AFAIN – Abortion Battle Intensifies, Hate Crime Alert & More

ALERT: Over the weekend House Speaker Brian Bosma stated that the Indiana Senate will have to take up the issue of hate crimes first.  This is progress for those who support “equal justice under law” and are concerned about the slippery slope dangers of hate crime bills.  Please call your State Senator and express your view on this controversial legislation.  You can reach the Senate switchboard at 317-232-9400.

The Abortion Battle May Intensify in the Midwest

There was a very interesting news story on Friday.  It was an announcement from the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.  In what they are calling “a first of its kind consolidation” the abortion giant is shifting resources from coastal states and Hawaii to their Indiana/Kentucky affiliate due to the court and legislative battles occurring here.

In other words, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Idaho, Alaska and Washington are sending millions of dollars to fight the battle over abortion here in our state.

Here are some quotes from the Associated Press article about this merger with Indiana and Kentucky:

Chris Charbonneau, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, said her group has an annual budget of about $70 million. She said its donors wanted to help Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

In recent years, that Indianapolis-based group has faced the legal costs of challenging far-reaching limits on abortion rights sought by Republican lawmakers in both states — including a proposed bill before Kentucky’s Legislature that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood said the arrangement is the first such alliance for the health care organization. The boards of the two groups this week unanimously approved a “strategic alliance” that takes effect Saturday. Charbonneau will be the CEO of both groups.

Charbonneau said the new entity will have a combined annual budget of between $80 million and $90 million.

Mike Fichter, the president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, said in a statement that the alliance between the two Planned Parenthood groups “places a target on unborn children in Indiana and Kentucky by bringing in millions of dollars from far away states to influence policy and expand abortions.”

″… We believe this merger underscores Planned Parenthood’s intent to expand abortions which are central to its revenue stream,” he said.

Legislation passed by Indiana lawmakers has also led to a series of court fights, including a law Vice President Mike Pence signed when he was governor that would ban abortions for fetal genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

This means that the battle to protect the unborn may get more difficult and intense in the halls of government and courtrooms in Indiana.  This has always been a David v. Goliathissue when one looks at the resources of the abortion industry compared to the pro-life and pro-family movements.

Thankfully, this disparity has not thwarted the momentum of the life movement.  Next week, the Committee on Public Health will consider Indiana House Bill 1211, authored by Representatives Peggy Mayfield and Christy Stutzman.  This legislation would ban the risky and controversial dismemberment abortion procedure. This brutal act tears apart and removes the remains of a child.  It carries with it a good deal of risk for the woman in terms of physical harm from the instruments, and infection if all the pieces of the unborn child are not removed.

Eleven states have passed laws like HB 1211.  Hopefully Indiana will be the twelfth to do so.

More Out of State Liberalism

Speaking of out of state liberal money and agenda’s, when I was at the statehouse yesterday, the halls were filled with people wearing red shirts that said, “Moms Demand Action.”  This is a part of former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” gun control organization.  In 2009 Forbes Magazine estimated the liberal activist’s net worth to be $16 billion.   He funds most of this organization’s efforts.

There are several gun control bills that have been filed in the 2019 legislature.   Today, the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee is considering a bill, authored by Carmel Republican Rep. Donna Schaibley, to allow the government to seize firearms from people deemed to be dangerous.   I didn’t talk with any of the demonstrators who were lobbying yesterday, but I suspect this bill was on their lobbying agenda.

Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violent Crime

Many of you are aware of Hillsdale College and its publication Imprimis.  This month’s cover story is a fascinating, and well researched, article from a libertarian who once thought that marijuana was no big deal and perhaps good medicine.

Here is a teaser from that article:

“I talked to every psychiatrist and brain scientist who would talk to me. And I soon realized that in all my years as a journalist I had never seen a story where the gap between insider and outsider knowledge was so great, or the stakes so high.

I began to wonder why—with the stocks of cannabis companies soaring and politicians promoting legalization as a low-risk way to raise tax revenue and reduce crime—I had never heard the truth about marijuana, mental illness, and violence.

Over the last 30 years, psychiatrists and epidemiologists have turned speculation about marijuana’s dangers into science. Yet over the same period, a shrewd and expensive lobbying campaign has pushed public attitudes about marijuana the other way. And the effects are now becoming apparent.

Almost everything you think you know about the health effects of cannabis, almost everything advocates, and the media have told you for a generation, is wrong.”

There are special interest groups and politicians working to legalize marijuana in Indiana.  I would encourage you to read this excellent article here:
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/marijuana-mental-illness-violence/?appeal_code=MK119EM1&sc=MK119EM1&utm_campaign=imprimis&utm_source=housefile&utm_medium=email&utm_content=january2019marijuana&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8omtWAYOMRFoTY1_-yIssM8KFmNA1xe362UTmcOr2ZZhMP1ukFN_O6oSThjmw55dZlIjctEPUBO4UKvDZcx8A2Bwbb_g&_hsmi=69315555

In Their Own Words:

“If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven.”  – Will Rogers

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AFAIN: Statehouse News, Life Issues & Religious Freedom Court Case

Good Statehouse News for a Self-Governing Republic 

Last week the Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 132 on a vote of 31-17.  The bill requires high school students to pass a basic civics test that all new legal immigrants must pass to become US Citizens. (They can take it as often as they need to in order to pass with just 60%.) Numerous studies have found that most Americans, even recent college graduates, are woefully ignorant of our basic history and system of government.

AFA of Indiana has fought for this common sense, non-partisan, bill for several years, but it has always had the opposition of the education establishment.  As such, it has not gotten a hearing in the House Education Committee, or a vote on the full House floor where it would likely pass.

In a few weeks, when “live” bills change Houses, I will ask you to call your State Representative about this legislation.   SB 132 was authored by Senator Dennis Kruse.  It has sixteen Senate authors and co-authors!  SB 132 is sponsored in the House by Rep. Woody Burton.

This week Purdue University President and former Governor,, Mitch Daniels, said civics illiteracy is so bad among college students that he would support such a test in order to graduate from Purdue.  He also endorsed this bill in the legislature.

Back in Court to Defend Religious Freedom in Indiana

Yesterday, AFA of Indiana and co-plaintiffs at the Indiana Family Institute asked a state court to declare the “fix” to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the “gay-rights” ordinances of four cities unconstitutional.

This was a motion for “summary judgment” in our court case.  Defendants will now have 30 days to file their motion of defense in opposition to summary judgment

We have challenged the RFRA “fix” on many state and federal constitutional grounds. For example, the “fix” stripped from some the strong RFRA protection for religious free-exercise, originally afforded to all “persons,” in the original law.  We believe this was a violation of equal protection.

We also challenged the “fix” under First Amendment because groups advocating a pro-traditional-marriage message may not have the protections of people with a message different from our religiously motivated message.

We also seek a religious-conscience exemption from the Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Columbus gay rights ordinances under RFRA’s strong religious free-exercise protection and a range of state and federal constitutional protections.

Our attorneys provided evidence of the sort of hostility to religious free-exercise that the U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (where Colorado tried to force a Christian baker to make a custom same-sex-wedding cake) in the enactment of the RFRA “fix” and these city ordinances.  And they provided evidence that stripping RFRA protection was done based on governmental hostility to disfavored viewpoints, which is forbidden by the First Amendment.

Now we wait and see if the court agrees, or if we continue to move forward to a courtroom trial this summer.

Don’t Write off all Young Millennials too Quickly

We all know that polling can sway significantly depending upon how the questions are asked.  However, when poll results are decidedly lopsided, it is worth noting that something is occurring.   A feeling is being touched upon.

A new poll commissioned by Students for Life of America should not be dismissed simply because it was paid for by a pro-life organization.  We know that’s exactly what the media will do with this.   Yet, when nine out of ten millennials say that tax dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, any critic of polling should take note because this is a much higher pro-life response than any other demographic group.

Another of several findings in this poll concludes that 7 of 10 Millennials support limits on abortion through specific policies like parental notification, limiting abortions later in pregnancy like at 5 months of pregnancy, and opposition to government funding of abortion.

You can read several more findings from this poll here: https://www.faithwire.com/2019/01/16/shockingly-low-percent-of-millennials-agree-with-democrat-partys-stance-on-abortion/

Life Legislation in Statehouse

There has been a lot of attention on the audacity of New York politicians who passed and trumpeted their approval of abortion for any reason right up to the point of delivery at nine months.   Many people do not realize that the Roe v Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions of 1973 allow for this, if a state does not regulate the practice.

Unlike New York, Indiana does not appear to have any pro-abortion legislation that I have seen among the 1,400 bills filed.  However, there are two euthanasia bills filed that I would call anti-life.  These two assisted suicide bills on the opposite end of the spectrum are Senate Bill 300 and House Bill 1184.

We do have at least two pro-life bills (HB 1211) to ban the practice of dismemberment abortions authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield.  There is also legislation (HB 1430) filed again this year by Rep. Curt Nisly that would outlaw all abortions.  This is a life at conception bill.     This bill has caused some division among pro-life groups in terms of legally viable strategies for saving unborn lives, which I may address in a future email.

I am concerned about some things occurring at the statehouse that have nothing to do with legislators, and more to do with a new group of protesters.  Do you believe that the disruption of events, (even pro-life and ministry events) with pictures of aborted babies and calls for the defense of life, sometimes mixed with “street preaching” is an effective way of taking a stand for life?    Let me know, if you have an opinion on this.

In Their Own Words:

“Liberty unregulated by law degenerates into anarchy, which soon becomes the most horrid of all despotisms … We owe these blessings, under Heaven, to the happy Constitution and Government which were bequeathed to us by our fathers, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit in all their integrity to our children.”  – Pres. Millard Fillmore, Comparing the American Revolution with France’s numerous revolutions, December 6, 1852.

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Statehouse Battles Continue on Religious Freedom, Life & Justice

Standing Firm Over the Long Haul

I am still concerned about what may happen with “hate” or “bias crimes” legislation. Neither the Governor, the homosexual lobby, liberal business interests, nor the media are going to back away from this.  It is likely that we will have to stand up for equal justice this entire session.   You have done a great job making your voices heard.  However, if you have not called your legislators on this legislation, now would be a very good time.

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

You can call your State Representative at 317-232-9600.
You can call your State Senator at 317-232-9400.

A Serious Threat to Religious Freedom

I resist mentioning most meetings or discussions I have at the statehouse in these somewhat public emails.  However, I think I need to say that I spoke with Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, this week. I expressed my concern in regard to efforts to undermine Indiana’s voucher system by forcing Christian schools to embrace homosexual hiring policies.  (There are amendments filed on HB 1004 on this that could come to the floor as early as tomorrow.)   You may recall that I mentioned this threat last week.

The Speaker made a brilliant point that everyone has missed on this, including myself.  The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that choice vouchers go to parents, not schools.  Parents choose how or where to use them.  It could be hard legally for liberals to dictate to schools through vouchers this way, when they go to parents.  (They will still try it, however.)  He was adamant that this was an egregious attack on freedom and parental rights.

Men are Wolves.  It’s Not News . . . The Reaction Is

There has been a lot of talk in the past week about something called “toxic masculinity” which is a stupid phrase only a postmodern, truth is relative, society like ours could devise.

There is a very good article about this we have posted on our web page.  Rather than blast “toxic masculinity” maybe we should recognize gender differences as a reality not a disease.   As the article points out, “one job of society is to train men with a propensity to violence to become sheepdogs rather than wolves. . . In recommending that males be indoctrinated in “gender-egalitarianism” the new APA [American Psychological Association] guidelines sound suspiciously like castration.”   Read more here: www.afain.net

Standing for Life at the Statehouse

Yesterday hundreds of pro-life activists rallied in support of the pro-life cause at your state capitol.   The event was organized by Right to Life of Indianapolis as part of the memorial of the tragic Roe v. Wade ruling that was handed down this time in January of 1973.

I was asked to speak, but due to a frustrating and severe head cold, I decided to back out.   My comments were going to focus on the uniqueness of the pro-life movement that I have observed in my 30 years working in the legislative process.

The statehouse is full of lobbyists for everything under the sun from airlines to zookeepers.  Lobbyists are an important part of the process.  They play a vital role in education and crafting legislation.   Nearly all of them are there for some kind of direct benefit for their industry or their special interest.

However, the “life lobby” is unique in that rather than argue for a financial or legal benefit for themselves, their business, agency, or association, the pro-life activist speaks up for the unknown, unseen, voiceless, powerless, unborn child whom pro-life lobbyists will likely never meet, and never profit from in a business sense.  In fact, unlike other lobbyists seeking gain, if pro-life lobbyists succeed in their agenda, their “business” or cause goes away.

The life movement, far from being an object of cultural scorn, is among the noblest of all political causes.

—–
By the way, Indiana may be at the center of a US Supreme Court case regarding a law that is up for review before the high court.  The 2016 legislation was backed by Right to Life and supported by AFA-IN.  It involves abortions based upon the race, gender, or disability of an unborn child.  Some things we are hearing from key attorneys speculate that the court may be seriously considering this case. 

Do You Have Medishare or a Similar Health Plan? 

If you have an insurance cost sharing program such as Medishare, as I do, there is a bill you should speak up about.

Representative Mike Speedy has authored HB 1334.  This bill stems from a constituent who accrued a significant amount in costs with the delivery of a baby in a difficult pregnancy.  The hospital was unhelpful in how it viewed Medishare. They billed the patients directly with large bills as if they were uninsured.  (Medishare paid the proper costs after the dispute was finally resolved.)

HB 1334 merely requires health care providers to treat these kinds of plans like normal insurance by simply giving the patient, or their sharing plan, the necessary diagnostic billing codes.   You may want to call your State Representative in support of this one-sentence legislation.

We Need Your Help

I’ll make this short and to the point.  The American Family Association of Indiana is one of the most effective pro-family voices in the Midwest.  However, 2018 was not one of our better years financially.  We saw an 11% decline income for the year.  This sometimes happens in election years when donors are hit quite often by heavy requests from political parties and candidates.  We also may have experienced some year-end giving declines due to new tax laws.   We need to make up for this shortfall this year.

Your regular monthly support, for any amount possible, is what sustains us as a strong advocate for your values throughout the year.   If you are not on our monthly mailing list, you can donate online here:  https://www.afain.net/donation/

In Their Own Words:

          “Pay attention to the backlash Karen Pence is getting just for working at a private Christian school. The Left despises Christianity and does not think it should exist. They will come for the churches next. They are basically advertising the fact.”    Blogger and author, Matt Walsh

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Statehouse Double Speak is Alive and Well

Political Doublespeak is in Good Supply at Your State Capitol

I want to share a couple of items that we have been working on at the legislature in the last week.

Civics Education

In my email last week, I mentioned that I was testifying before the Senate Education Committee on a bill that we have supported several times before.

More than a dozen states now require high school students to pass the same basic civics test that we give to new citizens.  This test has questions like “Who was the first president?” and “Name the three branches of Government.”

Americans’ lack of basic history and government knowledge is so poor that man on the street interviews, with these kinds of questions, have become regular comedy sketches on many TV programs.  However, in a self-governing republic this is no laughing matter.  Many people who cannot name from whom we declared our independence in 1776 are active voters.

Senate Bill 132 will be voted on this afternoon and hopefully move on to the full Senate floor.

Mental Health Screening of Students

When it comes to double speak this issue revealed a lot.  Yesterday, I testified on a bill labeled as a school safety bill.  In reality, it was mostly a mental health screening bill designed to survey every high school student in Indiana about sexual and behavioral issues.   I expressed my concern that nowhere in HB 1004 was there any mention of parental consent or data security for this survey which is being pushed in large part because there is a federal matching grant attached to it.  (I do not like the federal government dictating local school policies by force of a mandate, or by monetary enticement.)

The revealing double speak occurred as I watched people from the education associations testify on this. Only a few days before they had opposed testing over civics because we have “too much testing.”  Now here they were enthusiastically supporting an 89-question mental health survey about sex, tobacco, drugs, body image and other personal matters.   Apparently, testing over the things in our academic standards that Hoosiers want our schools to teach is bad.  Yet, entering into non-academic matters with personal surveys that parents cannot see or give consent to is good.

Hate or Bias Crimes

I was not surprised, but somewhat disappointed, that Governor Holcomb doubled down on a fake news narrative claiming that Indiana does not protect certain groups from hate crimes in his State of the State Address last night.   In reality, Indiana has the broadest hate crime law in the nation. Since 2003 judges in Indiana have been able to enhance a sentence for ANY victim of a hate crime.  Our judges are not tied to a list of politically-favored victims for whom they can enhance a sentence.

Senate Minority leader Tim Lanane told the Indianapolis Star, which is a huge advocate for the divisive hate crime legislation, “Why is that it that we can’t just say, ‘Lets protect these people? Why are you scared to say, ‘We’re going to include sexual orientation and gender identity?’  It makes us look bad.”

No Senator, it is your flawed rhetoric and the media lie that “makes us look bad.” Every victim is covered under our hate crime enhancements right now. It does not matter who a hate crime victim has sex with, or what kind of gender confusion they embrace.  They, and every other group you can think of, have been covered for more than a decade.

We do not punish certain thoughts or promote the gay political agenda under our current practice. But maybe that’s really why many supporters of hate crime legislation are not satisfied.  These proposals are a politically-correct statement, not a needed criminal statute.

Politically-correct laws like hate crimes are not mere cultural statements. They have been twisted to punish religious speech in other states and countries. That is why your calls to legislators about this issue have been helpful.   It was one of our founders’ most influential authors and philosophers, Edmund Burke, who observed, “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”

A Danger to Freedom and Children in Need

I spoke with a legislator and good friend from Fort Wayne on Monday, and asked, “How are you doing?”  His response was classic, “I’m just trying to kill bad bills.”

Well there are a lot of bad bills out there.  There are two bills that attempt to ban free speech and association by prohibiting the counseling of children who may be struggling with same-sex attraction.

Two other bills would effectively kill school choice in Indiana overnight.  If passed, I would encourage its death, even though I strongly support the ability of parents to choose a private Christian education for their children.

Liberal freshman Senator J.D. Ford (D) has authored SB 344.  Representative John Forrestal has a similar bill in the House. These two measures would force every private school in Indiana, that receives vouchers to help economically disadvantaged students, to embrace homosexuality in its policies.

This direct attack upon religion is another example of how liberals do not really believe in tolerance.  They only tolerate moral or religious viewpoints with which the agree.

Indiana has one of the largest and most successful school voucher programs in America.  Polls show that voucher families in Indiana are very happy with the program. There are more than 35,000 voucher students in Indiana.  It is a model for the nation, but if either of these bills pass, Christian schools will exit the program in droves rather than violate their beliefs. These legislators know this, and it doesn’t bother them.

In Their Own Words:

“Identity politics – the artificial segmentation of Americans into antagonistic groups organized along often imagined ethnic, racial and sexual categories – is tearing America apart.” – Heritage Foundation expert Mike Gonzalez

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AFA-IN: Your Voice is Being Heard, A Church Opportunity

Making Our Voices Heard

I want to thank everyone who responded to our emails yesterday asking that you call your state legislators.   In coordination with that effort, I delivered a letter to every legislator expressing our opposition to “hate” or “bias” crime legislation when Indiana judges already have the ability to enhance a sentence for any victim of a hate crime.

If you missed our email, or the one from our national office, you can still call your legislator about this issue.  You can find your legislators at this link: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

You can call your Indiana State Senator at 317-232-9400 and your State Representative at 317-232-9600 to ask them to vote “no” on these hate crimes proposals.

Bad Policies Do Not Create Good Economies

This headline was one of the seven points I made to legislators in my letter yesterday.  The point being that Indiana should not have to embrace an item that is part of the politics of homosexuality in order to attract businesses.  This was the text of that bullet point:

One of the claims of this year’s advocates of hate crime legislation is that this criminal statute proposal will somehow boost Indiana’s economy.  Those making this claim are often insistent that elevating the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into an approved victim category list is good for business.   Objective, factual, economic measurements say otherwise. 

Five independent national state-by-state studies from Forbes, Chief Executive Magazine, ALEC, WalletHub and Site Selection Magazine reveal that between 80% and 100% of the top ten best business states do not elevate sexual orientation or gender identity to a special legal status. In contrast, between 70% and 100% of the states rated for worst business environments and worst economic outlooks do elevate these private sexual choices to special legal status.   (Indiana already ranks in the top ten in Site Selection’s Ten Best States for Business Climate and Forbes’ Top Ten States for Business.)

There’s Some Good Legislation in Indy

I want to let you know about a couple of positive bills before the Indiana General Assembly.

This afternoon I will be testifying in support of Senate Bill 132 authored by Senator Dennis Kruse.   The bill follows the lead of more than a dozen states that are now requiring high school students to take the basic civics test that we require all new citizens to pass.

You are likely aware of the humorous, but sad, man on the street videos asking college kids “from whom did we declare our Independence in 1776?”  Or their ability to name all the judges on The Voice, but they cannot identify a single person from a picture of a Supreme Court justices.  One poll found that one in ten recent college graduates thought that TV’s Judge Judy was on the US Supreme Court.

Polling also shows that only a third of Americans can name the three branches of government which are the executive, legislative and judicial.    This bill is designed to reaffirm the importance of students having a basic civics knowledge before becoming a new voter.

The second bill that should encourage you is Senate Bill 365 authored by Senator Andy Zay. This bill allows the Department of Child Services (DHS) to work with other non-governmental entities for welfare services.

This legislation is already in place in 18 states serving 150 counties and 34,000 children and families.  One major key to this is the 1,700 churches choosing to participate in the “Care Portal” technology to meet the poverty or family needs of at-risk families.  Senator Zay’s bill would set up the Care Portal for Indiana.

The way the Care Portal works is DHS puts out a need to participating non-profit ministries or charities, and then the people of a church, (for example), can help meet those needs.  A church may be informed that a person in their area needs a crib, baby clothes, diapers or food, and then church members can help meet that need.   It is a way to help the state save money and address needs that government often cannot meet. In so doing there is a connection between the local church or non-profit charity and that family, who may often feel as though they are living in isolation.

A “Care Portal” test pilot is already coming together in Northeast Indianapolis with ten area churches and the Shepherd Community Center on Washington Street.   You can see a very good short video on how this works here:  https://careportal.org

In Their Own Words:

“The strength, the perpetuity, and the destiny of the nation rest upon our homes, established by the law of God, guarded by parental care, regulated by parental authority, and sanctified by parental love.”  –  President Grover Cleveland, December 8, 1885

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AFAIN: Lesson in Appeasement, Kids Targeted: Where’s the Outrage? ?

Helping Good Causes

I have forgotten to mention that you can support AFA of Indiana, at no cost to you, when you shop through Amazon using their SMILE program at www.smile.amazon.com. We are listed as: Indiana American Family Association Inc.

Last week I mentioned our court case for religious freedom involving several city ordinances that can punish organizations like ours, who adhere to traditional beliefs on marriage or human sexuality.  The link we had for this was connected to a donation processing service we no longer use.  If you would like to donate to our legal fund, simply send a check to AFA of Indiana, P.O. Box 40307, Indianapolis, IN 46240.  Note that this is for our court case and we will send it to the Bopp Law Firm.

Given Over to a Reprobate Mind

This is so upside down that I am speechless over what I am sharing with you.  A public official stands up for the safety and innocence of little children and he is the one blasted!  We are recruiting kids to embrace a lifestyle wherein, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, (no bastion of conservatism), a third (30.8%) of its participants “consider attempting suicide” as opposed to only 2.3% of the heterosexual population.

Here is the media clip on this.  If this doesn’t leave common sense Hoosiers scratching their head and righteously upset, then the cultural pollution has probably infected them too.

EVANSVILLE COUNCILMAN UNDER FIRE FOR DRAG QUEEN POST –  Fifth Ward City Councilman Justin Elpers has received backlash after a Facebook post he made criticizing a program involving drag queens went viral last week. Elpers (R) posted a status on his Facebook campaign page Dec. 14 talking about how he felt about drag queens reading to children under the age of 11.  “This is reprehensible,” Elpers stated. “EVPL North Park is sponsoring an event where men dressed up as women will be reading to young children. The target age is up to 11 years old. As an educator & parent I’m in shock.” The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library is beginning a new program early next year, “Drag Queen Story Hour.” The first storytime is Feb. 23 at EVPL-North Park. The target audience is children up to age 11, library officials have said. During the event, drag queens will facilitate sing-alongs, help children with craft projects and read children’s stories.

Imagine if a pastor were reading a Bible story to kids. How would the media report on it, if a Councilman expressed concerns?  We all know the answer.  They would rally behind him and applaud the lawsuits against the minister.

Another Lesson in Appeasement:  Liberals Win; Families Lose. 

One of the saddest, yet predictable, news stories of this month is the revelation that the Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy.  Thirty years ago, the esteemed nearly century old organization had well over 5 million members.  Today it has less than half that number.  The collapse has been rapid, but predictable.

Winston Churchill observed that “an appeaser is someone who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”    Radical homosexual activists and secularists put their sights on the BSA years ago, and even though the BSA had won court cases affirming their rights to uphold their principles, they capitulated to cultural and business leftists, hoping that they would be left alone to serve families.  In the end, this appeasement may well have destroyed a wonderful organization that the liberals never really supported anyway.

Catholic League President, Bill Donahue, who did a study for the Claremont Institute on the Boy Scouts’ political battles notes:

The ACLU started suing the BSA left and right, and this, in turn, inspired other left-wing organizations to do likewise. The ACLU sued over the Three “G’s”—Gays, Godless, and Girls—hoping to force the organization to allow homosexuals, atheists, and girls to join. While the BSA officials initially fought these efforts, they eventually succumbed to the politics of inclusion, changing its traditional standards to appease its critics.

History shows, however, that hard-core ideologues are not interested in being appeased—they are interested in winning. In this case, victory meant the demise of the BSA.

Allowing girls to join the BSA was long considered a non-starter: after all, there is an organization called the Girl Scouts of America. But to zealots this is not enough—their radical egalitarian agenda demanded that the girls crash the BSA. Last year, the BSA gave in and allowed girls to join.

Two things immediately happened: the BSA lost 425,000 members in the month it made the announcement (October 2017), and last month the Girl Scouts sued them as well. Inclusion anyone?

The biggest headache for the BSA came from homosexual activists. They won the support of the media, higher education, left-wing legal groups, even corporate America. In 2013, the BSA allowed homosexual boys to join and in 2015 it ended its ban on gay adult leaders. In 2017, it yielded again, ruling that biological boys who identify as girls can join. 

Leftists are nothing but statists: They want the power to control the people. Thus, anything that stands in their way—such as the family, church, and voluntary associations (the BSA)—are an obstacle to the power and reach of the state. 

Would matters have turned out differently had the BSA officials not adopted the politics of inclusion? Hard to say, but at least they could have made their mark in the culture war. Instead, they caved, and now they are paying the price.

A Short Story for Christmas

One raw winter night a farmer heard an irregular thumping sound against his kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.

Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in the corner. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.

The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them to the barn. Nothing worked. He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn’t comprehend that he actually desired to help. The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird – one of them – just for a moment. Then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.

At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He grasped the reason Jesus was born. (As told by Paul Harvey)

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Indianapolis, IN 46240-0307

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AFAIN: Religious Freedom Court Case Update, Social Cost & Snowmen

Our Religious Freedom Court Case Slowly Moves Ahead

On Friday I spent three hours on the 27thfloor of one of Indianapolis’ tallest office buildings for a deposition.  This was a process of being sworn in under oath with a court reporter and attorneys representing the four cities named in our lawsuit.  Our case challenges the constitutionality of “human rights” ordinances that could punish AFA of Indiana for adhering to our religious beliefs in regard to traditional marriage or gender.

The day before, my colleague Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute had a similar ordeal.  On Monday, Ryan McCann of Indiana Family Action took his turn.  The questions were based upon thousands of documents related to our case and our statements regarding RFRA, the RFRA fix and special rights ordinances.   If you recall the recent US Supreme Court case involving the Colorado baker who was punished financially by a governmental human rights commission for refusing to participate in a homosexual wedding by designing, creating, and setting up a wedding cake, then you know the gist of our concerns and our lawsuit.

The case is scheduled for a five day trial this coming summer.  If you would like to help financially support us through a legal fund to help us defend the rights of conscience of Hoosiers, you can contribute through this link: https://www.afain.net/defensefund/


Where Might Some Democrats Want Indiana Elections to Go?

You have probably read how Democrats in California took several Congressional seats that appeared to be Republican wins through a process of “ballot harvesting.”   This is a disturbing process reducing voting to something like a door-to-door survey among those not engaged or informed enough to bother to go vote otherwise.

Looking over about 100 new Indiana Senate bills released thus far, two Democrats have bills that make absentee voting very lax, like voting by mail, (SB 86 – JD Ford) and allowing same-day voter registration at the polling place, which could make fraud easier (SB 33 – Tim Lanane).  One could see how this bill might be an early step toward Florida-style provisional ballots.

Societal Costs Far Exceed Promises of Weed Industry

A new study out of Colorado finds that the promises of an economic boom if that state legalized marijuana have fallen flat.  Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute reviewed data to analyze the economic and social costs of medical and recreational marijuana use in the state.   Recreational use became legal in 2014 in Colorado.

There are 1,459 medical marijuana outlets and 1,606 recreational outlets in the state according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.  The state now has more marijuana stores than Starbucks or McDonalds.  Legal marijuana (there has been a huge growth in illegal marijuana after legalization) is subject to a 2.9% sales tax, a 10% marijuana sales tax and a 10% excise tax. Nevertheless, pot revenues represent less than 1% of the state’s budget.  Much like the lottery, which also had promises of new roads, more school funding and an economic boom, the benefits of pot have been invisible.

The study finds that Coloradans spend $4.57 to alleviate marijuana’s negative effects for every one tax dollar it generates.   The study’s authors also warn, “like tobacco, commercial marijuana is likely to have health consequences that we won’t be able to determine for decades.”

All Good Humor Has a Touch of Truth

I saw something on social media that I wanted to share for some levity this week. However, while this is funny, it is so close to true that it also makes a good point about the cultural chaos engulfing America today.

It Snowed Last Night…

8:00 am: I made a snowman.
8:10 – A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.
8:15 – So, I made a snow woman.
8:17 – My feminist neighbor complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere.
8:20 – The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.
8:22 – The transgender man..women…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.
8:25 – The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.
8:28 – I was being called a racist because the snow couple is white.
8:30 – I used food coloring to make one of the snow couple a different color and be more racially inclusive.
8:37 – Accused of using black face on the snowman…snowpersons.
8:39 – The middle eastern gent across the road demanded the snow woman be covered up .
8:40 – The police arrived saying someone had been offended.
8:42 – The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needed to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.
8:43 – The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.
8:45 – TV news crew from ABC showed up. I was asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I replied, “Snowballs?” I am now called a sexist.
9:00 – I was on the news as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe, and sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.
9:10 – I was asked if I have any accomplices. My children were taken by social services.
9:29 – Far left protesters offended by everything marched down the street demanding for me to be arrested.
9:45 – The boss called and fired me because of the negative association with work that had been all over social media.
10:00 – I cry into my drink because all I wanted to do was build a snowman…

Moral: There is no moral to this story. It is what this world has become because of a bunch of snowflakes.

In Their Own Words:

“Conservatives have allowed liberals to win the culture war because we’re generally civil people. When the left says we’re uncivil, we tend to shy away from the fight rather than, as Andrew [Breitbart] put it, walking toward the fire.”  – Ben Shapiro

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AFA of Indiana

PO Box 40307

Indianapolis, IN 46240-0307

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AFA-IN: Have Scientists Affirmed the Creation Account? Free Christmas Concert on Sunday

AFA-IN’s Christmas Concert this Sunday

This is just a reminder that our free Christmas concert in Northwest Indiana is this Sunday evening at 6pm central time.   Grammy winning Christian artist Bryan Duncan will be singing some of his hits along with many Christmas songs.  This is the second time we have hosted this event.  It is a great, fun way to start off the Christmas season.

We have a page set up for the event at Living Stones Church, 909 Pratt Street, Crown Point.  You can learn more about the event at this page.  You can also donate, even if you cannot attend, to help support the work of AFA of Indiana.   An anonymous donor has set up a matching gift of up to $5,000.  This means that money donated through this concert is effectively doubled up to that amount.

Learn more here:  https://www.afain.net/duncan_christmas/

Oh No, Science Might Actually Point to That?

There is an interesting new scientific study with findings that are unsettling for those with a secular worldview.

Senior Research Associates, Mark Stoeckle and David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland, told the media that “the conclusion is very surprising,” and that they “fought very hard against it, as hard as they could.”

The reason why the scientists probably did not like their findings is because it has a rather obvious Biblical connection. The UK Daily Mail story, below, made sure that a secular spin was put on this, but it seems obvious that this has Biblical possibilities too.

The study looked at the DNA of five million animals and humans and “deduced that we sprang from a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race.” Stoeckle and Thaler concluded that 90% of all of today’s animal species come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250,000 years ago, which raises doubts about the theory of human evolution.

“One might have thought that, due to their high population numbers and wide geographic distribution, humans might have led to greater genetic diversity than other animal species. . . At least for mitochondrial DNA, humans turn out to be low to average in genetic diversity,” the researchers said.

The scientists don’t speculate on what that catastrophic event was, but one could assume it could be either creation itself, or perhaps a global flood as taught in Scripture. Some headlines said this study points to Adam and Eve, but one could also see conclusions pointing to Noah’s family.

Science isn’t omniscient or infallible. Evolution is the dominant worldview in which most research is viewed and presented. Still, it is a fascinating study that you can read more about here:  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6424407/Every-person-spawned-single-pair-adults-living-200-000-years-ago-scientists-claim.html

Persecution Has a Purpose

As long as I am on the topic of Biblical faith, a verse I often recall in my role at AFA of Indiana is 2 Timothy 3:12.  It says, Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  Certainly, Jack Phillips has desired to live a godly life as a Christian baker at the epicenter of the debate over religious freedom in America today.

The Colorado baker, who won a Supreme Court case when he declined to participate in a homosexual wedding, has been a victim of significant persecution from the government and left wing activists.

At one point the threats got so severe that Jack’s family was afraid to go to the store to work.  Yet, in the midst of numerous death threats, Jack’s faith never wavered.  He continued to serve in his community and to live out his life in a loving and humble way that honored Christ.

Because of the hate and persecution thrown at the baker and his family, Jack’s nephew Sean became very angry.  He could not relate to the demeanor his uncle had in the midst of such a storm.  Jack is still being harassed by activists both in and outside of Colorado government.  However, his reaction to it all recently caused Sean to start reading the Bible to see what it was that made his uncle behave this way.  God drew Sean to an understanding of this and Sean has since become a follower of Christ like his uncle.

You can read more about this here:
https://www.faithwire.com/2018/11/26/nephew-of-famed-baker-jack-phillips-became-a-christian-after-seeing-his-uncle-defend-the-faith/

In Their Own Words:

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.  – Economist and author, Thomas Sowell

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PO Box 40307

Indianapolis, IN 46240-0307

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AFA-IN: Put Your John Hancock on Thanksgiving !

Daylight Savings Time: Have You Done This Too ?

Well, I goofed. We mailed out a post card for our free Christmas concert with Dove and Grammy Award winning singer Bryan Duncan.  The time is correct, but only if you live in most of Indiana; not where our concert is occurring.  The concert is Sunday, evening December 2nd, at Living Stones Church, 909 Pratt Street in Crown Point . . . which is on Central time with Illinois.   So, the concert is 6 pm CST.  (Our card said 7 pm.)  If you live in northwest or northern Indiana, we would love to have you join us for this fun event.   (There will be an offering to support the work of AFA of Indiana.)

We Are Thankful for You!  Remembering Thanksgiving

AFA of Indiana is very thankful for our supporters and the regular readers of this weekly email.  For Thanksgiving, I want to pass along an interesting historic item.   Thanksgiving proclamations were common in our founding era, and printed newspapers.  They are an interesting read.  This one is from Massachusetts Governor John Hancock, whom you know as the one with largest signature on the Declaration.  If a governor wrote something like this today, the ACLU, the media, or the Democrats in the legislature would move to censor or impeach him.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

By His EXCELLENCY
John Hancock, Esq.
GOVERNOR of the COMMONWEALTH
of
Massachusetts.
A PROCLAMATION,
For a Day of Public Thanksgiving.

In consideration of the many undeserved Blessings conferred upon us by GOD, the Father of all Mercies; it becomes us not only in our private and usual devotion, to express our obligations to Him, as well as our dependence upon Him; but also specially to set a part a Day to be employed for this great and important Purpose:

I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and by the advice and consent of the Council, do hereby accordingly appoint, THURSDAY, the seventeenth of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public THANKSGIVING and PRAISE, throughout this Commonwealth:—Hereby calling upon Ministers and People of every denomination, to assemble on the said Day—and in the name of the Great Mediator, devoutly and sincerely offer to Almighty God, the gratitude of our Hearts, for all his goodness towards us; more especially in that HE has been pleased to continue to us so a great a measure of Health—to cause the Earth plentifully to yield her increase, so that we are supplied with the Necessaries, and the Comforts of Life—to prosper our Merchandise and Fishery—And above all, not only to continue to us the enjoyment of our civil Rights and Liberties; but the great and most important Blessing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ: And together with our cordial acknowledgments, I do earnestly recommend, that we may join the penitent confession of our Sins, and implore the further continuance of the Divine Protection, and Blessings of Heaven upon this People; especially that He would be graciously pleased to direct, and prosper the Administration of the Federal Government, and of this, and the other States in the Union—to afford Him further Smiles on our Agriculture and Fisheries, Commerce and Manufactures—To prosper our University and all Seminaries of Learning—To bless the virtuously struggling for the Rights of Men—so that universal Happiness may be Allies of the United States, and to afford his Almighty Aid to all People, who are established in the World; that all may bow to the Scepter of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the whole Earth be filled with his Glory.

And I do also earnestly recommend to the good People of this Commonwealth, to abstain from all servile Labor and Recreation, inconsistent with the solemnity of the said day.

Given at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, the fifth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-One, and in the sixteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

JOHN HANCOCK.
By his Excellency’s Command,
JOHN AVERY, jun. Sec’y
GOD save the Commonwealth of MASSACHUSETTS!!

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Considerations for your places to shop

Americans Can Now Determine Where To Shop And Spend Their Money
Election Cycle political donations, as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics.  https://www.opensecrets.org/
Shopping
Price Club/ Costco:   donated $225K, 99% went to Democrats
Rite Aid: donated $517K, 60% went to Democrats
Magla Products (Stanley tools, Mr. Clean): donated $22K, 100% went to Democrats
Warnaco (undergarments): donated $55K, 73% went to Democrats
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia: donated $153K, 99% went to Democrats
Estee Lauder: donated $448K, 95% went to Democrats
Guess, Inc.: donated $145K, 98% went to Democrats
Calvin Klein: donated $78K, 100% went to Democrats
Liz Claiborne, Inc.: donated $34K, 97% went to Democrats
Levi Straus: donated $26K, 97% went to Democrats
Olan Mills: donated $175K, 99% went to Democrats
Wal-Mart: donated $467K, 97% went to Republicans
K-Mart: donated $524K, 86% went to Republicans
Home Depot: donated $298K, 89% went to Republicans
Target: donated $226K, 70% went to Republicans
Circuit City Stores: donated $261K, 95% went to Republicans
3M Co.: Donated $281K, 87% went to Republicans
Hallmark Cards: donated $319K, 92% went to Republicans
Amway: donated $391K, 100% Republicans
Kohler Co. (plumbing fixtures): donated $283K, 100% Republicans
B.F. Goodrich (tires): donated $215K, 97% went to Republicans
Proctor & Gamble: donated $243K, 79% went to Republicans
Spirits
Southern Wine & Spirits: donated $213K, 73% went to Democrats
Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons (incl. Beverage Business and considerable media interests): donated $2M+, 67% went to Democrats
Gallo Winery: donated $337K, 95% went to Democrats
Coors & Budweiser: donated $174K, 92% went to Republicans
Brown-Forman Corp. (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, Bushmills, Korbel Wines, Lenox China, Dansk and Gorham Silver): donated $644 K — 80% went to Republicans
Hungry?
Sonic Corporation: donated $83K, 98% went to Democrats
Triarc Companies (Arby’s, T.J. Cinnamon’s, Pasta Connections): donated $112K, 96% went to Democrats
Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (chicken): donated $366K, 100% went to Republicans
Outback Steakhouse: donated $641K, 95% went to Republicans
Tricon Global Restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell): donated $133K, 87% went to Republicans
Brinker International (Maggiano’s, Brinker Cafe, Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, Crazymel’s, Corner Baker, EatZis): donated $242K, 83% went to Republicans
Waffle House: donated $279K, 100% went to Republicans
McDonald’s Corp.: Donated $197K, 86% went to Republicans
Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze ): donated $121K, 89% went to Republicans
Heinz: John Kerry’s wife’s company!!!
Republicans $64,000
Democrats $21,300!
Traveling and/or Dining
Hyatt Corporation: donated $187K of which 80% went to Democrats
Marriott International: $323K, 81% went to Republicans
Holiday Inns: donated $38K, 71% went to Republicans
Please forward to your friends.