We have experienced a tremendous number of inquiries of Christians seeking pro-bono legal help in the last 60 to 90 days for many legal assaults on the Christian faith. Our legal team has sprung into action and successfully protected a number of those Christians with our rapid response, as you will see when you read further in the newsletter.
It seems that the root cause behind this assault is the evil unleashed in the spiritual realm. We know that God has called us to stand in defense of the many Christians doing great work in the spread of the Gospel and also, for those Christians who are mere victims of arbitrary anti-Christian bigotry by persons in power.
Has our legal ministry become more visible in the last 90 days, or is it a sign of the times?
Although we’ve had some recent media attention, I really believe the phone calls and emails are a sign of the times—that our services are needed now more than ever. Here are just a few of the cases we are working on that have come into our office in the last 90 days:
“We atheists laugh at you Christians. And in 100 years, no one is going to believe in God because the science will prove he doesn’t exist.”
This is the statement from one 7th grade teacher in Massachusetts who felt she had the unfettered right to show such visceral hostility toward her students in a social studies class. Similar comments were made on other days but we don’t have time to go into them here. Imagine the effect this hostile communication will have on future generations. One mom complained to the school principal, but the anti-Christian comments didn’t stop. That same mom called on us for help, and we have agreed to file a lawsuit against the school district and the teacher, if the family is willing. While bullying is a hot topic within today’s schools, the bullying most often overlooked is the bullying that some school administrators and teachers unleash on their own students just because the students have or express a Christian worldview. We need to find more cases like these so we can set legal precedent against religious hostility expressed in the classroom by public school teachers. These children are the future and we can’t allow generations to be lost due to the atheistic influences of a hostile public school environment.
Do Christians still have a right to share the Gospel out loud in public?
We were recently contacted by Michael Marcavage, a minister on the East Coast and publisher of Christian News Network. He regularly engages in street evangelism and has had significant difficulties sharing the Gospel in public—and in this case, along the Atlantic City Boardwalk. This minister was told he needed to apply for a permit as a “street performer” and pay a fee for street evangelism. First, he is not a “street performer” as defined by the city ordinance. Second, the Constitution gives him the right to free speech, and the fee for our right to speak freely in open public forums like a boardwalk has already been paid by the sacrifice of our brave men and women in the armed forces who have lost their lives fighting for our liberty. While not all of us are “cut-out” for street evangelism, we need to protect our right to free speech in public or else our public square may begin to look more like China’s Tiananmen Square.
We will be filing a lawsuit in New Jersey to secure these rights. From the beginning, our mission has been to defend the First Amendment right to free speech, which includes spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More recently, we’ve experienced the need to defend not only the right to express our faith, but to defend the right to practice our faith in our daily lives.
We’ve received calls about everything from children chided for reading the Bible as part of a homework assignment to ministers threatened by county officials for refusing to marry same-sex couples. A reoccurring theme we’re noticing with all this activity: hostility towards a Christian worldview.
The good news is we’ve had much success. Many of these recent issues have been resolved without even having to file a lawsuit. The important thing is that we are here to take their phone calls and take legal action, which many times simply requires us to send a letter explaining the constitutional protection afforded to our clients.
While we are trying to help as many people as we can, we simply do not have enough financial resources to help all of these clients defend their religious liberties and fight anti-Christian hostility.
Many of you have asked us about our Justice Gala this year. As you may remember, we normally hold an annual fundraising event known as “Justice” in the fall. This year, we made a strategic decision to skip this event for a few reasons: putting on a Justice Gala each year is a large financial commitment, and it often impacts the resources we have to commit to our primary mission to defend the First Amendment right to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to our new clients.
Right now we have more inquiries than we can commit to financially, and in order for us to be able to fully handle all the cases coming in WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Typically, about 400 people attend our Gala, and while it’s an educational and often inspiring event, we realized that we could make a greater impact toward our core mission if we could apply the full amount of your donations to the new cases we’ve taken on recently.
Our strategy and hope is that everyone who would normally purchase a ticket or contribute by buying an auction item will make a gift to this campaign. In doing so, 100% of your donation will go directly towards our ministry and new cases—defending religious liberty. If 400 of you could make a donation of $150 (the price of a Justice ticket), we could raise the funds necessary to more aggressively pursue these opportunities and ensure that Christians retain the right to live out their faith in their daily lives!
If you can’t commit to a $150 donation right now but would like to contribute to our mission, we gratefully welcome any and all gifts! We’ve set a goal of $60,000 in order to pursue the astounding amount of cases God has supplied us with, and we would be grateful if you would join us in reaching that goal!
For those of you who regularly attend and enjoy our galas, don’t fret! We’ve already started planning for our regular Justice Gala in 2014!
We’re humbled by your tremendous support over the years, and now—as we see the culture war raging more than ever—we thank you in advance for your help in reaching our fundraising goal to support the many new cases coming into our ministry. On behalf of the entire Advocates team and our Board, have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
In His Service,