falls directly under the purview of Governor Eric Holcomb.  This, along with hate crimes, is another of his major concessions to the LGBT (“letting go of biological truth”) crowd.

You can call the Governor and let him know your view of this move at 317-232-4567.

Interestingly, the very first person officially declared “non-binary” (genderless) has now called it all a huge mistake.  He was used by LGBT activists for their political purposes and suffered serious medical, emotional, and psychological problems from his lifestyle decision.   You can see a short interview about this here.  It will make you wonder why our state thinks this mental health problem is worth a change in driver’s licenses.   https://video.foxnews.com/v/6012842932001/?fbclid=IwAR3aFEAjvJvv7oFA4YRIdhacbruJ7tqDNIhHOV48ZW-B9j8BS5PPwAvU7tE#sp=show-clips

This is a also good reminder to call your State Representative and ask him or her to support Senate Bill 12as is, with NO VICTIM LISTat 317-232-9600.

You can find your legislator here:      http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

Ignorant and Free, Can It Really Be?

In January of 1816, Thomas Jefferson warned,“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free. . . it expects what never was and never will be.   If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.”

In a free society where the people choose their government and are an important participant in it, knowledge of basic history and civics should be a part of the life of a student, let alone a voter.

A recent poll from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvaniafound that 63% of Americans cannot name one single right mentioned in the 1stAmendment.   (Those rights are speech, religion and assembly.)

Indiana Senate Bill 132 has been sent to the Indiana House Education Committee where Chairman Rep. Bob Behning has killed it the two previous times that it passed the Senate.  This bill requires Indiana high school students to take the same basic civics test that new legal immigrants must pass for citizenship.   Your calls to your State Representative asking them to support SB 132 would be very helpful.

You can find your legislator here:   http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

You can call your State Representative about supporting SB 132 at: 317-232-9600.

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Alert: Your Voice Needed on Two Indiana House Bills

ALERT # 1  
Let your State Representative Know “Equal Justice Under Law”  Matters

The Indiana Senate has passed a good bias crime law reaffirming the longstanding ability of Hoosier judges to add to a sentence for any victim of a hate crime.    Senate Bill 12 is now before the Indiana House.  Liberals are pushing to put a victim list back into the legislation because they want justice for some, but apparently not for all.

Let your State Representative know that SB 12 should be passed, as is with no victim list giving equal justice to all victims of such crimes.    (A list of victims will leave many Hoosiers off a government-favored list for sentencing enhancements.)

Please call your State Representative at 317-232-9600 and ask them to pass SB 12 with no victim list, giving justice to all hate crime victims.  You can find your legislator here:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

ALERT # 2  
Bill Before the Indiana House Undermines Parental Rights

The Indiana Senate has passed a far-reaching bill that would assess all school children for mental health, social and behavioral issues and track them from birth through age 22.   Senate Bill 266 does not have adequate protections of parental and student rights.

SB 266 could result in all public-school students being screened for social, emotional, and behavioral issues, terms that are not clearly defined in the bill.

Even though most school teachers already know which students may be struggling, SB 266 could result in labeling for life  tens of thousands of children as having mental, emotional or behavioral problems.

SB 266 requires a school to develop social, emotional and behavioral health plans for students who then may be referred for comprehensive mental health services and interventions.  It is unclear what kinds of procedures, issues, beliefs, practices or treatments might be involved in this effort.

Language to protect parental rights was added to SB 266, but the meaningful penalties for violation of these rights were removed.    Senate Bill 266 should be rejected by the House.  Please ask your State Representative to vote no on this “big brother” legislation. 

You can call your State Representative at 317-232-9600.
You can find your legislator here:   http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

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and Freedom in 2019!

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AFA-IN: Statehouse Updates, Parental Rights & Pastor’s Event

House Leadership Not Buying the Media Hysteria 

As you know, the Indiana Senate bravely put policy above politics by passing a bias crime bill that includes every victim of a hate crime, rather than be drawn into the identity politics game that is dividing our nation.   The Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 12 on a strong 39-10 vote.  This is a big victory for equal justice under the law.

The media is continuing to flip out over this and claim that the bill stripped protections from victims of such crimes.   It did just the opposite.   None have mentioned that the original version of SB 12 containing a list of politically preferred victims was cut in the committee hearing by those wanting a list they removed victims in the military, law enforcement or those targeted due to their political beliefs.   The hypocrisy is incredible, but it shows that all along many hate crime law supporters really only want justice for a select few.

The day after the Senate passed SB 12, Speaker of the House Brian Bosma told WIBC radio that the House is not likely to put a victim list back into the bill.  He praised the legislation as it is because “it avoids the thorny arguments over which groups should be included.”

One interesting item in this news story pointed out that Utah has a similar law without a list.  Someone needs to tell the Governor this because Utah is not one of the states being shamed for “not having a hate crime law.”  Democrat supporters of a list in the Senate, as well as Governor Holcomb, are claiming that passing SB 12 as is does not take us off the list of five states without a hate crime law.  Utah proves otherwise.

We have to be diligent to make sure SB 12 is not changed in the House.  It should be passed as is, with no amendments.

Is There is a Way to Ban Abortion in Indiana?

Many people have differing views of Indiana House Bill 1430 which failed to receive a hearing this year.  That bill by Rep. Curt Nisly would ban all abortions in Indiana.  Indiana Right to Life is not supportive of this bill because they believe that its legal viability in the courts is as precarious as an unborn child in a New York abortion clinic.

There may be another way to legally ban abortion in Indiana.  It is something around a dozen states have already done.  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin all have laws banning abortion that would go into place if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court.   In addition, Louisiana, North and South Dakota have constitutional language making abortion legal if Roeis overturned.

It could be honestly argued that this is premature, and does not save lives now, which is the first priority of the pro-life movement.   Still, it is worth watching or considering since the overturning of Roe would likely not ban abortion. It would simply send the issue back to the states to decide. You can read about the latest state to do this and the debate on that move here:   https://www.westernjournal.com/arkansas-passes-law-banning-abortion-except-save-mothers-life-roe-v-wade-overturned/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=libertyalliance&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=libertyalliance

As a side note, it must truly sadden the heart of God that only 53 US Senators voted Monday night against infanticide.  It was not enough to stop the Democrat’s filibuster against the Infant Born Alive Act (S. 311).

Can Pastors Do More to Reach the Culture?

There is an interesting conference on March 15thin Fort Wayne that you or your pastor may want to attend, put together by The Resermon Institute.  It features speakers like author R.C. Sproul, Jr.,  Dr. Les Sillars of Patrick Henry College and World Magazine and many others with specific media and Christian communication experience.

The purpose of the conference is to help pastors and churches make sermon content more accessible, searchable and projectable, reaching people far beyond posting last week’s sermon on the church web site.

The conference is at Pathway Community Church.   You can find all the information on this event at: http://www.resermon.com/rsi-fort-wayne-031519.html

On Monday we did a podcast with the director of Resermon, a long time friend, Chris Mann.  You can hear that conversation here:  https://www.afain.net/2019/02/indiana-family-forum-chris-mann-from-resermon-institute/

Parental Rights: A Constant Concern

Last week I mentioned Senate Bill 266 which concerns mental health screening and referrals involving all 330,000 public high school students in Indiana. This is a broad bill covering a lot of mental health issues under the guise of school safety.  There are database and privacy concerns in it.  Perhaps the biggest concern is the issue of parental rights and notification about the kinds of things students will be asked or upon what they may be counseled.

SB 266 had good parental rights language in it, but the enforcement or teeth of it were weakened significantly.  The bill passed the Senate yesterday on a 29-20 vote.

Parental rights are a constant concern with the growth of government.  There are all sorts of examples I could cite involving not just schools, but courts, various federal agencies, the Department of Family and Social Services, and more.

Indiana Congressman Jim Banks is the author of House Joint Resolution 36, a parental rights amendment to the US Constitution.   This is a tall mountain to climb, but you can help by learning more about this legislation and asking your member of congress to co-author this resolution.   The language is brief and simple.  It affirms that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

I would encourage you to read the short news release on this from Fort Wayne Congressman Banks here:  https://banks.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=451

In Their Own Words:

          “It is no accident that every totalitarian movement of the 20th century has tried to destroy the family.  The essence of modern totalitarianism has been to substitute the power of the State for the rights, responsibilities and authority of the family.  Everywhere the equation holds true: Where there are strong families the freedom of the individual expands and the reach of the State contracts.  Where family life weakens and fails, government advances, intrudes and ultimately compels.”  – President Ronald Reagan’s report on the Family, 1982

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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:
AFA of Indiana

PO Box 40307

Indianapolis, IN 46240-0307

Add us to your address book