Faith, Family and Religion – A Texan and American Heritage
Religion is a beacon of light, guidance and hope for the living. Basically, religion has existed since the creation of the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden as they worshiped God, their Creator.
The First Amendment of the United States of America guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and restricting an individual’s religious practices. In addition, it guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.
Texas Faith and Family Day at the State Capitol
On March 13, 2019, Texas Values, a non-profit organization that, according to their website, seeks to “preserve and advance a culture of family values in the state of Texas”, held a peaceful assembly on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol. Prior to the rally, a faith briefing session was held in the Capitol Auditorium led by Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values. He instructed participants to divide into cadres to visit the offices of our state representatives and senators in order to pursue support for specific house and senate bills, as well as to oppose bills of concern. The rally took place following the office visits where multiple speakers addressed Texas constituents.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen West
One of the two featured speakers at the rally was Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.), former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a member of the Republican Party, West represented Florida’s 22nd congressional district in the House from 2011 to 2013. Lt West took office in January 2011 as the first African American Republican Congressman from Florida since Josiah T. Walls left office in 1876 near the end of the Reconstruction (Civil War). In Congress, Lt. West served on the Armed Services and Small Business Committee and was a high-profile member of the Tea Party Caucus and movement.
Lt. West has now moved to Texas. In Senator Bob Hall’s own district. It appears that Lt. West has now embarked on his second run into politics. This time, in Texas. Lt. West did not disappoint but gave a very powerful speech to our Texas Values families. He spoke with conviction, honesty and directness in his beliefs of protecting all under God. In fact, I found Lt. Col. West to be a man of honor, strength and integrity. He didn’t sensationalize, rather, he stimulated our commonalities in beliefs. West says what he means, and he means what he says in a very bold, intellectual but charismatic fashion. He was not only inspirational to our party, but empowers and relates to the Texas standards of faith, family, courage, independence and freedom.
A New Texas Candidate?
We look forward to watching Lt. West in his progression back into politics. Senator West? Watch out Senator Hall. Governor West? Our incredible Governor Greg Abbott will be a hard act to follow. Time will tell. God does have a plan for all. After all, Daniel 2:21 states, “And He changes the times and the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”
The Texas Values organization is pushing members of the House and Senate to support the following current bills:
Texas House Bill, HB 1035, authored by District 96 Representative Bill Zedler, “The Free to Believe Act”, wants to ensure that the government cannot punish individual Texans, religious groups, businesses, counselors, medical providers, wedding vendors or state employees for their sincerely held religious beliefs on marriage and human sexuality.
Texas House Bill, HB 3331, authored by District 69 Representative James Frank and Texas Senate Bill, SB 2091 authored by District 1 Senator Bryan Hughes. “The Child Trauma Prevention Act”, wants to protect children and families in the CPS system by implementing extensive due-process protections. These reforms protect families from being separated based on insufficient evidence, unjustly required to participate in services and kept apart for longer than necessary. The bill was written with consensus from major stakeholders who are involved with CPS.
Texas House Bill, HB 1929, authored by District 89 Representative Candy Noble and Texas Senate Bill, SB 22 authored by District 25 Senator Donna Campbell, “Taxpayer Protection from Abortion Providers Act”, which bans governments and state agencies from sending taxpayer money to abortion providers, i.e. Planned Parenthood, or their affiliates.
Texas House Bill, HB 2434, authored by District 6 Representative Matt Schaefer and Texas Senate Bill, SB 1033 authored by District 9 Senator Kelly Hancock, “Preborn Non-Discrimination Act”, which bans discriminatory abortions based on the disability, race or sex of the baby.
Texas House Bill, HB 16, authored by District 67 Representative Jeff Leach and Texas Senate Bill, SB 23, authored by District 18 Senator Lois Kolkhorst, “Born Alive Infant Protection Act”, which strengthens protections for infants who survive abortion procedures to ensure that the highest standard of medical care is afforded to the baby.
Members of the House and Senate are asked by Texas Values to not support the following consortium or current bills:
Troubling Mental Health Bills: HB 10, SB 10, SB 11, SB 1893, HB 822, HB 1536, and HB 1069. With over 150 mental health bills filed this session, it has been found that there are some alarming and sometimes absolutely unacceptable language. There are very real concerns regarding what tests and treatments are being used and what diagnosis they are driving towards. Questions however, remain as to whether parents can opt-out of assessments all together. Experts acknowledge there are too many unknowns in this field, especially when dealing with children.
Ban the Bible “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity” (SOGI) Bills: HB 244, HB 254, HB 2692, SB 151, HB 188, SB 886, HB 517, HB 1190, SB 1251, HB 1513, HB 350, SB 1250, HB 978, SB 154, and SJR 9. Numerous “sexual orientation and gender identity” laws (SOGI) have been proposed that would attack people of faith so aggressively that they can be literally named “Ban the Bible” bills. All these bills should be opposed.
Our First Amendment
Texas Values is standing for faith, family and freedom in Texas. Freedom of religion, after all, is an American right of heritage where Americans are empowered to worship according to his or her own conscious.
- “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people who He hath chosen for His own inheritance.” – Psalm 33:12.
There were many persons involved in this rally including many Texas representatives and senators. The momentum voiced by all of these Christian values is paramount in keeping Texas a state where religious liberty continues to grow as well as Texas families and every human life is valued.
- “Liberty, when it begins to take root, it is a plant of rapid growth.” – George Washington
Breaking Down the Democratic Barriers
While addressing the numerous bills that are set before the House and Senate might seem as a herculean task, it actually comes down to analyzing the moral standard of the bill’s contents in a comprehensive but simplistic manner. The tsunami of horrendous bills is blatantly set forth by the Democrats in order to bring chaos, disfunction and confusion to our youth, family and faith. We as Americans, as Texans and as a society, must be able to protect the common-sense dignity of our human rights and inheritance. The most common sense and moral values precious to our lives are in the process of either being abolished or fundamentally twisted. We as Texans can think for ourselves and unite together in order to break the barriers the Democratic Party is instilling on our great nation.
We have a personal responsibility to exercise our freedom of speech and religion, that so many American fallen soldiers stood and died for. The consequences and impact of doing nothing is not only unconscionable but detrimental to us as Texans. Being disengaged is not an option, because the lack of action will leave a devastating future for generations to come. The Democratic Party is trying to deliberately replace God’s truth with lies. The devil is usually in the details pertaining to vile bills and laws. The majority of corruption is in complexity and confusion. Whereas the truth is in simplicity and common sense.
- “So, whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:17
- “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. – Voltaire
Sandra Long Toups is a Freelance Reporter for The Northeast Texan, Online News
- 2019-2020 Texas Values Legislative Guide
- Time Changes Everything R. Victor, Scardino Printing Co. 1952