Defend Religious Freedom – Our Vets Did

Attacks on the religious freedom of our military service members continue to increase. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins commented: ”More and more service members are facing harassment, demotion, and formal reprimands simply for being Bible-believing Christians. They’ve been prohibited from sharing their faith, forbidden from praying publicly, and dismissed from duty for refusing to surrender their religious convictions…Defending America’s freedom shouldn’t mean surrendering theirs, especially given that the Constitution they have sworn to uphold guarantees religious liberty as all Americans’ first freedom.”

It’s deplorable that our military must now be concerned about attacks from the enemies of America as well as attacks from their own government for simply being a Christian. The military has a long, rich history of honoring the faith of its members and that tradition should be fiercely defending and protected. Americans need to step up and demand that military personnel be given the same religious freedom rights every other American now enjoys. Such has always been the case and should always be true. Click here for original article.

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#Policy activist organization dedicated to protecting and defending faith, family & freedom in #WV. Direct Twitter blog feed: @EngageBlog

New Jersey’s Change Therapy Bill Results in Lawsuit

therapy banDuring their last legislative session, the State of New Jersey passed a bill, which Governor Chris Christie signed, into law making it illegal for a therapist to offer change therapy to a minor who wanted to rid themselves of same sex attractions.

The homosexual lobby is very powerful.  Couple that with a Governor who has “flexible principles” and you have a formula for passage of such a ridiculously unconstitutional law as this one is.

Less than six months later, a Southern New Jersey couple who remains unidentified in court documents has filed a suit against the state claiming violation of their first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Their claim includes their concerns that their son was given to unwanted same sex attractions that so disturbed their son that he had threatened to take his own life because of these attractions.  Given the circumstances and the potential harm to their child, it is difficult to imagine their angst and fear over the passage of this law.  Effectively, the State of New Jersey had cut off their only viable means of dealing with their son’s problem effectively to prevent serious harm from coming to him. [Read more...]

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

Where is West Virginia When it Comes to ObamaCare?

A recent article writes: “South Dakota is joining 17 other states in a lawsuit against Obamacare’s employer mandate. The suit challenges a lower court’s decision that the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act does not violate religious principles in the operation of family-owned businesses. The plaintiffs, however, say the mandate infringes on individual and state rights. They also argue that the U.S. Supreme Court did not authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the mandate and therefore it infringes upon people’s freedom of religion.”

A total of 18 states are now suing against the ObamaCare employer mandate. They are doing so because the mandate violates individual and states rights, along with the religious freedoms of individuals. Last I checked we have business owners with religious convictions against abortion in West Virginia. We certainly have individuals with religious convictions against abortion. Is West Virginia doing anything to protect the religious freedoms of citizens and business owners? According to this list I found, nope.

Why is West Virginia not protecting the religious freedoms of its citizens? 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.

Parents Oppose Common Core as Disastrous Education Decision

The Common Core standards were developed and implemented without any notification or involvement from parents. Noe one was asked for their input and no hearings were held to determine support or opposition. It is clear now that parents are opposed to the new education standards, and seemingly, for good reason. As a recent article reports, so far it has been nothing short of disaster.

“Dr. Joe Rella, superintendent of the Comsewogue School District in Long Island, N.Y., initially welcomed the standards, but quickly lost faith in them. ‘Pretty early on, it was clear there wasn’t going to be a dialogue on this between districts and the state education department. It was a one-way communication and we began to receive a lot of materials, edicts, scripts.’ This spring, New York and Kentucky were the first to administer state-wide testing in alignment with the new standards. The results were disastrous. In New York, less than one-third of the students in 3rd through 8th grades passed in English and math — down about 50 percent from their traditional test scores the year before.”

Incidentally, West Virginia is now implementing Common Core standards as quickly as possible. The fact that parents are shut out and have no say in the education of their children is unconstitutional. The fact that these standards will seek to control those who choose private or home schooling is a direct infringement on parental rights and religious freedom. But you won’t see that in the evening news. 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.

When Churches Fall Asleep Rights Get Removed

asleep in churchIt’s an honest admission coming from the mouth of more pastors. Many are beginning to recognize that they, and their churches, have been asleep at the wheel while culture runs amok.

One of the first jolts of the year came when the Supreme Court handed down a ruling on marriage that threatens the religious freedom of every Christian in the country. By striking down part of the bi-partisan DOMA law the court has, in the opinion of some, laid the foundation to completely redefine marriage.

In fact, just weeks after the decision was handed down lawsuits were filed against existing state DOMA laws, clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, and state attorneys general decided not to uphold state laws. In short, confusion about the decision encouraged people to ignore the law and trample over marriage.

Another jolt to the drowsy churches came when the city of San Antonio passed a city ordinance that can only be described as the criminalization of Christian convictions. Here’s how it was reported:

“The ordinance criminalizes those with a biblical view of sexuality as it forbids bias against homosexuality or bi-sexuality. Those charged and declared guilty by the city will face a Class C misdemeanor on their record and fines of up to $500 a day. Also, the ordinance forbids appointed officials on city boards from showing any bias.” [Read more...]

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: The Reality of a Transgender Worldview – Nancy Pearcey

ETI-Image-Pearcey

The next big push in sexual orientation rights is for transgender people. There’s an idea that one’s physical body has nothing whatsoever to do with who a person really is.
Professor Nancy Pearcey believes that affirming the transgender lifestyle is damaging to a persons self-image. She talks about how our view of our physical body is linked to our worldview and, consequently, the laws we advocate for.

Click here to launch the podcast player. 

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.

Shocking: German Authorities Remove Children from Home for Being Home Schooled

HSLDA: “At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education. The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children ‘anytime soon.’”

This is terrible news that breaks the heart of any parent. Even worse is the fact that this is what the Romeike family will face if they are deported back to Germany as the Obama administration has already said it would do. Worse still is the fact that the Obama administration has said there is no fundamental right to home school, and believes public education is best for kids. We strongly disagree with the German government, and the Obama administration. We also find it interesting that they are mentioned in the same sentence. 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.

Another More Enlightened Look at the Common Core State Standards

In previous blog posts here,  here and here, I attempted to make the case that there is much wrong with the concept, adoption, and ideology of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).   In a number of specific instances, I must admit that I took the bait being tossed over the side of the boat by those who do not understand the difference between two words – standards and curriculum.   I admit that I failed to note that difference, at first, and I apologize.  I am not giving my blessing to CCSS as there are still some serious, unaddressed concerns outstanding, but…

Since writing those posts I have made a lot of progress in digging down into that “core” and in the process have sharpened my focus on some specific issues that “surround” the CCSS but are actually not part of CCSS.  While I still have many concerns and questions that have yet to be answered, there are some revealing facts that have been uncovered that allows a much more focused approach to improving the overall education system without dismissing the entire concept using erroneous conclusions about it.

In this article, a school teacher makes the same mistake that I made at first and so many others continue to make.  That mistake is mixing terms like standards and curriculum.  Standards determine only one thing; the level of understanding of the subject matter.  It does not dictate what that subject matter is to be.  This is the single most important thing to keep ever in mind as we examine both CCSS and the other issues apart from it.  [Read more...]

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

Engaging the Issues: Rights, Duty, and Human Flourishing – Dr. Joshua Schulz

Dr. Joshua Schulz
Religious freedom is a right guaranteed in our Bill of Rights.  Government is meant to enforce that freedom, but often finds itself running over that freedom.  How do citizens of this country and citizens of an Eternal Kingdom balance the rights provided by government with their duty to God?
Dr. Joshua Schulz, assistant professor of philosophy at DeSales University, joins us on this week’s episode of Engaging the Issues to answer that very question.

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.

Commentary: Grounding Our Right to Religious Freedom

Law Bibleby Joshua Schulz

Do rights protect autonomy or duties? Answers to that question drive our current debate over religious freedom.

To say that rights protect autonomy is to understand rights as guarantors of the absolute freedom to define the meaning and purpose of one’s own life. One should have the “right” to devote one’s life to sculpting marshmallow chipmunks just as much as one should have the right to devote one’s life to curing cancer.

Indeed, many people favor this view of rights because of its supposed “value neutrality.” This view would have us respect other people’s freedoms by interfering with their lives as little as possible.

Of course, even if one thinks rights protect autonomy, no one is absolutely free to do whatever he wants. We all face natural limits like power and scarcity. For example, I am balding; I would like to have a full head of hair, but I am not free to have a full head of hair. I don’t have the power to grow hair. I am also limited by scarcity. I have only one head. If I were a robot, I might wear a different head every day, changing them out like wigs.

While ancient peoples, by and large, dealt with powerlessness and scarcity by developing moral virtues like patience, temperance, and hope, modernity has a new solution: technology. Technology increases our power and increases the products from which we can choose. Today I can cure my baldness with drugs, disguise it with implants, or hide it with spray paint: then I will be happy. This is the promise of technology in our day: it allows us to satisfy all of our desires and so become happy. [Read more...]