Why Defend Marriage? – Eric Teetsal on Engaging the Issues

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As the Supreme Court of the United States hears arguments about the future definition of marriage, Eric Teetsal of the Manhattan Declaration discusses how we must continue to defend marriage between one man and one woman – regardless of how the court rules.

Click here to listen to Engaging the Issues. . .

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Acting Like a Box Turtle and Closing One’s Shell is Not the Answer.

James Wiles, writing for The American Thinker, in an article entitled, “Cocooning Is the Wrong Answer for Conservatives”, makes a strong case for my argument that this is not the time for Christians or other conservatives to throw up their hands and surrender to the realm of observer in what can only be dubbed a ground-level assault on our cultural val

engage

Time for conservatives to engage the culture around them.

ues and institutions like family, church, faith, life, etc.

I have made a number of appeals to our numbers to make every effort to engage, self-educate, educate others, and spread the Gospel as well as the principles of limited interference by the government in the private affairs of our citizens.  Along with that I truly hope I have offered some ways to advance those efforts through providing new information or a different perspective on the current happenings in our state and federal government.

Wiles suggests that the trend of conservatives migrating from so-called blue-states to red-states (e.g., California to Texas and New York to Florida) is a manifestation of efforts to connect with like-minded individuals and live under more desirable conditions, but at the same time create growing isolation among those who support the conservative family viewpoints.  He believes, and I agree, that using this vehicle to make your life more agreeable to live might seem like a good solution from a personally selfish perspective, but does little good for the country as a whole or the cause of family values as well.

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About Tom Stark

Tom Stark began writing for the Engage Family Minute blog in February 2012. As a small business owner Tom is passionate about the intersection of faith and politics in the life of Christians and the community around him. Having been touched by both the abortion issue and the issue of homosexuality in his own family, Tom is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn and upholding Biblical Truth. Tom also writes for www.westvirginiaconservative.com

Podcast: Dr. Albert R. Mohler, Jr. – The Conviction to Lead – Engaging the Issues

What does it take to lead an organization that is dedicated to advancing, defending, and equipping West Virginia’s families through policy, politics, and public policy?

As Dr. Albert R. Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, reminds us on this week’s edition of Engaging the Issues, leadership is about more than getting the right people in the right place at the right time. Leadership is about conviction.

Click here to listen now.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Seeing the Future from Canada – Engaging the Issues with Prof. Bradley W. Miller

Click to listen to this week’s edition of Engaging the Issues.

A decade ago, the nation of Canada redefined marriage with the promise that religous liberty would be strengthened and the families made more secure. As arguments in America swirl over the issues of marriage, toleration, and religious liberty, what can we learn from Canada? Has religious liberty been strengthened with more inclusive nondiscrimination laws? Has the redefinition of marriage brought more and better marriages?

Canadian professor of law, Bradley W. Miller engages those issues by surveying the data gleaned from Canada’s ten year social experiment. Listen to Professor Miller explain what American might expect should it adopt whole scale the agenda of tolerance

Click here to listen now.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

First Things First – Understanding the Proper Role of Government

Yes the election is over, and we are all moving on to other things. But before we do, while you are still engaged in the political, consider the proper role of government. What you believe about the government and its role is very important. It will inform your policy positions, your issues views, and your voting. Hunter Baker, writing at The Gospel Coalition, has illustrated an excellent understanding of the primary role of government. He says: “Christians who push for collectivist ideals of social justice are, I think, motivated by this account of the situated self who sees himself wedded in solidarity with other members of the community and very much ready to put the government in service of this bond. The partisans of the situated self do not view redistributive taxation and the social control of business as potentially dangerous coercion. Rather, they see virtue at work. For Christians, this view can be very attractive and it has proven so for young evangelicals, especially.” When issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty are at stake it is imperative that people understand the primary role of government. Click here for original article.

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Is it a Sin Not to Vote?

In America, we place a premium on self-governance.  Not incorrectly, I might add.  Self-governance is the best form of human government, even with its necessary pitfalls and problems.

Within Christian America, there has been a decades-long drive by some to encourage voter participation.  Well, it’s longer than that, I suppose.  Christians have been involved in government since the days of Joseph and, in this country, from its very inception.  As a natural consequence to self-government, there has always be a press by some within the Christian community to remind fellow believers of the need to vote.

Without question, however, the Moral Majority, Ralph Reed, Jim Dobson, Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, and others really catapulted the discussion about Christians and voting in the decades of the 80′s and 90′s.  It’s a debate that continues to this day – and rightfully so.  When statistics tell us that only about 1/3 of professing Christians bother to vote and only half are actually registered, it’s an easy target for politically inclined Christians to shoot at.

Have we elevated voting to an issue of morality?

I mean that with all seriousness.  If it is our responsibility as citizens to vote, do we then sin as Christians if we do not vote?  As you ponder the answer, think of the potential consequences.  If it is a sin to not vote, are members of individual churches subject to church discipline for failing to vote?  Can one’s failure to vote separate you from the promise of eternal life?  By failing to vote, can a Christian be denied the sacraments?

Is it a sin not to vote?  In short, no.  Here’s why:

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

PRESS RELEASE: FPCWV, ADF Stand with Students Praying Before Football Games

Free legal support available to students who encounter obstacles to expressing their faith at high school sporting events.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -  Attorneys with the Family Policy Council of West Virginia and Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a legal memo to Kanawha County Schools Wednesday in response to an atheist group’s recent demand that the district prevent public invocations before high school football games.

The two leading religious liberty organizations also offered assistance to assist the school in creating a policy for student-led, pre-game messages.  Similar legal memos are going to other school districts in the state as well.

“Christian students have the right to peacefully express their faith at school. They do not shed their constitutional freedoms at the schoolhouse gate or in the stadium parking lot,” said Jeremy Dys, president and general counsel of the FPCWV. “Misinformed public school officials should not cater to pressure from activists who demand that religious students be silenced; rather, they should understand that the Constitution permits students to pray—and pray publicly—before football games.”

Just before the Sept. 21 football game at Sissonville High School, students were undeterred in their commitment to peacefully express their faith. Because the school cancelled the traditional pre-game invocation in the wake of a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, students linked arms and recited the Lord’s Prayer prior to the game.

“Our government and courts have already spoken: students have a constitutionally protected right to participate in peaceful, public expressions of prayer and worship. Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Policy Council of West Virginia stand with students across West Virginia as they exercise their religious liberty,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Sharp.

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Voting is Your Duty – Especially if You’re a Christian

In the 2008 election it is estimated that 30 million Christians did not vote. It is also estimated that if just 10 million of those believers would have voted the outcome of the election would have been very different. This is sobering. Somehow I have a feeling that in the almost four years since that election those same 30 million Christians that did not vote have complained more than once about something that may be different today had they voted. So, are you ready to make a difference this time around by voting? A recent article says there is still at least 30 million unregistered Christian voters! Considering that these people would undoubtedly call themselves pro-life, support traditional marriage, and cherish religious freedom it is surprising that so many would choose to take a back seat and let others decide how their country is led. The article quotes FRC: “With most elections being decided by smaller and smaller margins, we cannot win the public debate over the critical issues of faith, family and freedom if like-minded Americans stay home on Election Day.” It’s impossible to effect change from our couches, and voting for our President is something every believer ought to take seriously. I have a policy when engaging someone that wants t complain about our President. I ask who they voted for, if they say they did not vote, I tell them they have no right to complain and the conversation ends. My advice: register, research, vote. Click here for original article.

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Think Obama Values Religious Freedom? Think Again

After the HHS mandate passed that demands every citizen and employer pay for abortion, abortifacients, contraception, and sterilization in their insurance premiums, defenders of religious freedom and conscience took a stand. Colleges, organizations, churches, and businesses all began suing the Obama administration for his egregious trampling of religious liberty. One business, Hercules Industries in Colorado, won a temporary injunction against the mandate so they would not have to violate their religious beliefs by offering certain services and products in their employee insurance plans. But now, in a move that is sure to once again let the country know just how little President Obama truly values religious liberty, his administration is appealing the court’s ruling. LifeNews.com shared the story: “Now, in contradiction to the Obama administration’s recent claims of ‘unwavering’ support for religious freedom, the president’s lawyers filed an appeal Tuesday of that order. ’Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith…The Obama administration claims ‘unwavering’ support for religious freedom, but this appeal demonstrates that the only thing unwavering is the administration’s tenacious opposition to that freedom.’” Click here for original article.

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Engaging the Issues: Jeff Mateer, Hostility Toward Religion in America

Every week seems to bring new reports of yet another lawsuit filed to protect someone’s right to hear and speak the truth of the Gospel.  Many corporations from the ACLU to the People for the American Way have even been formed in an effort to use the courts to keep the Gospel message out of the public square.  Are these just lawsuits or do they signify a hostility toward religion in America – the land of the First Amendment.

General Counsel to the Liberty Institute joins us on today’s edition of Engaging the Issues to examine its latest report: The Survey on Religious Hostility in America.

Click here to listen now.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.