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How to Change the World in One Day

There is one day left to vote. That means there’s one day left to turn in your ballot. There’s one day left to get your voter guide. There’s one day left to find out if your friends and family have voted while there is still time to remind them.

What’s at stake if we all do nothing?

It’s hard to say.

What we know is that a bunch of races will be decided by a small number of votes.

In 2012, a state Senator was elected by 78 votes. In 2010, a state legislator was elected by 37 votes. Something similar will happen again this year.

If we all invest 30 minutes in the culture by making sure the selection of our leaders included our input, those close elections will go the way we want them to.

So send a few Facebook messages, emails, text messages or pick up a phone.

Remind your friends who haven’t yet voted to do so.

There’s no way you regret that kind of investment in the culture. But the chances of regretting the decision not to influence the culture? Well, we all kind of know what that feels like don’t we?

Just this morning I heard from another parent in Washington State concerned because their child’s school district is working on a policy to allow boys in the girl’s bathroom if he says he feels like a girl.

Bad decisions often come from bad leadership.

But you can change/avoid bad leadership in one day. Let’s do that.

What Should I Do With an Extra Hour?

One week from today, a new group of leaders will have been selected.

And for two years, they will be making life changing decisions on our behalf.

At the federal level, they’ll decide issues ranging from immigration, to health care, to laws mandating churches hire people who do not live according to their faith could all be on the table.

At the state level, our leadership will determine…

  • whether parents should know if their kids are having an abortion,
  • whether Washington State will have an income tax and/or a carbon tax,
  • whether every insurance policy should cover an abortion,
  • whether the state can tell pastors what to say in church counseling offices,
  • or whether contract surrogacy should become legal and the womb should become an item of commerce.

And that’s just the start.

Recently, in a conversation with a pastor friend, I told him that Planned Parenthood in Washington State had received more than $250 million from the state and federal government since 2008.

His response? “That’s why elections matter.”

Indeed.

They do matter.  That’s why we hope you’ll return your ballot and vote for candidates who value life, marriage, religious freedom, and parental rights.  If you need help finding out who those candidates are, go to www.WashingtonVoterGuides.com or text your zip code to 77039.  If you want to see who Planned Parenthood has endorsed, click here.  That may be just as useful.

But don’t stop there.  Too much is at stake.

Take the time in the next 5 days to make sure 10 of your friends vote as well.

This weekend is daylights savings which means we all get an extra hour.

What are you going to do with that hour?

You could spend that extra hour watching TV or sorting the sock drawer. Or, you could do something that will change the direction of our state for the next two years.

We hope you’ll use that extra hour this weekend on Vote Finder to find just ten of your like-minded friends or family to see if they have turned in their ballots yet.   You type in their first and last name, Vote Finder will tell you if they have turned in their ballot or not.

If they have, great!  Nothing else to do.

If not, make a call or send them a message asking them to turn it in as a personal favor to you.  It’s likely they’ll say yes.  But they might also say they don’t know who they should be voting for and then you can help them with that as well.

Most of us feel less informed than we should be, but conversations between friends is a great way to be more informed.

In the end, everyone will feel better. Your friends will feel more informed, they’ll feel like they did their civic duty, and you’ll know you built more support for a culture that recognizes the significance and the sanctity of the family.

An extra hour of TV or…making sure Planned Parenthood doesn’t get another quarter billion of the public’s money.  Not that hard of a decision is it?

Ten voters.  That’s a good use of a surplus hour.

 

Pastors Told to Turn Over Sermons

First, they insisted they didn’t want all the rights and benefits of marriage, they just wanted the right to visit their loved one in the hospital.

Turns out that wasn’t true.

Then they said they didn’t want to redefine marriage, they just wanted all the rights and benefits of marriage. After all, fair is fair.

Guess that wasn’t true either.

Next they told us they didn’t want to tell anyone else what they could or couldn’t do, they just wanted the right to be married to the person they love.

Because of the stories of florists, bakers, photographers, and print shops owners, now we all know better.

All the while, they assured us that they respected diversity and religious freedom. They wouldn’t dream of interfering with a church’s teaching.

Yesterday, we learned that wasn’t true either.

In an unprecedented maneuver, the Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, issued a subpoena for the sermons of five pastors.

The controversy surrounds the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) pushed by the Mayor that would allow men dressed as women to enter women’s bathrooms. A petition has been launched to overturn the new law and the Mayor is concerned that pastors addressed that issue from the pulpit.

According to a statement from her Twitter account, “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game.”

Here we are folks. This is happening in good ‘ole America. Texas, in fact.

Those elected to “serve” us believe they have the right to regulate speech inside a church and (presumably) punish speech they deem inappropriate.

When talking about the tactics of the left, analogies to the SS and the brown shirts used to seem alarmist. But…if the shoe fits.

Soon we will likely start hearing assurances that they would never put a pastor in jail for the things they say, just revoke their tax-exempt status.

The sad part is, there’s a bunch of people who will believe them.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news is that all of this is entirely fixable.

A study by George Barna recently found that while 90% of pastors believe the Bible addresses the current issues of the day, less than 10% say they will speak to itBy default, the churches that are now being targeted have created a culture in which the people inside those churches are powerless and have no idea how to respond.

Churches simply need to decide if they would rather be free to preach the gospel and minister to their community or be commended for their “spirit of cooperation” by people who hate everything they claim to stand for.

President Obama was elected by the vote of 65 million people. That seems like a lot, until you remember that there are 320 million people in the country. Only twenty percent of the country actually voted for him. Many of the state legislative races that will be decided in the next few weeks will be decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Yes, the country and the culture have changed. But we are not being governed by an overwhelming majority of people who disagree with us.

We are being governed by those who care the most about their beliefs.

If you like the prospect of the government regulating the content of your pastor’s sermon; if you like the fact that grandmothers who own floral shops are being sued because of their beliefs about marriage; if you like the idea of men being allowed to join your daughter in the restroom by putting a dress on, let’s just keep doing what we’re doing.

However, if you think a change of direction is in order and you’re willing to make a modest investment toward that end, the future can look different than the present. In a good way.

Educate yourself and your friends about who to vote for.

Find out if they voted and remind them if they have not.

There’s an election in a few days. If we all handle our business and care more about the condition of the world 50 years from now than the condition of our reputation 50 seconds from now this could be the start of something really good.

The frog is starting to notice that it’s getting hot in here. Jump already. Jump!

If You Value It, Take Care of It

I think most of us who are parents live in perpetual fear that we’re doing it wrong. Aware of our own problems, we feel inadequate to help another independent, moral agent do it right.

So naturally, we scour social media for tips on how to do it better.

Typically, that makes us feel even worse because you discover that basically everyone is more organized, better in the kitchen, more disciplined, and generally having more fun with their kids than you are with yours.

But recently, I came across something that I thought was actually quite helpful. It was a simple but profound list of house rules. Things like…

“If you open it, close it.”

“If you break it, admit and fix it.”

“If you’re done with it, put it back.”

Then I got to this one: “If you value it, take care of it”.

First I thought about my kids. The frustration of watching your kid roll around in the bushes in brand new clothes or finding the toy that just yesterday they couldn’t live without in the remains of the grass clippings is real. How important can it really be to them if they make no effort to maintain it?

Then it occurred to me that the adults might have something to learn from this as well.

What are the things we say we value but don’t spend much time taking care of? Our marriages? Our kids? Our freedoms?

According to George Barna, during the 2012 general election, 12 million people who consider themselves to be born again Christians were not registered to vote. Another 26 million were registered but did not vote. That’s 38 million potential votes on the table.

Filling out a ballot is not exactly doing your taxes. It’s actually pretty easy. The lack of involvement suggests it’s not a priority.

But maybe the fact that we aren’t tending to it is a function of the fact that we don’t value it.

There could be an explanation for that as well.

My generation has been taught repeatedly that America is an imperialist nation that has profited primarily through exploitation of those less powerful.

We’ve been told that our Founding Fathers really didn’t know that much. After all, if you had slaves, how much respect do you deserve?

The idea that there is anything to learn from the way we lived in the 1950’s? Please. The Civil Rights Act wasn’t passed until 1964.

Honor explorers/invaders from Europe? Not in Seattle. Columbus Day has given way to Indigenous People’s Day because history has decided Christopher Columbus did some bad things. (Which is undeniably true of him as it is of all of us).

Apparently, Indigenous People, unlike Italians, have always been only virtuous.

The point is not to whitewash our history or suggest there aren’t plenty of things to improve upon. If you won’t acknowledge your mistakes the chances of repeating them are much greater.

But we seem to be at a point where saying good things about America—particularly its history—is an act of partisanship.

No person, government, movement, or organization of any significance will look good if the story of our lives features only our worst moments.

The need to emphasize the negative has had an impact. At least some students at Harvard believe the United States is a greater threat to world peace than ISIS.

Just wow.

Dinesh D’Souza discovered that making a movie arguing for the goodness of America gets you banned from Costco. Oddly, Michael Moore never had that issue.

Today I won’t try to make the case for why the idea of America is worth fighting for.

But if you are one who needs no convincing, help us do some maintenance.

Remember the house rules: If you value it, take care of it.

There’s an election in three weeks.

Most of the people you know have no idea who they should be voting for.

Help them with that. Send them to www.WashingtonVoterGuides.com so they can become educated or have them text their zip code to 77039 to receive their voter guide over the phone.

A lot of people will need a reminder to vote as well. Put 10 friends or family members who share your values on your Vote Finder account. We’ll tell you if their ballot has been turned in before the election is over. Yep. If you want to check in and make sure your kids, pastor, or neighbors have turned in their ballot the weekend before the election, you can.

If we all make sure 10 people besides ourselves vote, the world will look a lot different very quickly.

Many of the state legislative races that will be decided in three weeks will be decided by only a few hundred votes…or less. We’ll make a difference if we decide we want to.

Let’s set a good example for our kids. If you value it, take care of it.

Voter Guides… with a Twist!

Hopefully you have already marked your calendar on Tuesday, Nov. 4 as Election Day!  Washington State ballots will be mailed out next week. That means it’s time for all of us to support candidates who share our values. Our Voter Guide, which you can find at  www.WashingtonVoterGuides.com,is designed to do just that.

This Free Voter Guide is an non-partisan evaluation of candidates and a detailed summary of important information that will help inform you on where the candidates stand on important issues like religious liberty, marriage, and life.

It also tells you who has endorsed them and who is funding their campaigns.

Here is how to get your Free Voter Guide:

  1. Visit www.WashingtonVoterGuides.com
  2. Enter your address
  3. Search your personalized voter guide.

That all sounds pretty typical, right? Whats the twist?

For the first time, our voter guide is now available by text. That’s right, you don’t even need your computer. Just text your zip code to 77039 and within seconds you’ll have a copy of the voter guide on your phone.

Making an informed vote has never been easier.

Also, make sure you have your Vote Finder account as well and have at least 10 people on your list of pro-family voters that you’re going to encourage to vote. Vote Finder will tell you if their ballot has been received before the election is over. That way, you can encourage your friends who have not yet voted to get their ballots in.

Your friendly reminder to your friends could change the direction of our state.

After all, 78 voters in Vancouver changed the last two years in Washington State.

Be sure to share our Voter Guide on Facebook and Twitter as well!

These resources have made possible by the support of friends like you. You can support these voter education efforts here.

Vote Finder

The Family Policy Institute of Washington has been working to protect marriage, life, religious freedom, and parental rights in Washington State for seven years.

Today might be our greatest moment.

There are no elections and no legislative debates.  But today we are launching the tool that could change all the elections and legislative debates to come.

Today we introduce FPIW’s Vote Finder.

 

Vote Finder gives every pro-family voter in Washington State the ability to do something that has never been possible before.

You can find out if someone has turned in their ballot…before the election is over.  If you knew that your conservative friends, children, or co-workers simply hadn’t gotten around to voting, wouldn’t you like to know so you can remind them before it’s too late?

Now you can.

Vote Finder is easy.  It’s so easy my mom can use it to create a personalized list of friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, and church members.

Vote Finder provides you with two critical pieces of information.

First, we’ll tell you if they are a registered voter or not.  If they are not, Vote Finder and provide a shockingly easy way to get them registered if not.

Second, we will provide daily updates about whether or not they have turned their ballots in…before the election is over.

In fact, you can upload a list of everyone in your church at once. As long as you have first names, last names, and street addresses, within seconds we can tell you if they are registered and if they have turned in their ballots.

On the Sunday before the election, pastors can upload their church list, congratulate those who have already voted, and give a friendly reminder to those who haven’t.

How cool is that?

The leadership in the Washington State Senate changed over the last two years because of 78 votes in Vancouver.

Since 2008, 14 races have been decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

In 2010, a state legislative race in Puyallup was decided by 37 votes.

Close elections are common and they often end up in the election of people with very different worldviews simply because lots of people who think like we do never got a friendly reminder to turn in their ballots.  There are no more excuses.

But there is a catch…

People have to use it.

If it’s just my mom and I using it…well, we know for sure that our family will vote.  But that may not be enough to create the kind of change we want.

Vote Finder will only be as powerful as the number of people using it.

So we need all of you to create an account and find 10, 15, or 30 friends who will vote the right way. Then make sure they do.  And if you find they aren’t registered because they moved recently…well by all means get them registered.

The “Invite Users” button in Vote Finder makes it simple to invite other people to do  their part as well.

Before you know it, tens of thousands of pro-family ballots will be turned in that otherwise would have found their way to a landfill. So do your part to save the planet and make sure your friends turn in their ballots.

What are you waiting for?  Sign up.

If we all do our part, this could be the best thing we’ve ever done.