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He Lives!

Monday, April 21, 2014

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen…’ (Luke 24:1-6 ESV)

Some of the greatest hymns of our faith are centered on the Resurrection. Resurrection Sunday affords us the opportunity to sing powerful truths like “I Serve a Risen Savior.” As the old hymn joyously proclaims:

I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.

We do indeed serve a risen Savior! He conquered sin and death, and Jesus Christ is alive!

We all have those precious hymns we hold so dear. Another such hymn which comes to mind is “Hallelujah! What a Savior,” by Philip P. Bliss. Shortly before his death in 1876, Bliss penned these rich words:

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

It has been said that “Hallelujah” is a word that is almost universally understood. It is as if God prepared this special word for the time when Christians of all tribes, tongues, and nations will gather together to worship Him. On this Good Friday, we worship Him for His supreme sacrifice!

During this Easter weekend, it is our hope that you take time to savor the fact that He Lives with your family. Our God is good, and He is faithful.


There is a problem.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Abortion clinic inspections matter because Kermit Gosnell was able to operate a clinic in Philadelphia for more than 30 years, ending countless lives of women, preborn children, and born children.

They matter because, as a Live Action undercover video at a late-term abortion clinic in Phoenix showed, abortion clinics have no problem ignoring the law.

They matter because two weeks ago, a young woman died after taking the abortion pill at a Cleveland abortion clinic

They matter because the Department of Health Services has found that the Glendale Planned Parenthood has record-keeping and patient-care deficiencies. 

The Women’s Health Protection Act (HB 2284) is sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko and is now on Gov. Brewer’s desk, awaiting her action. If we’ve learned anything from the past year of abortion clinic tragedies and expose’s, it’s that we should not put politics before people.

That’s why it is outrageous that abortion clinics are not subject to the same inspection standards as every other medical facility in the state. 

This is an equity issue – just because Planned Parenthood is one of the most powerful special interest groups in the country does not mean they should be exempt from common sense health and safety standards. 

Now is our time to be heard. If you haven’t taken time yet, please respond to our Action Alert by sending Governor Brewer a short message, asking her to sign HB 2284

Also, join me and our Arizona pro-life allies for a rally in support of HB 2284 outside the Tempe Planned Parenthood this afternoon starting at 5 p.m.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

Charles Krauthammer takes on the “Thought Police.” Don’t forget, he will be joining us on May 3 for our CAP Family Dinner. Individual Tickets are now on sale!

Supreme Court turns down Elane Photography. Find out what this means for the future of religious freedom in America. 

Don’t be silenced! Voter Registration Weekend is quickly approaching – are you prepared? Order or download resources to register people in your church or community at azvoterguide.com.

ACTION ALERT: Stand for Life - Contact the Governor!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Contact Governor Brewer today and urge her to take a stand for life and sign the Women’s Health Protection Act, HB 2284, into law! Thank Gov. Brewer for being a pro-life Governor!

HB 2284 is a common sense measure which ensures that abortion clinics are subject to the same inspection standards as all other medical facilities.

It is shocking that abortion clinics are the only health care institutions in the state of Arizona that the Department of Health Services (DHS) cannot immediately inspect if they believe a violation has occurred.

recent DHS inspection exposed treatment violations within the Glendale Planned Parenthood facility. They cited “record-keeping and patient-care shortcomings.” Yet, Planned Parenthood continually cries out in opposition to this bill and has their supporters calling the Governor demanding a veto of this crucial law.
 
Arizona must value the safety of women in abortion clinics as much as women and men in all other health care institutions.

Today, the Women’s Health Protection Act passed the Senate thanks to each of you expressing your support. But this fight is not over yet.

It is critical that the Governor hears your voice on this issue. Contact her today and ask her to sign the Women’s Health Protection Act. Let her know that these women do not deserve sub-par care, no matter the medical procedure.

ACTION NEEDED

  • TAKE ACTION to send Governor Brewer a short email asking her to vote YES on HB 2284.
  • Call the Governor’s office and encourage her to support this important legislation. Dial 602.542.4331!
  • Help us spread the word by sharing this email! Opponents of the bill have been attacking HB 2284. We must reveal that Planned Parenthood is running from the most common sense measures and is putting profits before people’s safety.
  • Forward this email to 5 friends. Make copies and take it to church this weekend. Help us spread the word!
  • Pray! Remember that we must do our part, but the outcome is ultimately in the Lord’s hands.

The test

Friday, April 04, 2014

The story of Brendan Eich is a tragedy.

Mr. Eich is the founder of Mozilla – the company that created the popular browser Firefox. In 2008, he made a $1,000 donation to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, which successfully passed in California to define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.

Today’s culture purports to value diversity and tolerance. Yet this donation by Mr. Eich has now disqualified him from being able to lead the company he created.

Therefore, advocates of redefining marriage have forced Mr. Eich out of Mozilla.

This story is bigger than one man’s high profile “outing” as a supporter of one man one woman marriage. It’s representative of the test we all will be facing, and it exemplifies the need to ensure our laws protecting religious freedom extend to all people of faith, in all walks of life.

To many in our culture, if you fail this test by not complying with their beliefs and political agenda, not only are you unfit to participate in the marketplace, but you are deserving of scorn and ridicule.

It’s why World Vision was willing to consider compromising their biblical convictions. Increasingly, Christian ministries will be grappling with this issue.

But the hypocrisy in this worldview is clear.

So the question we must ask ourselves is “how do we respond?” I see at least three key ways:

  • Pray for those who oppose us. In humility, lift up people who stand against you, even in the most frustrating times.

  • Get involved – don’t wait. There is no question: sooner or later, every one of us will face situations like Mr. Eich, Elaine Huguenin, or the Green Family. There are some that believe freedom of religion only exists within the four walls of the church. That our First Amendment constitutional guarantee to “freely exercise our religion” only protects religious observance. Sadly, this powerful minority has been successful at manipulating laws to inflict this distorted view of liberty on others. Don’t be deceived – the First Amendment protects our right to both observe and practice our religion – to live and work according to our faith. All is not lost though, and I wholeheartedly believe that we can curb the tide if we stand together now. A great way to get started is by participating in the Voter Registration Weekends.

  • Hold fast. This may be the hardest of them all. I certainly understand that it’s easy to grow weary standing for justice and truth. But be encouraged and know that you don’t have to rely on your own strength to persevere. Together, we can make a difference if only we refuse to let our voices be silenced.

 The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

Decisions-decisions

Friday, March 28, 2014

For years, our opponents have turned to the courts to advance their political agenda. When they can’t win at the ballot box or legislature, they turn to the judicial system to undermine efforts to promote and defend foundational principles.

Every issue area we’re working on at CAP has some element in the courts right now: life, marriage and family, and religious freedom.

Many of these cases will have a tremendous impact on our state and your family. Join me in praying for the judges deciding the outcomes and for favorable results. Here’s the latest:

Life

  • This week, I was at the Federal District Court House in Tucson to hear oral arguments in the case of Planned Parenthood v Humble. Planned Parenthood was asking the court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order against the CAP-supported law that requires the abortion industry to distribute the dangerous and deadly abortion pill in line with Food and Drug Administration protocol. The law is scheduled to go into effect next Tuesday, April 1, therefore the Court must decide before then. Either way, this case is heading for a full evidentiary hearing.
  • The good news on the life front came yesterday when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a similar provision in Texas. Along with the abortion pill regulation, the Court upheld that Texas could require abortionists to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic. Arizona’s admitting privilege requirement will go into effect April 1 as it has not been challenged by Planned Parenthood. The fact the Fifth Circuit Court as well as a similar court decision out of Ohio upheld this law is a good sign for our efforts in Arizona.

Marriage & Family

  • Two lawsuits are challenging Arizona’s voter-approved marriage amendment. The national homosexual legal organization Lambda Legal brought the most recent challenge. The latest update is Lambda Legal is asking the Court to merge the two cases. As court after court undermines the will of the voters by overturning other states’ marriage amendments, it is critical that we are in prayer over these challenges.
  • Arizona’s Supreme Court affirming the constitutionality of the Empowerment Scholarship Account program went relatively unnoticed last week. By declining to hear the case, our state’s high court supported the lower court ruling upholding the law. This is great news for families! This program opens doors to educational possibilities previously unavailable to many. Read more about ESAs at AZPolicyPages.com. You can also watch this video to find out how your family can apply for an ESA.

Religious Freedom

  • Of course, the biggest news of the week came on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over Hobby Lobby’s and Conestoga Wood Specialties’ challenge to the HHS Mandate. The Obama administration is seeking to require these family-owned businesses to pay for abortion-causing drugs in their employees’ insurance plans, even though that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs about the sanctity of life.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court also has yet to decide whether to hear arguments in the Elane Photography case. As you know, in this case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled it was the “price of citizenship” for Elaine to have to compromise her religious beliefs and take photos of a same-sex commitment ceremony. Both the Elane case and the Hobby Lobby case highlight a growing liberal effort to redefine what the First Amendment truly means. People like President Obama or Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton would contend that the Constitution only protects your right to “observe” your religion by going to church – or your “freedom to worship.” The moment you step out of your church, you surrender your right to “practice” or live your life according to your faith – especially if your religious beliefs conflict with what the government deems to be acceptable behavior. This is a chilling and extreme view of religious liberty. Our First Amendment right to freely exercise our religious beliefs includes both the observance and the practice of our beliefs. If allowed to progress, it will surely impact every American. There is no doubt: this is the defining issue of our time.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Join in on #HobbyLobbyDay!Tomorrow, thousands of Americans will show their support for religious liberty following Hobby Lobby's appearance before the Supreme Court. Show your support for their courageous stand by shopping at Hobby Lobby and tweeting with the hashtag #HobbyLobbyDay! 
  • Sponsorships are now available for the CAP Family Dinner with Dr. Charles Krauthammer! Reserve your spot for our May 3 event at azpolicy.org/familydinner.
  • Doing your taxes? Still time to claim the School Choice Tax Credit for 2013! Did you know you may make a contribution up until April 15 that counts against the previous year’s tax liability? If you’d like to help a family send their children to the school of their choice, consider taking advantage of Arizona’s dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Read more about this program here.
  • World Vision changes its mind. After initially announcing the Christian mission organization would change its policy on the biblical view of marriage and sexuality, World Vision has reversed course, and pledged to hold to biblical convictions. 

God’s Not Dead

Friday, March 21, 2014

Today’s the day! Across America, people will be heading to theaters to watch the much-anticipated film GOD’S NOT DEAD.

GOD'S NOT DEAD, inspired by real life religious freedom legal cases, follows college freshman and devout Christian Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) on his mission to disprove his dogmatic professor's (Kevin Sorbo) belief that there is no God.

As the controversy surrounding SB 1062 revealed, our nation desperately needs to engage in an honest discussion about the intersection of faith and the public square.

GOD’S NOT DEAD is where this discussion starts. You can watch the trailer here.

How a film performs opening weekend is critical to the life of the film – and in the case of GOD'S NOT DEAD, critical to the impact this truth-bearing message will have on our culture. You can help!

  1. Invite your friends and family to see GOD'S NOT DEAD! Visit GodsNotDeadtheMovie.com/Theaters to see where the film is playing in your community and purchase tickets for opening weekend.

  2. Lend your voice and social media support to the Thunderclap campaign. Click here to join-in in proclaiming GOD IS NOT DEAD.

  3. PRAY! Pray that this film impacts lives for Christ and encourages people to deepen their faith.

I want to personally thank Pure Flix Entertainment for creating this incredible faith-based film.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Pray! Please take time this weekend to pray for the U.S. Supreme Court as they will be considering the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties cases on Tuesday.

  • The key amicus brief to read on Hobby Lobby. Read the amicus brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case signed by the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Coalition of African American Pastors, the Manhattan Declaration, and individuals, including Dr. Wayne Grudem and Eric Metaxas.

  • Glendale Council approves bill that favors tribal casino. Read more about how the Glendale City Council is now opposing federal legislation to block the proposed new Tohono O’odham casino. You can read more about the harms of gambling here.

We care just as much

Friday, March 14, 2014

The prolife community cares just as much about the life of the woman walking into an abortion clinic as we do her preborn child.

This was the message I delivered to the Senate Health and Human Services Community on Wednesday when I testified in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act (HB 2284).

This legislation is sponsored by Representative Debbie Lesko and has already passed out of the House of Representatives. It ensures that abortion clinics are subject to the same inspection standards as every other medical facility in the state.

You can watch some of the highlights from my testimony by clicking below. After you’ve watched the video, please take a minute to respond to the Action Alert we sent out yesterday about this bill. Your Senator needs to hear from you that we should value the health and safety of women in abortions clinics as much as we do in every other health care institution.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

ACTION ALERT: Protect Life - Contact Your Senator!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We need your help to protect the health and safety of women in the state of Arizona!

The Women’s Health Protection Act, HB 2284, is a common sense measure that ensures abortion clinics are subject to the same inspection standards as all other medical facilities.

It is shocking that abortion clinics are the only health care institutions in the state of Arizona that the Department of Health Services (DHS) cannot immediately inspect if they believe a violation has occurred.

Arizona should value the safety of women in abortion clinics as much as women and men in all other health care institutions.

Heartbreaking situations such as the Kermit Gosnell tragedy, have shown us that abortion clinics must be inspected regularly. Some have tried to say that was an isolated incident, yet just last year another abortion clinic in North Carolina had its license suspended due to not following basic safety standards.

Yesterday, the Women’s Health Protection Act passed the Senate Health and Human Services committee and will now move to be voted on by all senators on the floor. We need YOUR help to ensure this bill makes it to the Governor’s desk!

It is critical that your senators hear your voice on this issue. No woman deserves sub-par care, no matter the medical procedure.

ACTION NEEDED

  • TAKE ACTION to send your senator a short email asking them to vote YES on HB 2284.
  • Call your senator’s office and encourage them to support this important legislation. You can find their number by clicking here.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing this email! Opponents of the bill have been attacking HB 2284. We must reveal that Planned Parenthood is running from the most common sense measures and is putting profits before people’s safety.
  • Forward this email to 5 friends. Make copies and take it to church this weekend. Help us spread the word!
  • Pray! Remember that we must do our part, but the outcome is ultimately in the Lord’s hands.

No matter what?

Friday, March 07, 2014

By now, I should be used to the double speak from Arizona’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. However, I’ll never get use to the sense of bewilderment at their opposition to even the most common sense abortion regulations.

In one breath they claim to care for women, yet in the next breath they try to block even the most common sense health and safety standards to protect women.

They struck twice this week. First they voiced their opposition to HB 2284, the Women’s Health Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko. Their opposition to this bill is truly puzzling. This law simply says that if the Department of Health Services receives a complaint about an abortion clinic, inspectors can immediately go investigate the claim at the abortion clinic, just like they would at every other medical facility.

Currently, abortion clinics are the only medical facilities in the state that require DHS to get an administrative warrant to go inspect. This process can take days at a minimum.

It is absurd that abortion clinics have a special carve out in law to avoid these inspections. If we learned anything from the Kermit Gosnell tragedy, it’s that we shouldn’t allow pro-abortion politics to get in the way of regulators doing their job.

What’s more, there is a recent example of unannounced inspections revealing an abortion clinic not meeting basic health and safety requirements.

North Carolina Health News reports:

Asheville’s only abortion clinic, Femcare, had a key license suspended yesterday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and was ordered to close until various purported problems are corrected.

According to a DHHS news release, state inspectors conducted an unannounced inspection of the facility July 18 and 19 and found “egregious violations of existing rules that revealed an imminent threat to the health and safety of patients.” Officials ordered the facility to be closed by 5 p.m. yesterday.

Thankfully, on Wednesday, the Arizona House of Representatives passed HB 2284 by a vote of 34-22. The bill now moves to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration.

Second, Planned Parenthood struck again by filing a lawsuit against the state for passing common sense health and safety standards.

This time Planned Parenthood alleges the 2012 Mother’s Health and Safety Act requirement that the dangerous and deadly abortion pill be distributed in line with Federal Food and Drug Administration protocol is unconstitutional.

Currently, Planned Parenthood distributes the pill through the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. The FDA only approved the drug through 7 weeks.

It’s also important to note that when the FDA approved this drug, they did so with specific restrictions because it is more dangerous than most drugs. Twenty-one women have died from taking this medication, and all who take it will likely experience severe bleeding and cramping.

Yet knowing this, Planned Parenthood is STILL suing to be able to go outside the FDA protocol.

This lawsuit is yet another example of the abortion giant trying to intimidate our elected officials into not passing common sense health and safety standards on the abortion industry.

Yet the truth is, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a preliminary injunction overturning a similar Texas law on the grounds the law likely was constitutional. The Sixth Circuit Court already upheld a similar Ohio law as constitutional.  

Furthermore, the Arizona legislature has a stunning track record of passing constitutionally sound pro-life legislation. Since 2009 alone, 27 provisions have been signed into law relating to abortion. Only two of them have been overturned by the courts.

Planned Parenthood seems to be committed to selling abortions, “no matter what.” My commitment to standing for women and preborn children is stronger than ever. No matter what.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

As the dust settles

Friday, February 28, 2014

The veto of SB 1062 is a loss for our entire state. Not just because Arizonans won’t be provided with the basic protections within the bill, but because we saw for the first time how effective the politics of fear and intimidation can truly be.

Yet, as with many things, good can come out of disappointing circumstances.

One of the immediate benefits from this experience is that our friends across the country are waking up to the very real threats to religious freedom and what’s happening in Arizona. There have been some interesting posts across the web throughout this situation that clearly show the country is waking up to religious hostility.

Before I share some of these articles, I want to especially thank our allies across the country for standing with us, especially our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, CitizenLink, and American Family Association.

Arizona bill protects religious freedom by Cathi Herrod in USA Today
“… the lies and misinformation about SB 1062 have spread across our state and nation. Yet the truth about this important bill is much more simple and sensible.”

Brewer’s Foolish Veto by Rich Lowry in Politico Magazine
“A headline from The Week declared, ‘There is nothing Christian about Arizona’s anti-gay bill.’ It would be more accurate to say that there was nothing anti-gay about Arizona’s anti-gay bill.”

Taking Fire in Arizona by Alec Torres in National Review
“But the real issue is ‘the First Amendment, the first freedom,’ Herrod says. ‘We should have the right to live out our religious beliefs. That’s what’s at stake here, and this is a wake-up call.’”

Brewer picked the pigskin by Gary Bauer in the End of Day Report
“Right before your eyes, significant parts of Scripture are on the verge of being declared off-limits, subjecting you to accusations of bigotry and jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of your church.”

Fiedorek: Setting the record straight on SB 1062 by Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kellie Fiedorek in the East Valley Tribune
“It’s a shame we even need a bill like this in America. But the increasing use of government coercion to threaten and punish its own citizens has made it necessary.”

Error-zona: Brewer Ditches Facts to Save Face by Tony Perkins in Family Research Council’s Washington Update
“The media's coverage stunned supporters of SB 1062, who wondered how the press could be talking about the same bill the legislature had just passed.”

Brewer vetoes legislation designed to protect religious liberty by Katrina Trinko on the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry Blog
“Everyone should be free to live and love as they choose, but no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship.”

Eleven Law Professors send letter to Gov. Brewer
“Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”

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