Jim Minnery's Statement on SCOTUS Marriage Decision

"Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the definition of marriage trampled upon every stitch in the fabric of American democracy.  Despite the will of tens of millions of Americans in 31 states who voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court has violated the sacred trust of the American people by undoing the majority-approved, millennia-old institution, opening the door to further unknown change and ambiguity.

This egregious judicial overreach is cause for great concern, both at a federal and a state level.  Such a blatant disregard for the religious liberties of Americans also signals a major change in America’s political discourse: that our government may very well force Americans -- especially people of faith -- to celebrate and/or participate in activities that violate their conscience and could even restrict their rights to speak freely on issues that are important to them. 

Redefining marriage redefines parenthood.  This new definition of ‘marriage’ further weakens the institution by making it more about the desires of adults than the needs of children.  While many scientific studies have proven that children who grow up in an optimal family environment are more likely to succeed and less likely to be incarcerated, the federal government has placed its stamp of approval on an environment that deprives children of the intrinsic benefits of being raised by a married mother and father. 

Perhaps most concerning, however, is the Supreme Court’s inability to interpret policy and doctrine on proven scientific merit and natural law, void of cultural pressures.  Much like the historic Dred Scott v. Stanford decision, which stated that African-Americans had no right to sue in federal court, the Court was unable to conclude that natural law should be the fundamental basis for their ruling, choosing instead to listen to the loud voices of those in opposition to logical and natural conclusions, changing the course of history in the process.

While we are extremely disappointed by this unprecedented and successful attempt by the Supreme Court to circumvent the will of the American people, we will continue to work to ensure that no government -- at any level -- is ever able to penalize or discriminate against a citizen or institution because they believe in the natural and sacred institution of marriage. 

Much as the Roe v. Wade decision awakened pro-life Americans, we expect this ruling will re-energize efforts to promote the sacred institution of marriage, as well as free speech protections for the tens of millions of Americans who simply cannot reconcile this decision with their sincerely-held beliefs." 

To schedule and interview with Jim Minnery, or with questions, please contact Zachary Freeman, at(907) 317-1343 or [email protected].

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Ruling Cannot Change Marriage

Mom_n_Dad.jpgToday’s Supreme Court ruling on the definition of marriage trampled upon every stitch in the fabric of American democracy.  Despite the will of tens of millions of Americans in 31 states who voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court has violated the sacred trust of the American people by undoing the majority-approved, millennia-old institution, opening the door to further unknown change and ambiguity.

This egregious judicial overreach is cause for great concern, both at a federal and a state level.  Such a blatant disregard for the religious liberties of Americans also signals a major change in America’s political discourse: that our government may very well force Americans -- especially people of faith -- to celebrate and/or participate in activities that violate their conscience and could even restrict their rights to speak freely on issues that are important to them. 

Redefining marriage redefines parenthood.  This new definition of ‘marriage’ further weakens the institution by making it more about the desires of adults than the needs of children.  While many scientific studies have proven that children who grow up in an optimal family environment are more likely to succeed and less likely to be incarcerated, the federal government has placed its stamp of approval on an environment that deprives children of the intrinsic benefits of being raised by a married mother and father. 

Perhaps most concerning, however, is the Supreme Court’s inability to interpret policy and doctrine on proven scientific merit and natural law, void of cultural pressures.  Much like the historic Dred Scott v. Stanford decision, which stated that African-Americans had no right to sue in federal court, the Court was unable to conclude that natural law should be the fundamental basis for their ruling, choosing instead to listen to the loud voices of those in opposition to logical and natural conclusions, changing the course of history in the process.

While we are extremely disappointed by this unprecedented and successful attempt by the Supreme Court to circumvent the will of the American people, we will continue to work to ensure that no government -- at any level -- is ever able to penalize or discriminate against a citizen or institution because they believe in the natural and sacred institution of marriage. 

Much as the Roe v. Wade decision awakened pro-life Americans, we expect this ruling will re-energize efforts to promote the sacred institution of marriage, as well as free speech protections for the tens of millions of Americans who simply cannot reconcile this decision with their sincerely-held beliefs." 

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Are You Ready ? It's Time To Protect Your Church or Ministry

AreYouReady.jpgIn ten days or less, the United States Supreme Court will come down with a decision many are calling the Roe v Wade of our time regarding marriage.

If the decision goes the way most pundits are predicting, the consequences for marriage, small businesses, colleges and nonprofits, churches and the First Amendment itself will be profound.

Alliance Defending Freedom, an essential ministry friend and ally of Alaska Family Action, has stated very clearly that the #1 most important thing for you and your church to do now is to add the definition of marriage to your church or ministry’s bylaws.

We couldn't agree more. Many non-profits, schools and churches have already done so. Most have not.  PLEASE TAKE THE TIME NOW and CLICK HERE to review ADF's short piece on why this is so important and how you and your Christ-centered organization can be wise as we navigate these challenging cultural upheavals. 

The resource, Protecting Your Ministry, has a simple checklist for groups to get their theology of marriage and sexuality in writing; statement of faith, religious employment criteria, facility use policy, formal membership policy (for churches), admissions procedures (for schools), and so on. 

Protecting_Your_Ministry.jpgThere are countless resources on the web predicting and analyzing the ruling that will be presented in a few short days.  Our friends at Family Research Council (FRC) have a great piece HERE and a cover pieceHERE in the Weekly Standard is a must read for those who want to take a deeper look at what's really going on in the "movement."

However you choose to prepare for this ruling that will cause cultural tremors for decades to come, be of good cheer.  Borrowing language from our sister organization at the Minnesota Family Council -

"We speak and act together publicly as followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that in doing so, we promote not only true righteousness, justice, mercy, and love for ourselves but also for those who are lost, broken, and without hope in this world. Though the world wants us to think otherwise, our faith can never simply be a private affair but rather drives us to serve others--God first, and then our neighbors as He desires.  As we freely exercise our faith beyond the walls of our church and home, we are doing far more than just upholding the First Amendment. We are shining "as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life" (Phil 2:15).

Amen. 

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Bad Ruling - Good Response

From our friends and ministry partners at Family Research Council. There is lots of talk about what the U.S. Supreme Court will do in the marriage ruling to be released in a few short weeks. How you personally choose to engage on this issue in your circle of influence is of utmost importance.  If you have time tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9th at Noon ET (8:00am Alaska Standard Time) we recommend you sign up for a brief on-line policy lecture and choose to be informed and ready to respond in love and grace regardless of the outcome.

Flag.jpgMarriage and Civil Rights: How to Respond Rightly If the Court Gets It Wrong

The Supreme Court is on the verge of deciding some of the most momentous cases in recent times. One of those cases involves whether the Constitution requires states to recognize as marriage types of relationships that have never been called marriage throughout history. This attempted redefinition of society's foundational institution has been advanced using much of the same language as the Civil Rights movements of the 20th century.

Are these things the same? Is self-identification as being homosexual the same as having an immutable racial or ethnic heritage? And if the Court rules against marriage, what is the appropriate response?

FRC has assembled an all-star panel of civil rights leaders to discuss these important topics and answer questions about the relationship between race and human sexuality. 

CLICK HERE to join Deacon Keith Fournier, Dr. Alveda King and the Hon. Ken Blackwell for a great discussion of one of the biggest issues of our time.

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What's a SOGI ?

Transgender.jpgWith Ethan Berkowitz getting ready to take the reigns as Mayor of Anchorage July 1st, there can be no doubt that a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) law will be introduced by the Anchorage Assembly if not by the Mayor himself shortly after.  

In 2012, Anchorage voters rejected a similar law by a wide margin based on solid evidence that there was not widespread discrimination taking place and that a SOGI would in fact infringe upon the rights of others. 

As this issue looms on the horizon once again, it might be time to take a fresh look at what a SOGI is and why you should be concerned.Click here to watch a video prepared by our partners at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to get up to speed.

After watching the video, you can take important action steps that ADF recommends below to help protect your community, churches, religious schools, and other ministries.

PLEASE forward and make sure your city council officials see this as well.

TAKE ACTION

  • Be vigilant in your city and stay up-to-date with the proposals that come before your city government. If you hear that a SOGI law is being considered, contact ADF at [email protected]
  • If you know someone who might be threatened for operating their business according to their deeply held convictions, or they have questions about their right to do so, ADF can help.  Contact ADF and they will evaluate whether they can assist in the situation.
  • Nonprofit organizations are also threatened by these ordinances. Any organization that holds true to what Scripture teaches about gender and sexuality may be at risk. Alliance Defending Freedom has developed a free legal guide for churches, religious schools, and other religious ministries that will protect you in advance of these ordinances. Download your free copy here.
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June Events Added

We've added several family-focused events to our schedule this month!  All events are free and open to the public, though we do ask you to register using the links below.

Delta Junction One Generation Away Movie Screening - Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 7:00pm - Register Here!

Fairbanks One Generation Away Movie Screening - Friday, June 19th, 2015 at TBD - Location TBA!

Fairbanks State Legislative Issues Briefing - Saturday, June 20th, 2015 at TBD - Location TBA!

Homer State Legislative Issues Briefing - Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at 6:30pm - Register Here!

Homer One Generation Away Movie Screening - Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 at 6:30pm - Register Here!

Hoonah State Legislative Issues Briefing - Friday, June 5th, 2015 at 6:00pm - Register Here!

Juneau State Legislative Issues Briefing Luncheon - Monday, June 8th, 2015 at 1:00pm at Udder Culture - RSVP Not Required 

Palmer State Legislative Issues Briefing - Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 at 7:00pm - Register Here!

Soldotna One Generation Away Movie Screening - Friday, June 26th, 2015 at 7:00pm - Register Here!

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Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sexuality

There was big news this month, generally under-reported in the secular media, about the nation’s two largest Scouting organizations.

Boy_Scouts_and_LGBTQ.jpgFirst the Boy Scouts…

Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, told a meeting of the National Organization last Thursday that the time has come to end the ban on homosexual adult leaders.  Gates cited the many cultural changes taking place under threat from homosexual activists, which occurred much faster than he expected.  Given anti-discrimination laws in several states, and same-sex marriage decisions where the courts had overthrown State Constitutional Amendments (such as has occurred in Alaska),  Gates stated  “The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.”

Robert Gate’s background includes service as Secretary of Defense, where he has trod this path before, knuckling under to gay activists and repealing the “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” policy.  Since then, gay and lesbian “marriage” and associated publicly funded benefits have been forced on the military. Military Chaplains, consequently, have been vigorously prosecuted for offering a biblical opinion, even in private counseling situations.

Despite erroneous media reports, the BSA change is not yet in effect.  However, Gates is giving public notice that fundamental changes are coming.  To his credit, he made clear that he desires to “change our policy to allow charter partners – Unit Sponsoring Organizations – to determine the standards for their Scout leaders.  Such an approach would allow all churches, which sponsor some 70% of our Scout Units, to establish leadership standards consistent with their faith.  We must, at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners to do this.”   

However, this approach is problematic for several reasons:  First; it throws the burden of legally defending traditional values upon the churches and Christ-centered non-profits which charter BSA Troops across the country.  Once activists target one or two out of the thousands of these churches in selected lawsuits, precedent will be set and deferral to faith-based Chartering Organizations will be at great risk.

In addition, this approach may put the churches themselves at risk beyond their affiliation with BSA:  The BSA is not a Christ centered program, so the church is at risk when it charters a BSA unit, and then claims a religious expression exemption as to why it won't accept gay leaders.  

Overall, Gate’s announcement highlights the fact that a character-development organization can scarcely accomplish it’s mission if it lacks what C.S. Lewis called “an eternal reference point.”  For Christians, this is Scripture, and Scripture makes clear reference to what is appropriate, moral sexual behavior, and what is not.  

Gate’s announcement comes as BSA membership plunged for a second year following the adoption of it’s most recent policy, which allows gay youth but not gay adult leaders.  Deeper analysis is even more troubling, in that Cub Scouts are suffering an even steeper decline in many Councils. 

Of course, the truly "tolerant" approach would be to live and let live. Activists could establish another scouting organization to advance and promote leftist values, and leave the Boy Scouts alone.  However, just as homosexual activists have used raw governmental power to silence Christians in the military, they are now using all tools available to remake America’s bedrock institutions into their own image, and with the help of a complicit, leftist judiciary, silencing all dissent.   

AFC encourages parents to be vigilant, and carefully monitor the upcoming proposal.  Those who care about our youth, and Scouting in particular, would do well to read the text of Robert Gates comments HERE to gain a full understanding of the issues.

And the Girl Scouts…

Girl-Scouts-Transgender-Males.jpgThe previous week, Girl Scouts USA published it’s policy allowing the enrollment of transgendered youth:  "If the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe."

The complete policy may be found HERE

This means girls in the organization will be learn from an early age to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle.  

As with BSA,, Girl Scouts USA is losing members – down over a million since 2003.  While there are many outstanding Girl Scout volunteers, the national organization’s curriculum continues to point girls toward leftist, “progressive” role models and organizations.  More well-documented concerns about the GS USA national organization can be found at Speak Now Girl Scouts

Alaska Family Council urges parents to be familiar with the leaders and policies of any organization that they entrust to influence the character formation of their children.  We recall the words of our Savior “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”  Mark 9:42

Christ-centered alternatives for boys include Royal Rangers, Christian Service Brigade, and Trail Life USA (interdenominational); alternatives for girls include Little Flowers (Catholic), GEMS and Pioneer Girls (Protestant), and American Heritage Girls (interdenominational).

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Election Reflections

Clarity.jpgMy thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

One of the most important and yet difficult things to do in our faith journey is to trust God in all circumstances. Elections come and go but His purposes are never thwarted. It often takes loss to bring that in to clarity.

The numbers on the scoreboard Tuesday were obviously a disappointment for those of us living in the Anchorage area. At the same time, what happens here often has a rippling effect throughout the state so all Alaskans were impacted. The fact is Amy Demboski was always the underdog on this playing field, as measured by fund-raising and name familiarity.

But I am grateful that Amy entered this campaign, because she gave Anchorage voters a clear, conservative alternative to an opponent who basically seemed to be running for the 3rd term of Mark Begich.

Thankfully, Amy will remain on the Anchorage Assembly – and her role there will be even more crucial, as a conservative check against the liberal agenda of Ethan Berkowitz.  I believe that Amy Demboski has a bright future ahead of her in local politics.  Expect to see bumper stickers in the near future: “Don’t blame me!  I voted for Demboski.”

Though the outcome was a disappointment, I’m indeed proud of the independent campaign that Alaska Family Action undertook to help a conservative candidate for mayor.  I’m especially grateful to all of the donors and volunteers of AFA who made that effort possible.

Teddy-Roosevelt.jpgPerhaps you’ve heard this saying from Teddy Roosevelt:

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

That’s a good thought to embrace in the realm of political campaigns.  Over the last eight years, AFA has been involved in numerous political campaigns, for issues and candidates alike.  We’ve won more than we’ve lost – but make no mistake, we know the taste of both victory and defeat.

At the beginning of each campaign, we always start with the knowledge that the outcome is affected by a hundred different variables – and only a few of them are within our control.  But the essential truth is: for those variables that we can control, we have a moral responsibility to engage.  You give it 100 percent of your time and energy, you leave no stone unturned, you strive for excellence.  And then the rest is in God’s hands.

I predict one of the accusations that will be made is that Amy Demboski lost the race because she and her supporters focused too much on “controversial” social issues.  As usual, this is a one-sided analysis.

Pro_Gay.jpegAndrew Halcro, when he ran the Anchorage Chamber, was constantly grandstanding about how pro-gay he was – yet nobody ever accused him of being “obsessed” with social issues.  When Halcro lost the Mayoral race on April 7, did anyone in the liberal media say, “Oh, he lost the race because he was crazy-liberal on social issues?”  Of course not.  Such thoughts are not in keeping with the liberal narrative of reality.  Yet there is no question that social conservatives avoided voting for Halcro precisely because of his liberal record, and that lack of support was decisive in causing him not to make the run-off election.

What about Ethan Berkowitz?  He was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s No. 1 abortion profiteer, and he was also endorsed by a local gay rights organization, precisely because he opposed the will of 57 percent of Anchorage voters who rejected Proposition 5.  Berkowitz proclaimed, “I would like to be the first Anchorage mayor to officiate a gay wedding.”  Wow – does that kind of rhetoric indicate that you’re too obsessed with social issues?  Not in the view of the liberal media.  You only get branded as being “obsessed” with social issues if you come down on the conservative side.

Let’s not forget Dan Coffey.  Remember him?  The guy who entered the race first, spent more money than everyone else, and finished dead last among the major candidates.  The Republican establishment rallied around Coffey as the “electable” candidate who had the best chance of winning.  Oh yes, and Coffey studiously ignored the social issues – isn’t that what “smart” candidates are supposed to do?

Coffey proclaimed at one debate, “My politics is fiscal conservatism.  On social issues, what you do and how you do it is your own business.  It’s not a concern of the government.”  Ah yes – music to the Establishment’s ears.  Yet Coffey struggled mightily to finish with barely more than 14 percent of the vote.  Did you recall anyone in the political “chattering class” saying that maybe Coffey lost because heignored social issues – thereby losing the votes of both social conservatives and social liberals?  Not a chance.  That would require discerning reality in a novel way, and many in the liberal media and the Republican Establishment have proven themselves incapable of doing that.

So the bottom line is: be wary of all the political “spin” that you will hear in the coming days, especially as it relates to social issues.  The primary reasons that Ethan Berkowitz won this election is because he had a 2 to 1 fundraising advantage, an adoring local media, and higher name ID from running three previous statewide campaigns and serving 10 years in the Legislature.

We’ll monitor the media “spin doctors” in the coming days, and depending on how far off the mark they are, we may have more to say on the campaign that is now in the rear-view mirror.

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Do Your Part

MLK-Quote.jpgAlaska Family Action urges your vote for Amy Demboski.

You've heard it before but it really matters.

This is the day. Please do your part and get to the polls.

You have until 8:00pm. 

Click HERE for polling locations.

Please call or email or text someone now and remind them how important their vote is.

This communication was paid for by Alaska Family Action, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska.  I am Jim Minnery, President of Alaska Family Action, Inc., and I approve this message. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law.  We certify that this communication is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.  Top three contributors are Lawrence Partusch, David Hultquist, and Alaska Pro Truckers of Anchorage.

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He Said It

He_Said_It.jpegDr. Jerry Prevo, Amy Demboski and now Bernadette Wilson have been thrown under the bus for a comment that has now been verified to have been made by Ethan Berkowitz.  

The bottom line is that Ethan Berkowitz chose to malign others for something he himself said. 

If he wanted to clarify his intentions, he could have and should have done so.  Instead, he chose not to and in fact had many people thinking he never actually said it.  He wouldn't "dignify" the question. People were below him for even insinuating that he said such a thing.

Own it Ethan. Defend yourself. Voters deserve that.

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