VALLEY FAMILY FORUM HIGHLIGHTS
1. Established in February, 2002, the Forum has developed an inter-active network of legislators, pastors, civic leaders, and “We the People” to advance pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom issues in the culture and in the public square. We call it The Jericho Plan.
· Also facilitated regular meetings of Valley Pastors and Forum Core Group leaders.
2. Spearheaded a community-wide petition drive in 2003 that led to the passage of a city ordinance to regulate sexually-oriented businesses (SOB’s) in Harrisonburg in 2005. At least seven neighboring towns and counties adopted similar ordinances shortly thereafter.
· The Forum also led the successful drive in 2003 to require decency filters on all Massanutten Regional Public Library computers.
3. Successfully defended religious liberty in the case of Luis Padilla, who was fired by Cargill (America’s largest privately owned business) for displaying a “Vote Yes for Marriage” on his truck during the constitutional marriage amendment campaign in 2006. Padilla was reinstated with back pay within 30 days following legal and public pressure from the Forum.
4. Coordinated the highly successful Marriage Amendment campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, which produced a 69% vote for the amendment in 11 counties -- 12 points above the state vote at 57%. Even the Valley’s towns and cities scored above the state total.
5. Developed and promoted a new “Inalienable Right to Life” bill in the 2011 VA General Assembly which won broad support from national and state pro-life organizations as well as strong legislative support in both chambers. It passed the House in an historic vote before being killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by the notorious Committee of Death.
6. Led the state-wide drive for a new “In God We Trust” specialty license plate for Virginia that was approved by the General Assembly in 2011 by unanimous vote in both chambers.
7. Featured “Values” displays in public venues such as County Fairs with changing themes each year depending on policy needs, with a focus on life, marriage, decency, and the “In God We Trust” license plate. Each one attracted literally thousands of supportive visitors.
8. Developed a 10-week Capstone leadership seminar on “The Christian’s Role in Culture and Public Policy” for over 200 participants that is now in its 21st edition. Also developed a parallel 10-week seminar on “America’s Christian Heritage” that is in its 5th edition and which includes annual Forum-led Heritage Tours of Washington DC.
9. Launched a weekly “Valley Faith in Action” television program in 2006 that primarily features Valley residents who are every day putting their “Faith into Action”. It airs three times each week and is now in its 200th program.
10. Worked closely each year with The Family Foundation of Virginia and other Christian groups to promote public policies and campaigns that advance Faith, Family, and Freedom.
11. Hosted annual “Salute to the Family” fund/people-raising dinners featuring keynote speakers such as Focus on the Family VP Tom Minnery, Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore, former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, syndicated talk show host Janet Parshall, author Rick Scarborough and David Barton of Wallbuilders (who alone drew 950 guests in 2010).
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lend to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness. … Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.