Recent weeks at Alliance Defending Freedom have me thinking of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
We’re seeing a slew of important victories in several areas of our legal ministry – victories won through the hard work of dedicated Christian attorneys and allies, the faithful prayers and generous support of caring friends like you, and most especially through the mercies of God.
· In Illinois, the state House of Representatives made a deliberate choice to adjourn for the summer without voting on SB 10, a bill that sought to redefine marriage.
“Illinois’ elected officials represented the position of the people of Illinois that marriage – the union of husband and wife – is timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need a mother and a father,” says Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Kellie Fiedorek, who courageously and ably testified on SB 10 before the House Executive Committee. “That’s why 38 states affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, just as diverse cultures and faiths have throughout history.”
· A legal effort Alliance Defending Freedom launched last year – as part of the ongoing University “Speak Up” Project – to change unconstitutional policies at America’s public universities and colleges has resulted in policy changes at 31 universities across the country, according to the most recent data compiled last month.
The ongoing effort seeks to change policies that violate the First Amendment-protected freedoms of students on hundreds of campuses nationwide – including a) speech codes and zones that place unconstitutional restrictions on student speech, b) policies that force student clubs to accept voting members and officers that don’t agree with the clubs’ beliefs, and c) policies that allow non-religious student groups to use student activity fees but exclude religious student groups from doing so – even though they, too, have contributed to the fees.
“This effort has given public universities and colleges the opportunity to respect the constitutionally protected freedoms of their students without much more costly litigation,” says Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “We will continue pressing forward to help schools protect their students, as well as help students who often end up the victims of unconstitutional policies.”
· On Sunday, June 9, nearly 1,100 pastors in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands took part in Alliance Defending Freedom’s sixth annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Participating pastors committed to present a biblical perspective on marriage as the union of one man and one woman – and, by doing so, to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to engage in religious expression from the pulpit.
“When the church is silent, the culture suffers,” says Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The church is integral to the moral stability of a society. Every day that pastors are intimidated into silence on issues like life, liberty, the family, and marriage is another day the cultural erosion continues unchecked. Pulpit Freedom Sunday is just one opportunity for pastors to speak up and make a difference for the good of their congregations and the culture.”
The implications of these cases for your family’s religious freedom are enormous. Please join me in giving thanks to God for His powerful working in so many areas of our nation’s legal culture – and for continuing blessing on the efforts of this ministry for His glory – as we thank Him for your prayers and support.