This month’s newsletter should have been the 5th in our series of attacks on Constitutional liberties, but after reviewing some of Advocates’ recent major cases, I felt compelled to stop and share with our steadfast supporters these current legal battles – and to ask for your faithful prayers. These cases reveal a radical attempt to abolish Christianity’s unimpeachable principles from our children, our communities, and our culture, but Proverbs 18:10 tells us, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”
CVUSD School Board Prayer
You may be familiar with the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Establishment Clause case. To recap, back in November, 2014, the anti-religion organization, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), filed a lawsuit against CVUSD and they lost their right to give invocations before school board meetings. In 2016, Tyler & Bursch, LLP and Advocates for Faith & Freedom were asked to represent CVUSD in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend their First Amendment right against government interference in the long-standing tradition of invocations before board meetings.
Advocates had every intention of taking this case all the way to the Supreme Court. However, the last election brought new board members to the school district, and the new majority voted not to continue with the case. Because the Ninth Circuit ruling affects nine western states, Advocates is standing by to defend in the Supreme Court, the next school district FFRF claims victim to their goal to completely rid our country’s town square of Christianity.
San Diego Churches vs. Marijuana Dispensaries
After the legalization of marijuana in 2018, we knew there would be repercussions. So, when a marijuana production company teamed up with the City of San Diego to evict Vision Church because of a City ordinance restricting them from operating within 1,000 feet of a church, Advocate’s attorneys knew we had to help. The efforts to get Vision to move their near ten-year ministry included City dictated fines and construction orders, totaling thousands of dollars daily with no end in sight. However, after a year’s worth of legal investigation, we are happy to announce the City of San Diego has signed Advocates’ proposed settlement agreement, agreeing to drop all civil charges and pay the cost of filing the lawsuit. But more importantly, the terms allow Vision to stay in their church home and continue to serve their community for the Kingdom!
Advocates attorneys continue to advise California’s churches threatened by the growing marijuana industry. Kairos Christian Church, also in San Diego was facing a nearly identical situation as Vision. With Advocates’ pro bono legal counsel, Kairos is attempting to resolve the issue informally. They have not yet ruled out a lawsuit in which case Advocates is prepared to represent them. As the marijuana industry continues to expand, threats like those towards Vision and Kairos persist. Your support allows us to continue fighting for those churches singled out by the high tax-paying cannabis businesses.
The California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329) Sex Education
After the 2016 passage of AB 329, the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA), Advocates has been working to uncover the sex-ed curriculum legalized in this bill. We are in shock at the anti-Christian, social and sexual indoctrination the state is force-feeding our children! Since learning of the explicit nature of the curriculum, Advocates has been hard at work teaching school districts and parents about the law and how to pass school district and parental rights policies. If you would like more information regarding California’s sex-ed curriculum, parental rights, or school board policies, please contact us. Your knowledge and support is vital to stopping this sexualization of children in our schools.
Discrimination and Censorship: Church United vs. Vimeo
Church United is a religious non-profit dedicated to helping pastors and churches respond to cultural issues in their communities. Pastor Jim Domen’s organization serves over 900 pastors, and its 89 videos on Vimeo’s platform were an important media source for their ministry.
In November, 2018, Vimeo gave Domen just 24 hours to download Church United’s videos because they were flagged for deletion. Upon termination of their account, the media platform disclosed that they do not “allow videos that harass, incite hatred, or include discriminatory or defamatory speech.” The five videos that triggered the deletion of the account discussed Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) from a Christian perspective. The videos included personal testimonies of former homosexuals and how the redeeming power of God impacted lives. The videos never once spoke negatively about the LGBT community.
Advocates has taken this form of censorship against Christian beliefs very seriously. Our communications with Vimeo did not yield the restoration of Church United’s account, so we filed a lawsuit against Vimeo on the basis of religious viewpoint discrimination and a violation of free speech. Your prayers are welcome as we head into court.
As you can see, Advocates for Faith & Freedom has been hard at work safeguarding the rights of Christians in America to exercise their religious liberties. It is our honor to defend this God-given right.
In His Service,
Robert H. Tyler
P.S. We are grateful for the blessings of your generous financial donations which allow us to pay for the costly legal research and extensive court battles we are certain to face against Vimeo, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and possibly even the state of California.