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Much to be Grateful For

November 7th, 2014

The national election results present us with real hope. A functioning Republican Congress should serve as a wall against further erosion of American values under this president. There is even reason to hope that we can begin pushing back President Obama’s deadly agenda, particularly as it relates to his obsessive assault on religious liberty.

One would hope to see the Congress present legislation to the White House which codifies the Hobby Lobby rulings. And there is real hope that we might see the beginning of the end to ObamaCare. The president’s nominees to the federal bench ought to receive rather rough treatment as well; perhaps we can avoid some of his more radical nominations.

At the state level, we are pleased to report that our endorsed statewide candidates won election, turning back one of the most radical pro-abortion Democrat tickets in memory. Particularly gratifying is the victory of Lawerence Denney and Ron Crane. As we noted earlier – Mr. Crane’s opponent is a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. It was horrible to contemplate that such a person could gain a constitutional office in the great State of Idaho.

Most of our endorsed candidates for the Legislature won as well – though there were some losses which are hard to accept. Reps. Cindy Agidius (Moscow) lost. It was a blessing to have her in the Legislature, particularly because her district has normally sent us some of the most rabid abortion advocates in Idaho.

Our good friend Rep. Thyra Stevenson (Lewiston) is behind by just 26 votes – and we are hoping to hear that a recount will be conducted quickly. It would be a real shame to lose her. Perhaps the Lord will yet give us a miracle here.

Speaking of the Legislature, we spent much of the night worrying about Rep. Lynn Luker in Boise’s District 15. He was behind most of the night, but the Lord was merciful as he eventually prevailed by some 416 votes.

Results from Ada County were quite anomalous. As the nation and Idaho overwhelmingly chose a more conservative path, voters in Ada County were voting Democratic. Most of the statewide Republican ticket lost in Ada, some by considerable margins. This dynamic no doubt explains why the Luker election was so dramatic.

The superior Democrat turn-out machine in Ada County did cost us an important race: Republican Mike Chilton was defeated by a Democrat in the Coroner’s race. We have come to see the coroner office as an important one for the pro-Life movement – particularly in the era of ObamaCare. It is a real shame that Chilton lost this contest as he is one of the most solid candidates we’ve supported over the years.

Obama Slams Religious Liberty to the Mat

June 11th, 2013
This August, Obama and his courtiers intend to impose the full weight of his imperial will upon Christian employers, churches and religious organizations. They will be forced to provide “free” abortifacients and sterilizations to employees or face horrendous penalties and police action from the IRS.A detailed review of this scandalous attack on the First Amendment was recently published by Ashley McGuire at the Weekly Standard. (“This Won’t Turn Out Well: The IRS prepares to Enforce ObamaCare’s Contraception Mandate”).

Ms. McGuire reports that employees who fail to submit to Obama will face fines of $100 per employee – per day. In the case of a company like Hobby Lobby, those fines will mean something like $1.3 million each business day (!) for non-compliance.

But it is not simply private employers who face brutal treatment. Religious organizations must also comply – unless they certified as excused by the IRS. And in order to receive that dispensation, religious organizations must already be excused from filing IRS Form 990. That means virtually all non-profits will have to provide abortifacients regardless of whether the entity is affiliated with a church or religious community.

Given the recent revelations about the religious persecution driving IRS officials, this is reason for grave concern over the future of religious liberty in America.

The situation has drawn public commentary from many church leaders, including the Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput. He recently published a column which included this chilling call to action:

“The day when Americans could take the Founders’ understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up.”

Unfortunately, we are not presently blessed by courageous leadership from the Idaho Legislature.

During last session’s debate over Gov. Otter’s plan to partner with the Obama Administration in imposing ObamaCare upon the families and employers of Idaho, we begged the Legislature to at least take a stand in defense of the First Amendment and our rights under the Constitution to religious liberty. We offered an amendment stating that Idaho’s Insurance Exchange would not force any employer or religious organization to provide free abortion-causing drugs to employees. Idaho Chooses Life did not even insist that the amendment prohibit such benefits – only that Idaho would not cooperate with Obama in violating the religious convictions of employers.

Tragically, we were rebuffed.

We reprint below the vote of your legislator on that amendment. Given the monstrous developments of the past month or so, this vote takes on increasing importance.

Here is the Senate vote on our Religious Liberty Amendment (Nuxoll/Fulcher):

Voting to Amend the bill: (the pro-Life position): Sens. Cliff Bayer (R-Boise), Branden Durst (D-Boise), Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian), Dan Johnson (R-Lewiston), Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls), Bob Nonini (R-Coeur d’Alene), Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood), Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth), Steven Thayn (R-Emmett), Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens).

Voting Against the Religious Liberty Amendment: Sens. Steve Bair (R-Blackfoot), Les Bock (D-Boise), Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Bart Davis (R-Idaho Falls), John Goedde (R-Coeur d’Alene), Jim Guthrie (R-McCammon), Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls), Brent Hill (R-Rexburg), Shawn Keough (R-Sandpoint), Roy Lacey (D-Pocatello), Todd Lakey (R-Nampa), Patti Anne Lodge (R-Nampa), Fred Martin (R-Boise), Jim Patrick (R-Twin Falls), Jim Rice (R-Caldwell), Dan Schmidt (D-Moscow), Jeff Siddoway (R-Terreton), Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum), John Tippets (R-Montpelier), Elliot Werk (D-Boise), Chuck Winder (R-Boise).

Here is how the House voted on our Religious Liberty Amendment (Barbieri/ Boyle), which failed on a 32-38 vote:

Voting Yes (the pro-Life position): Reps. Agidius, Andrus, Barbieri, Barrett, Bateman, Batt, Boyle, Collins, Crane, Dayley, DeMordaunt, Denney, Gestrin, Harris, Hartgen, Holtzclaw, Loertscher, Luker, McMillan, Mendive, Monks, Moyle, Nielsen, Palmer, Patterson, Shepherd, Sims, Stevenson, Thompson, Trujillo, Vander Woude, andWood(35).

Voting No: Reps. Anderson(01), Anderson(31), Anderst, Bedke, Bell, Bolz, Burgoyne, Chew, Clow, Erpelding, Eskridge, Gannon, Gibbs, Hancey, Henderson, Hixon, Horman, Kauffman, King, Kloc, Malek, Meline, Miller, Morse, Packer, Pence, Perry, Raybould, Ringo, Romrell, Rusche, Smith, VanOrden, Ward-Engelking, Wills, Wood(27), Woodings, and Youngblood

(13 Democrats + 25 Republicans)