A Special Message From Joe Ortwerth Header

December 19, 2017 
Dear Friends,

Jack Phillips is one of those fortunate Americans who truly enjoys his job. He shows up for work each day knowing he is going to be doing something that is fun. Even better, he knows his work is going to bring smiles to a lot of faces.
Every day on the job, he feels a great sense of achievement. Every day in the workplace, he gets to perfect the skills of his trade. Even better, he has the freedom to be creative and to produce something new every day.
Jack is a baker. He owns a bakery in Colorado in the Denver area. He specializes in assembling and decorating unique ornate cakes for special occasions. He has been approached by many customers over the years to bake and decorate customized cakes for special celebrations.
Jack is committed to satisfying his customers' expectations and imaginations. He wants to help the people he serves to enjoy a truly memorable experience. He takes the time to apply his skills so that each customer walks out of his shop feeling they have purchased a masterpiece, which is why he named his business Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Jack does his work from a heart motivated by a deep Christian faith. He aspires to be a person of Christian charity who brings joy and cheer to his customers. He wants to be a business owner who is known as a person of conscientious commitment to the Christian principles he holds. That's why he has turned down requests for cake decorations that conveyed messages that were in poor taste.
Jack never imagined on his worst day on the job that his ethical business principles would get him in hot water. Jack never anticipated that his Christian convictions would put him on trial for his beliefs. Jack never dreamed that conducting his personal craft in his little store in Lakewood, Colorado, would force him to justify his core convictions before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yet that is where he has ended up. And why is that? Because Jack is a man who will not compromise his Christian beliefs. In 2012, he was approached by two men to decorate a cake for their same-sex union ceremony. Jack declined to fulfill this order, saying that he could not participate in the celebration of an event that his faith tells him is morally wrong. And for that, Jack has been the target of harsh anti-Christian bigotry.
He was found guilty by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of "sexual orientation" discrimination. He was ordered to undergo "sensitivity training" sessions with his staff. His bakery has been the target of boycotts, and he has received death threats at his business. He has felt compelled to stop baking wedding cakes altogether, and has lost 40 percent of his sales volume.
One civil rights commissioner went so far as to claim that Jack's stand for conscience was somehow similar to the racial and religious genocide of the Nazi regime under Hitler. Jack could not believe his ears. His father was a veteran who was severely injured during combat in World War II. His dad was part of a unit that helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp.
Despite all the abuse and hatred Jack has endured, he says he is not backing down. "I'm not giving up my faith. Too many people have died for our faith to give it up that easily. I will continue to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be true to what He wants me to do. My God is bigger than any bullies they got."
Jack's case before the U.S. Supreme Court will be a landmark decision with huge impact. Because Jack is not the only Christian business owner who has been persecuted for his faith. And he won't be the last person targeted by those who despise Christianity and are determined to force every Christian to abandon their faith.
An Oregon couple named Aaron and Melissa Klein operated a business named Sweet Cakes by Melissa.  They were fined $135,000 for declining to decorate a "wedding" cake for a homosexual union celebration. A Washington florist named Baronelle Stutzman who declined to prepare floral arrangements for a homosexual union ceremony may lose both her business and her home because of a civil lawsuit. A New Mexico photographer named Elaine Huguenin was fined thousands of dollars for declining to photograph and make a "wedding" album for a lesbian union ceremony.
Many people would say that our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew how the freedoms they fought for are being taken away by our government and our judicial system. The fact is they would be leading another American Revolution. That's because the very reason they came to America was so they could live out their faith according to their own beliefs, and not be told by the government what they were to believe and what it is they can say and do.
The war against the Christian heritage of our nation is not just a debate over cakes and cameras and flowers. Bigotry against Christians is not just the rage in Hollywood and academia. It is becoming the norm in nearly every institution in our society. Those who believe in what the Bible teaches about morality are branded as "haters." Organizations like ours that advocate for traditional family values are tagged as "hate groups."
Yet the Missouri Family Policy Council, like Jack Phillips, won't back down. There is way too much at stake. Will our children and grandchildren have the freedom of speech to declare and share the Truth of God's Word in our culture? Will our kids and grandkids have the freedom of religion to live out their lives each day in accordance with the religious convictions that guide their conscience and their conduct?
The mission of the Missouri Family Policy Council is to be "a Voice for Truth for Missouri Families." We work with our legislators and elected officials in Jefferson City to see that your voice and those of other Christian citizens is heard. We advocate for life, the family, and religious liberty. We are fighting for people like Jack and Aaron and Melissa and Baronelle and Elaine, and for people like you.
The Missouri Legislature will return to Jefferson City in January, and there will be renewed attacks on our religious liberties. We need your help to remain an active presence in the halls of our State Capitol, urging our state legislators to protect and defend our First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. There are plenty of lobbyists who are working full-time against our Christian values, and we need your financial support to go toe-to-toe with them in the battles that will be fought.
We invite you to make a generous donation to the Missouri Family Policy Council to help us speak out for faith, family, and freedom in Jefferson City. As the year 2017 comes to a close, would you please consider the Missouri Family Policy Council in your year-end giving? We receive no funding from other state or national organizations. Our sole source of support is individuals like you who care about the moral character of our state and nation.

You can make a donation online by clicking the logo in the box below.  Or you can mail us a check at:  Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B., St. Peters, MO  63376
Thank you for the prayers and financial sacrifice you have extended to our efforts in the past. We pray that you and your family and those you hold dear will enjoy this Christmas season more than any other. May we remember that we are blessed to have ultimate freedom in Christ our Savior, and the daily opportunity to be a beacon of His Light to a world in desperate need of His love and His mercy.

Joe Ortwerth
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Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
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