Volume IX, Issue 2
CONSCIENCE, COERCION, AND CAKES Why is the state so determined to take away this artistâ€™s freedom?
This Fall: Defending Religious Freedom At The Supreme Court ADF contends government bias endangers children
Volume IX, Issue 2
3 Q&A With Focus On The Family President Jim Daly “As the culture gets more anti-Christian, are we going to be able to … find joy in suffering for Christ?”
5 When The Best Defense Is A Good Offense “Laws limiting artistic freedom pose a threat to all Americans, because they let the government mandate certain beliefs as acceptable and others as not.”
8 Alliance Profile: GetYourCare.org “It’s one of the best things the pro-life movement has ever done … [providing] a single resource that demonstrates that we really care about women.”
9 Conscience, Coercion, And Cakes “The same government that is supposed to be protecting our rights is actually the biggest threat to them.”
17 How I Became An Attorney For Life “Surrounded by caring people and practical support, abortion becomes unnecessary – and so it becomes unthinkable.”
Editor Joshua Tijerina
Twitter - @ AllianceDefends
Senior Writer Chris Potts
Instagram.com/AllianceDefendingFreedom Art Director/Photography Bruce Ellefson
Alliance Defending Freedom 15100 N. 90th Street | Scottsdale, AZ 800-835-5233
Emily Conley Sophia Kuby Chris Potts Jane Scharl Alan Sears
Minutes with Alan Sears
Coming To The Bend In The Road
President, CEO and General Counsel
You can learn a lot, the wise man said, just by watching.
For more than 30 years now, I’ve been watching Bob Russell, the pastor to some of my best friends. Across four decades, Bob grew a congregation of 120 to more than 18,000, meeting in four services every Sunday in the Southeast Christian Church of Louisville, Kentucky. A decade ago, Bob sensed the Lord’s timing to pass the torch of leadership to someone else. He had no illusions that this would be easy. Like many of us, he had seen ministries stumble amid such transitions; he wanted to hand things off in a way that would strengthen, not weaken, his church. So Bob did his homework – studying other ministries carefully to see what worked, what didn’t. He took what he learned and applied it thoughtfully, prayerfully. The torch was (smoothly) passed; the church grew even more effective in Kingdom impact. So Bob literally wrote the book on how to do it: Transition Plan. I’ve been reading it, and a number of other books on the same topic.
The time is at hand – not here yet, but at hand – for Alliance Defending Freedom to look
at a similar transition. Such changes are inevitable, and after 23 years, I sense the Lord’s nudge that soon, I’ll be able to hand the day-to-day reins of ADF to someone else. Then, I’ll be able to better focus my full-time energies on building up the supplies this organization will need to face the challenges of the years ahead – enhancing our capacity to respond to God’s opportunity. Again: I’m not sliding out of the saddle; I’m just beginning to look to the day, some months from now, when someone else is riding point and handling the ramrod responsibilities. I’m not looking alone. The ADF Governing Board, a group of godly professionals who care deeply about this ministry, has been planning for years for this transition. They, too, are giving attention to how other ministries have passed the baton most successfully. They’re considering what talents and qualities of character will be especially important for whomever next assumes these leadership responsibilities. Pray for our wisdom in all of these things.
Not long ago, I visited at length on these issues with another friend, a major business lead-
er and strong supporter of ADF, who recently completed a similar transition. “You should be spending 90 percent of your time and efforts,” he told me, “on those aspects of your work that yield the highest long-term returns.” That’s exactly what I want to do, which is why I’m beginning, now, to look ahead toward that inevitable bend in the road … listening for His voice, as we plan the transition that will bring His next leader to ADF. And free me, by God’s grace, to work even harder for the longterm returns.
Questions about what this means for the ministry? Watch Alan’s video message about his transition from CEO at ADFlegal.org/FJ-AlanSears
Apart from Him, we can do nothing. - John 15:5
On T he Square
Focus On The Family President Jim Dal y Jim Daly’s focus on family comes from a very personal place. Orphaned at an early age, he grew up in foster care, and the experience has underscored Focus on the Family’s growing (and widely acclaimed) efforts to promote and facilitate foster-care adoptions, along with its ongoing efforts to strengthen marriages, equip parents, and inspire families’ spiritual growth. Now in his 11th year as president and 27th overall with Focus, Daly hosts the ministry’s daily radio show, which reaches 2.9 million listeners on more than 2,000 stations. His books include ReFOCUS: Living a Life That Reflects God’s Heart, The Good Dad, and the just-published Marriage Done Right: One Man, One Woman.
Demeanor is important. But if it means we don’t speak truth or talk about principle, then we’ve lost it.
Focus On The Family President Jim Daly
What do you see as the best Christian response to efforts to redefine marriage? We in the Christian community need to take a deep breath and understand that nobody on this Earth – no president, no court, no Supreme Court – can redefine marriage. It’s a natural institution that God ordained. The state redefines marriage as the state sees it, [but that] doesn’t change the way God sees marriage. And we in the Christian community need to, I think, 1) embrace God’s definition of marriage, 2) live out God’s definition of marriage, and 3) let that demonstrate the natural order of what God has set into place. What if our divorce rate goes down to 10 percent, and the world’s continues to climb to 80 percent? Then we’re back in early Rome, [offering] a powerful witness that the world looks at and says, “We need more of what they have. We need more joy, more peace.” That will be the biggest witness.
Do you sense American culture turning against Christianity? Definitely. The culture – when it comes to religious expression – is becoming highly intolerant. And that will get deeper and broader and more difficult in the workplace. We’ve had a wonderful ride here in the United States, and the Founding Fathers constructed a beautiful country. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll continue, especially if we don’t, as they warned, recognize God and morality and its role in a democracy. As those underpinnings wobble and become less stable, what will be our rallying cry? Certainly to speak up in the public square, but character-wise, how do
we respond? I hope we respond with the character of Christ.
Do you think people in our churches are rising to that challenge? We’re still processing where we are. It’s easy to understand and exhibit confidence in the Lord when we’re on the ascent of power. When we begin to be on the descent of power and control, is our commitment to Christ as strong? Do we still have Learn how ADF is fighting to faith, or begin to doubt protect religious freedom Him? I think we’re still in your state and trying to sort that out as across America at a community of believers. [Focus on the Family ADFlegal.org/FJ-Freedom recently] finished building homes for the families of the 21 men martyred in Egypt last year. We paid to get that done, and when we were completing the homes, our man in our office there in Cairo said, “Jim, the families are weeping.” And I said, “Of course they’re weeping. They’ve lost their sons, their husbands, their fathers.” And he said, “No, they’re weeping with joy that their families were selected to suffer for the name of Christ.” That to me, wow, was such a shock to my system. To hear these families talk about the beauty and the honor to suffer for the name of Christ was an aspect of my faith that I’ve struggled with. As the culture gets more difficult, more militant, more anti-Christian, are we going to be able to say the (continued on page 20)
When The Best Defense Is A Good Offense laws before they were enforced (knowing enforcement would have put them in violation of the law – and would have meant jail time). Today, Christian artists are challenging bad laws for the same reason. To some, pre-enforcement may seem extreme, Tedesco says, but for these artists, “the alternative is doing business with the threat of criminal charges always hanging over their heads.”
very day, as Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski pick up their pens and brushes for Brush & Nib Studio, their small hand-painting and calligraphy business in Phoenix, they know that, before they put their instruments away, they could face a terrible choice. Many of their fellow artists are facing pressure to create messages that conflict with their faith – forcing them to violate their convictions, or suffer fines, jail time, and the loss of all they’ve worked to build. So the two have chosen a third option. By asking Alliance Defending Freedom to file a pre-enforcement challenge against the law that threatens their rights, they are proactively standing up for their freedom to create artwork and do business according to their deeply held beliefs. “Pre-enforcement challenges allow people to confront a law they consider unjust before they’re faced with severe penalties for violating it,” says ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, director of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Civil rights litigants in the ’60s repeatedly challenged unconstitutional
his isn’t how things are supposed to be. “Creating beautiful things is what I like to do,” Breanna says. “We just want to put as much of ourselves into our art as possible.” Their customers seem to feel the two have succeeded. Their website features reviews like, “[Joanna and Breanna] truly put their heart and soul into their work!” That “heart and soul” inevitably includes the women’s Christian convictions. Committed to glorifying God and to reflecting His beauty through their art, they won’t use their creativity to demean others, objectify the female body … or promote marriage as anything but a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. It’s this last conviction that’s causing problems for Brush & Nib Studio, and for Christian creative professionals like Joanna and Breanna all across America. Since the Supreme Court threw its support behind same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, those pressing the same-sex agenda have stepped up their efforts to force people of faith to embrace it. Christian artists, in particular, are under pressure not merely to tolerate same-sex marriage, but to celebrate it – even if that means violating their own
Opposite: Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski working together in their studio. Above: Create Freely explains how artists can preserve their freedom to create according to their consciences.
Filing a lawsuit can be overwhelming, and many artists donâ€™t even want to think about it. To reach out to the Christian creative professional community and to calm some of the anxiety that comes with considering legal action, ADF has developed Create Freely, a resource made by artists for artists that explains the role of freedom of conscience in the creative life. Download this free resource
deeply held beliefs about the nature of marriage. Like many other states and cities, Phoenix has what’s known as a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) law, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. “Many municipalities interpret these laws to mean that because a business like Brush & Nib creates art celebrating marriages between one man and one woman, it must also create art celebrating same-sex marriages,” Tedesco says. If the business owners decline to do so because of their religious convictions, they face crippling fines and possible jail time. The fact that Joanna and Breanna serve all people equally doesn’t necessarily protect them, Tedesco
says. “We’ve seen cases where Christian creative professionals have developed decades-long business relationships and friendships with customers who identify as homosexual, yet are accused of ‘discrimination’ and sued when they explain that their convictions Overwhelmed by the prevent them from using their talidea of a lawsuit? ents to celebrate a same-sex wedDownload Create Freely, ding ceremony.”
our resource by artists,
hat’s where ADF comes in. SOGI laws like the one in Phoenix violate the Constitution in at ADFlegal.org/FJ-CreateFreely least two ways, Tedesco says: they compel speech, meaning they force people to express something they don’t agree with, and they violate freedom of conscience, meaning they don’t allow people to make decisions based on their deeply held beliefs. Just as an atheist artist should not have to paint a
for artists, at
Laws limiting artistic freedom pose a threat to all Americans, because they let the government mandate certain beliefs as acceptable and others as not.
ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco
mural of the Last Supper for a church, and a print shop owner who identifies as gay shouldn’t have to print posters for religious events opposing same-sex marriage, Christians should be able to follow their consciences in choosing what messages to express through their art. Laws limiting artistic freedom pose a threat to all Americans, Tedesco says, “because they let the government mandate certain beliefs as acceptable and others as not.” Joanna and Breanna, and other Christian artists who consider these SOGI laws unjust and unconstitutional, don’t have to simply sit and wait to be sued for following their consciences, or self-censor their own speech out of fear of violating the law. Through pre-enforcement challenges, ADF is helping them proactively defend their constitutionally protected rights. Now, whenever Joanna and Breanna create a piece of art, they know that, no matter what legal challenge they may face, they’ve already made a choice to stand up for freedom of conscience, and for the right to live, work, and create according to their deepest convictions.
GetYourCare.org ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox knew that Planned Par-
enthood’s favorite cry for self-preservation – “If you defund Planned Parenthood, women will have nowhere to go” – was a lie. But how could he prove it to the public? The FDA had already conceded to him that no Planned Parenthood in the country was licensed to offer a mammogram. So, over some late nights, he mapped the more than 8,000 locations where the FDA indicates a woman can receive a mammogram – none of them Planned Parenthood facilities. The resulting ADF graphic went viral, and was even shown on the floor of the Senate. The success of that map led ADF to create another one – this time showing that Federally Qualified Health Centers (care centers eligible for government funding) far outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities. GetYourCare.org was born.
“GetYourCare.org is an invaluable user-friendly resource,”
says Genevieve Plaster, research assistant at Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), one of 16 pro-life groups that united to make the site a success. A map on the site displays data from government databases, collected in partnership with these allied organizations, showing locations that offer quality health care services to women – including
services that Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide, such as mammograms. The site accomplishes Mattox’s goal, he says, by proving that “there are plenty of other places to get your care without having to go to a scandal-ridden organization.” GetYourCare.org launched on September 29 of last year. It has since been referenced in The Washington Times, The Daily Signal, Breitbart News, and The Denver Post, and word of its impact continues to echo through the halls on Capitol Hill. “It’s one of the best things the pro-life movement has ever done,” says ADF Vice President of Media Relations Greg Scott, “bringing the entire movement together to provide a single resource like this that demonstrates that we really care about women and that there are alternatives to Planned Parenthood.” After all, “the pro-life movement isn’t just about defunding Planned Parenthood,” he says. “It’s about providing a better alternative for the health care that Planned Parenthood does provide.” Scott hopes the site keeps growing. “I’d like to see Medicaid providers added to the map. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of options for women – that would dwarf the number of Planned Parenthood facilities. My hope is for the site to continue until there is no Planned Parenthood.”
Conscience, Coercion, by Chris Potts
Why is the state so determined to take away this artistâ€™s freedom?
Jack Phillips’ number was up. Back in the kitchen, he usually has his hands pretty full with all the artistic elements of running his Denver cake shop – baking, icing, decorating – so he has two young female assistants up at the front counter, interacting with the customers. What one can’t handle, the second one does. When the accumulation of customers grows too big for two, “I’m Number Three,” he says. It was a warm July afternoon. Jack stepped away from the ovens for a moment to look out front. Both of his assistants had their hands full with customers. One of the young women caught his eye and indicated the wedding desk – an area of the shop set up to showcase Jack’s creativity in making cakes to order for couples looking for something special to highlight their reception. Two men sat waiting. Jack walked over, stuck out his hand: “I’m Jack. What can I do for you?” The men introduced themselves. “We’re here to look at wedding cakes,” one said. “It’s for our wedding,” said the other. “Sorry, guys,” Jack told them. “I don’t make cakes for
same-sex weddings.” “WHAT? Are you kidding?” “No. I’ll sell you birthday cakes, shower cakes, cookies, brownies … I just don’t do cakes for same-sex weddings.” The men leapt to their feet, each moving toward a different exit from the shop. One paused, on his way, to make an obscene gesture and yell something about “this homophobic cake shop!” “Hmm,” Jack thought, and went back to the kitchen. Twenty minutes later, the phone rang. The young women out front were still busy, so Jack took the call. “Are you the cake shop that just turned away the gay couple?”
“I turned away a gay wedding cake.” A great deal of swearing blasted through the phone, punctuated with loud accusations of bigotry. “Hmm,” Jack thought, hanging up. The phone rang again. More yelling. A lot more swearing. Jack hung up again, thought for a moment, and leaned his head back out front. “Ladies,” he said, “I’ll be answering the phone for the rest of the day.”
In fact, he was answering phones for the next few weeks, taking so many calls that he finally had to shut one of his two phone lines down just to limit the avalanche. Lots of email poured in, too – hundreds of notes, most of them filled with unprintable assertions about Jack’s character. One of the callers said he’d be coming in shortly to shoot Jack – or his daughter, who works in the shop, as does his mother. His three granddaughters often play in an open area near the counter. He sent them all away for the afternoon, while police tried in vain to track the caller. “It’s my responsibility to protect my family, my employees,” Jack says. Better the callers and email scribes vent their fury on him, since “they’re mad at me, anyway – they can yell at me.” But on second thought, he says, “they are not really mad at me. They don’t even know who I am. They’re angry with God. They’re angry at the world we’re living in, a world full of sin, and they’re blaming Him. But they won’t talk to Him – so they tell me what they think of Him.” Amid the blizzard of epithets, Jack was surprised to get a call from Focus on the Family, wanting to send someone to do an interview for broadcast. Jack agreed. The interviewer told Jack he knew of an organization that could offer him some legal assistance, free of charge. He offered to put in a call to Alliance
Defending Freedom. An ADF attorney called soon after. The attorney listened to Jack’s story, assured him ADF could help, and said, “If you hear anything from the state, don’t reply. Call us.” Three months later – just as the tide had begun to swing from a deluge of diatribes to a flood of support – Jack opened a letter from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission: he was being sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws.
“He hasn’t engaged in sexual orientation ‘discrimination’ at all,” says Jeremy Tedesco, director of the ministry’s Center for Conscience Initiatives. “Jack clearly has a constitutionally protected right – free speech, free exercise of religion – to run his business according to his religious beliefs. As a creative professional, he has a right to create custom artwork that’s consistent with his convictions … and to object to creating art for events that violate his beliefs. “He’s not withholding his services on the basis of who they are when he says, ‘There are certain events that I just can’t do,’” Tedesco explains. “That’s not person-based – it’s event and message-based. He objects to creating expressions celebrating certain events that violate his beliefs. The objection has nothing to do with the people or any of their protected characteristics.” “When I do a wedding cake,” Jack says, “or a first birthday cake, or a graduation cake, I really feel that, even though I’m not at the party, I am represented there – that’s my cake that’s there. It’s part of me that goes, and I’m participating in that event. If it’s a same-sex wedding, I can’t participate … because that goes against what the Bible teaches.” Tedesco says the state sees things differently – contending that “when a person opens a for-profit business, he
What’s surprising is that the same government that is supposed to be protecting our rights is actually the biggest threat to them.
When I do a wedding cake … I really feel that, even though I’m not at the party, I am represented there – that’s my cake. It’s part of me that goes, and I’m participating in that event.
essentially leaves his First Amendment-protected rights at the door.” “‘You will be made to celebrate diversity by enforcing conformity,’” says Nicolle Martin, an ADF Allied Attorney who has been lead counsel on Jack’s case for the last four years. “That’s the state’s goal here. ‘You shall be made to care, you shall be diverse, and we will enforce that conformity.’” And if your religious views contradict state-dictated social norms, she says, “you will be disabused of your beliefs.” The Colorado Civil Rights Commission made that official in its ruling two years ago, ordering Jack to bake wedding cakes for same-sex as well as man-woman couples – or not to make them at all. To ensure compliance, state officials demanded quarterly reports for two years, detailing which orders Jack accepts and which ones he refuses, and why. And they ordered Jack to provide his employees with training to impress upon them that a) his religious beliefs violate state law, and b) he cannot draw on those beliefs in deciding how to run his business. “I didn’t think that was the America I lived in,” says Tedesco. “There’s no way the government should have the power to do that. They want to compel Jack to create custom artwork that violates his beliefs. They want to compel him to tell his employees things about his religious beliefs that he doesn’t want to say – that violate the very core of who he is. “We don’t want the government to be in the business of telling creative professionals what they must create, what they must say, what they must affirm when they’re using their artistic talents.” “It’s really a loss for the community, not just Jack,” Martin says. “It’s a loss for everyone, when artists are driven out of the marketplace. But the sad reality is, we are living in a time where – in the courts and in the culture – blind allegiance to equality is far more preferable than liberty and freedom.”
“I just wanted to make cakes that are artistic and fun,” Jack says, of opening Masterpiece Cakeshop 22 years ago. He’d been dreaming of that day for more than a decade, ever since the job he grabbed for a paycheck, just out of high school, turned out to be something he loved. “I really enjoyed the entire environment,” he says, recalling those early days working in a huge Denver bakery. “It’s creative. You’re making things. You have to put all the ingredients in and mix them right … there’s a lot more involved than cracking a couple of eggs.” But if baking cakes made for an interesting challenge, decorating them proved to be … well, icing on the cake. “I’d go home all excited and tell my wife, ‘Guess what I got to do today!’ I’ve always liked to do cartooning, paint-
He is not a victim. He doesn’t come off that way. He has no animosity, no bitterness, and no pity for himself.
Allied Attorney Nicolle Martin ing, drawing, things like that. Now, I not only knew how to make cakes, I was learning how to make them really fun. And it was an outlet for the talent God has given me.” Although, at the time, neither Jack nor his wife, Debbie, was inclined to think of his talent, or anything else, in terms of God. Both were raised in churchgoing families; neither put much stock by what they’d learned. They started their own family with zero interest in anything related to faith. That changed one morning as Jack finished a late shift and started driving home. “I just felt like God came into my car and convicted me of my sins,” he says, recalling the conversation in his heart. “It just took a few seconds. ‘You’re a sinner. You need a Savior. It’s Jesus Christ.’ I said, ‘You’re right. Let me clean up my life.’ He said, ‘You can’t.’ I said, ‘You’re right. I’m Yours.’ So I gave my life to Christ, driving home from work.”
Telling Debbie wasn’t so simple. Weeks before, she’d torn into a relative who invited them to visit her church. Jack figured if she learned of his conversion, she’d leave. But he couldn’t sleep for the voice in his soul urging him to tell her what he’d done. He walked out to the kitchen. “I need to tell you something,” he said. “I became a Christian today.” Tears come to his eyes, remembering what came next. “Me, too,” she said. “Three days ago.”
For the Phillips, becoming Christians changed everything – not just their Sunday morning schedule, but what they watched on television, how they spent their money, what they did with their free time and their family … and what they named their new business.
Government Directives for bakers who won’t create cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages: 1. Create wedding cakes that violate your conscience – or don’t create wedding cakes at all. 2. Submit quarterly reports explaining which cake orders you accept and which you refuse – and why. 3. Provide mandatory training to convince your employees how wrong your personal religious beliefs are.
“Masterpiece implies the artwork aspect, where we take the different artistic tools and colors and pallettes to create the artwork,” Jack says. “And it’s definitely a cake shop, not a bakery where you come in and just buy donuts. But also the ‘Master’ part of Masterpiece reminds me what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, that ‘no man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).’ See the inspiring video at “I wasn’t pursuing this to make a lot of money. It’s just something ADFlegal.org/FJ-Phillips I’ve enjoyed being able to do in a way that honors my God – fair in my prices, honest with my employees and my customers, and just doing my best.” Jack measures the success of that vision in two ways. One is a review, written by a journalist who described entering Masterpiece as “akin to walking into an art gallery of cakes.” One glance around the shop proves his point – you name it, and Jack or his daughter Lisa can bring it to colorful, edible life: photographs and cartoon characters, sports and floral bouquets, mechanical objects and hobbies. “I wanted customers to say,
Watch Jack and his family tell their story!
‘Wow! This isn’t just a bakery … it’s a place where you go to get a cake that’s art,’” Jack says. “We try to personalize it and customize it – it’s something that we create especially for you.” But more important to Jack and his family is the ministry his shop has become to the community. He’s making birthday cakes now for the grandchildren of young couples he served when he opened the shop. Two Bible studies meet weekly in the open area by the counter; members of an Alcoholics Anonymous group a few doors down come in for refreshments, grateful that Jack doesn’t make rum cakes. He’s been able to help homeless people, too – sometimes with a cup of coffee, sometimes with the loan of a delivery van to get to a job interview, or the hospital. “That’s not something you put in a business plan for a bakery,” Jack admits. “But to have people come in all day long who were strangers, and now they’re friends … almost like family. It’s pretty cool.”
ast October, Jack’s attorneys appealed his case to the Colorado Supreme Court, underscoring its importance as a case dealing with religious free-
Government Directives for bakers who won’t create cakes that protest same-sex marriages: No problem. Carry on.
dom and free speech rights, as well as how the State of Colorado interprets its nondiscrimination law. The issues have particular resonance, Tedesco says, for the growing number of Christian artists being targeted by social activists. “Christian creative professionals across the country are in the cross hairs on these issues. What we’ve seen, since the same-sex marriage decision from the Supreme Court, is that achieving that significant legal victory is not even close to enough for the other side. They need forced acceptance and celebration of same-sex marriage to be satisfied. If you’re not willing to affirm same-sex marriage, then you ought to be silenced. And that means put out of business.” “What’s surprising,” Jack says, “is that the same government that is supposed to be protecting our rights is actually the biggest threat to them.” But his disappointment lies less with the state than with fellow Christians who can’t fathom his decision. “They say something like, ‘Why don’t you just make the cake? Jesus would make the cake.’ They don’t seem to understand how devastating sin is – that we can’t just take it lightly and participate in it. He says to run from it (1 Corinthians 6:18).” Jack
marvels that “people who call themselves Christians don’t take God seriously.” But he’s also grateful that, because of what’s happened with this court case, his own daughter does. “The whole world changed for me,” Lisa says, of the day two men asked her dad for a wedding cake. She couldn’t stop asking herself, “What if they’d asked me? What would I have said? “I would’ve told them ‘no,’” she says, “because ‘it’s my dad’s policy.’ I could’ve hidden behind that. But it really flipped me around. All of a sudden, my faith was no longer my parents’ faith, or what I’d grown up with. It was like God said, ‘You better know. Because somebody’s going to ask you, someday. And if you don’t trust Me completely … you might as well deny Me.’ “The trial of my faith, and actually knowing it as my own,” she says, “came because of everything that happened here. I’m so thankful to [those two men], that they came in.”
n April 25, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear Jack’s case – freeing the Civil Rights (Continued on page 20)
by Elissa Graves
How I Became An Attorney For Life “No one actually does constitutional law,” Elissa Graves told herself while a student at The University of Texas School of Law. Then she entered the Alliance Defending Freedom Blackstone Legal Fellowship program, and spent a summer working for a religious freedom firm, First Liberty Institute. Her experiences there – with cases involving everything from prayer at military funerals to the constitutionality of sonogram law – changed her mind. In 2013, she joined ADF as a volunteer law clerk, then was promoted to litigation counsel upon passing the Arizona bar later that year. Now an Allied Attorney in Texas, Elissa served for several years on the ADF Life Team – where the organization helped her fulfill her lifelong passion for defending the sanctity of life and the needs of women in “complicated circumstances.” Raised by a single mother who “sacrificed for me every day,” she worked during school for Central Texas Coalition for Life, volunteering for prayer vigils and as a sidewalk abortion counselor.
“Good women have abortions.”
ate, scared, and angry women – providing for their Every day during law school at the University needs, so that they’ll feel empowered to choose life for of Texas, I drove by that giant, pink, cheery sign. It their child. hung outside an otherwise anonymous building, While at ADF, I worked a lot with pregnancy cenand if it hadn’t been for that sign, I might never ters, and as technology advances, I’m particularly pashave known there was an abortion facility, “Whole sionate about helping them add new medical services, Woman’s Health,” in my especially ultrasounds. neighborhood. Ultrasounds put a huI hated what that man face on an unborn sign stood for, but workchild, and studies show ing as a sidewalk counthat 78 percent of womselor, I soon learned – to en who intended to abort my astonishment – that their babies changed the words were true. One their mind after seeing day I heard a woman, a sonogram. headed into an abortion More and more pregfacility, yell at one of our nancy centers – especially counselors who kindthose located near college ly offered to help her, campuses – now offer “How dare you judge me! testing and treatment I’m a Christian, and this for sexually transmitted is my choice!” infections, or STIs. For a We were able to draw long time, women had to ADF Allied Attorney Elissa Graves her into conversation, visit Planned Parenthood and she told us she was a facilities for such tests, drug addict … that she’d and the nation’s largest already had three children taken away by the state … abortion provider used these encounters to make inthat she had been sexually assaulted by several men. roads with vulnerable students and low-income womThat, she said, was why she was at the abortion clinic en, urging them to end unwanted pregnancies. that day: she was trying to be kind to her unborn child Now, by offering their own STI testing, pregnancy by having an abortion, rather than bringing the baby centers can often establish an emotional rapport with into her nightmare world. the women most likely to incur an unwanted pregnanShe isn’t the only one I’ve met like that. Many wellcy … women who may then come meaning women are deceived, in a moment of terror, back to a place that will encourage into thinking that abortion is somehow desirable … the them to have the child, rather than Find out merciful option … an easy fix to a life-altering problem. abort him or her. They’re genuinely convinced that there’s only one real Pregnancy centers around the how ADF is “choice” for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and country are also offering other defending life that is to put the child out of everyone else’s misery. crucial resources to meet the physOut there on the sidewalk that day, listening to ical, spiritual, and emotional needs at ADFlegal.org/FJ-Trinity that broken heart, I understood that God wanted me of expectant mothers: parenting to help these women, just as much as He wanted me classes and Bible studies, material to help save their children. In fact, I couldn’t save ungoods and medical referrals. Many born children without saving their mothers. I knew that are even able to offer limited prenatal care during the God’s path for me as an attorney was to work to end first trimester, before putting the women in touch with abortion, and to help spread His message of love to pro-life doctors who will encourage them to carry their hurting women. child to term. All of these resources make it that much easier for s I entered the legal side of the pro-life movement, a woman in crisis to deal with the overwhelming reI developed my own mission statement, a kind of dual sponsibility of caring for the baby inside her … and so goal. First, naturally, I want to see Roe v. Wade overto give that child life. Surrounded by caring people and turned. Second, I want to make abortion unthinkable practical support, abortion becomes unnecessary – and … by making it unnecessary. By serving these desperso it becomes unthinkable.
Out there on the sidewalk … I understood that God wanted me to help these women, just as much as He wanted me to help save their children.
Photo: Reuters/Jim Bourg
Surrounded by caring people and practical support, abortion becomes unnecessary – and so it becomes unthinkable. Staff members at Pregnancy Help, a pro-life resource center, discuss ways to better help the women visiting their clinic.
Passing that sign outside Whole Woman’s Health every day during law school, I would sometimes physically cringe. I knew what was happening behind the doors of that building. I prayed Whole Woman’s would go out of business one day, but in my heart I never thought it would happen. Then, the year I graduated, the Texas legislature passed a comprehensive bill limiting abortion. It forbade abortions after 20 weeks, required abortion facilities to meet the safety and cleanliness standards of ambulatory surgical centers, and compelled doctors performing abortions to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals. The new law sent shock waves through Texas abortion mills.
ADF Allied Attorney Elissa Graves Whole Woman’s had led the fight to challenging the law, and its lawsuit was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. (At press time, a decision was still pending.) But already, the law has forced a number of abortion facilities across the state out of business – including Whole Woman’s itself. The owners opted to close its doors voluntarily, rather than comply with the law. The building with the big pink sign – the one that gave me the final nudge I needed to enter a career committed to ending abortion – will never hurt another woman or child again. And now the memory of it is a constant reminder that we can, and will, win the fight for life.
ADF Defends Religious Neutrality At Supreme Court This Fall This fall, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be at the
High Court to represent Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri. Trinity Lutheran runs a preschool and day care center that was excluded from a Missouri program offering grants to purchase rubberized surface material (made of recycled tires) for children’s playgrounds. Although the state itself said Trinity Lutheran’s facilities qualified for the program, it denied the center’s application. Why? One reason: the center is run by a church. “A government isn’t being neutral toward religion when it treats religious organizations worse than everyone else,” says ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “To say that children who play on this playground are somehow less worthy of this program than
children who play on other playgrounds clearly makes no sense.” ADF attorneys filed their initial brief with the Court in April, and multiple parties – including 19 states and 34 members of Congress Get the latest – filed friend-of-the-court briefs developments in support. “Children’s safety is just as imporon this case at tant on church day care playgrounds ADFlegal.org/FJ-Trinity as it is on other day care playgrounds,” says ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley. “Excluding Trinity Lutheran from this program exhibits an undeniable hostility to religion that violates the Constitution’s essential mandate of religious neutrality.”
Q&A With Jim Daly
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same thing, that we find joy in suffering for the name of Christ? That’s a big challenge. I think it was Alistair Begg who said, “When you look at Scripture and it’s obvious, particularly in the New Testament, [that] suffering leads to greater depth and character and dependence and trust and faith in the Lord … why do we as Christians run from difficulty? Why don’t we run to it?” Over the next many years, opportunities for us to run into those sufferings in order to lift up Christ will be plentiful. Are we ready emotionally, spiritually, to move there? That’s the question.
principle, then we’ve lost it. It’s holding that tension, that balance, by being generous in spirit toward those who don’t believe, while being tough on one another within the community of believers – that’s where we need to go. We need to strengthen the core, so that our witness is not hypocritical to a culture that’s looking. And that may very well be what the Lord is doing.
You say you hope we respond “with the character of Christ.” What does that look like?
Focus has always been committed to ADF and its role of going to court and having a good, logical discussion about these tremendous issues that confront us as a culture. For the team at ADF to be in that arena and defend these freedoms is very important. We have to be there, debating these issues and convincing the country that religious freedom is the core foundation to what we believe in this country.
In the Gospels, the phrase “kindness and grace toward the world” is used over and over again. It’s a direction that was given to us very specifically by the early church, by the Lord, by the disciples. Demeanor is important. But if it means we don’t speak truth or talk about
You Can’t Have Your Cake ... Commission to begin enforcing the directives of its earlier ruling. His attorneys are looking for an avenue for further appeal, but “I honestly don’t think he worries about it,” Martin says. “I think he understands that God has a plan for him. And that’s how he runs his business: this is in God’s hands, and he’s just going to keep doing what he’s doing.” Jack has long since stopped making wedding cakes, per the Civil Rights Commission’s directive, but, Martin says, “He’s not going to re-educate anybody. He will not. And I don’t think he would voluntarily close his shop.” “I could easily lose the bakery on my own,” Jack laughs. “It doesn’t have to take a case like this. The worst that could happen is I have to go find another job. But they really can’t do anything to me. The worst-case scenario is that I fold, change my mind. And I don’t see that happening.” “He is not a victim,” Martin says. “He doesn’t come off that way. He has no animosity, no bitterness, and no
Focus played a key role in creating Alliance Defending Freedom, as a response to the legal aspects of this changing culture. Is ADF doing what it was created to do?
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pity for himself. No animosity or bitterness toward those who would silence him and relegate him to the margins of society. All he has for them is love and understanding … a desire to live and let live, so that he can continue to please God in his day-to-day life. “He has a wisdom about him that this is all part of God’s plan, and he’s simply following the plan, being a servant,” she says. “I’ve learned much from him.” “I was going along, making cakes, making cookies, coming to work every day and not really living out loud,” Jack says. “Just doing, just living. And this has caused me to stop and think, ‘Is my faith worth any cost?’ And again, this isn’t a huge cost. I mean, there are people that lose their lives for less. They’re just calling me names. “I’m just a regular guy, and now He’s shown me that He’s sovereign over everything. But – am I willing to be above whatever I have to face here, for this God that I serve? And the best part is …” He smiles. “Yes, I am.” Serving only one master – turns out it’s the only way a baker can have his cake, and eat it, too.
By Jane Scharl ADF Foundations Assistant
Separating Truth From Lies When It Comes To Privacy Bills Let’s get this straight up front: Nearly everything the Left is say-
ing – at the top of its media-inflated lungs – about the locker room and bathroom privacy bills and policies being passed all over the country is false. Opponents have employed scorched-earth rhetoric in denouncing these legislative actions that protect the privacy and safety of everyone, while empowering businesses and schools to accommodate those who do not identify with their biological gender. The purpose of these laws is to ensure that people – especially, but not exclusively, women and children – can use public locker rooms, changing areas, and restrooms without being exposed to people of the opposite biological sex. It’s pretty common sense. But common sense has not always been a good defense against those pushing a radical social or political agenda. So here’s a lineup of the most oft-told lies about these laws that protect the privacy of all Americans – and about those who support them:
While most of these laws are written to help keep men out of women’s facilities (and vice versa), they also recognize the simple fact that not everyone – no matter what their sexual identification – is comfortable using facilities open to both sexes. That’s why they allow all schools and businesses to make single-occupancy areas available. (A Get the truth about North school, for instance, could provide such an area in the nurse’s office, for any student who Carolina’s privacy law! desires more privacy.) That’s not enabling Watch the video at bigotry – it’s extending compassion.
“Supporters of these laws think transgender
individuals are rapists.” This accusation is usually followed by a statistic indicating that no transgender individual has ever assaulted someone in a locker room, restroom, etc. While that statistic is simply not accurate, the bigger concern is those serial sexual abusers who would not hesitate to take advantage of this situation. A sexual predator need only assert that he is a woman to gain full, unquestioned access to women’s facilities. In February, a Seattle man (not transgendered) entered a girls’ locker room twice in one day
to “test” the limits of such a law. The law itself wasn’t a problem, said advocates; the man was “just taking advantage of a loophole.” That’s one big loophole – and it compromises the safety to which individuals are entitled in locker rooms and restrooms.
“The Left is pro-women.”
This lie piggybacks on the Left’s pride in defending women’s access to abortions (the safety of those abortions notwithstanding). It is voiced by those who care about protecting victims only when it suits their political purposes. In this case, it ignores the fact that those who stand to lose the most if private facilities are flung open to whoever wants to use them are … women and children. Some have endured traumatic experiences in locker rooms, changing rooms, and similar private spaces. They’ve suffered sexual and physical assault, then pieced together the most normal lives they could manage. Some were raped in the very spaces these laws and policies are designed to protect. For them, exposure to a person of the opposite gender in these private settings can actually trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. All this means nothing to the ACLU, its allies, and others promoting policies that strip away privacy. They’re effectively telling women, children, and rape survivors to “get over” themselves. For all their talk of believing the victim, these activists are quick to silence and belittle those victims if they stand in the way of their political agenda.
A Huffington Post writer, Michelangelo Signorile, called a North Car-
olina law designed to protect women and children in public locker rooms and restrooms “the most heinous, homophobic, transphobic law we have ever seen.” Translation: “We can’t believe that anything as trivial as biological reality would be allowed to get in the way of our agenda.” The Left won’t tolerate a sensible compromise of single-occupancy changing rooms or restrooms, because common sense isn’t its goal. Complete ideological domination is. In this milieu, the defense of sanity is difficult work, and those legislators working to protect the safety and privacy of their fellow citizens should be commended.
The Left won’t tolerate a sensible compromise of singleoccupancy changing rooms or restrooms, because common sense isn’t its goal.
TODAY’S PLAN TOMORROW’S PROMISE
“We believe preserving America’s founding heritage for future generations is a most worthy legacy. Alliance Defending Freedom makes that happen with excellent stewardship. That’s why we’ve made them a prominent part of our estate plan.” —Kent & Eloise P.
Pass on a legacy of freedom. Please contact Lisa Reschetnikow at 800-835-5233 or GiftPlanning@ADF legal.org to discuss your legacy giving.
Published on Jul 7, 2016
Published on Jul 7, 2016
In this issue: The inspiring story of Jack Phillips, a cake artist who continues to trust God in the midst of the state’s efforts to overwri...