With the Stroke of a Pen, Wisconsin Voters Silenced on Marriage

“What happened to ‘We the People?” asks Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling in a press release that went out last Friday, June 6, shortly after the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb (Western District Court) that deemed Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment unconstitutional and opened the door for “same-sex marriages” to go full-steam ahead throughout the state.

  • Read Wisconsin Family Action’s full press release HERE.
  • Listen to the podcast of Julaine Appling as she addresses the attack on marriage across our nation on WVCY’s Crosstalk America HERE.

Since Wisconsin’s county clerks have neither been mandated nor barred from issuing same-sex “marriage licenses,” they appear to be spinning in circles as they try to determine how to react to this decision that left no directive.  At last report, just over half of the counties in Wisconsin are issuing the paperwork, yet others are waiting for guidance from state Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen before taking any action.  Many clerks have publicly stated they have no idea what to do about the signature blocks on the paperwork that read “husband” and “wife” and feel they must wait for the appropriate paperwork to be provided.

Since Crabb’s ruling did not mandate county clerks to issue the homosexual “marriage” licenses, it was left up to each individual county to decide how to interpret the ruling and act accordingly. Crabb was reported to have said she was waiting for the ACLU to “draft an order for her spelling out how the organization wants her decision implemented,”

In the meantime, the State Department of Health Services (DOHS) is not processing the same-sex “marriage” licenses and have them on “hold” until more direction is given from the attorney general’s office.  The DOHS made it clear that there are no promises being made that the “marriage” licenses issued to same-sex couples will be accepted.

ImageSound confusing?  We agree. The confusion and chaos continues because of a very small but very loud and very well-organized and well-funded minority wants its way, a way that stands to ultimately undermine the foundational institution of marriage.  In this case they seem to be very much aided and abetted by a liberal, activist federal judge–and many ELECTED county clerks.

What does it all mean?  Julaine Appling says, “With a single stroke of a single arrogant and liberal activist federal judge, marriage in Wisconsin was turned on its head and the will of the people was trumped.”

That’s not all; there’s much more to say regarding the ruling that overturned Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment and the will of the Badger State’s voters.  Read the rest of Julaine’s commentary HERE.

Incidentally, the ruling came just before the scheduled weekend event in Milwaukee, “PrideFest.”

FREE Event in Portage – Defending Religious Liberty, February 20

DEFENDING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

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FEBRUARY 20TH, 2014
6:00 PM through 8:00 PM
Pizza Ranch
2905 New Pinery Rd
Portage, WI 53901
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WFC/WFA President Julaine Appling

Wisconsin Family Council/Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling will give a presentation on ways to defend religious freedom and its importance for Christians in Wisconsin.

Supper will be provided.  A freewill offering will be taken to help cover the cost of the event.

Space is limited so register early!

Click HERE to register NOW!

THE LIE “America is just a capitalistic, imperialistic bully.” At a Public School Near You?

Looking back, my childhood was almost idyllic. I spent my first 12 years in Atlanta and the rest of my growing up years in Michigan.  I had loving parents who were married to each other.  I never knew poverty.  I lived in a great neighborhood with lots of kids and everyone knew each other.  Mom didn’t work outside the home, but she sure worked hard in it. We ate family meals together more often than not.  I went to a Bible-preaching church pretty much anytime the doors were open.
ImageSchool time came.  I went to the local public school; Christian schools and home schooling weren’t even in anyone’s vocabulary.  Mom and Dad chose where they would live, both in Georgia and Michigan, based on the public school system.  We prayed in our schools—every morning.  We pledged the flag—all of us—no one stayed seated.  We even read from the Bible—every morning.  We were taught a love for America.  We were taught America represented freedom, hope and opportunity for all of us and for those “huddled masses yearning to be free” from all over the world. For the most part, I loved school and felt very secure there—until the day came when we had an announcement over the PA telling us we would be having a special drill—in case of a missile attack.  “A what?  From where?”  I wondered as I took cover under my desk.
Mom picked me up from school that day and on the way home talked to me as an elementary student about Cuba, Castro, Kruschev, the Soviet Union, Communism and the Cold War.  It was the first time I felt unsafe in my home and my school.  In a sense, some of the innocence of my childhood was gone.
From my perspective, nothing could destroy America—especially not a madman on a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea, or some man whose name I couldn’t even pronounce living on the other side of the world.  And, we did avert those external threats and crises then.
But what I didn’t know for years later was that the philosophy and worldview of the Castros and Kruschevs of the world had taken firm hold in my homeland—and that those ideas, slowly worked into the fabric of our society, would one day destroy us without a missile ever being fired.
We’re on the brink of a new school year here in Wisconsin and around the country.  Hundreds of thousands of innocent children will go to public schools soon where the majority of their teachers have been taught well the ideas of those who first struck fear in my young heart that America was vulnerable to attack.
ImageThese students will sit hour after hour hearing about tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism.  They will learn that America is just a capitalistic, imperialistic bully.  They will be taught that government is the answer to everything, no matter the question—that they are dependent on government for everything.  Individuality and independence will be suppressed, but a collective, dependent mindset will be fostered. They will be told that earning money and becoming wealthy is evil; that personal wealth is wrong, and that the government should redistribute your money to those who don’t have what you have.
They will hear Planned Parenthood talk about sex outside of marriage as normal and natural—and a personal right and really just another form of recreation.   Kindergarteners will have read to them that “Heather Has Two Mommies,” and about “Daddy’s Roommate,” and be told that’s normal and natural, while impressionable older students will be unwittingly lured into so-called “safe zones” where homosexuality will be presented as also normal and natural.
Every day these students will have reinforced the idea that human life evolved from some primordial muck; that they are just animals higher up the food chain.  They will hear mocking and scoffing at the idea of a Creator God.  Prayer and any other display of religion will be forbidden and called a violation of the separation of church and state.
ImageNo, this isn’t what my generation experienced, but it is what students in our public schools are experiencing much of the time.  It’s today’s “missile threats”—and it’s much more dangerous than the threats I endured.  Protecting young people today requires way more than a drill and a dive under a desk.  Parents—be aware.  Make the right decisions.  Exercise your right to make educational choices for your children.  Their innocence and America’s future hang in the balance.

WFA President Julaine Appling Testifies in Favor of WI Religious Freedom Amendment Today

 

Testimony in Support of Senate Joint Resolution 38

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor

Julaine K. Appling, WFA President

August 20, 2013

Thank you, Chairman Grothman and committee members, for the opportunity to testify today in support of Senate Joint Resolution 38. I am Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, an organization dedicated to strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty in The Badger state.  Our mission affords us the privilege of working extensively with churches and religiously-affiliated or faith-based organizations statewide.

We are grateful to Sen.Leibham and Rep. Craig for introducing SJR 38, the Religious Freedom Amendment.  Wisconsin Family Action strongly supports this preemptive, proactive amendment that is designed to ensure that Wisconsin citizens have their constitutionally provided religious freedom and conscience rights protected for years to come.

ImageSJR 38 adds language to Article I, Section 18 of the Wisconsin Constitution. It does not delete or change any existing language. Rather, the additional language clarifies and delineates the approach a court must take when deciding a case dealing with a citizen’s religious and conscience beliefs.  By adding this language, we lessen the likelihood that the state through a court or even legislative action can compel a person to act—or, as important, not act, in a way or in ways that violate his religious beliefs or conscience.

Wisconsin Family Action has closely studied the language of this amendment for some time. We have talked with religious freedom legal experts extensively.  We have hashed over various scenarios that might come before courts in our state under this amendment. Each time, we have come away more convinced that we need this amendment in Wisconsin, that the wording is strong and is the very best wording available to ensure our citizens’ religious freedom is appropriately regarded and safeguarded.

Prior to 1990, in this nation, we had a clear “compelling interest” precedent that required the state to unequivocally prove its “compelling interest” in abrogating a person’s or organization’s religious freedom or conscience rights.  However, with Employment Division v. Smith, the US Supreme Court dramatically lowered the test and standard of protection for citizens.  In response, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  In an ensuing legal challenge this new law, the US Supreme Court eventually struck down the portion of the law that extended the reach of the RFRA to states and local governments. However, the Court left the door open for states to take their own action to ensure that they do not have to have the same low standard for religious freedom as is now in place federally.  States such as Wisconsin have been fortunate that our courts have over the past twenty-plus years essentially retained a pre-Smith approach. However, again, nothing, absolutely nothing in Wisconsin’s current statutes or constitution require the use of the “balance test.”  That is the entire purpose of this amendment.

Some will ask for specific examples of where religious freedom has been threatened in Wisconsin.  We can provide those, but more important to us is what we might face in the future.  While Wisconsin courts have actually been pretty good on cases regarding religious freedom over the last 20 years, we know that a single election or even a vacancy appointment could change that in any given court.  The protection of a freedom as important as our religious freedom should not be dependent upon either the good will or the whim of any particular judge or court.  This amendment gives judges and courts clear language and directives by which to determine a case involving religious freedom.

Some have inquired about whether or not this amendment creates any new or additional rights for any religious activity or potential litigant. Religious freedom experts assure us that the amendment does not do this. It merely restores the former, heightened standard of review of religious liberty claims that served our country and our people well for so many years.  That standard requires courts to always weigh legitimate free exercise claims against compelling state interests.

In addition. no problems have been created or abuses noted since the passage of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, nor in any of the numerous states where the “compelling interest test” has already been restored by statute or amendment over the last decade or so.  Prior to the passage of many of those laws, detractors warned the legislation would spark waves of subversive litigation.  Those abuses simply never materialized.

Quite honestly, we see no way that Wisconsin is exempt from more and more challenges involving citizens’ religious freedom, just as other states are experiencing.  Now is the time to ensure that the very best and most responsible legal protection is in place for our citizens, people who believe in strong religious freedom protection. Waiting or taking no action is a risk that we are not willing to take.  Giving our citizens the opportunity to vote on this important matter is altogether appropriate.

Thank you for your time. Wisconsin Family Action urges you to vote in support of SJR 38.

What Americans Believe: Churches Build Healthy Communities

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

In 1798, John Adams, while serving as President of the United States, wrote a letter to the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts.  In this communique, President and Founder Adams wrote, “…We have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams knew that a Republic that emphasizes a limited government requires people who self-govern.  When the people don’t self-govern, limited government is virtually impossible—since nature abhors a vacuum.  Adams basically acknowledged that self-governing people are largely religious people—and therefore what he would call “moral” people.
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To clarify, when Adams and the bulk of our founders spoke of religion, they were referring to Christianity by and large; it was by anyone’s standard the dominant religion in the nation. Christianity is particularly good at helping people self-govern because it is a faith that is about others, about self-control, about obedience and submission to Christ, who exemplified how to treat, how to care for and to relate to others.
For the most part here in America, religion, in particular Christianity was and is imparted to a community, a state and a nation by churches.  In years past, churches were not just the largest buildings in a community, they were the community.  They were the hub of activity, the place of community gatherings, the source of teachings about the Bible and its relationship to everyday life and the issues of the day.  From the church came the moral direction—the Biblical teachings that aided entire communities in being able to have limited government because the people limited themselves.
We’ve moved away from the centrality of the church in many communities.  Oh, in some Wisconsin cities, churches still dominate the geographic landscape, but I’m not so sure they always dominate the moral and ethical landscape.  If they did, I think many of our communities and, hence, our state would be quite different.
Even while I hold this opinion, I found a recent poll quite interesting.  A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found in June of this year that just 34% of American adults believe it is possible to have a healthy community with absolutely no churches or religious presence.  Fifty-seven percent disagree and say it is not possible to have a healthy community without churches.
From the poll, it appears that most people agree that it is good for churches to provide services such as food banks, disaster relief, schools and hospitals.  Even those who don’t believe churches are indispensable to a healthy community believe churches should be able to provide these services, even while holding to their unique beliefs.
ImageWhile it is true that historically, everywhere Christianity has gone the poor and the sick have been cared for, women have been elevated, and children have been educated, it is also true that the presence of a church in a community should give more than these tangibles.  Dynamic, on-fire churches—in particular Bible-preaching and teaching churches—should be providing the majority of the salt and light in a community.
They should be standing up for and educating people on the sanctity of human life, teaching people by word and example about what good marriages and strong families look like and how they function.  They should warn about the evils of pornography and provide a strong voice against sexually oriented businesses coming into the community.  They should be knowledgeable about and involved in the influence and presence of alcohol and gambling on a community.  They should be a voice for abstinence until marriage for the teens of the area, whether they are in public or private schools.  And, of course, they should be evangelizing—bringing people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  All of these work towards teaching people to self-govern.
When churches embrace the totality of what being the church means, then the communities they are in are truly healthy—because they are filled with people who know how to practice self-governing.
I’m encouraged that Americans believe churches are important to communities.  I hope churches realize how very important they are as they provide the moral direction and act as the moral gatekeeper in their communities.  If John Adams was right, the church is probably the very best hope we have of maintaining this grand experiment we call America.

NEW!! Wisconsin Family Minute Now Airing Across the State

BRAND NEW!
“WISCONSIN FAMILY MINUTE”

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“Wisconsin Family Minute” is a daily program (Monday – Friday) launched by Wisconsin Family Council and designed for Christian radio. A single news item pertaining to marriage, family, life and liberty is featured each day in an effort to inform listeners so that they can pray, educate others, protect their family, or in some other way get involved in the important issues of our day.

We now air the “Wisconsin Family Minute” on:

The Family - at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on stations:

          WEMI 91.9-FM Appleton/Oshkosh

101.7-FM Fond du lac

101.7-FM Ripon

          WEMY 91.5-FM Green Bay

96.5-FM Two Rivers/Manitowoc

View listening areas for these stations HERE.

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89Q (89.5-FM) in Schofield at 10:30 a.m.

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On VCY America Stations:

          WVCY-FM 107.7-FM Milwaukee at 5:07 p.m.
and on the following VCY America stations at approximately 3:35 p.m.:
          WVCX 98.9-FM Tomah
          WVCS 90.1-FM Owen
          WVCF 90.5-FM Eau Claire
          WEGZ 105.9-FM Washburn
          WVRN 88.9-FM Wittenberg
          WVFL 89.9-FM Fond du Lac
          WVCX 91.1-FM Madison/McFarland
          WVCY 90.1-FM Monroe
          WVCX 89.5-FM Prairie du Chien
          WVCY 94.9-FM Sheboygan
          WVCX 92.1-FM Ripon
WVCY-AM 690-AM Oshkosh

Wisconsin Family Minute Interactive Map – Find a Station Near You

Praying for Marriage and Families on Baraboo’s Courthouse Steps

Pastor Jon Arneson from Baraboo Assembly of God delivers a prayer for marriage and families on the front steps of the Baraboo Courthouse during National Day of Prayer today, May 2, 2013. A group of over 100 community members from various denominations joined together at noon in Baraboo to “Pray for America.” Though the winds picked up and the rains came down, folks stood their ground on behalf of the nation today, interceding in prayer for the nation, our leaders, marriage, families, our citizens, and the Armed Forces.