VVS17 ★ Breakout Sessions
Breakout Sessions (3:15 - 5:30 p.m.)
DRAIN THE SWAMP
Speakers: Rob Chambers, Vice President, AFA Action*; Emmett McGroarty, Senior Fellow, American Principles Project*; Debbie Wuthnow, Executive Director, iVoterGuide.com*
Synopsis: In the last election, citizens made known their angst about America's future. The great American Experiment remains under heavy attack at home, Europe seems intent on rejecting western civilization, and chaos and oppression reign over much of the world. Republicans now have control of the Senate, House, and White House. Still, Democrats and many moderate and liberal Republicans are roadblocking the conservative agenda. This session will cover three ways to help “Drain the Swamp.” You will be equipped with the information on which elected officials and special interests are obstructing the conservative agenda, how to make a difference in primary elections, and how to hold elected officials accountable.
RADICAL ISLAMIC SUPREMACISM: THREAT TO THE WEST
Speakers: Erick Stakelbeck, Director, Christian United for Israel (CUFI) Watchman Project; Host, “The Watchman”, TBN*
Synopsis:ISIS. Al Qaeda. Hamas. Hezbollah. Islamic Jihad. Boko Haram. Al-Shabaab. The Islamic Republic of Iran. These groups all share one thing in common 0 they are driven by a virulent belief in Islamic Supremacism. They are recruiting in Europe, in Africa, in Latin America and here in the United STates. They represent an existential threat to Western Civilization and to every American. We must defeat them. But terrorism is not the only threat. Surveys have repeatedly shown that significant percentages of Muslims around the world hold views that are antithetical to the values of Western nations, especially when it comes to issues like religious liberty, free speech and women's equality. Europe's recent experience with mass migration should be a warning to the United States. New studies show that half of newly arrived young Muslims hold anti-Semitic views. Not surprisingly, anti-Semitic incidents are reaching record highs as Europe struggles with record levels of immigration from North Africa and the Middle East.
Erick Stakelbeck, director of Christians United for Israel's CUFI Watchman Project and host of "The Watchman" program on TBN, will discuss the threat of Islamic supremacism and what the West should be doing to defend against it.
MAKING CONSERVATIVE VOICES HEARD
Speakers: Daniel (Dan) Weber, Founder and CEO, AMAC*
Synopsis: Daniel (Dan) Weber is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens. With a membership base of over 1.3 million citizens, AMAC is focused squarely on protecting the interests of America's seniors, offering alternative perspectives on solving the problems faced by seniors today, fighting runaway taxes, excessive government involvement in our day-to-day lives, and the erosion of accountability at all levels of government. By advancing solutions instead of rhetoric, AMAC's conservative philosophies and member-driven initiatives continue to gain traction in Washington. Dan's message will illustrate how the conservative voice is making a difference.
A NEW ERA OF POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
Speakers: William J. Federer, Author and Speaker on America's Noble Heritage*; The Honorable John Hostettler, Senior Executive Director, D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship*; Dr. Jerry Newcombe, Senior producer, On-Air Host, and Columnist for D. James Kennedy Ministries*; Dr. Linda W. Smith, President & COO, D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship*; Dr. Frank Wright, CEO, D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship*
Synopsis: Many Christians have responded to the Biblical imperative of cultural engagement, but the public square has largely surrendered to the forces of secularism, with the influence of a Biblical worldview in the public policy arena dramatically diminished. What would our political landscape look like if we had leaders with an unshakeable Christian conviction, a well-grounded Biblical worldview, and a mastery of the principles, purposes and political philosophy of the United States Constitution; and who had carefully studied the application of that political philosophy to the great moral, ethical, economic, and cultural questions of the day; and who had learned communication, debate, negotiation, and planning skills? A panel will address this topic and take questions from breakout session attendees.
WHY A CODDLED NATION IS A CRIPPLED NATION
Speakers: Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University*
Synopsis: Join Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and author of the viral op-ed, "This is Not a Day Care, It's a University" in a discussion of campus chaos across the country and how true conservatives can reclaim the language of classical liberalism. Dr. Piper's latest book, Not a Day Care: Why a Coddled Nation is a Crippled Nation" calls readers to stand for the true answer to this unrest: the freedom found only in Truth.
OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE: THE ECONOMIC ANXIETY AND CULTURE CRISES IN MIDDLE AMERICA
Speakers: Will Hild, Chief Operating Officer, Culture of Freedom Initiative*; Jo Kwong, Director of Economic Opportunity, The Philanthropy Roundtable*; Seth Leibsohn, Author, "American Greatness", Co-Director, Americans for Responsible Drug Policy; Jennifer Marshall, VP for the Institute for Family, Community and Opportunity and Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow, The Heritage Foundation*
Synopsis: Elites in America have failed to understand that there is a crisis in Middle America. This crisis is both economic and cultural. While folks in Washington have focused on issues like bathroom policies, pronouns, and political correctness, many across the nation are struggling to find work and hold a job, are affected by a sweeping opioid epidemic, and are feeling forgotten and left behind. To many, the American dream is slipping out of reach. Join the discussion as experts help us understand what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done to turn this ship around.
FACES OF THE FRONT LINE: PERSONAL STORIES OF THE FIGHT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Speakers: Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel*; Toni Richardson, First Liberty Client*; Lathan Watts, Director of Community Relations, First Liberty Institute*
Synopsis: A report from the front lines of the struggle for religious freedom in America. Hear directly from the people at the center of the court cases that will dramatically impact religious liberty for every citizen. The legal team from First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious liberty for all Americans, will discuss the best strategy for winning these important cases and others. Meet clients who've taken a courageous stand and learn what each of us can do to protect our religious liberty rights.
THE DAY CHRISTIANS CHANGED AMERICA: HOW CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS PUT TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND REDIRECTED AMERICA'S FUTURE
Speakers: George Barna, Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose)*
Synopsis: Join George Barna, as he discusses the behind-the-scenes, data-based narrative about the 2016 presidential election. Barna, a pollster for four decades with experience at all levels of political battle, conducted more than 50,000 interviews during the course of the campaign season. He provides a bird's-eye view of how the electorate – and especially our communities of faith – engaged with the candidates in the most contentious election in modern history. In addition, he will share lessons for future elections in our increasingly polarized society.
WHAT THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY MOVEMENT CAN LEARN FROM THE VICTORIES OF THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT
Speakers: Hunter Baker, Professor of Political Science, Union University*; Chuck Donovan, Senior Fellow, Charlotte Lozier Institute*; Jeanne Mancini, President, March for Life*; Patrina Mosely, Deputy Director, FRC Action* (Moderator)
Synopsis: What can the religious liberty movement learn from the victories of the pro-life movement? There is something to be learned from the forty years of unwavering commitment to life that the pro-life movement has stood for, resulting in the many present legislative victories we see today. The 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling made abortion legal on demand in this country, and many thought that this would mark the beginning of the end of human dignity in America. Yet, forty years later we’ve seen tremendous triumphs in the pro-life movement despite having a progressive administration for the last eight years bent on keeping abortion a normal part of American life. Join us as we trace the timeline of legislation and cultural shifts that have moved America closer and closer to ending abortion in our lifetime, and discover how the same strategies can be used to preserve religious liberty for future generations.
THE RECKONING FOR AMERICA!
Speakers: John Morgan, Comedian and Author, War on Fear*
Synopsis: We're here to be equipped to lead others to change the culture. One of your weapons is War on Fear. Fear is a force to be reckoned with. The Reckoning has come! The left has succeeded using the tactic of intimidation in making right seem wrong, and turned truth into hate. Fear has largely silenced the conservative movement and the church making us hesitant to take a stand, vocalize what is right and good and true. Understanding fear frees us to make great and courageous choices and will free those in your circle to speak with boldness and victory. This understanding will empower and strengthen your very own life. The knowledge and information on how to turn around our culture will do little good if good citizens are afraid to act. No more! Fear is both an overt and covert, insidious force that has been running virtually unopposed in the lives of millions of Americans. It's time to uncloak this foe. In War on Fear, author, speaker and entertainer John Morgan reveals the deceptive nature of fear and the strategy for living above its influence. Fear is already at war with us. We can surrender, or we can joyfully fight back. There is no middle ground.
HOW THE CHURCH CAN INFLUENCE THE NATION
Speakers: Gina Gleason, Executive Director, Faith and Public Policy*; John Mendez, Culture Impact Team Coordinator, Family Research Council*
Synopsis: Imagine churches across the nation standing for righteousness in the public square while the parishioners work to promote and defend a biblical worldview in every aspect of daily life! It is critical that the Church once again become the moral compass of our nation. A growing number of churches have established Culture Impact Teams (CIT's) that are working to accomplish this goal. It's biblical--and it's legal--for churches to participate in government and public policy decisions at the local, state, and federal levels in order to influence the culture. At this workshop, you'll learn how you and your church can join the movement to effectively influence our culture. A CIT is usually led by a prayerful lay-leader who is concerned about the future of our country and the impact public policy has on our faith, family, and freedom. This workshop is for anyone interested in starting a CIT as well as those who may already be involved in an existing CIT ministry. Practical ideas to help you start a CIT as well as some of the "nuts and bolts" of producing local voter guides, creating legislative action alerts, and more will be presented.
WINNING ON OUR ISSUES: HOW FRC'S POLICY PARTNERS RACK UP WINS
Speakers: Joseph Backholm, President, Family Policy Institute of Washington; Andrew Beckwith, President, Massachusetts Family Institute; David Christensen, VP for Government Affairs, Family Research Council, Moderator*; Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy; John Stemberger, President and General Counsel, Florida Family Policy*
Synopsis: During Obama's eight years Republicans picked up nearly 1,000 new seats in governors’ mansions and state legislatures, but translating those victories into pro-life, pro-religious liberty laws has not been easy. Come hear firsthand how Family Research Council's state partners have been quietly driving success in state capitols, and how those wins translate into major policy victories in Washington, D.C.
TRANSGENDER IDEOLOGY IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: PARENTS FIGHT BACK
Speakers: Josh Hetzler, Legislative Counsel, Family Foundation of Virginia*; Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director, Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County*; Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Family Research Council*; Elizabeth Schultz, Fairfax County School Board Member*; Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow, Policy Studies, Family Research Council*
Synopsis: Fairfax County, VA is ground zero in the efforts to impose transgender ideology on American school children. The Fairfax County school system is one of the largest and richest in the United States, and its close proximity to Washington, DC has made it a target for the efforts to mainstream this radical ideology. Even after the Trump Administration revoked the Obama directive threatening the nation's public schools, the fight rages on at the state and district level. This panel will present four of the central actors in resisting this imposition: School board member Elizabeth Schultz, who has fought district bureaucrats and the rest of the school board, practically alone, for three years; Meg Kilgannon, a parent of children in the Fairfax County school system who has created a veritable army of parent and taxpayer activists; Josh Hetzler, a legal expert who has traveled the state speaking to school boards and providing draft legal guidance letters, and FRC's own senior legal fellow Cathy Ruse, who has testified several times on the legal and policy implications of these ill-thought policies. Take part in this pivotal discussion as the panel exposes the tactics used by the transgender lobby and the strategies parents and taxpayers have used to fight back.