Pro-Family, Pro-Liberty Organizations Share Christmas Message in State Capitol http://ow.ly/rnrtc @RightWisconsin #wiright
Judges in Chicago question Wisconsin abortion law http://ow.ly/rr8EL #wiright @VickiMcKenna @Tamratellsit @prolifewi @stevenertelt #tcot
Two Opposing Groups Post Signs Celebrating Winter Holidays http://ow.ly/rq0Nh #wiright @FRCAction @LibertyCounsel @standupwi #Nativity
#GivingTuesday Support pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom organizations today! #wiright http://ow.ly/roWDH
From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:
“Elections, Citizens, Action and Consequences”
When will we figure it out? Elections really do have consequences. Citizen involvement really does matter. Making a difference really does require action, not just good intentions and a barrage of words. Just ask the residents in Fond du Lac.
This past October, Fond du Lac citizens learned that a newly elected member of their City Council had an agenda different from what he disclosed when he campaigned for the April election. Council member Dan Manning (photo, left) let his fellow council members and the public know that he was proposing adding gender identity or expression to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
While Mr. Manning didn’t run on this issue, had people really done their homework on this individual, they might not have elected him. Looking at who endorsed him would make it pretty obvious what his agenda would ultimately be. Mr. Manning is an open homosexual, and he was endorsed by Fair Wisconsin, one of the state’s largest pro-homosexual advocacy groups. He also served as co-president of Equality Wisconsin, the state’s other main pro-homosexual organization.
Fair Wisconsin PAC’s endorsement web page states, “Stay tuned for additional endorsement announcements as we continue to reach out in more communities across the state!” That statement tells me that Fair Wisconsin more than likely not only endorsed Mr. Manning but also recruited him. This organization is on a bold mission to get their people actively involved with and elected to local units of government—and they are having success all across the state. I remind you, elections have consequences—real consequences.
Now, the other side of this story is that in other elections in Fond du Lac, some conservatives were elected to the Council, people such as Sam Meyer, the Council president. Mr. Meyer and others on the Council have governed consistent with their ideological bent, just as has Mr. Manning. Again, elections have consequences.
When news of Mr. Manning’s “gender identity or expression” proposal hit the public, some residents of Fond du Lac were rightly alarmed. But they didn’t just read or hear the news, shake their heads, moan and groan and say, “Somebody needs to do something about this.” Instead, they themselves took action. They got fully informed, connected with people who could help them, organized, made phone calls, distributed literature to churches and individuals, encouraged people to show up at the council meeting when the public could speak on this issue and when the council was going to vote on the proposal.
Their involvement and their action paid big dividends. On Monday, November 18, at a special meeting of the Fond du Lac City Council, in a standing-room only council chambers, at least 70 people spoke on this proposed change. More spoke against the policy than in favor of it, but both sides were well represented.
After 3 hours of public comments, the Council deliberated and voted. At the end of the night, the council voted 5 to 1, with one member abstaining, against adopting the proposed wording that would have created yet another special class of protected people and quite possibly would have resulted in creating unsafe situations in some public buildings and very likely would have pitted religious freedom against this form of personal behavior.
This vote in the City of Fond du Lac happened because elections have consequences and more conservatives were on the council than progressive liberals, citizens got informed and involved and did more than just get upset and have good intentions. They took decisive action. By contrast, when the City of Appleton had virtually the same proposal back in September, citizen involvement and coordinated action was lacking and the proposal passed.
Fond du Lac citizens won the first battle in this particular war. However, Mr. Manning has made it very clear that he will bring the issue back, reminding us once again, elections have consequences and that people with Mr. Manning’s agenda never quit—ever. They keep pushing and pushing. They don’t go home when they lose, and they don’t go home when they win. They have a plan, a goal, and they are determined to execute the plan and achieve the goal by winning elections and using highly emotional stories to win over citizens and other elected officials.
The lessons for us? First, we must learn that defending our values requires eternal vigilance. It’s always too soon to quit. And then we must take to heart the truth that elections have very real consequences, citizen involvement makes a real difference, and action changes things, not good intentions.
MADISON—Each year for the past 18 years, Wisconsin Family Council (WFC), the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), has displayed a Merry Christmas sign in the State Capitol Rotunda. The sign not only wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, but reminds viewers of the real reason for the season—Jesus Christ—in direct contrast to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s FFRF) sign recognizing the Winter Solstice and declaring that God does not exist.
Today, Wisconsin Family Council once again put up the sign in the capitol while Wisconsin Family Action placed an accompanying nativity display.
“Celebrating Christ’s birth is a Christian celebration, an American holiday and a Wisconsin tradition,” said Julaine Appling, president of WFA and WFC. “The Germans who played such an important role in settling our state brought this great tradition with them.”
The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits government from interfering with religion and guarantees citizens the right to exercise their religion, including celebrating Christmas, both in the privacy of their homes and in the public square.
Appling continued, “Thousands of visitors come to our beautiful state capitol during the holiday season to enjoy the gorgeous Christmas tree with all the handmade ornaments. We are honored to have our display in the rotunda as a silent but powerful witness to the truth of Christmas and to offer hope to all those who see it.”
The sign and the nativity will be on display on the First Floor Rotunda from today through December 31, 2013.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling:
I love Thanksgiving. I always have. I’ve loved the history of and meaning of this American holiday since I can remember. I love how we celebrated it with family and friends when I was growing up. I love that I still celebrate it that way. I love the traditions related to food choices, football, family games, and more. And I don’t like to have Thanksgiving lost in the pre-Christmas crush. I want it kept separate and distinct and thoroughly enjoyed. Ok…now you know I am especially sensitive to and protective of Thanksgiving.
So late last week, I walk into my local Wal-Mart and am immediately confronted with a sign proudly and boldly declaring “Open All Day Thanksgiving.” What?! I’m not 10 feet into the store and I’m sputtering, gesturing, and saying out loud to anyone who can hear me, “Are they nuts? What is going on here? I don’t like this one bit.” Well, I’m sure you can imagine the rant. I probably should have immediately gone to Customer Service and asked to see a manager rather than waste this wonderful diatribe on no one in particular. However, I didn’t.
(Photo, right: Baraboo WalMart)
Instead, I ran into a friend who works at this Wal-Mart. I took a chance and launched into my real disappointment in the company for this decision. Fortunately, she agreed with me. After telling me she was scheduled to work Thanksgiving, she said, “You know Sam Walton would not agree with this decision. I don’t understand why his heirs and the current management think this is a good idea. Is it just greed?”
I can’t answer that question definitively, of course. But I do know much of corporate America, historically, was founded by people with strong family values and a deep respect for the traditions of this great country. Today it seems much of that is lost and everything is about increasing the corporate bottom line. Sadly, that is not surprising since we have lost so much of the Judeo-Christian influence in our culture.
Thankfully, things improved a bit when I got home that day and opened the paper. There were a ton of advertisements but in there the Menards one caught my attention. On the front page was this little note: “Dear Guest: As a family-owned company Menards believes Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness. With this in mind, we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day so you and our Team Members can celebrate this joyous time with family and friends. We will open our doors bright and early at 6 a.m. on Friday morning.”
Now, that is the way it is supposed to be, I said. And with that, I decided it was right that Wisconsin Family Council, as the state’s leading pro-family organization, should let Mr. John Menard, Jr., CEO of Menard Inc. know how pleased we are with his decision and his message.
So, this past Monday, we sent an Open Letter to Mr. Menard commending him for bucking the trend that is becoming all too prevalent and popular in our culture. We also released the letter and an accompanying press release to the media so everyone can know that Menards, in this instance, has put families ahead of profit that might be made this Thursday. I sincerely hope Mr. Menard sees the letter and knows that his decision is encouraging to at least some of us. And I sincerely hope that Black Friday 2013 is one of the best in the history of Menards!
Menards’ emphasis on family at holidays is important. Imagine Thanksgiving without family and friends. Of course we can give thanks and recognize the specialness of the day by ourselves, but how much richer is this special holiday when shared with those we love, those with whom we have deep bonds and special memories. Every holiday ought to be a time to strengthen the family unit.
And so this Thanksgiving, I trust you will gather your family together and share the beautiful story of the First Thanksgiving with them, young and old. Certainly, take time to voice some of the things for which you are thankful and then give thanks to the Giver of all those blessings, Almighty God, from Whose hand and by Whose grace and mercy we enjoy all these good things, including the privilege of living in this great country. Included in my list of blessings this year will be Menards for its willingness to take a stand and lead by example. From all of us to all of you and your families, we wish you a richly blessed, family-oriented, non-shopping Thanksgiving!
I want to take this opportunity, first, to wish you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving. I also want to, as the Scriptures say, put you in remembrance, of what this uniquely American holiday is all about. I urge you to share the story with your family; don’t assume they are learning it somewhere else or that they are somehow absorbing it by osmosis. It’s each generation’s responsibility to consciously, purposefully pass on this incredible true story of the history of our nation and God’s blessing. So please even if you think you know all the details of what I’m going to say next, listen closely with the intention of telling others the truth about America’s Thanksgiving celebration. I believe it is especially important today; we are losing so much of who we have been as a people and religious freedom is under threat like never before. We have much to gain from rehearsing this great story.
Almost four centuries ago, in 1621, the Pilgrims set aside 3 days of feasting and celebration to thank the Lord for His provision and protection throughout the previous year and for a bountiful harvest. At that celebration, from which we derive our present-day Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims gave thanks despite the hardship and deprivation they experienced during their first year in the New World.
Most of the Pilgrims buried one or more loved ones during the previous harsh New England winter. They lived in conditions that, by today’s standards, were barbaric to put it nicely and probably not even comparable to living conditions in Developing Countries. The New World was inhospitable, dangerous, unfamiliar and for many, fatal.
That first year in the New World was absolutely devastating, until Squanto befriended the Pilgrims and taught them how to survive, how to cultivate the land and grow their own food. Governor William Bradford said Squanto was “a special instrument sent of God for [our] good…and never left [us] till he died.”
The Pilgrim’s relationship with the Wampanoag Tribe is a legacy of integrity and friendship. It was a friendship that lasted throughout the lifetime of the original inhabitants of Plymouth and significantly contributed to the survival of the Pilgrims. In fact, about ninety Indians joined the Pilgrims for that first Thanksgiving.
I cannot look back on the story of the Pilgrims and their Thanksgiving feast without being struck by the apparent incongruity of the conditions those brave pioneers lived under and their attitude toward those conditions. My gas and electric bill goes up and I think I have it hard.
What could possibly move people to such dire straits that they sail to an unknown land and brave terrifying conditions to scratch a meager existence out of foreign soil? Religious persecution that makes them seek a place where there is true religious freedom. Most of the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower were religious refugees, hunted by the British government because of their opposition to the Church of England.
They were Puritans; part of the movement to purify the Church of England from rituals and practices which the Puritans believed were unbiblical. Because of their desire to purify the church, they were political and social outcasts—the original pioneers of religious freedom.
The Mayflower Compact, signed by Pilgrim leaders, beautifully illustrates the motivation behind the Plymouth Colony.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together and a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and perseveration and furtherance of the end aforesaid.”
There it is in black and white: for the glory of God, the advancement of the Christian faith and the honor of king and country. Look at the priority here: God’s glory, Christianity and country. Isn’t it interesting how the natural means of achieving these three purposes is a civil body politic? Amazing!
I could not have said it better. As Christians we do not and cannot exist in a vacuum. The means through which we worship God, pursue a Christian life and live in peace with our fellow man is through the administration of a God-ordained institution—government.
This was their purpose, to practice their faith freely, raise their children in the ways of the Lord and live in peace. They believed in this goal so fiercely that after that first terrible, fatal winter, when a ship came and offered passage back to England, not a single, surviving Pilgrim abandoned the New World for the old one. Not a single one!
What courage! What faith! What perseverance! Despite the setbacks, despite the hardship, despite the danger, despite the discomfort, they would not be deterred from their purpose—to establish a government where they could live, worship God and raise their families freely.
Do you and I have that courage today? Do we possess the faith and perseverance to carry on in our purpose despite the opposition, for the sake of our children? It’s a sobering question—one that I am faced with daily.
Look at the results in our lives today. Almost four centuries of freedom, struggle, prosperity, pioneering, hardship and courage, through the grace of God, have given us the liberties we enjoy today: the freedom to worship God freely, to speak our minds, to vote for our leaders, to provide for ourselves and our families.
When I look at those freedoms today, I can honestly say it was worth it. Every ounce of sweat and blood was worth the America we enjoy today. I am grateful for God’s providence, for his protection for this City on a Hill. And I am ready, with you, to defend and advance those freedoms in my lifetime, so that the next generation can enjoy the liberty our ancestors handed down to us.
 http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=17984, accessed 11/25/08.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower_Compact#Text_of_the_Mayflower_Compact, accessed 11/25/08.
Wisconsin-based home improvement center remains closed on Thanksgiving
In an open letter to John Menard, Jr, CEO of Menard, Inc., Wisconsin Family Council president Julaine Appling commends Mr. Menard and his corporation, in particular the Menards stores, for bucking the recent trend of keeping retail stores open on Thanksgiving and other major holidays. Following is a statement from Julaine regarding the letter.
“I’ve been dismayed by how many retailers are treating our major holidays like any other buy-and-sell day. I don’t shop a lot, but when I walk into major stores and see signs boasting of being open all day Thanksgiving, I am not impressed—and I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way.
“As Wisconsin’s premier pro-family organization, we believe it’s important that we publicly acknowledge and thank Mr. Menard for his decision to put families ahead of profit that might be made this Thursday. It’s a truly commendable action given the direction we are headed in this country. Perhaps Mr. Menard’s decision will embolden others to follow his lead.
“Late last week I was in one of those stores that is boasting about being open all day Thanksgiving. A friend of mine who works in the store was on duty (she’s scheduled to work the holiday). When I expressed to her my disappointment about this decision, she said, ‘You know, the founder of this company would never have done this. I don’t understand why his heirs and current management think this is good. Is it just greed?’
I couldn’t answer that question, but I certainly understood what she was saying. Much of corporate America, historically, was founded by people with strong family values and a deep respect for the traditions of this great country. Today, it seems much of that is lost and everything is about increasing the corporate bottom line. I don’t think that’s a good trend for our state and nation.
“I am hopeful that many people will not shop on Thanksgiving. Instead, I trust families and friends will gather and spend the day together enjoying each other and truly giving thanks to God for His incredible blessings on this land. And I also hope that Menards in particular here in Wisconsin enjoys one of the best ‘Black Fridays’ in its history!”
The Open Letter to John Menard, Jr. is available online HERE.
The Assembly portion of the Select Committee held a “wrap up” meeting this week on Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) in Wisconsin following numerous public input sessions across the Badger state. Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) president, gives a short update and explains the recommendations offered by WFA that appear to be receiving strong consideration by the Committee.