Monday, July 21, 2014

Susan B. Anthony List Hosts First Annual Intern Strategy Summit

Last Tuesday, conservative college students interning in Washington DC attended the first annual Susan B. Anthony List Intern Strategy Summit. The event was hosted at The Heritage Foundation and was put on by SBA List, The Heritage Foundation, and Alliance Defending Freedom. There were 4 different discussion panels that the speakers sat on, covering topics. The first panel was called “Standing for Truth: The Battle to Preserve Religious Liberties.” Speakers talked about the growing attacks on religious liberties in America. Penny Nance from Concerned Women for America and Sarah Torres of The Heritage Foundation discussed the social aspects and attitudes of the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases, the Benham Brothers controversy, as well as the supposed “War on Women” that the left keeps talking about.  “There’s an ideological line that women are supposed to tow,” said Nance, “and they [liberals] hate it if you think for yourself.” Jordan Lorence of ADF spoke on those issues from a legal perspective and gave helpful legal insight about the establishment clause in the First Amendment. “I’m going to tell you something that most people do not know. Only the Federal Government can violate the establishment clause. Accommodating religious people is not the government endorsing religion,” said Lorence.

  L-R: Kate Bryan, Jeanneane Maxon, Kristan Hawkins, Marjorie Dannenfelser
On another panel entitled “Taking Life on Offense : A Time for Heroes”, sat three women considered heroes by many conservatives , Kristan Hawkins of Students For Life of America, Marjorie Dannenfelser of SBA List, and Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life. These women discussed the issue of abortion and how pro-life students can make a difference in the world.  “You’re not on the losing side! We have a chance to win!” Hawkins exclaimed. “This is the greatest human rights struggle our world has ever known and even though you might not be a hard core activist, there is a place for you in the pro-life movement.” Dannenfelser, coming from a political side, encouraged the interns to get out of their comfort zones.  “You need to think of yourselves as someone who will not take a comfy seat in this movement.” She warned, “You may have to go in and do things that you may not feel comfortable doing- like running for office - If you are not going to do that, you need to get involved in the party that most needs your strength- that is the Republican Party”.

The most anticipated speaker of the Summit was Princeton University McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Robert P. George. Professor George was interviewed by Marjorie Dannenfelser on how to prepare intellectually for standing up for beliefs “There is a cost of discipleship and the price is getting higher and higher,” George explained, “You’re going to be asked, if you stand up for what is right, to put things at risk,”

Other speakers at the Summit included Maggie Gallagher and Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project, Brian Brown of Nation Organization  for Marriage, Ryan Anderson of  The Heritage Foundation, with Kate Bryan of APP and Mary Powers of SBA List moderating.

The interns that attended the Summit left feeling united and encouraged to stand for Life, Religious Liberty, and Marriage.

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