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February 3, 2007

Fuiten group ups lobbying pressure on Legislature

Posted by David Postman at 3:51 PM

Conservative Christian Pastor Joe Fuiten's group Positive Christian Agenda is paying for thousands of robo-calls aimed at stopping sex education and domestic partnership bills in the Legislature.

Fuiten e-mailed a "!!PCA ACTION ALERT!!" Friday night urging people to call their legislators and urge them to oppose HB 1855 and SB 5297.

Fuiten is president of Positive Christian Agenda as well as pastor of Bothell's Cedar Park Assembly of God church. He left the Faith & Freedom Network last year to focus on more political work through PCA. Fuiten told me today:

What we are doing is trying to target particular people in a given week. Last week we focused on nine of the eleven members of the House judiciary committee. I made about 10,000 robo calls to their districts plus we worked the church network.

Those calls focused on the House domestic partnership bill. The bill, HB 1351, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Fuiten's recorded calls said that the bill would "ultimately lead to gay marriage" and urge people to leave a "respectful message" for their legislator saying "no extra benefits for homosexual."

Here's a recording Fuiten forwarded me of the call that went out in the district of Rep. Pat Lantz, D-Gig Harbor, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee

The robo calls are supplemented with live calls from volunteers in each targeted district. Fuiten said:

When we focus on particular people we try to get people from their own district to contact them. It's a quaint old concept that representatives represent the people of their district.
This week Fuiten is asking people to focus lobbying efforts on three Democratic senators, Brian Hatfield, Paull Shin, and Derek Kilmer.

The House sex-ed bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee Monday at 1:30 p.m. The Senate bill is in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

The bills would require any district that teaches sex education to
"provide medically accurate, age-appropriate and thorough information. That means teaching both abstinence and contraception or nothing at all."

Fuiten said the scientifically accurate "designation is a pseudo-intellectual cover for getting rid of abstinence, which presumably isn't scientifically accurate." He also objects to the bill because it covers private schools, too, including church schools like the six Cedar Park operates:

So the Legislature is going to require me to teach their version of sex education. We have a top of the line sex education program but that's not good enough for the state. Not the greatest separation of church and state when the state mandates what the church must teach. The arrogance of that is astounding.

Fuiten's message to supporters included a "prayer alert" asking people to share a special prayer with "your pastor and church and/or organization prayer chains or prayer groups." It says in part:

Please pray that God will give the righteous legislators patience and wisdom and that those who claim to be Christians yet vote against Biblical principles will have their eyes opened.

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