Alan E. Sears

President, CEO and General Counsel

Alliance Defending Freedom

(15100 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260-2769)

 

December 2013

Why you can have real hope

(no matter how bleak it seams!)

 

One year ago, I wrote to warn you that legal attacks on your religious freedom were about to get worse. That warning has proven correct.

 

Today, your religious freedom is assailed by an onslaught of attacks from all sides . . . attacks never seen before in the 237-year history of the Republic!

 

In New Mexico, the State Supreme Court held that an artist who photographs weddings could be compelled to use her artistic talent to celebrate and memorialize the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. A justice wrote that violating her deeply held religious beliefs regarding God's design for marriage is "the price of citizenship."

 

In Washington D.C., we have a presidential administration that believes forfeiting your religious beliefs is the price of doing business.

 

The Obama Administration imposed a death penalty on dissenters employers who refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs. These penalties are so severe that family businesses will die if they don't provide the drugs. And when employers seek exemption for religious reasons, this same administration claims it has the power to determine what is religious and what is not, though hundreds of exemptions have been granted for other reasons.

 

Although Tyndale House Publishers is the world's largest Bible publisher, the Obama Administration claimed Tyndale wasn't religious enough to qualify for a religious exemption to its ObamaCare abortion pill mandate.

 

In spite of this grave situation, I'm writing you today with hope.

 

No matter how many challenges we have faced, I always look forward to Christmas. Because as we enter the Christmas season, we are reminded that Christ came to bring real hope hope of salvation and eternal life. That hope never waivers, regardless of our circumstances.

 

Unlike the world, our hope comes from God. What's more, often, out of the darkest hours come the greatest victories. And this year the Lord gave us many amazing victories.

 

A dozen times on behalf of a broad array of clients, we have challenged the Obama Administration abortion pill mandate. So far, we have won these cases for eight clients. These cases are pending in the courts, and we are appealing the only loss to the Supreme Court.

 

Among the victories was a decisive win for Tyndale House. The government dropped its appeal against Tyndale. Apparently even the Obama Administration didn't want to defend its position that a Bible publisher is not religious enough for a religious exemption. We thank God for this glorious victory!

 

And, as your support has allowed us to show up for the battle and fight, we've won case after amazing case! In fact, by God's grace, we win nearly 75 percent of the cases we take on. But, we count on generous year-end giving to take on more cases and stay strong. To keep winning, we urgently need AM $8.5 million before December 31.

 

Make no mistake, when the Obama Administration imposed its abortion pill mandate, many people were discouraged. I spoke with Christian employers and CEOs, and the majority felt it was not worth the fight, that the Obama Administration has unlimited resources, and all would be lost. But thanks be to God, a boatload of family business leaders, ministry leaders, and Christian college presidents said, "No way will we fund the taking of innocent human life."

 

And for them, we have won some early victories, but now is not the time to let down our guard. If you think attacks on your religious freedom are bad now . . . you haven't seen anything yet. Our national nightmare is about to get even worse!

 

Anti-Christian activists are firmly entrenched in Washington D.C. They know that for at least three more years, they will have your tax dollars and very powerful friends in the White House to help them advance their agenda. That means attacks on the sanctity of life, marriage and family, and your religious liberty will intensify in 2014.

 

Here's what you can count on in the weeks and months ahead:

 

The Obama Administration will advance its secular agenda, appointing more and more activist left-wing judges.

Legal advocates of homosexual behavior will push their agenda in all 50 states.

Pro-abortion activists will use ObamaCare to try to force you to pay to end the lives of even more innocent pre-born children.

Radical atheists will challenge more Judeo-Christian expressions of faith and memorials, and bully schools and local governments to remove them.

More and more Christians will be told to sit down, shut up, or be punished.

 

What you've seen up until now is just a taste of what's to come! What you've seen up until now is just a taste of what's to come! But as the battle heats up, now more than ever, it's time to "saddle up" and fight, and to increase our capacity to do so.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom has been used by the Lord to make a profound impact for religious freedom in America. I shudder to think what America would look like if Alliance Defending Freedom had not been able to fight for your religious freedom during the last two decades!

 

If Alliance Defending Freedom had not been there . . .

 

If Alliance Defending Freedom had not been in the battle, things would be far worse. Take a look at cases where we thanks to your financial support have stood up to assaults on religious freedom . . . and made a difference for these Christians under attack:

 

Michayla Maertens This Cooperstown, N.D., high school student was told by her principal that her pro-life poster would be removed because a parent had called and complained about it. Michayla had made the poster as part of a current issues class assignment. It featured a collage of pro-life messages such as "Life Not Abortion."

 

Alliance Defending Freedom stood by Michayla, and wrote a letter to the school explaining that censorship of the student's pro-life speech violates the First Amendment. In response, the principal returned Michayla's poster back to the wall. He even wrote a reply, thanking Alliance Defending Freedom for clarifying the issue.

 

Christians on public university and college campuses Opponents of religious freedom have imposed unconstitutional rules, policies, and penalties on Christian student groups and campus ministries across the nation. For example, Louisiana State University (LSU) tried to confine student free speech on campus to a single 1,000-square-foot zone.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom launched a legal effort last year to change these unconstitutional policies. To date, this strategic effort has resulted in policy changes at over 110 universities across the country, including LSU.

 

Crisis Pregnancy Center A crisis pregnancy center in Vermont found its facilities at risk, based on undisclosed "faith-based eligibility criteria," after a government agency denied payment because the group provided voluntary Bible studies in one of the classrooms.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom fought for the pregnancy center and won a favorable ruling, allowing the center to continue to hold Bible studies.

 

Voices of Mercy Outreach Ministries This East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ministry had run Sunday school programs for at-risk youth in a public park for five years when the city park commission banned them due to "religious activities."

 

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of the ministry leading to a settlement in its favor. The city agreed to change its policy and allow the group to meet and hold events in the park.

 

We celebrate these and so many more victories, and thank God for them! At the same time, we know our opponents are not giving up. In all of these cases, we have won a battle, not the war. Our opponents are appealing many other cases, and we must not grow weary.

 

As we move into 2014, there's certainly no shortage of well-funded opponents:

 

The ACLU, emboldened by radical Supreme Court decisions on marriage, is building its war chest to take its demands to every state.

 

With your support, Alliance Defending Freedom continues to battle state-by-state for marriage according to God's design. We also stand for the religious freedom of people like you who choose not to condone or celebrate the redefinition of marriage.

 

The Obama Administration continues to fight fiercely for the abortion pill mandate it imposed with ObamaCare. God gave us an amazing victory for Tyndale House. So far we've won for 10 of 11 clients which have gone to court. We recently appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a Pennsylvania family that challenged the abortion pill mandate because it violated their religious beliefs. Their woodworking business now faces fines totaling nearly $35 million a year, certain to put them out of business.

 

As we have the resources, we're taking on the cases of other employers who refuse to bow to a government ordering them to violate their most deeply held beliefs.

 

Americans United for Separation of Church and State continues to attack your religious freedom. This group is behind the lawsuit attempting to stop the Town of Greece, N.Y., from opening town council meetings with prayer. Just a few weeks ago, we defended the town and its prayer policy before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Efforts like this would not be possible without your prayers and financial support.

 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is threatening government entities across the country with lawsuits if they pray before meetings as Americans have prayed for more than 200 years in this country.

 

With your support, Alliance Defending Freedom is standing with public officials in defense of religious freedom.

 

Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million of taxpayer money each year. And each year it kills more than 300,000 pre-born babies. Several former Planned Parenthood employees have come forward with evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. As a result, we have brought three lawsuits against Planned Parenthood in three different states with the goal of stopping its fraud and of driving it out the abortion business.

 

Your gifts make it possible to directly challenge America's largest abortionist, and save the lives of pre-born babies!

 

Advocates of the homosexual legal agenda are demanding that you and I be forced to approve and celebrate their agenda. We're defending the New Mexico artist who declined to use her photography talents to celebrate a same-sex commitment ceremony. When the state Supreme Court ruled against her, one justice wrote that the photographer and her husband "now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives," adding, "it is the price of citizenship."

 

As we prepare to take this case all the way to the US. Supreme Court, we need your support.

 

When these radical groups win, you lose. When they succeed, your religious freedom shrinks. And, for too long, they won most cases without adequately funded Christian opposition winning by default.

 

They've helped create an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, and disinformation that has caused countless public officials to limit your freedom, the freedom of your children or grandchildren, the liberty of churches, and the free speech of pastors.

 

Because we know they are relentless, determined, and well-funded, we must resolve to keep fighting. and keep winning . . . or surrendering.

 

Your support is needed more now than ever!

 

The unrelenting attacks from those who despise religious freedom mean Alliance Defending Freedom is needed more now than ever. In addition to all of our other opponents, an emboldened Obama Administration is pushing to impose its anti-Christian agenda on America.

 

Your support now is absolutely vital for the legal battles in the year ahead, against the ACLU . . . Planned Parenthood . . . the Obama Administration, and many more!

 

Year-end giving makes up a significant part of our income. I'm trusting God for $8.5 million in gifts before December 31, so we can be there to defend Christians when they are attacked for freely living out their faith.

 

To meet this objective, it means everyone must do their part. Your gift large or small will help us immediately. So, please give as you are able.

 

Every year we receive more than 3,000 calls many requesting our help. That's far more cases than we have the resources to take. It troubles my heart every time we have to say "no" to someone who urgently needs legal help.

 

When you stand with us with your prayers and financial gifts, we can fight and win! (John 15:5) But without your support, we can't even show up and fight. Alliance Defending Freedom is a cash-based ministry, and will not take on a legal battle unless we have adequate funding.

 

Thank you for standing with Alliance Defending Freedom this year. Please prayerfully give the very best gift you can give today. Every dollar counts.

 

Yours for religious freedom,

Alan E. Sears

President, CEO & General Counsel

 

P.S. Do not lose heart! Together, we can take back round that has been lost and build a bright new future for America. I'm praying for $8.5 million before December 31, so we can show up, fight, and win more battles for religious freedom (John 15:5). Thank you for your faithfulness!

 

Alliance Defending Freedom is always looking for potential precedent-setting cases and for attorneys who could help our cause. If you wish to refer an attorney or a potential case to us, please see the [requested] enclosed reply form. Please note that success in past cases does not guarantee success in future cases. Copyright 2013, Alliance Defending Freedom. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint this and other documents as noted in their entirety is granted to Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Ministry Friends. But please do us a favor if you copy Alliance Defending Freedom, give credit and don't lift items out of context.

 

ADF, 15100 N. 90th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 800-835-5233 AllianceDefendingFreedom.org