Good News, Bad News

2019 | Week of March 25 | Radio Transcript #1301

Let’s start off with some good news this week—and it comes to us from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago which has jurisdiction over Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. A number of years ago, Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the long-time Congressionally approved ministerial housing tax exemption that thousands of ministers across the country, from all religious persuasions, have used for years violated the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause.”

Judge Barbara Crabb, a federal judge in Wisconsin’s Western District Federal Court, had originally ruled in favor of Freedom From Religion and against the ministerial exemption. However, the 7th Circuit reversed Judge Crabb’s decision and determined that the exemption does not violate the Establishment Clause. It remains to be seen whether the Freedom From Religion Foundation will ask the US Supreme Court to take up the case. For now, we are thankful for a reasonable and constitutional ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—a decision that ultimately will impact ministers nationwide.

Another spot of good news is that last week, 60 pastors and ministry leaders from all across Wisconsin joined us in Madison for our Pastors’ Day at the Capitol. The main project was to distribute a beautiful heirloom copy of The Founders’ Bible to the people of each legislative district in our state senate and state assembly through their. This Bible is unique in that it includes many founding documents and correspondence by our founding fathers, along with a number of articles by David Barton showing the impact of the Bible on America’s founding and history.

After the Bibles were distributed, we held a brief press conference outside the capitol, where we read a statement as to why we were undertaking this project. That statement opens this way:  “At a time when public officials are attacked for their faith and America’s religious heritage is rabidly excised from its schools and institutions, citizens from across Wisconsin have gathered here at the Capitol to present to the people of each legislative district a beautiful Founders Bible documenting the profound influence of Scripture throughout our nation’s history.”

And with that we slide into news that’s not so good. Did you catch those first few words in particular? “At a time when public officials are attacked for their faith…” That actually was a reference to what is happening to Judge Brian Hagedorn, candidate for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. With half-truths and insinuations, third-party groups have been seeking to derail Hagedorn’s bid for the high court, not with substantive allegations about his legal work, but with swipes at his Christian faith.  If you’ve seen any of the ads against Brian Hagedorn, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Brian Hagedorn isn’t alone. School board candidates in Wausau are facing much the same treatment.

We need a nationwide revival. We need a renewed understanding of why and how this country was founded. It wasn’t founded on Islam or atheism or New-Age religion. It was founded on the principles of God’s Word. When the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived here in 1620, their leaders brought the Geneva Bible—not the Quran or any other religious book as their guide. Those who deny the influence of Christianity on this nation are wrong and are deceiving themselves and sadly many others who haven’t taken the time to learn the truth.

Our founders would not be pleased to know that during this election cycle, as we prepare to elect a new justice to our supreme court and thousands of local officials statewide, that some candidates are being subjected to bullying because they believe in historic, traditional biblical Christianity, including the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Speaking of that election, early in-person voting is taking place all across the state right now. Election Day is next Tuesday, April 2. I urge you to get informed and help others do the same. Our strictly educational voter information publication on the supreme court candidates is available online at or by calling 888-378-7395.

In spite of what’s happening this election cycle, the good news is that we still have the opportunity to cast a secret ballot that really does matter and can make a tremendous difference in the future of our communities, state and nation.

For more information and to learn how you can support the work of Wisconsin Family Council, please visit or call 888-378-7395.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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