Family Research Council


Trump Confirmed: VVS Goes Presidential!

October 10, 2017

Last year, he spoke to the Values Voter Summit as a candidate -- this year, it will be as the 45th President of the United States. Today we have confirmation from the White House that President Donald Trump will speak to the VVS crowd this Friday morning. If you're on the fence about attending, jump on over to the VVS website to secure your spot now!

The October 13-15 event in Washington, D.C. is only a few days away, and there's so much in store! Informative breakouts, exhibits, a student mixer, book signings, and the Faith, Family & Freedom Gala are also included in the event. Click here to seize the moment in Washington this week!


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Judge: Tax the Pastors

October 10, 2017

If the name Barbara Crabb sounds familiar, it should. The Wisconsin judge has long been synonymous with religious harassment since before she first struck down the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional more than 7 years ago. In 2013, she turned her hostility to religion on our nation's clergy -- striking down as unconstitutional the longstanding law giving pastors tax-free housing allowances. The Seventh Circuit later overturned her ruling citing a lack of standing. The anti-faith extremists at Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) (the same plaintiffs who -- not so coincidentally -- sued in Crabb's court against the National Day of Prayer), came back with a second lawsuit -- again arguing that ministers should have to pay taxes on any income that is designated for their housing payments. On Friday, Judge Crabb struck down the housing allowance once again.

The FFRF and their friend Judge Crabb step over the fact that going back to Patrick Henry in 1785, society has tried to relieve the clergy's housing burden because of the tremendous social benefits churches offer the culture and because so many clergy, despite their exceptional educations, receive only modest salaries. Congress has long used tax-breaks and incentives to encourage that which is beneficial to society as a whole. What's changed in the last eight years that would create an environment where such a lawsuit would be taken seriously? The eight years of religious hostility under the Obama administration (as detailed in our 66 page Hostility to Religion Report) goes a long way toward answering that question.

I'd like to ask Judge Crabb: Where are the atheist-run soup kitchens, clothes closets, relief agencies, orphanages, adoption agencies, counselors, and hospitals? They are not there. They don't exist. It is churches -- led by pastors -- that primarily provide these benefits to communities and society in general. Americans donate over $100 billion to religious charities, including churches, every year because they believe it makes a positive difference. Churches have been central to the relief efforts in the aftermath of hurricane damage in Southeast Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The outreach ministries of church help address a host of social ills that would otherwise become the sole burden of taxpayers and the federal government. Thankfully, the Becket Fund has promised to appeal Judge Crabb's animus driven ruling. I believe this case will mirror the outcome in the National Day of Prayer case: in embarrassment for Judge Crabb.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Prison for Pronouns: California's New Law on Speech

October 10, 2017

Living out conservative values continues to become more and more difficult in California, where Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill last Thursday that criminalizes referring to a person who identifies as transgender by his or her given name and sex at long-term nursing facilities. SB 219 criminalizes "[w]here rooms are assigned by gender... refusing to assign a room to a transgender resident other than in accordance with the transgender resident's gender identity," or "willfully and repeatedly fail[ing] to use a resident's preferred name or pronouns." These new requirements are not only enforceable with civil penalties, but violations are punishable by fines and even imprisonment. Not only that, but the new law outsources training on these sensitive issues to an ideologically-driven non-governmental website. The bill mandates "existing employees and new hires" be given access to "Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults," which is available on the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging's website.

Senator Scott Wiener (D), who introduced the bill in the California State Senate, was reportedly made aware of free exercise of religion concerns that accompany these new mandates, and stated, "Everyone is entitled to their religious view, but when you enter the public space, when you are running an institution, you are in a workplace, you are in a civil setting, and you have to follow the law."

This is certainly a different view of the First Amendment than the Founding Fathers had in mind. In fact, the Department of Justice reminded us in a memorandum it released on Friday that "James Madison explained in his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, the free exercise of religion 'is in its nature an unalienable right' because the duty owed to one's Creator 'is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.'" Certainly, James Madison would disagree with California Senator Wiener that a person who enters a public space must set his religious views about sex and sex orientation aside.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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