What happens when anti-Christian groups begin suing local governments, schools and businesses? Quite often the groups that are attacking Christians are really just bullies. When the Liberty Institute stands up to them, they back off because they don’t want to get involved in litigation.
I explored this topic with one of the foremost defenders of Christian freedoms in America today. His name is Kelly Shackelford and he’s the founder and director of the Liberty Institute in Plano, Texas. The Liberty Institute is the largest organization of lawyers in America today that is dedicated to the defense and advancement of Christian rights and freedoms. His response is below.
One such anti-Christian organization is the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It sends out threatening letters to local governments and schools. The last 12 times that we’ve caught them sending out these letters we’ve come along and represented the city, or the county, or the school district. We’ve said, “This is not right. This is not the law. Let us represent you.” And, they accepted. So, we sent letters to this foundation proving that there was no basis for their lawsuits. All 12 times they have run away!
With anti-Christian groups like this, their methodology is a lot about intimidation. They attempt to see if they can get local governments to change and remove part of our religious heritage just out of fear, even when that is not what the law says.
If you’re a Christian unjustly being persecuted, the easiest way to reach the Liberty Institute is through our website at libertyinstitute.org. There is a lot of advice posted on our website that I tell people to read over.
Know what your rights are. Don’t know what are your rights in the public schools as a teacher or a student? Well, we have listed them on our website. What about your rights in the military? We’ve got a lot of military cases concerning religious freedom. There we list what your rights are in the military.
Churches and ministries that wish to protect themselves have become one of our biggest audiences. Download our materials and put some of our wording into the bylaws of your ministry. Unfortunately, very few people are aware that we offer this. Many churches and many ministries out there don’t have in their legal documents what they need to defend themselves.
There are going to be attacks against Christian organizations. I think everybody knows this. They’ve already started. We’ve already witnessed the situations where pastors refuse to marry two men or two women and all of a sudden a human rights prosecution is brought against them. They don’t have in their legal documents what they just assume everybody knows they believe.
We have on our website a document displaying a little picture of a church with sunlight coming out and it’s titled “Are you Protected?” Click that. Next select whether you’re a church, whether you’re a school, or whether you’re a non-profit ministry. Click that and you will be provided with the documents you need to look at and some sample language that others have used on different issues. It all really ties into the biblical approach. Then you can change the wording a little bit for your theology to make it fit in your organization. If you have that wording in your bylaws, then if you get sued, you can properly defend yourself.
Churches, as some point you are going to be sued. These anti-Christian groups are coming after you. That is clear. I think most people know the attacks have already started, and certainly will increase since the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. A lot of anti-Christian groups feel like they can use that ruling as a jumping off point against Christian organizations.
In the third segment of my interview of Kelly Shackelford on the subject of Christianity under attack, we’ll look to see if there’s any impact made on religious freedom from legalizing same-sex marriage.