Let Indiana’s Senators Know that Religious Discrimination is Wrong
The US Senate may soon consider a misnamed bill called the “Equality Act.” This dangerous legislation has already been passed by the US House. It has 45 co-sponsors in the US Senate. It only needs 51 votes to pass.
My national office has reviewed this legislation and warned that, “The deceptive Equality Act is a religious liberty wrecking ball.”
It would be hard to imagine a more anti-freedom bill than this one. This legislation would allow the government to discriminate against people of faith, ignoring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and forcing people to violate their consciences or face the full weight of government punishment.
Here are just a few of the many problems the “Equality Act” could cause if enacted:
- It would force many faith-based organizations to pay for abortion in their health care plans by creating a right to demand abortion coverage from health care providers.
- It could force Christian schools, ministries, and churches to change employment policies that are currently aligned with traditional teachings on sex, gender, marriage and human sexuality.
- It would harm faith-based charities, such as adoption agencies, that believe in natural marriage and strive to place foster or adoptive children with a mother and father.
- It would embolden those in Indiana who have been attempting to harm our school voucher system by targeting Christian schools that have employment policies consistent with their religious beliefs on sexual morality.
- It could threaten the privacy and safety of women and children by forcing genderless bathrooms and showers upon sporting facilities, parks, rest areas and other public amenities.
- It could force schools to allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports if those males claim gender confusion or have a gender identity disorder.
Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun need to hear from you. Ask them to protect religious freedom by voting “No” on the so-called “Equality Act.”
Senator Todd Young
Senator Mike Braun
Retirement Announcement Shakes Up Indiana Politics
As you probably know, 5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks has announced that she will not run for re-election next year. This district covers northern Marion County and includes all of Hamilton, Tipton, Madison and Grant counties, and parts of Blackford, Howard and Boone Counties.
The district, long held by conservative leader Dan Burton, has shifted a lot with the changing demographics of Marion and Hamilton Counties. In terms of voters, the district is about 75% urban or heavily suburban and 25% rural. Rep. Brooks won this district with only 55% in her last run. Democrat Joe Donnelly won this district, though not his race for Senate. It is still a district that though perhaps not ranked “solid Republican” anymore, strongly leans Republican.
I almost never do this, but I am going to list names I have heard considering running, along with my comment, as a descriptor, not an endorsement for or against any candidate. There may be other names yet to emerge and some I mention here may or may not ultimately run. This will be an expensive and heated race.
The only name I have heard mentioned on the Democrat side is speculative. It is former Indiana state representative Christina Hale. She could potentially be a strong candidate for the Democrats.
On the Republican side there are many people reportedly considering a run. In no particular order, here are some of those names.
Former State Senator, and soon to be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, Mike Delph, has been a personal friend of mine for two decades going back to when he was Chief of Staff for Dan Burton. Mike would likely have very strong support among the conservative base of the GOP. Mike has state, congressional, and military experience that could appeal to many GOP voters throughout the district.
Current state Senator John Ruckleshaus is another name being mentioned. I’ve known him for years in the legislature. He would seem to have support among the establishment GOP. I use that term in a positive way. John is a standard, rank and file moderate Republican with what I would consider to be both good and bad votes cast. For many politicians with this description, this would mean that neither the left nor the right would like him, but I don’t sense this with Ruckleshaus. He is a very likeable person. I am not sure how to assess his strengths. It may depend upon how he is defined in this race by himself or by his opponents.
I met Micah Beckwith a few weeks ago, before Brooks’ announcement. He was considering challenging Brooks due to a series of liberal votes she has accumulated. Micah is an energetic outsider who serves as a worship leader on staff at Northview Church, the largest Church in Hamilton County. He may have the hardest path as a dark horse candidate without any political office in his resume, but he is certainly very capable of making an impact on this race.
Former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard would seemingly have a strong base in the Marion County portion of the district and name ID that stretches into Hamilton County. Also, if there is a Susan Collins or Jeff Flake wing of the GOP here, Ballard could own it. The Republican candidates I have mentioned so far all pass the litmus test of being pro-life. Ballard may not meet that criteria. Ideologically, Ballard would seem to appeal to those uncomfortable with Trump and the more liberal wing of the GOP. . . but that doesn’t mean that he cannot win in a crowded field in the May primary.
Another name I have heard, but not seen in the news yet, is Kelly Mitchell. She might have a big chunk of the structured party support given her position as the current Indiana State Treasurer. Her position on issues before the US Congress are mostly unknown.
I have also heard that the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff is interested in running. I believe that is still Megan Savage who has served Chief of Staff since 2015 and as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County prior to this position. She would seem to naturally inherit some of Brooks base of support, if she runs.
In Their Own Words:
“You can’t have a limited government if the family breaks down.” – Former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum