Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Virginia | October 13, 2021

The Patriot Act Wasn’t Meant to Target Parents

Virginia | October 13, 2021

The Biden administration is abusing federal laws and agencies as instruments of political repression.

As principal author of the Patriot Act and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during its consideration, I find it necessary to remind the Biden administration that the Patriot Act doesn’t apply to parents’ behavior at school-board meetings.

In recent months, parents across the country have expressed their views on issues ranging from pronoun selection and Critical Race Theory to the medical basis of certain Covid restrictions and age-inappropriate, sexually explicit curricular materials. Parents have a right—indeed an obligation—to participate actively at school-board meetings to ensure the safety and well-being of their children. In Virginia’s Loudoun and Fairfax counties, moms, dads, and teachers shocked by X-rated reading lists, race-based indoctrination, and anti-Christian instruction have made their voices heard. Rather than embracing a renaissance of spirited and nonviolent civic engagement, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe recently said: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Democrats’ hostility toward parents seeking a voice in their children’s education is not new. Of greater concern is the recent attempt to weaponize our criminal laws to eliminate these voices. As principal author of the Patriot Act and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during its consideration, I find it necessary to remind the Biden administration that the Patriot Act doesn’t apply to parents’ behavior at school-board meetings…. (Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal)

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Virginia | September 13, 2021

Farmer Stands for National Anthem at High School Football Game, Leaves Crowd Stunned

Virginia | September 13, 2021

It was a picture-perfect moment—as golden as a Norman Rockwell painting.

Before a high school football game in Virginia, the national anthem was about to play. In a neighboring field, a lone farmer stands patriotically, respectfully, hand over heart.

Local mom Monica Osborne captured the magical scene on camera late August, as her son readied for his debut performance in the school band. The sight gave her chills.

“As I turned to face the flag, hand over heart, the sight of this young man was almost magical, like something you’d only see in a movie or commercial on TV,” Osborne told The Epoch Times…. (Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Virginia | August 23, 2021

Alliance Defending Freedom Asks Court to Reconsider Challenge to Virginia Values Act

Virginia | August 23, 2021

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wants the Loudoun County Circuit Court to reconsider its decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the Virginia Values Act. On Friday, the ADF filed a Motion to Reconsider Calvary Road Baptist Church v. Herring, a lawsuit that claims the VVA and an associated insurance law violate constitutionally-protected freedoms through hiring non-discrimination laws.

The ADF argues that the organizations are already suffering harm because they risk fines up to $100,000 per violation of the law.

“The Virginia Values Act, enacted in July 2020, compels churches, religious schools, and Christian ministries to hire employees who do not share their beliefs on marriage, sexuality, and gender identity – and even bans them from publishing their biblical beliefs on these topics,” an ADF press release explains. “A companion law requires the ministries and others like them to include in employee health care plans coverage for sex reassignment and ‘gender affirming’ surgeries that run contrary to their beliefs. It also prohibits the ministries from offering sex-specific Bible studies and youth activities.”

The court dismissed the challenge since there hadn’t yet been any infringement against the churches and schools in the suit. Still, the judge emphasized that the dismissal was due to a problem with the standing, not the merits of the case. In the Friday filing, the ADF argues that recent federal appellate cases have recognized the ability to file cases in similar situations…. (Excerpts from the Virginia Star)

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Virginia | August 16, 2021

With censorship of student dissent, University of Virginia taints rep as free speech haven

Virginia | August 16, 2021

The University of Virginia’s commitment to free speech — and its constitutional obligations — is facing scrutiny after it punished and censored students for offensive, hyperbolic or just contrarian remarks. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 and widely considered a “public Ivy,” the taxpayer-funded institution allowed a student-run committee to dangle expulsion over a student for a private remark that an administrative investigation found nonthreatening. This spring it threatened to expel a student for a “Burn it all down” poster on her residence hall door that criticized the university using dark imagery, on the grounds that it constituted “incitement.” UVA also faces continuing litigation from a student removed from its medical school for “questioning and critiquing the theory of micro-aggression” during a panel discussion, as a federal judge ruled in allowing the First Amendment claim to proceed… (Excerpts from Just the News)

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Virginia, Wisconsin | July 1, 2021

Tazewell County Public Schools Targeted by Anti-Religion Group for Pre-Game Prayer

Virginia, Wisconsin | July 1, 2021

After an alleged coach-led pre-game prayer by the Graham High School “G-Men” Boys Soccer Team at the state championship game, an out-of-state atheist organization threatened to file a lawsuit against the school system. The local news reported that the prayer was led by the coaches of the team, but one of the coaches denies this accusation.

The Tazewell County School System “has been cautioned” by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a Wisconsin-based anti-religion group. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that “coaching staff for the Graham High School soccer team led students in prayer before a game on June 10, the FFRF alleges, saying it was reported by a concerned area resident.”

FFRF threatens thousands of small government agencies with lawsuits every year, including three Virginia localities this year alone.  Their mission states they work to “protect the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.” The description on the side of their office building reads “Proudly Professional Pains In Ass Since 1978.”

The organization is recognized as a 501-C3 by the IRS, meaning that their donors are not reported. But according to research by InfluenceWatch, the prolific group is funded by Craigslist Charitable Fund, Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund, Silicon Valley Community Fund, and other private endowments…

(Excerpts from the Virginia Star)

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Virginia | June 3, 2021

ENOUGH! Tech Executives Start Pro-Free Speech Organization

Virginia | June 3, 2021

Free speech online is an issue that should concern everyone, regardless of political persuasion. To combat the issue, several executives have started an organization to stand up against Big Tech censorship.

The First and Fourteenth Institute (FAFI) claimed to advocate for free speech online, despite the different political leanings of its founders, including one blatant leftist. “We believe this question of censorship is a non-partisan concern that will deeply affect the ability of our country to achieve fairness and progress going forward,” Co-founder Mike Matthys said.

The future of free speech appeared to be a matter of grave concern for FAFI. Matthys said that Big Tech censorship “is targeting conservative persons today, [and] it may target liberal persons in the future,” in an interview with Fox News.

FAFI’s other co-founders also cited concerns over online censorship. Co-founder Brian Jackson explained: “I decided to help co- found[sic] FAFI after being concerned by media handling of election stories, and later became further concerned to see a well-known author have one of his books removed from Amazon without so much as an explanation.”…

(Excerpts from Newsbuster.org)

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