faith&j ustice Volume V, Issue 2
ON THE LINE
How a crucial phone call – and a student’s persistence – reshaped the legal landscape on America’s college campuses
Volume V, Issue 2
Scott Southworth reflects on his service as a military policeman in Iraq.
“When one person … asserts their constitutional rights, they can expect that the Left is going to rise up.” – Scott Southworth
Going To Church Is Not Enough “We have not only the Great Commission ... but a cultural commission.”
Bringing My Husband’s Killers To Justice “The gifts and resources Alliance Defending Freedom provided were critical.”
Alliance Defending Freedom 15100 N. 90th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 [Phone] 800-835-5233 [Fax] 480-444-0025 www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org
Editor Chuck Bolte
Senior Writer Chris Potts
Photography Bruce Ellefson
Design Director Bruce Ellefson
Contributors Ludia Digal, Jim Garlow, Chris Potts, Alan Sears
On The Line New Name, Same Mission “This could be the change that opens up hundreds of new doors.”
Alliance Profile: Jim Hochberg “I don’t think I would be doing these cases if I didn’t have substantive legal support from Alliance Defending Freedom.”
Alliance Defending Freedom would enjoy hearing your comments on the stories and issues discussed in Faith & Justice. Please direct comments/questions to www. AllianceDefendingFreedom.org, call 800-835-5233, or write: Editor, Faith & Justice, Alliance Defending Freedom, 15100 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. © 2012, Alliance Defending Freedom. All rights reserved.
minutes with alan
Renewing The Vision
by Alan Sears, President, CEO and General Counsel
few months ago, I did something I hadn’t done in years. I bought new glasses.
They’ve taken some getting used to, and – as with anything you change about your personal appearance – I was a little self-conscious, at first, about what people might think. A little, but not much. To me, eyeglasses are about being able to see. All I really changed were the frames. I feel the same way about our rebranding effort, as we revise our name from “Alliance Defense Fund” to “Alliance Defending Freedom.” The change may take some getting used to – both for those of us who work here, and for those who so faithfully support us. But in the end, we have to remember that what we’re changing is the framework … not the vision.
eople change glasses for many reasons: their old ones broke, they grew tired of them, they decided something else would look more fashionable. I changed mine simply because, while the old frames were adequate, I knew the new ones would work better for me now. That’s also why we elected to go through this rebranding process. While there were good enough reasons, early on, for calling our ministry the Alliance Defense Fund, over time we found that the name confused people. Were we a financial group, an insurance agency, a defense contractor? To groups overseas, we looked and sounded like an organization working to underwrite the CIA.
It was time for a change, and about 18 months ago, our board members said, “Now is the time.” With that, our team went to work, laying the necessary groundwork for this transition. It wasn’t easy. I’m reminded of a young lady we hired years ago after a particularly thorough and extensive HR process. When we finally introduced her to our team, she stood up, looked around the room, and said, smiling, “Raise your hand if I didn’t interview with you for this job.”
View a special message from Alan. Visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org and click on “Faith & Justice.” That’s pretty much the case with these new branding elements. We’ve consulted with more than 2,000 Ministry Friends, Blackstone Fellows, Allied Attorneys, international allies, and associates, drawing on their unique perspectives and insights. What we’ve learned is going to make us a better ministry, and more adept than ever before at defending religious freedom. Sure, the new name will take some getting used to. Pray for us, as we make the necessary adjustments. Then look closely, and see if you don’t see what we’re seeing: that it’s worth changing the frame, if it makes our vision that much sharper. ★ John 15:5
Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
Learn more about the rebranding of Alliance Defending Freedom on p. 12. Alliance Defending Freedom
For Christians Today, Going To Church Is Not Enough Chuck Colson answers media questions following a White House meeting on Prison Fellowship Ministries.
The extraordinary outpourings of sympathy that met the news of Chuck Colson’s passing on April 21 underscored the remarkable personal and public transformation of the man once infamous as President Richard Nixon’s “hatchet man.” His 1973 conversion to Christianity drew national attention and launched him on a lifetime of exemplary ministry and service. In 2011, Alliance Defending Freedom presented him with the Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award in appreciation of his lifelong commitment to defending religious freedom. Earlier this year, Colson shared with Faith & Justice editors some observations on the changing role of Christian faith in today’s culture. What is the most significant cultural change you’ve seen in your 40 years as a Christian? The booming, surging movement when I became a Christian was the “born again” movement – it was the evangelical church coming alive out of its fundamental wilderness, which is where it was in the earlier part of the 20th century. It suddenly came alive, and it suddenly was a big force. “Born again” was a good term then. In the years since, evangelicals have been stereotyped as 4|
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being “bigoted” and “right wing” and “judgmental,” and that’s a bad turn. We’ve got to take very aggressive steps to educate ourselves on how to be more winsome in the public square.
“We’ve got to make
our worldview known and defended.” –Chuck Colson
The homosexual lobby has become increasingly aggressive, and very much threatens our civil and religious liberties. At the time I became a Christian, relativism was just taking root on the American scene – now it has absolutely taken over. So, we’ve got some areas to work hard on.
What kind of responsibility do pastors have to address political issues from a Scriptural basis? Christians should be very much engaged in the public square. What’s going on in society today is a battle of worldviews – and we’ve got to be able to make our worldview known and defended.
Abortion is a cultural and political issue, and so is homosexual “marriage.” So, it’s appropriate that we deal from the pulpit with cultural and political issues, because they overlap.
which is to make disciples, but a cultural commission, which is to take dominion, and to work, and to protect God’s creation.
On the other hand, I’ve argued against allowing ourselves to be put in the hip-pocket of any partisan movement. Christians are not a special-interest group. We are promoting the common good by standing for liberty and doing those things that produce a healthy, flourishing society.
The big hurdle that we have to get over is that many, many Christians simply think that they’re good Christians if they go to church on Sunday, study their Bibles,
The Manhattan Declaration – which you co-wrote with Drs. Robert and Timothy George – has now been signed by more than 500,000 people from the Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical traditions. What is it about this Declaration that is uniting so many believers across the country? The Manhattan Declaration is the most fundamental statement of faith that we could make, across confessional lines, about the primary cultural issues – life, marriage, family, religious liberty – which create a good and just society. [The sanctity of ] life was the peculiar contribution of the Christian faith – the most radical doctrine in the history of Western Civilization. That is, the Imago Dei, that all human beings are created in the image of God, and have innate dignity. It’s the fact that we give dignity to the human being that gives us our ethics and our freedom. It has been at the heart of the development of our political system. We have religious liberty because we are made free in God’s image. Free people made in the image of God have got to be able to have their freedom preserved, and the freedom of con-
Visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org and click on “Faith & Justice” to discover how you can help Alliance Defending Freedom strengthen pastors and churches in their stand for religious freedom. Visit www.breakpoint. org to read more about Chuck Colson and his ministries. science and freedom of religion are the most fundamental of all. It goes to our ability to be dignified human beings, respected, and no one can tell us how to think, or what we have to believe. What is the greatest challenge facing conscientious Christian citizens in America today? It is to pray fervently – fervently – for revival of God’s Spirit in the churches. The churches have to come awake first. The churches have to understand the need for engaging in these issues … that we have not only the Great Commission,
“It’s the fact that we
give dignity to the human being that gives us our ethics and our freedom.” –Chuck Colson
Dr. Robert George, left, of Princeton University, with Chuck Colson. The pair co-wrote the Manhattan Declaration. and be nice people. But our faith is not about us, as individuals. It’s not about the therapy we get out of church. It’s “what can we do in service to God?” And the prayer that I pray constantly is, “Lord, use me for the advancement of Your Kingdom.” I’m not interested in the church as a place where I can be made to feel better. I want the church to be a place that equips me to do a better job for the Kingdom.
What kind of impact do you see Alliance Defending Freedom having on today’s legal system? Alliance Defending Freedom is one of the great ministries of our day, because it is right on the front lines of the kind of fight I’m talking about. It’s done a superb job in defending the Christian position and the liberty of all citizens. Your public arguments don’t come from a special-interest, narrow-minded, bigoted group. They’re for the common good, because religious liberty is so fundamentally important to society. I’m an enthusiastic supporter of this ministry. ★ Alliance Defending Freedom
ON THE LINE How a crucial phone call – and a student’s persistence – reshaped the legal landscape on America’s college campuses
by Chris Potts 6|
Alliance Defending Freedom
IXTEEN YEARS AGO, A NEW ALLIANCE-BUILDING LEGAL MINISTRY, then called Alliance Defense Fund, opted to provide legal and financial support for a young law student named Scott Southworth. The ministry referred Southworth to an Allied Attorney named Jordan Lorence, who agreed to represent the student in what seemed, to him, “a pretty interesting case” against the University of Wisconsin (UW). Eight years and four courts later, that case climaxed in a decision that changed America’s legal landscape and profoundly expanded religious freedom on the nation’s college campuses. Now, as the ministry that won the Southworth case transitions to a new name and era, that critical turning point offers a glimpse of the extraordinary impact God has allowed Alliance Defending Freedom to have on the lives of individuals and the laws of this country.
Scott Southworth answers media questions following arguments on his case before the U.S. Supreme Court, November 9, 1999.
COTT SOUTHWORTH DOE SN ’ T R E MEMBER WHERE HE FIRST HE AR D OF A L L I A NC E D E F E N DI NG F R E E D O M , OR HOW HE FOUND THE PHONE NUMBER, OR W H AT F I N A L LY NUDGED HIM TO MAKE THE CA L L, T HAT E AR LY S P R I N G D AY I N 1 9 9 6 . H E J US T R E M E M B E R S F EE LI NG A LON E .
“I was just shaking,” he says, “wondering if I was going to get a response – somebody that would be there to support me – or if I was going to get rebuffed, like I had been rebuffed time and time again at the university. I was one student in this vast sea of Left-wing idealism, trying to assert my rights. I didn’t know where else to turn. “I remember calling Alliance Defending Freedom and telling them my story and my frustration – not knowing if I’d be able to get any help or if I was even right on the issue. But the voice on the other end of that phone understood, and cared, and wanted my voice to be heard. They referred me to Jordan Lorence and I got to tell him what was happening. I was so blessed to have somebody first, listen to me, and second, respond by acknowledging that my constitutional rights were being violated.” “He seemed very surprised that I called him back,” remembers Lorence, who, intrigued by what he heard, flew to Wisconsin to meet Southworth and his family. Both made an impression. The son and grandson of soldiers, 8|
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“As a student, you had to pay for groups you didn’t agree with, while you couldn’t support groups you agree with.” – Jordan Lorence part-Cherokee on his mother’s side, Southworth “grew up in a small town with very Norman Rockwell, traditional values,” Lorence says. “Through his solid family and his Christian faith, he just has a natural activist bent to him. He’s a delightful, pleasant guy – very determined. We had no idea this case would propel us into the stratosphere.”
with dismay, what some of those groups were about.
“I became very frustrated that the university was requiring me, as a condition of getting my degree, to pay money to support organizations that I found repugnant,” he says. “Organizations that were engaging in Left-wing radicalism … that violated my religious beliefs on the sanctity of marriage … that hated America and all that it stood Like most boys growing up among the tall for, while I was serving in the military trees and clear lakes of New Lisbon, 100 as a member of the Wisconsin Army miles northwest of Madison, Southworth National Guard. I wanted to see my cheered for the University of Wisconsin money go to organizations that espoused and pined for the day he’d find his own my Christian [and] political conservative place on campus. As a youth, he attended beliefs.” UW officials, though, refused to a United Methodist church founded by allow student monies to be distributed to one of his pre-Civil War ancestors, and Christian groups on campus. carried with him to the university a strong desire to honor the traditional Christian Southworth’s frustrations with that values he’d come to cherish. system grew during his undergraduate years, and by the time he entered law Soon, he was majoring in pre-law. “I school at the university, he’d found never aspired to become an attorney,” he other students who were as bothered as says, “but when I began to look at where he was. Together, they expressed their God was calling me, I recognized that, to concerns to the student association, make a change in the hearts and minds whose leaders eventually considered of people in the public policy arena, law either refunding the students’ money or school was where I needed to go.” letting them “opt out” of paying the fee at all – but university officials stepped in As at most public universities, UW and rejected both notions. They refused students were required to pay a “student even to negotiate. fee” that went into a collective fund, from which a student association “It was really just a very, very oppressive distributed support for campus clubs and system,” Lorence says. “As a student, you organizations. Southworth began to note, had to pay for groups you didn’t agree
with, while you couldn’t support groups you did agree with.” “We were objecting to paying what was, at the time, less than $13 a semester to fund these radical organizations,” Southworth says, “and it didn’t seem like a big request to ask to be excused from having to pay that particular fee.”
“Who’s Who” of the Left: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the AFL-CIO, Lambda Legal Defense, the National Education Association, People for the American Way – all representing millions of dollars in financial support arrayed against Southworth and the fledgling Alliance Defending Freedom.
“He wasn’t looking for a fight,” says Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears. “All he was saying was, ‘What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong.’ Here’s a man so concerned about how he uses the financial resources God’s given him that he would risk not graduating over a few hundred dollars. That kind of thinking drives the Left crazy.”
Sears says that opposition wasn’t surprising. Although, individually, the student fees were small, “tens of millions of dollars” were ultimately at stake for public universities across the country if Southworth and students like him stopped giving their monies – against their will – “to fund things they oppose and that undermine their values.”
“Once I [saw] that the university didn’t care about my constitutional rights as a student, I had to look elsewhere,” Southworth says. “There’s a time and a place, especially as a Christian, when you need to stand up and do what our founding fathers did, what people throughout history have done, which is to say, ‘Enough is enough. I need to go to court … to take my constitutional rights and ask our justice system to enforce them.’ So I made a call to Alliance Defending Freedom.” In April, 1996, supported by the ministry, Southworth and two other law-school students asked Lorence to file suit on their behalf against UW. It was a brave choice. In similar circumstances, other universities had refused to let students graduate. Southworth wasn’t worried about any administrative action, “but the school was very liberal,” he says. Professors could have punished him just by giving him bad grades. The dean warned him that he might even be in physical danger from some who “violently opposed our position.” The legal opposition was even more unsettling. Groups filing friend-of-thecourt briefs for UW included a veritable
“What struck me,” Southworth says, “was the hypocrisy of the Left, that continuously proclaims the ‘rights of the individual’ – and yet when I, as a conservative / evangelical / pro-life / soldier / Christian, stood up to say, ‘My rights are being violated,’ organizations like the ACLU opposed our position and joined ranks against us.
of guerilla fighters going up against the behemoth of opposition.” “One of the great things about Alliance Defending Freedom is they expect that plaintiffs will be involved,” Southworth says, “unlike the ‘puppet plaintiffs’ that the ACLU uses. The ministry welcomed, engaged, involved, and listened to us through the entire process. “So, we were able to go out and gather information about all the places where our student fees were going. We were able to read the briefs Jordan prepared, the filings he was going to submit to the court. We had input. We helped edit documents. It was exciting not only as
“The voice on the other end of that phone understood, and cared, and wanted my voice to be heard.” – Scott Southworth
“For the first time, I realized that when one person stands up in a respectful voice and asserts their constitutional rights, they can expect that the Left is going to rise up – because that is a confrontation against their evil agenda.”
The case moved fairly rapidly through the courts, and Lorence soon discovered the practical benefits of representing secondyear law students in a civil case.
law students, but as plaintiffs in the case … because at the top of every paper that was filed were our names.” Name-calling of another kind was a price the plaintiffs paid for standing up for their freedom.
“I was enduring excruciating criticism from the Left,” Southworth says. “I’d “They actually did some research for me,” been called a skinhead – I was feeling he says. “[We] could interact on legal really kind of beat up.” Then, some theory. We were kind of this merry band surprising encouragement arrived. Alliance Defending Freedom
y the time the Seventh Circuit clinched his case as a victory, Southworth’s life had taken some extraordinary new directions. Deployed to Iraq in 2003 with his National Guard unit, he visited the Mother Teresa orphanage in Baghdad, a home for children with physical and cognitive handicaps. Almost immediately, he bonded with a nine-year-old boy named Ala’a.
Ala’a had been found sitting alone on the streets of the city; he had cerebral palsy. Southworth visited him regularly, and when he wasn’t around, Ala’a told the other children that the soldier was his “baba” (daddy), and would soon be taking him to a new home in the United States. Southworth himself hadn’t really bargained for that, until the day he learned Ala’a was going to be moved to a government facility notorious for its terrible staff and facilities. It was a virtual death sentence. Instantly, Southworth turned to one of the nuns and said, “I’ll adopt him.”
‘MOST BL ESSED MA N ON T HE PL ANE T ’
“I had no idea what I was actually committing to,” he says, “I just knew it was the right thing to do. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me, but the Holy Spirit speaking for me.” Sent back to the States, Southworth began working with U.S. and Iraqi officials to do “the impossible.” “The entire thing was a miracle,” he says. “An orphan child with a severe handicap in a war zone becoming the son of a guy commanding a military police company in that war. None of the obstacles were surmountable – but for God. So many miracles happened along the way … I got to see God work in all of His glory through the entire process, and I am the most blessed man on the planet to be Ala’a’s dad.” Today Ala’a is a freshman in high school, on the honor roll, and Southworth recently adopted Rumen, a special-needs child from Bulgaria. “[It’s] the most wonderful experience,” Scott says, “a blessing every single day. And I’d give up every other experience in my life to keep this one in place.” ★ 10 |
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“The ministry sent out letters to its supporters,” he says, “and the bottom had a little tear-off sheet where people could write notes of support. They mailed me a stack of about 100 or so. I remember sitting in my little room, reading all these notes, one after another, all these supporters telling me to stand firm, quoting Bible passages. “I can tell you that was a defining moment for me, because it helped keep me going during a time where it seemed like it was such an arduous task to take on this Goliath.”
In November, 1996 – eight months after the case was filed – a Wisconsin district court ruled in favor of Southworth. The university appealed that decision. In August, 1998, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling. By the time UW appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, Southworth had graduated. He was working as a legislative assistant in the state legislature when word came that the high court would hear the case. “Being able to go and listen to those arguments live, and hearing my name called by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist, was one of the greatest
Visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.or click on “Faith & Justice” to see an inter with Scott Southworth, meet his son, Ala discover how your generous gifts are en Alliance Defending Freedom to protect liberty for students at our public univers honors of my life,” he says. “ To watch that court listen to an argument about the constitutional rights of some students at the University of Wisconsin was really an incredible experience.” After the two earlier wins, “I was riding high,” Lorence says. Even suffering kidney stones two days
before arguments didn’t dampen his enthusiasm. “I thought: I’m two for two. At the time, I didn’t realize the Supreme Court reverses lower court decisions two-thirds of the time.”
“I learned the importance and the power that one voice can have in our society.” – Scott Southworth
Southworth’s case was one of those times. In April, 2000, the Court voted 9-0 to remand the case back to the Seventh Circuit … in effect, asking the lower court to rethink its earlier judgment.
At first, it seemed like a stunning defeat. “Left-wing students and administrators at the university started celebrating almost immediately,” Southworth says, but “the celebrations ended when everybody actually read the decision.” In fact, the justices had essentially ruled that, though students didn’t have a constitutional right to object to paying student fees, they did have the right to insist that the university disperse those fees evenly and fairly. “And that was a major victory.” That victory hinged, ironically, on an earlier high court decision in another case sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom: Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, which “struck down a university directive that every group but religious ones could receive money,” Lorence says. Rosenberger said universities had to distribute money from student fees equally – to every sponsored club on campus – regardless of whether a given club had a religious connotation. In Southworth, the Supreme Court built on that decision by indicating to the lower court that students could only be compelled to pay fees as long as the university distributed those monies equally – to clubs the students did support, as well as clubs they didn’t.
rg and view a’a, and nabling religious sities.
The Seventh Circuit took the hint: in July, 2004, it ruled that if universities failed to disperse monies from student fees equally
Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears, then Allied Attorney Jordan Lorence, and Scott Southworth prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court hearing of the Southworth case on November 9, 1999. and fairly, students like Southworth could demand a refund. The decision not only linked Southworth to Rosenberger – it built powerfully on the earlier case’s legacy. Now, both Christian organizations and individual students on any public university campus could hold administrators’ feet to the legal fire – compelling them to give Christian groups the same respect, support, and funding as any other club. “Together,” Southworth says, “[these two cases] are a very powerful force for Christian students on campuses across the United States – thanks to Alliance Defending Freedom.” “It’s always interesting how God works,” Sears says. Because of the university’s stubborn resistance, he points out, what might have been an open-and-shut local case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. “And out of that, a decision resulted that not only benefited a client, but set a national precedent impacting many thousands of students, on every campus in the country.”
Today, 16 years after that last ditch phone call, Scott Southworth is in his third term
as district attorney of Juneau County, Wisconsin. Over his seven years in that office, crime has been cut in half. Juvenile crime has dropped nearly 80 percent – the lowest in the state. He says the case that bears his name continues to cast long shadows across his crowded life. “I learned the importance, the power one voice can have in our society. Every person has a voice. We should listen. Our cause wasn’t about $13 in student fees. It was about ensuring that Christian students had the same rights on public university campuses as every other student. “Christians aren’t going to be silent,” Southworth says. “We’re not going to sit by while our rights are trampled. We’re going to stand up … and then other Christians are going to stand up with us and behind us. “For me it was the kind secretary on the phone when I called Alliance Defending Freedom to ask a question. Now I see [it’s] all the attorneys, all those staff who work diligently every day to help Christians like me change the hearts and minds of people … and change the world. ” ★
Alliance Defending Freedom
New Name, Same “W
e are not changing who we are,” says Alan Sears, president and CEO of the newly renamed Alliance Defending Freedom. “We’re changing how we communicate who we are. “More than that: we’re moving to transform people’s understanding of what we do.” How best to enhance that understanding has been the focus of intensive discussions at the ministry for more than a year. Those discussions culminated in the July debut of the organization’s new name … revised with an eye to simplifying, clarifying, and magnifying the focus of the ministry and its impact throughout the U.S. and around the world.
To learn more about our new name and logo and their implications for this ministry, visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org and click on “Faith & Justice.”
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“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” Sears says of the massive internal effort required to make that name-change a reality, “but it’s exciting, too. In the broader culture, an organization’s name, or ‘brand’ is inseparable from its reputation. By changing our name, we’re spelling out as specifically as possibly what we want our reputation to be: an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith. This is an important transition for us and for
1994 1999 2004
“We’re moving to transform people’s understanding of what we do.” – Alan Sears
Mission all of our allies and Ministry Friends,” Sears says. “This change could open up hundreds of new doors: broadening our alliance, catching media attention as never before, and – most importantly – communicating who we are to countless Christians all over the world who need the unique legal services we have to offer.”
lthough the transition has numerous internal implications for the ministry, those outside the organization will be impacted most by the new look and name: Alliance Defending Freedom. “The emphasis remains on the word ‘Alliance,’” Sears says. “That’s of critical
importance to our winning strategy: bringing attorneys, pastors, ministry leaders, students, and others together to accomplish what none of us can do on our own.” “‘Defending Freedom,’” he says, “goes to the essence of what we do, and the active verb underscores that our legal work is engaged and ongoing. It instantly communicates who we are, what our priorities are, and how we do what we do.” And, Sears says, “as part of our new name and logo, we’ve included a phrase that affirms why we do it.” FOR FAITH. FOR JUSTICE.
inistry research indicates that people respond strongly and at an emotional level to the words “faith” and “justice.” Given that response, and to build off this new phrasing, Alliance Defending Freedom has also changed the name of its primary publication from Truth & Triumph to Faith & Justice. “This phrase underscores our purpose in building an alliance and in defending freedom,” Sears says. “We want to open doors for the Gospel, and we want to ensure equality before the law for people of faith. Our new logo gives
a special intuitive, emotional resonance to that message.”
or some Ministry Friends and allies, that resonance was something lacking in the ministry’s previous name. Many confessed to some confusion, on first acquaintance, with what the term ‘defense fund’ actually meant. That confusion was magnified with the ministry’s growing work outside the United States, where “Alliance Defense Fund” seemed to carry almost military connotations. Eventually, changing the organization’s name became a simple matter of stewardship. “Confusion costs time and resources,” Sears says. “By providing our allies, Ministry Friends, and potential clients, as well as those who report on our activities in the broader media, with a name that more clearly, distinctly, and directly addresses who we are and what we do, we can maximize the efficiency and the impact of the organization. That’s good stewardship.” Best of all, Sears says, “Changing our name will allow us to do things we’ve never done before, in ways we’ve hardly dared imagine, and to do them for the glory of God and the eternal salvation of more people than we’ll ever know, this side of glory.” ★ Alliance Defending Freedom
BRINGING MY HUSBAND’S KILLERS TO JUSTICE by Ludia Digal
Religious freedom is a Christian value – not just an American one. Alliance Defending Freedom is increasingly helping keep doors open for the Gospel by defending persecuted Christians even beyond our U.S. borders. Pastor Akbar Digal was a Christian missionary even non-Christians could relate to – and that was especially important, in the remote area of northeast India he called home. His Kandhamal district is populated mostly by Hindus, but many of them found themselves drawn to Pastor Digal for his warm, friendly demeanor and the obvious sincerity of his compassion for their day-to-day struggles with alcoholism, gambling, and other problems. He first saw Ludia during a church service in a nearby village, and, in the traditional Indian way, sent a proposal through his parents to her parents. The two were married on Christmas Eve, 1990, and their son, Obedio, was born in 2002. Their home became a happy center of life and celebration in the village of Totomaha – a place where people of all faiths came together during local festivals to share a fellowship that transcended the usual social boundaries. All of that changed, one summer day four years ago. 14 |
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kbar and I led a very happy married life. We didn’t have much money, for our church was very small, but we had many friends, even among the unbelievers, and we were at peace. My husband was a God-fearing and prayerful person … a faithful servant of God who always held high the true knowledge of Scripture. His work took him to many nearby churches, where he held prayer meetings for the faithful, and preached the Gospel to anyone who would listen. He had a joy that was just infectious. People liked him, and it seemed that wherever he went, churches grew. We lived in Totomaha for 10 years, and Akbar took a special delight in finding ways every day to share the love of God with our Hindu neighbors. During those years, we never felt any real animosity against us, or against the work we were doing. We heard reports of violence against other Christians, in many other parts of the country, but never sensed that we had anything to fear.
hen, on August 23, 2008, came word that a leading Hindu fundamentalist of our area had been killed. Hindu extremists began to spread rumors that Christians were responsible, and we heard that many followers of Christ were being attacked and chased from their villages. For the next two days, we prayed day and night that our village would be spared. But on the morning of the 26th, the rioters came. They attacked the church first, then set fire to the houses of the Christians. Seeing this, my husband hurried me and our then-fouryear-old son from our home, telling us to flee into the jungle while he hid close by in a turmeric field. I couldn’t bring myself to leave him, though. Taking refuge
behind a bush a little distance away from where he was hiding, I called to him to come with us, to safety. “God is with me,” he said. “I will not come. Save our child.” That afternoon, a mob of 300-400 people entered our village, searching for my husband. They soon found him. They dragged him about 500 yards to our community hall, hitting him with weapons until one of his legs was cut into pieces. Then they tried to force him to deny Jesus. He would not. So they beat him and stoned him until he was dead. They left his body out on the ground all night, and the next morning, burned it to ashes.
saw it all. Hiding there in the bushes, keeping my boy quiet, never moving, for fear they’d find us, too. For more than a day, we crouched there, horrified, terrified, in shock. Now, too weak to move, I begged hoarsely for someone, anyone, to bring us water to quench our thirst. Another Christian found us, bringing water from a nearby paddy field. I asked him to lead us to some shelter, then
seeing, again and again, what the people of that mob had done to my husband. “Mum,” my son finally said, “don’t hide me any longer.” I prayed, asking God to guide and protect us. Soon after, a police van came. The officers took us to a relief camp at Raikia, about 30 hours away. There, I met two of the legal staff of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) – a Christian legal group allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. The EFI attorneys urged me to file a criminal complaint to spur an investigation of the murder of my husband. I did, and within a few days, I traveled to their office in Phulbani to offer my deposition. Based on my testimony, and that of many other Christians who saw their loved ones killed during the riots, EFI attorneys were eventually able to bring five of my husband’s killers to justice, and a court sentenced them to life in prison. Although I had never heard of Alliance Defending Freedom before, I now know that the gifts and resources they provided were critical in helping my EFI attorneys accomplish this justice. My son and I are so deeply grateful for that crucial support.
walked along in a daze as he took us down the road to a non believer’s home, where several other Christians were already hiding.
t still isn’t safe to go back to our home village, so I’m living in my parents’ home again. My son is nine years old now, attending a school in a secure area several hours away. Sometimes, I am lonely, but I draw strength from prayer, and from the memory of my husband’s courage, as he held to his faith even to his last breath.
They offered us food. Neither my son nor I had eaten anything for days, and the boy, especially, was in a bad way. I fed him, and tried to eat something myself … but I couldn’t swallow. I kept
I hope his faith will strengthen others, too, and I encourage believers all over the world to pray for peace and harmony here in India, and especially in this region of Kandhamal. ★
To see an interview with Allied Attorney Tehmina Arora, who is representing Ludia Digal in India, and to learn more of the efforts of Alliance Defending Freedom to defend religious liberty overseas, visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org, and click on “Faith & Justice.”
Alliance Defending Freedom
awaiian attorney Jim Hochberg was focused on the dominant issues of Alliance Defending Freedom long before he allied himself with the ministry. Twenty-five years ago, as a young attorney, he remembers following the legal struggle to stop the removal of a lighted cross from a local military base. Not long after, he successfully represented a group of Christian parents who opposed the implementation of a public school computerized counseling program that denigrated churches and promoted homosexual behavior. Religious freedom was important to Hochberg, and when the opportunity finally came, in 1999, to attend his first Alliance Defending Freedom Academy, he was ready. “It was really, really hard work,” he remembers. The constitutional legal training provided at the Academy involved hypothetical cases, role-playing, mock trials and cross-examinations, and plenty of homework every night. “It was a lot more work than I’d ever experienced at any other kind of legal seminar,” Hochberg says. “The quality of everything was just tops. It was great.” In his 10-plus years with Alliance Defending Freedom, Hochberg has found himself involved in a wide variety of cases defending life, marriage (Hawaii has historically been at the epicenter of the struggle over same-sex and civil unions), and religious liberty, in a setting that – however beautiful – is not especially warm to a Christian attorney’s position on those issues.
Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney Visit www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org and click on “Faith & Justice” to hear Michael Medved interview Jim Hochberg about the bed-and-breakfast case, and learn more of what Alliance Defending Freedom is doing to protect religious liberty across the country.
Alliance Defending Freedom
“Most attorneys in Hawaii are probably much more ACLU-oriented than [Alliance Defending Freedom]oriented,” he says. “You see these discussions about eliminating bias in the practice of law, and, of course, that could be a great thing … except the fingers are usually pointed at folks like us.” Cases like Hochberg’s latest – in which he’s defending an older couple whose polite refusal to let two lesbians stay in their home bedand-breakfast led to a major lawsuit – are seen by many of his professional peers as exercises in legal bias against same-sex couples. “I don’t think I’d be doing these cases if I didn’t have substantive legal support from Alliance Defending Freedom,” Hochberg says. “It enables me to accomplish very efficient, high-quality legal work, [and] to do this breadth of work for the Christian community.” ★
in the news and their
PRICE OF VALUES Volume II, Issue 4 On January 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in favor of Julea Ward, an Eastern Michigan University graduate student represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys after she was expelled from a counseling program for her religious beliefs. Ward, an honors student, offered to circumvent a possible conflict of interest by referring a potential client seeking advice on a homosexual relationship to another counselor. In response, the school mocked her Christian views and tried to force her into
a remediation program. Upon refusing, she was kicked out of the program. In a strongly worded opinion, the court reversed a district court decision in favor of the university and sent the case back for trial. “A reasonable jury could conclude that Ward’s professors ejected her from the counseling program because of hostility toward her speech and faith,” the court said. “A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree … tolerance is a two-way street.”
waste, abuse, fraud in
Earlier this year, Alliance Defending Freedom publicly released a report to Congress identifying nearly $100 million in waste, abuse, and potential fraud committed by Planned Parenthood and their service providers nationwide.
ALLIANCE PROFILE Volume V, Issue 1 Ally Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), enjoyed a remarkable blessing this spring as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed four CAP-endorsed bills into law – all of them written with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. Two of the bills protect life. SB 1009 prohibits district and charter schools from endorsing or providing financial or instructional support to any program that doesn’t
present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion. HB 2036 bans all abortions after 20 weeks. Those victories come on the heels of last fall’s Abortion Consent Act, another ministry-assisted pro-life bill so comprehensive it led to several Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to no longer perform abortions – and a more-than-onethird decrease in the number of abortions performed statewide.
The ministry followed that report a month later with the announcement of a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, to expose the financial misdealings of Planned Parenthood in submitting “repeated false, fraudulent, and ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements” through the Texas Women’s Health Program.
For more information, visit AllianceDefendingFreedom.org /Abby. Alliance Defending Freedom
How “Sensitivity” Led Pastors Away From Their Duty The senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, Jim Garlow chairs Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), a national organization committed to defending families, free enterprise, and religious liberty. He was one of the evangelical leaders of the effort to enact Proposition 8 in California – a voter initiative to legally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
hat does it mean to be a pastor in the 21st century? There are 350,000-400,000 churches in the U.S., and perhaps a half-million “pastors.” What do we need to succeed? Training. Biblical knowledge. Integrity. Leadership. A high sense of calling. And one more thing: an attorney. I’m not being facetious. As pastors, we need lawyers to help us be able to continue to preach and to function for the reason for which God put us on earth. That’s why I’m so grateful for Alliance Defending Freedom. They are helping to sustain biblical, authentic, truly free preaching. They’re helping us as pastors
It goes like this: Pastors, by nature, are people who love and care about other people. That’s a good thing – unless we mistake that love for people as meaning that we are also to be loved by all people. That desire to be liked can reduce the boldness that’s demanded from the pulpit.
worked out for us over the last 40 years?”
“It’s not that complex,” a man told me, as we discussed how so many Christian institutions have become compromised by the culture. “It happens as soon as the desire for the respectability of humans outweighs the hunger to please God.” That said, I have to ask: How has our preaching worked out for us over the last 40 years? Are our communities more righteous? Or less so?
Alliance Defending Freedom
As pastors, are we such clear disseminators of truth that we pose a threat to those who would try to oppress freedom,
“How’s this seeker-sensitivity, which sounded good ...
ifty years ago, people underTo see an interview with Pastor Jim Garlow, and stood that killing a learn more of Alliance Defending Freedom’s work on behalf of America’s churches, visit baby in the womb www.AllianceDefendingFreedom.org, and is wrong. Preach click on “Faith & Justice.” that today, and you’re being “too political.” Say that to be what we were supposed to be. homosexual behavior is unacceptable, We find ourselves in a new era. For years, or that marriage means one man and we were urged to be “seeker-sensitive,” one woman: again, you’re too political. and rightly so (who would want to be What has happened? “seeker-insensitive?”) But we’ve taken that paradigm in an unintended direction, A friend of mine lost a lot of weight and and it’s revealed a glaring weakness in our became very athletic, a runner. People understanding of what it is to be a pastor. started worrying, saying, “You’re way 18 |
too thin.” She finally told them, “You’ve never seen me healthy.” Well, when people tell me, “You’re too political,” my response is, “You’ve never seen biblical.”
truth, and righteousness in our culture? For so many years, we’ve failed to provide biblical preaching in America. Now, when our people hear biblical preaching, they don’t recognize it as being biblical. They think it’s somehow “political.” That’s largely our own fault, for caring more about the affection of the culture than the truth of the Gospel. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, recently said, “Pastors are the last line of defense.” He’s right – but weren’t we supposed to be the first line of defense? We’re at a point where we must see spiritual renewal across our land. I’m convinced it won’t happen unless pulpits – i.e, pastors – are absolutely free. We won’t have what we must have to change the hearts of Americans until our pastors are free with the boldness we had in America’s past … until our fear of the culture matters less than our healthy, awesome, reverent fear of God. ★
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