God’s Grace Abounds In A String Of Important Victories
- By Alan Sears
- Posted Jul 3, 2012
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Last week’s ObamaCare decision by the Supreme Court (striking down the “individual mandate” as a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, but upholding the penalty as a tax on the uninsured) was frustrating for the friends of liberty who support Alliance Defending Freedom.
Speaking to 600 allied attorneys and other Ministry Friends in Naples, Florida last week, I reminded them that our Lord calls us “not to grow weary in well doing,” but to fight on and keep perspective. We know what the outcome will be in every case where we fail to fight, or surrender by default. But when we fight, we can win. That perspective is ever more important after the events in the High Court last week, as we continue our mission (“Charlie Mike,” in the parlance of our U.S. Navy Seals) and trust God to equip, prepare, and use us to fight for Him.
God is honoring that trust. In recent weeks, He has blessed us with a string of important victories that underscore the fact that – whatever the outcome of any one legal battle – with your gracious prayers and support, we are winning the war for religious liberty in America. For example:
- In New York City, our attorneys have won a crucial permanent injunction that allows churches and other faith groups to continue to meet in public school buildings for worship services after hours – the latest win in our still ongoing 17-year-old battle on behalf of the Bronx Household of Faith. The city has been trying to eject worship services from the schools, even as it allows other community groups to utilize those same facilities.
- In Downingtown, Pennsylvania, our attorneys have persuaded administrators at the local senior center that the U.S. Constitution is in no way violated by letting senior adults pray before lunch. For many years, that wasn’t a problem, as citizens at the center preceded their daily lunch with the Pledge of Allegiance and blessing on the food. But someone didn’t like one of the prayers, and administrators – apparently convinced that, because the food is partially provided by the federal government, it couldn’t be prayed over – tried to put an end to the tradition. One letter from Alliance Defending Freedom changed that, and the seniors are now praying again.
- In Beaumont, Texas, officials of the Nederland Independent School District have changed their policy on the distribution of religious materials by students, after our attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of a third grader whose teacher wouldn’t let him hand out invitations to an AWANA (“Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed”) club meeting at his church, where children play games and hear Bible stories. Our attorneys pointed out that other students were allowed to distribute invitations for birthday parties and other events. The district backed down, and has agreed to train its teachers to allow religious expression and the handing out of materials outside of class time, and Alliance Defending Freedom voluntarily dropped the suit.
- Pregnancy resource centers in two Maryland counties will no longer be forced to post government-ordered signs encouraging women to leave their facilities and seek out health professionals, following a ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Our attorney Matt Bowman worked with Allied Attorneys Mark Rienzi, Bob Michael, and John Garza to represent a center in one of the counties, and filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of pro-life medical associations in the other. The court, after hearing oral argument from Rienzi, found the signs to be a violation of First Amendment free speech protections.
God is giving Alliance Defending Freedom these victories, enabling us to win back miles and miles of legal territory lost over the last few decades. Please pray for all of our staff and Allied Attorneys, as they fight this good fight to ensure the protection of your family’s religious liberty. “Charlie Mike, continue mission.”
Author: Alan Sears