2019 | Week of December 2 | Radio Transcript #1336
Who sits at the decision-making table in your community matters. Do you know who represents you in your city, town or village? In your county? Or in your school district? You should, because they are making decisions that directly impact your life.
Perhaps some recent real-life examples will drive home the point. For starters, the fifteen-member Milwaukee Common Council voted 13-2 last week to direct various city departments to explore with an eye to also developing rules and regulations creating so-called “gender-neutral” or “gender-inclusive” restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms in all buildings owned or operated by the City both now and in the future. In November, the Public Works Department passed a resolution that championed giving special rights and protections for individuals who claim to have changed their sex or their so-called “gender expression.”
Given what Milwaukee has already done, I can’t see the City doing anything other than moving forward with this idea, at least with the current configuration of the council. With little variation, this is the same council that two years ago banned so-called “conversion therapy” for minors who are struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. Essentially what these local officials did was trounce on religious freedom and parents’ rights.
And there’s our segue to Appleton, where the Common Council is right now considering a proposal with an innocent-enough sounding name—Youth Mental Health Protection. But that name is deceiving. This is basically the same ban on “conversion therapy” that Milwaukee and several other cities have recently passed. Like the policies passed in these other communities, there is no religious exception; but there is a clear statement that counselors should be affirming and encouraging of a minor’s desire to pursue same-sex attraction or to try to do the impossible—change their sex.
Shifting from municipalities to school districts, we have school boards all across this state that have passed policies that allow boys who say they are girls to use the girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms and vice versa, as well as have adopted Human Growth and Development programs and materials that promote promiscuity and advance and advocate for all things LGBTQ, often beginning in K-4 programs.
Recently in Neenah, parents objected to the Human Growth and Development program, letting the board know that many of them believed the instructional materials to be at least borderline pornographic and certainly inappropriate for elementary students. But to date, the school board has not changed its mind.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of getting good people elected to all local offices. The situations I’ve just related happen because people whose worldviews and core beliefs support such policies get elected—and often they get elected either because good people aren’t paying attention to these elections and vote without knowledge or they don’t vote at all or too often because there wasn’t a better choice.
The vast majority of local offices in Wisconsin are nonpartisan and are elected at our Spring Nonpartisan Election. The primary for that election is in February and the general election is the first Tuesday in April every year. These elections matter; in fact, they greatly matter because all elections have consequences, and sometimes very far-reaching consequences.
The first Monday in January, which is just a month away, is the deadline for candidates to declare if they are running for any of the offices that will be on the spring nonpartisan ballots. What this means is there is still time to find good candidates to run for local offices. Perhaps you should be running for a local office. I urge you to not dismiss this idea, but to at least pray about it. If it’s not you, do you know someone you should speak to about this opportunity to be salt and light?
If you are a pastor listening to this commentary, I encourage you to think about who in your congregation would make a good candidate for mayor, city council, town or village board, county board or school board.
Someone is going to sit in these critical local decision-making seats, casting votes on issues that directly impact our lives. Why shouldn’t it be Christians? Imagine the good that could be accomplished if that were the reality.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”