Reading to Children: Building a Strong Foundation

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

I grew up in a family of readers. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad reading to me at bedtime.  I only vividly recall two books from my childhood, although I’m sure there were more.

One was Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Dad read “The Elephant’s Child” or “How the Elephant Got His Trunk” to me so many times I think the book naturally fell open to this story of how the young elephant’s insatiable curiosity took him to the shores of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River where he tangled with a crocodile who grabbed his then-stubby nose and pulled on it until it stretched into its current shape and length.  When The Elephant’s Child returned from his adventure, his trunk which he discovers now has ever so many uses became the envy of all the other elephants who rather than doing their normal spanking of the young elephant for his ‘satiable curiosity themselves made the trek to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River to have the crocodile pull their noses into useful trunks, too.

Wise FatherThe other book was an illustrated Bible for children.  It was grey, thick and filled with colored pictures illustrating the great Bible stories.  I loved looking at that Bible. My favorite story and illustration was Noah and the Ark. As an animal loving child, I was fascinated by the idea of God causing all the animals on the earth to come two by two to this huge boat that Noah obediently built. I remember, too, a picture of Samson standing between the pillars of the Philistine temple with his arms extended pushing until the pillars broke and the temple fell. Mom and Dad read these and many other stories from the Bible to me over and over and over again. I don’t recall our discussing them, but I’m sure I had questions that they answered—again and again and again.

And what did I gain from these parent-child reading experiences?  I gained more than I can possibly relate, but here are a couple I believe are particularly noteworthy.

I gained a love for literature—good literature in particular.  My parents saw to it that the books we spent the most time with were quality writing.  To this day, a well-written book is a thing of beauty and joy for me. I learned to distinguish good literature from bad literature by a steady exposure to the good.

More importantly, I learned about God and His Word. I saw His provision, His love, His holiness, His commandments—and I never doubted that the stories I listened to as a child were real. My parents were establishing a firm foundation in me, an unshakeable faith that God is real and His Word is true. I learned to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong and truth from lies by a steady exposure to the good, the right and the truth.

Of course this doesn’t mean I haven’t doubted or strayed. I’d be lying if I said that. But I can honestly say, by God’s grace, over the years I’ve wrestled and worked through those things and time and again have realized that those foundational lessons were absolutely critical in building my life and my worldview.

Tragically, today I meet young people who say they are Christians who have little to no Christian worldview. They don’t know what they believe or why they believe it.  A new poll released just last week indicates, for instance, that American Christians who think same-sex marriage is ok, are seven times more likely to approve of pornography, three times more likely to approve of cohabiting, six times more likely to approve of no-strings-attached sex, five times more likely to approve of adultery, thirteen times more likely to approve of polyamorous relationships, and six times more likely to approve of abortion.

How do people who say they are Christians come to these conclusions when God’s Word is extremely clear on these matters?  I believe it is a lack of a strong foundation. They do not know what God’s Word says about these issues. Maybe they didn’t have parents who took the time to repeatedly read Bible stories to them or who took them to Bible-preaching and Bible-teaching churches.  While there’s no guarantee in parenting, parents exposing their children to the Truth through Bible stories and good teaching provides a foundation that will be with them all their lives.  They develop a sensitivity that helps them discern lies, which enables them to filter the garbage they hear and see in the world—and it increases dramatically the likelihood that they don’t buy the lies that result in an absolutely unbiblical worldview and results much too often in a ruined life.

grandparent readingParents, grandparents, aunts and uncles: can you think of a better investment than putting a little one on your lap and reading Bible stories to her?  I sure can’t!

WISCONSIN: Marriage goes back to court – TOMORROW

On Tuesday, August 26, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear oral arguments on Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment that prohibits homosexual marriage.

In June of this year, liberal U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that Wisconsin’s 2006 Marriage Protection Amendment, voted on and approved by nearly 60% of those voting in Wi, was unconstitutional.  Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appealed Crabb’s decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Wisconsin case is joined by a similar case from Indiana. Wisconsin Family Action has already issued an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in the Indiana case; that brief will suffice for both cases as they are now being considered together.

It is unclear when the Federal Court will issue a final decision.

“Wisconsin Unites for Marriage,” a pro-homosexual group based in Wisconsin, formed by the ACLU, Fair Wisconsin and Freedom to Marry is planning a “marriage bus tour” to Chicago that day and a rally after the hearing.

WFA president Julaine Appling, will attend the hearing  on behalf of WFA and the others represented in the friend-of-the-court brief and shares, “There’s something more critical Christians can do than showing up there—and that is pray.  We covet your prayers for this hearing. We also urge Christians to visit wifamilycouncil.org and sign our Marriage Declaration.  That too is very important. We can do way better than 3000.

Coming to Wisconsin? – What are you willing to stand up for?

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

Coming to Wisconsin?

“Hello.  This is Tom’s Limousine Service.  We take you where you want to go in style!  How can I help you?”

“Hi, Tom.  This is Tyler Jones.  I’m looking to book your services for my wedding on Saturday afternoon, September 13. My fiancé and I want you to take us and the wedding party from the park where we are getting married to the reception.  The park is in Waukesha and the reception is in Milwaukee.  Can you do that?”

“Sure, Tyler.  I have a limo available for that day.  I just need some information from you.  How many in your wedding party?”

“Well, let’s see.  There’s John and me and then Steve, Chuck, Scott, and Hank.”

“Ok.  That’s 6 guys.  And how many girls in addition to your bride?”

“ Oh. None.  John and I decided we wanted all men in the wedding party.”

“Um, well, uh, so you are marrying John?  Wow. This is difficult for me, Tyler, but I’m going to have to refer you to another limo service in the area who will give you the same price I would.  I’m happy to make that call for you right now.”

“What?? You just told me you had the day open and a car available. Why are you now telling me you won’t provide a limo for me and John?  Oh, I get it. It’s because we’re gay, right?

“Well, not exactly.  It’s not because of your sexual orientation. It’s because this is a wedding. That takes it to a different level.  But again, I’m happy to call another limo service who I am sure will be pleased to have your business.”

“I don’t want another limo service. I want yours.  You’re one of those Christians, aren’t you, who believe marriage is only for a man and a woman.  You are fine with discriminating against me just because I happen to love a man.  That’s just great.  I guess there really are homophobic, hateful bigots who just can’t stand the idea of men being in loving and committed relationships.”

“Look, I’m not judging you about who you love; I am just saying I can’t provide you limo service your wedding.  But, hey, let me call Sam’s Limo Service. He’s a great guy and will give you an excellent price and service. “

“I don’t want Sam’s Limo Service.  John and I want you to provide the limo for our wedding.  Since you’re telling me your religion is standing in the way of my happiness, I guess we’ll just have to see where this goes.”

“I’m sorry you’re upset.  It’s true that I run my business according to Christian principles.  That doesn’t mean I hate you; it means I disagree with you on marriage.  This is America.  Surely we can just agree to disagree, and I can refer you to another limo service.”

religious freedom“No, we can’t just agree to disagree on this. I have a fundamental right to marry whomever I want and according to Wisconsin’s law, you as a business must provide me with what I want—and John and I want limo service for our wedding.  Would you provide service for a black man and white woman?  Probably not since your silly Christian beliefs have hate and discrimination built into them.  Now I really understand why the state of Wisconsin added sexual orientation as a protected class to our laws.  Without them and with people like you in business, we’d be treated just like the blacks were before the Civil Rights laws were passed.  Black, gay, whatever…we’re all the same.  I’m born gay; you’re born straight.  You’re saying you can marry who you love but I can’t.  We’ll see what the courts say about that!”

“Tyler, again, I don’t hate you and you are free to love anyone you want.  But how is it right for you to try to force me to violate my beliefs about marriage, especially when I have offered repeatedly to refer you to another guy who does limo service.  I’m asking that you respect my beliefs just as you want me to respect yours.”

“I’m through with this conversation, Tom.  You’ll be hearing from John and me—and our attorneys.  In the meantime, you need to go to some diversity training and learn how to treat people. You can’t go around hating gay people and discriminating against them just because of your outdated, narrow religious beliefs.  And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, across the country guys like you have been losing, man.  Losing their businesses, losing in court, losing money…because just like you, they are so narrow-minded and bigoted.  We don’t tolerate that kind of stuff in Wisconsin and America any more.  We’ll see you in court!”

It hasn’t happened yet in Wisconsin, but the above isn’t at all far-fetched.  What are you willing to stand up for?  What price are you willing to pay to stand for the truth?

Choose Life WI Part of Amicus Group Addressing SCOTUS re: License Plates

Choose Life WI part of amicus group asking SCOTUS to take a case

regarding Choose Life plates

From LifeNews.com:

Yesterday, the Thomas More Society filed an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to hear a case involving “Choose Life” license plates, in order to resolve disputes among lower courts over how to treat specialty license plates.

>>>>>Read the rest of the article HERE.

choose lifeWisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling states, “We’re honored to be part of this effort before the US Supreme Court.  Earlier this year the Republican-led Wisconsin state senate killed our bill that would have authorized a Choose Life plate in our state.  Their political games cost pro-life citizens their free-speech rights and the opportunity to create a legitimate funding stream for Wisconsin’s incredible life-saving, women’s-health promoting Pregnancy Resource Centers.”

Does Your Child’s School Respect Your Family Values?

Reading, Writing……Sexuality and Drugs 

What will your children be learning in the school they attend this year?  Will their teachers and school district support your family values?  

As we approach a new school year, parents need to go the extra mile in checking out their local school district’s website and asking to review curriculum, as well as perusing the school library for inappropriate materials.

>>>>>read more from our friends at Focus on the Family HERE

New Wisconsin Coalition Pushing Acceptance of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Homosexual activists have begun a push in The Badger State to “educate” citizens on why same-sex “marriage” would be good for the state.  The ACLU, Fair Wisconsin, and Freedom to Marry have formed a coalition to hold events across the state to try to gain support for their position.  This in spite of the fact that in a 2006 vote, nearly 60% of Wisconsin voters voted to keep marriage in our state between one man and one woman.  This past June, a lone federal judged ruled that state constitutional amendment violates the US constitution.  That decision is being appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals with oral arguments scheduled for August 26 in Chicago.

WFA president Julaine Appling notes, “People have a right to form coalitions, spend money and get their message out, even those wanting to redefine, and thereby deconstruct our state’s most important institution.  The question is, do those of us who know the truth about why marriage between one man and one woman is a public good care as much about getting our message out as do those who oppose God’s plan We, too, must put our time and our money into making sure people know the truth.”

>>>>>read more about this coalition HERE

What you can do:

  • Talk with others about marriage, the importance of traditional marriage, and God’s plan for this sacred institution.
  • Hold a Bible study, or encourage others to gather for a study, to learn more about marriage God’s way.
  • Pray for those who are seeking to tear apart marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • Download, read, and share our newest publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, to learn more about the benefits of marriage in our state and the harmful effects of marriage breakdown in our society, and across the nation.

Planned Parenthood: Making a Bad Situation Worse

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

“Sally (not her real name) was a church-going Christian. She was also unmarried but had reason to think she was pregnant.  While she was over 18, she rightly turned to her parents for help and advice. Her parents, also Christians and solid church members, wanting to help her, took her not to one of Wisconsin’s life-saving, women-helping Pregnancy Resource Centers but to a local Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Planned-ParenthoodThat decision baffled me.  I asked some folks why they had done that.  The response was telling. “Well,” they said, “it’s the only place they knew that gave free pregnancy testing.”  My heart sank. That told me that Planned Parenthood has been successful—hugely so—in their marketing. Even Christian kids from Christian families and who had been in Christian schools knew about Planned Parenthood and saw it as the first line of help with a suspected or known pregnancy. I was pretty sure, too, that these folks thought of Planned Parenthood as “safe,” probably in all ways, meaning having their best interest at heart, giving reliable information, and not reporting them to any officials or even to parents.

stop abortionTalk about eye-opening.  I realized that even my own people did not know the truth about Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. They didn’t know about Pregnancy Resource Centers that are a much, much better place to go for help in these situations.  And so we have determined that Wisconsin Family Council will use every available means to educate people about Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s fabulous Pregnancy Resource Centers.

For starters, lawsuits are underway in Arizona, Colorado and Ohio Planned Parenthood operations for not reporting underage rape. We’ve already had accusations of this sort about at least one Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin facility. The law generally requires health-care providers, which is what Planned Parenthood keeps saying they are, to report sexual abuse of minors. Undercover work shows it’s not all that unusual for Planned Parenthood personnel to absolutely ignore the information they are given about the ages of the girl and the man in given situations.  That’s not just illegal; it’s downright dangerous for the young girl.

We know young women going to Planned Parenthood will not be told the truth about the baby they are carrying. They’ll be told it is just a fetus, a clump of tissues, a mass of cells, the product of conception.  To call this a baby would be complicit in humanizing the pregnancy—and we certainly wouldn’t want that.

And this leads to the reality that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s and our state’s largest abortion provider.  We learned recently that it’s standard policy for Planned Parenthood to actually budget for a certain number of abortions, which then gets viewed as “must-make” quotas. That means that when a young girl comes to Planned Parenthood and finds out or confirms she’s pregnant, we can boldly say she is going to be advised to abort the baby. We know, too, from reports Planned Parenthood has filed, that they are very unlikely to refer for adoption.  Of course, they don’t make any money off adoptions. 

All of this is if the girl goes to a Planned Parenthood facility.  But many young people are first introduced to Planned Parenthood in their schools when they come in to do instruction as part of the school’s sex ed program.  In these situations they are taught that casual, recreational sexual activity outside marriage is just fine—doesn’t hurt anybody—just be safe or safer.  They promote contraceptive drugs and devices in pretty graphic ways.  Students are referred to websites that also promote promiscuity—dangerous behaviors that come with all kinds of problems, sometimes for a lifetime.  To make all this worse, much of the nasty work Planned Parenthood does is done using taxpayer money.

Simply put, Planned Parenthood is not a safe place for young women. It is not the place Christians should think of first or go to for help with a possible or real unplanned or crisis pregnancy.  Sally did the right thing to talk to her parents. But her parents should have first checked with a pastor planned parenthood adffor help if they weren’t sure where to go next.  Pastors need to be referring the Sallys they encounter to a reliable near-by Pregnancy Resource Center.  Sadly, I’ve heard about well-intentioned pastors actually referring people to Planned Parenthood.  So part of our education has to be to make sure pastors know about Wisconsin’s Pregnancy Resource Centers.

As it turned out, Sally wasn’t pregnant, though she could have been.  Nevertheless, it’s a sad commentary that so many professing Christian young people today are needing referrals to places dealing with unplanned pregnancies.  But that is the tragic reality.  Let’s at least know the truth about Planned Parenthood and not put our young women in the hands of those who will just make a bad situation much worse.”