Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America in Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker at the Kansas State CWA Conference on March 15, but other well-known locally-based speakers were also on hand to address a roomful of concerned women from across Kansas. Before Nance spoke, others such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Topeka Rescue Mission Executive Director Barry Feaker, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Joe Patton, former State Representative, talked about important issues such as human trafficking, abortion, immigration and religious freedom.
CWA is the largest public policy women’s organization in the nation. The Kansas CWA chapter is headed by State Director Barbara Saldivar. Their mission is to promote and protect Biblical values and Constitutional principles through prayer, education and advocacy.
“As an organization we are committed to conservative issues such as the sanctity of life, religious liberty, sexual exploitation and education, among others,” Saldivar said.
A Meet & Greet with Nance, Governor Jeff Colyer and over eighty and legislators took place at the Kansas State Capitol prior to the CWA State Conference, Impact 2018, which was held at the First Church of the Nazarene, 1001 W Buchanan St. Both men and women, many of them couples, attended.
After the conference began with a prayer by Linda Highland, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Phillis Setchell, Feaker spoke about sex trafficking in Topeka and across the state. He compared the current struggle against sex trafficking to that of William Lloyd Garrison’s against slavery in the mid-1800s.
Garrison was the voice of abolitionism, and he became the leader of the emerging anti-slavery movement. His publication, The Liberator, reached thousands of individuals worldwide. His ceaseless, uncompromising position on the moral outrage of slavery made him loved and hated by many Americans. Garrison saw moral persuasion as the only means to end slavery. To him the task was simple: show people how immoral slavery was and they would join in the campaign to end it.
Garrison lived long enough to see the Union come apart under the weight of slavery, and see Abraham Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. Thirty-four years after first publishing The Liberator, Garrison saw the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution go into effect, banning slavery forever. It took a lifetime of work, but in the end, the morality of his position won the day.
Feaker noted that the fight against slavery went for 246 years in America until 1865. This past February 1st was National Freedom Day in recognition of passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865. Now we face a similar fight, Feaker said.
“Sex trafficking/slavery is a $99 billion business,” Feaker noted, “and it’s second only to the drug business.” He noted that sex trafficking cases dealt with by Topeka Rescue Mission went from four in 2014 to over 130 in 2017.
Kansas State Legislature declared war on Human Trafficking in April, and Feaker now wants the City of Topeka and Shawnee County to do the same.
Freedom Now USA is a movement with a mission to support state efforts to eradicate human trafficking – modern-day slavery – from all 50 states. Feaker said the initiative in Kansas is well on its way and is fighting to unify legislative, judicial, law enforcement, civic and community leaders, non-profit providers, and the faith community behind the common mission of eradicating human trafficking in Kansas, but he noted there is much work to be done.
OTHER SPEAKERS, SIMILAR THEMES
Kobach then took the stage and spoke about human trafficking by smugglers across the southern border of the country, some of which ends up in Kansas, noting that Kansas City is a major hub for such activity. Such trafficking often leads to lengthy and virtually un-ending servitude to pay off the smugglers.
Kobach noted that Kansas once had six sanctuary counties, but is now down to three: Shawnee, Butler and Harvey. Sanctuary counties make it harder to combat human trafficking, he said. There is a Senate Bill that would withhold funds from sanctuary counties that he supports.
Law enforcement in Kansas needs to be better enabled to fight this battle, Kobach said.
Kobach then noted that there is a case before the Kansas Supreme Court that could determine that “Liberty” in the Kansas Constitution means the right to abortion.
“That would be even worse than federal law,” Kobach said, noting that Kansas could become the abortion capital of the nation if the court gets it wrong.
“We need to change our way of selecting judges for the Supreme Court of Kansas,” he declared, explaining that the outdated method used now means that the un-elected judges are not answerable to anyone.
Schmidt’s presentation followed similar themes, as he noted that Kansas went from an F to an A rating after passing Jessica’s Law.
“Transporting for the purpose of trafficking” is now a criminal offense in Kansas,” he said.
More people are enslaved today than at any time in our country’s history, Schmidt said in demonstrating the size of the human trafficking problem. He pointed out that children are being taken from cities all over Kansas to be sold into slavery through sex trafficking.
“It is one of the great moral issues of our time,” he concluded.
After a break for lunch and a prayer by Donna Lippoldt, State Coordinator for National Day of Prayer, Patton spoke about the state constitution in relation to abortion.
Patton, now President of Kansans for Life, had sobering comments about the abortion holocaust. He said that the next six years will decide total victory or total defeat on the abortion issue in the state of Kansas. He showed slides demonstrating why that is the case.
“We need a pro-life referendum state-wide,” he said.
Kansas currently has three abortion clinics – two in Wichita and one in Kansas City.
Later on in the day, State Senator Caryn Tyson presented the Senate Finance Report, and noted that spending by the legislature continues to increase even during a time when some of Kansas’ biggest industries have been in decline, including agriculture and aeronautics.
The tax cut previously passed in Kansas was a good thing, she noted – the problem was the legislature kept increasing spending, and now skyrocketing taxes will adversely affect us as citizens if we do not hold our legislators accountable.
State Representative Susan Humphries then spoke about the Adoption Protection Act, noting that of 35 child placing agencies in Kansas, only 14 are faith-based, and they often serve the most problematic cases.
The bill only restricts the state from discriminating against faith-based agencies, she explained. It does nothing to restrict other agencies from anything they are doing. The opposition to the bill is based on a misunderstanding, she said.
NANCE SPEAKS OUT
Nance, whose face is familiar to many from being seen so often on various national news programs, then took the stage in a sort of question and answer session with CWA National Field Director Janae Stracke, also fielding questions from the audience.
“We are reaching a tipping point in America, Nance declared, noting the real threats to cultural issues being discussed at the conference.
CWA is representing every conservative Christian woman, she noted, and these women should consider themselves a modern-day Esther, whom the Bible said was “born for such a time as this.”
You can ignore God’s calling, Nance said, and God may raise up someone else; but you and your family will suffer.
Penny related a story of being at White House dinner, and being able to speak to President Trump. She told him directly about Planned Parenthood and the charges leveled against them for what they do.
“We know the truth, because we know the Author of truth,” Nance declared.
Nance also noted that the feminist movement seems to have suffered from the Stockholm Syndrome: they used to abhor pornography and the objectification of women, but now they seem to find it preferable.
Porn has now become even more about violence, such as portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey and other shows, she noted.
She also said that she is praying for more than one more Supreme Court retirement, thus making possible the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
When speaking about the abortion issue, Nance noted that at 20 weeks, unborn babies have fingernails and eyebrows and can hear and respond to their mother’s voices – they can also feel pain.
“Doesn’t that deserve protection?” she asked.
“Trump is the most pro-life president in our history, without a doubt!” she declared, indicating that his court nominations would continue to be pro-life.
She noted that Trump has nominated a large number of lower court judges also. “So many circuit court judges have been appointed and approved – that is a legacy!” she exclaimed.
Nance is also “thrilled” with former Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo being chosen as Trump’s next Secretary of State. “He is the man for the job,” she said.
When asked about career government employees who have a personal desire to subvert President Trump’s agenda, Nance said, “This president doesn’t suffer fools lightly,” noting that there is more to be done concerning the ‘deep state’ and “it will be done.”
Nance also spoke about what it means to be assertive, yet compassionate. Nance advised women to be determined.
“Don’t settle!” she implored.
Nance held a book-signing at the end of the conference.
One of CWA of Kansas’ goals for 2018 is to have Feisty & Feminine workshops across the state.
“These workshops will embrace God-given femininity, intertwined with a little feisty,” Saldivar said, “to deliver a message of strength and redemption.”
The first one is on the calendar for June 9 in Wichita. For more information or to schedule a workshop in your area contact Concerned Women for America ks.cwfa.org.