Indiana Bill Shows Tolerance Goes Both Ways

I_Support_Religious_Freedom.pngINDIANA BILL - TOLERANCE 
GOES BOTH WAYS

If you've been following the hoopla surrounding the recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana, you know this effort is getting serious attention and is being grossly distorted by Hollyweird and the mainstream media.  

Click here to see Governor Pence's great explanation of the bill he just signed into law.

Indiana has joined the 19 states that already had RFRAs along with 7 more with state supreme court decisions providing the RFRA test for religious freedom. 

Because Alaska is one of a handful of states without a RFRA in place, we're following this national dialogue closely as we anticipate getting our legislature to pass a similar bill.

To get quickly up to speed on RFRAs, please take a few moments now to review this great summary or print it up and read it later. The biggest obstacle facing these kind of bills is education. As the public becomes informed, good things will happen. 

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Let's Put A Lid on Dope Concentrates

Dabs.jpgLet's put a lid on marijuana concentrates

The Alaska Senate will soon take up Senate Bill 30, a bill that seeks to regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana, which was legalized by the passage of Ballot Measure 2 in the 2014 election.

It is expected that when SB 30 comes to the Senate floor, an amendment will be offered that corrects one of the most glaring problems in Ballot Measure 2, which is the legalization of dangerous marijuana concentrates that are packaged in edible forms like cookies, brownies, gummy bears, and lollypops.  Whereas your average smoked joint might contain around 10-15 percent THC (the psychoactive agent in marijuana) the innocent-looking “edibles” can be loaded with as much as 80 percent THC.  This creates a real public health hazard for unsuspecting people who consume these “foods.”

ACTION ITEM: Contact your Senator now – and respectfully ask them to SUPPORT an amendment to SB 30 that would disallow the production and sale of these dangerous marijuana concentrates.  Click HERE to obtain contact information for your Senator. Click HERE for a list of all AK State Senators.

Why does this amendment make sense, when a majority of voters chose to legalize marijuana?  Consider that supporters of Ballot Measure 2 loudly proclaimed during last year’s election: “Ballot Measure 2 will end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in Alaska and replace it with a system in which…. Marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol.”  (quote from the Official Election pamphlet, 2014, p. 79). 

This is what the voters were promised.  So now let’s look at how we regulate alcohol in Alaska.  For starters, Alaska law prohibits the sale of powdered alcohol – where the alcohol is removed from its liquid state, similar to how marijuana concentrates remove the THC from the organic material of the marijuana plant.  In addition, Alaska law prohibits the sale of any alcoholic beverage that contains more than 76 percent alcohol by volume (AS 04.16.110).  In other words, we’ve had common-sense restrictions in place for many years that limit the potency and form of alcohol that may be consumed in this state.  Now the Legislature needs to do the same thing with regard to marijuana – and for the same public health reasons. 

MaryJane_Concentrates.jpgWhy is this a big deal?  Already, two deaths in Colorado have been linked to that state’s decision to legalize marijuana concentrates.  USA Today published an excellent account of the toxic nature of THC concentrates – the use of which often leads to an emergency room visit.  Click HERE to read this article – and then ask yourself: is it worth making a phone call to your Senator to ensure that this type of chaos does not unfold in Alaska?

But the dangers from concentrates extend beyond those who actually consume them.  Colorado is already seeing a huge spike in home explosions due to people using butane fuel to manufacture hash oil, another THC concentrate that is now legal.  There were 32 of these home explosions in 2014, almost triple the number from the year before.  Watch this NBC story HERE and think about this process going on in the apartment or home right next to yours.  Feeling safe in the brave new world of legalized pot?

Amending SB 30 to ban THC concentrates is simply common sense – and it only requires legislators to treat marijuana the same way as alcohol.  That is what voters were promised, but only the Legislature has the authority to do this.  The financial backers of Ballot Measure 2, mostly Outsiders, have neither the interest nor the authority to protect the safety and public health of Alaskans.

ACTION ITEM: Contact your Senator now – and respectfully ask them to SUPPORT an amendment to SB 30 that would disallow the production and sale of dangerous marijuana concentrates.  Click HERE to obtain contact information for your Senator.

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AK Family Action Supports Amy Demboski for Anchorage Mayor

Amy.jpegResidents of Alaska's largest city will be casting their vote onTuesday, April 7th 2015 for their next Mayor.

Alaska Family Action recommends a vote for Amy Demboski for Mayor of Anchorage.

Although there are a number of issues the Mayor of Anchorage has jurisdiction over, the most relevant in terms of our issues has to do with religious freedom and the right of conscience. 

There is little doubt that one of the first items on the agenda of the Anchorage Assembly will be to re-introduce an ordinance that would add sexual-orientation and transgender identity to Anchorage's list of protected legal classes.

You might remember that Alaska Family Action led the effort back in April of 2012 to oppose Proposition 5. The debate stirred up national attention and caused a record turnout to the polls.  

Ultimately, common sense and truth prevailed and voters rejected the Proposition by a 58% to 42% margin. Although we were significantly outspent, we achieved victory by appealing to residents who knew that our community was already tolerant and that the measure posed significant risks to the religious liberties of individuals, businesses and faith-based organizations. 

Transgender people teaching your child's elementary school class.  Christian wedding photographers, bakers and other vendors forced to participate in same-sex weddings. Church camps being sued for not making facilities available for homosexual weddings.  Businesses forced to make the ladies restroom open to men who are claiming to be "women."  Adoption attorneys forced into placing children into same-sex couple homes. The list goes on and on if another Prop 5 type ordinance is introduced and is not vetoed by the Anchorage Mayor.  Real threats to rights of conscience are unfolding in community after community as these laws are passed. 

2015_Logo_Button.jpgAmy Demboski clearly supports the will of Anchorage voters, by opposing extremist legislation like Proposition 5 that would take away the freedom of citizens to run their businesses, schools, and churches in a manner consistent with their values and their conscience.

Alaska Family Action urges your support of Amy Demboski for Anchorage Mayor as she has assured our organization that she would veto another Prop 5 like ordinance if it comes before her.

Please do your part and spread the news as far and wide as you can about our support for Amy Demboski.  Turnout in Municipal elections is often unbelievably low and so a few votes one way or the other can have a decisive impact on the direction our community goes.  

On Tuesday, April 7th, get out and cast your vote for Amy Demboski for Mayor of Anchorage. 
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.
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Protecting Kids in Public Libraries

How-Keep-Kids-Safe-Online.jpgLegislation recently filed by Rep. Liz Vazquez of Anchorage would require public libraries to install Internet filters on their computers or have their State funds taken away. 

Children walking into many of Alaska’s publicly funded libraries today are only a click away from pornography, obscenity and Internet predators. All libraries that receive State funds should go the extra mile to protect children.

The bill (HB127) has been referred to the Education and Judiciary Committees. As it moves through the process, we'll keep you informed about what you can do to help.

For now, we encourage you to contact Rep. Vazquez and thank her for introducing this important legislation. 

RELEVANT FACTS

The federal Children's Internet Protection Act, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, requires schools and libraries to place filters on computers in order to receive federal funds. Some states have gone further by requiring publicly funded institutions to install filtering software in order to get State funds. Those in favor of filters argue that libraries are to be sanctuaries of learning and that children's access to information and the desire to learn should not be put at risk by allowing them to be exposed to harmful material.

The National Research Council's report, "Youth, Pornography, and the Internet," identified the most effective tools for libraries, including offering "users a variety of choices regarding filtered and unfiltered access," using software to "clear" browser histories and making information on the filtering policy conspicuously available. By enacting this legislation, Alaska would join numerous states across the country that have taken major steps to ensure the safety of children and internet use in public libraries. 

As much media attention has been given to child predators soliciting young children over the internet, it is imperative that when unsupervised children enter a library the necessary steps have been taken to protect them and ensure their safety. 

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Assisted Suicide - Time To Put It To Rest Again

euthanasia.jpgRepresentative Harriet Drummond recently introduced a bill (HB99) that would legalize assisted suicide in Alaska.

If there is one thing that should be put to death, it's this bill. Click HERE for good information on the subject.

This issue has been brought up before and was shot down in 1996 by the Legislature and by the Alaska Supreme Court in 2001. In his unanimous opinion, Justice Alex Bryner wrote that the State "insists that the terminally ill are a class of persons who need protection from family, social, and economic pressures, and who are often particularly vulnerable to such pressures because of chronic pain, depression, and the effects of medication."

Representing the Alaska Catholic Conference at the time, attorney Bob Flint, now an Alaska Family Action Board member, noted that "Church people are no strangers to suffering," he told the Anchorage Daily News. "But there are principles that just don't allow us to kill people. It's that simple. We don't doubt the motives of the other side. We just disagree with them."

ACTION
Please do your part to put this bill to rest by contacting members of the House Health and Social Services Committee. Urge them to vote NO on this bill that takes advantage of the most vulnerable among us and sets forth the false premise that suicide is medical care.  Click HERE for more talking points on why to oppose HB99.

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One Gen Juneau

One_Gen_Away.jpg"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan

Please join us next Thursday, February 12th at 6:30pm at Juneau Christian Center for a FREE movie event about the erosion of religious liberty in America called One Generation Away.

The film focuses on seven ongoing case studies of religious freedom across the country including Mt. Soledad in San Diego, wedding service providers in Oregon and Washington, Hobby Lobby, chaplaincy in the military, two education cases with a collegiate counseling program, and high school cheerleaders in Koontz, Texas. 

The fight to protect our religious freedom is paramount to our country’s future prosperity,” notes Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator, Presidential candidate and CEO of EchoLight Productions, the company that produced the documentary. “Taking that fight to the big screen and impacting the culture along the way allows us to inform on this critical subject in a meaningful and entertaining way.”

Alaska Family Action is working with national groups and other family policy councils across the country to introduce good public policy to protect our cherished freedoms to live and work in a manner that is consistent with our core beliefs.  This movie goes a long way toward telling the story of why this "First Freedom" is so critical in today's climate.

Click HERE to view the trailer and then mark your calendar for Thursday, February 12th at 6:30pm at Juneau Christian Center

Hope to see you there.

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One Generation Away

One_Gen_Away.jpg"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan

Please join us this Wednesday, February 4that 6:00pm at The Crossing in North Birchwood for a FREE movie event about the erosion of religious liberty in America called One Generation Away.

The film focuses on seven ongoing case studies of religious freedom across the country including Mt. Soledad in San Diego, wedding service providers in Oregon and Washington, Hobby Lobby, chaplaincy in the military, two education cases with a collegiate counseling program, and high school cheerleaders in Koontz, Texas. 

The fight to protect our religious freedom is paramount to our country’s future prosperity,” notes Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator, Presidential candidate and CEO of EchoLight Productions, the company that produced the documentary. “Taking that fight to the big screen and impacting the culture along the way allows us to inform on this critical subject in a meaningful and entertaining way.”

Alaska Family Action is working with national groups and other family policy councils across the country to introduce good public policy to protect our cherished freedoms to live and work in a manner that is consistent with our core beliefs.  This movie goes a long way toward telling the story of why this "First Freedom" is so critical in today's climate.

Click HERE to view the trailer and then mark your calendar for this Wednesday, February 4th at6:00pm at The Crossing located at 22208 N. Birchwood Loop in Chugiak. 

Hope to see you there. 

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Call Congressman Young

Young.jpegACTION ALERT - Please call Congressman Don Young at (202) 225-5765 to -

1) Thank him for his past support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and

2) Ask him why Republican leadership pulled the same bill (new term) yesterday

The U.S. House of Representatives was planning to vote on a bill banning most abortions after five months of pregnancy – a point at which a baby can feel pain and survive long-term outside the womb. 

From Heritage Action for America -  

"Last night, House Republican leadership pulled the bill.  Instead, they’ll consider the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7).  While a good bill, it is outrageous they pulled the original five-month abortion ban bill, also known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36).  Leadership is suggesting they will re-work the legislation, but they must feel the pressure of the grassroots to keep the pressure up for this landmark legislation for the life of children."

  • A recent Quinnipiac poll found 60% of Americans favor limited abortion after five months, including 59% of women and 57% of millennials.
  • This Congress cannot abandon or water down the 5-month abortion ban.  You need to fight for this.

 

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Real Discrimination

Discrimination.jpgRecent bills filed by Rep. Cathy Munoz (R-Juneau) and Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) would give special rights based on lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual behavior.

We've gone through this before back in 2012 with Prop 5 in Anchorage when Alaska Family Action led the effort to defeat similar language LGBTQ activists were seeking to add to the Municipal code.

Prop 5 was soundly defeated because our communities are already tolerant and widespread discrimination against LGBTQ individuals is simply not happening.  

The Government shouldn’t determine who gets to exercise their First Amendment right to live their lives according to their deeply held convictions. There is certainly a cultural war going on regarding sexuality in our society but the State of Alaska should not be taking sides.

What really is happening however in greater frequency regarding this issue is greatly disturbing. Across the country, citizens who are "found out" to be supportive of natural marriage are being increasingly targeted.

The latest example, and there are countless others, is the Fire Chief in Atlanta, Georgia, Kelvin Cochrane, who was recently fired for being vocal about his belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.  

fire-chief-kelvin-cochran.jpgAn article from our friends at Family Research Council notes that "the former Obama appointee, who had a long and distinguished record, finally had the opportunity to tell his side of the story at Tuesday’s rally. And, like so many before him, nothing but fierce hostility toward Christianity was at its heart. To a room full of reporters, Cochran made it clear: “I was fired for having the audacity to believe that sex was created for procreation and should be in the bonds of holy matrimony between and a man and woman.”

Whether you're the CEO of Firefox, an ESPN college football analyst, a florist, an educator, a small business owner, a wedding vendor or any other individual who wants to participate in the public marketplace, the message from the LGBTQ community is clear - your views are NOT WELCOME and will be punished if you ever bring them up or they are discovered.

This is real discrimination and something should be done about it. More on that later. 

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Downstream

sanctity-of-life.jpgIt's been rightly noted that politics is downstream from culture. Legislators we elect and legislation they pass are often just a reflection of what is being talked about, believed in and lived out in communities. I do believe that good law can and has transformed society and that is why Alaska Family Action continues to exist as a public policy ministry.  At the same time, the Body of Christ (individuals) are called to live as "servants of God", to "honor everyone" and in doing so, to be salt and light in a fallen world. 1 Peter 2:13-17

How are each of us called to live out that Truth personally as we do our part to protect innocent human life made in God's image ? 

With Sanctity of Human Life Sunday 2015 quickly approaching, I'm privileged to pass along one possible opportunity for you from CPC Community Pregnancy Center of Anchorage. Here's an alert for pastors and to pass along to pastors from my friend Bill Donovan who serves a Executive Director of this profoundly important ministry.  For those of you outside of Anchorage, be sure to scroll to the bottom for other opportunities and resources around the state and nation.  

be-voice.jpgSunday, January 18, has been chosen to be Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in remembrance of the infamous court ruling on January 22, 1973, known as Roe v. Wade, legalizing most abortions nationwide.  In response to the women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies, CPC has, for the past 30 years, offered hope and life affirming encouragement to all who enter our doors. 

The American Church is not immune from suffering the devastating effects of abortion.  Research indicates that one in three women chose abortion for their unborn baby last year and 37% identified themselves as Protestants.   This means that many of these women are sitting in your church pews.  And many of these women chose abortion because of the stigma of being pregnant and unmarried in the church.   We have to give these women a safe place to choose LIFE for their baby and a safe place to heal from their abortion, if they didn’t.

At a recent pastors’ lunch hosted by CPC, many pastors shared the difficulty in speaking on this issue from the pulpit.   We recognize this, too, but know God’s love is the only love that will heal their broken hearts, allow them to find forgiveness and provide freedom from their past decision.  We shouldn’t allow anything to keep us from sharing this message of hope and forgiveness.  For the many women who experienced abortion this last year, let’s not make them suffer for the next 20 or 30 years until they find healing.  Let the body of Christ embrace them so they can surrender their secret. 

Politics and culture have high-jacked the issue of abortion and with so many Christians rightly entering the public square to protect and defend LIFE and with many pastors being silent on the issue, are we unintentionally creating a culture of secrecy and shame for the post-abortive woman? This does not reflect the way God deals with His hurt and broken people.  As the body of Christ, we have to take back the issue of abortion from the public square, bring it in the church and allow God to transform the lives of hurting women and men, through forgiveness, and restoration and, ultimately, freedom from their past decision.

I want to encourage you to consider dedicating a portion of your service on Sunday, January 18, to honor life and pray for the unborn.  Pray for the women who are considering abortion that they would choose LIFE.  Pray for organizations like Community Pregnancy Center that are making a difference in the hearts and lives of mothers, fathers and their babies.  Pray for the women who have had an abortion that they will find healing and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

I’ve included a list of resources that will help you prepare your message on the Sanctity of Human Life. Also, we’d ask that you make your congregation aware of the bible study for post abortive women CPC offers called Surrendering the Secret.  This eight week study meets privately and is completely confidential.  Please share this with your church body and encourage them to go to our website to find more information.  We have bulletin announcements and powerwpoint slides that are available, as well.

We want to help and equip you to offer a safe place for hope, healing and restoration. We are happy to provide a speaker or additional resources.  Please contact us at 337-9292 or you can email me at the email address: [email protected].  Or Sheri Schmitz at [email protected]

Focus on the Family- www.beavoice.net

Other Pregnancy Centers in Alaska - Ramah International- ramahinternational.org

Abort73 - www.abort73.com

Surrendering The Secret- www.surrenderingthesecret.com

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