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Defending Religious Liberty in Schools

By David French1353443848000

It’s stunning that in the roughly quarter-century since the Supreme Court began deciding a series of cases that guaranteed Christian groups equal access to schools that some public school districts – indeed some entire states – simply haven’t gotten the message.

Yesterday, after months of attempted persuasion, the ACLJ filed suit on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship of West Orange County (California) against the Buena Park School District after the School District determined it would charge Child Evangelism Fellowship more than $4,000.00 for after-school access when it grants the same access to groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for free.

Religious censors are nothing if not inventive, and the justification for this blatant discrimination was a discriminatory California law requiring schools to charge outside groups for access to schools for “religious services.” Aside from the fact that Child Evangelism Fellowship isn’t holding “religious services,” this law represents the latest effort at treating religious speech as different in kind – with inferior constitutional protections – than other forms of speech.

Defending hard-won religious freedoms requires constant vigilance. Religious censors still exist and even decades of court precedent haven’t persuaded them to stand down. Their goal remains the same – to shove religious expression to the margins of public life.

We remain hopeful that the Buena Park School District is not motivated by censorship but rather by a misunderstanding and misapplication of governing law. Regardless, we intend to protect religious expression from such blatant viewpoint discrimination.

The Battle Continues for Equal Access

By Walter M. Weber1427752645381

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued an order declining, without explanation, to review the case of Bronx Household of Faith v. The Board of Education of the City of New York . This denial puts an unfortunate end to a more-than-decade long battle between a New York City church and the city’s...

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The Constant Defense Against Tyranny

By Edward White1427310374782

An ever-growing federal government seeks to control the populace. That is the nature of the beast. Those in power want more power. They want no opposition. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “History has informed us that bodies of men, as well as individuals, are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.” And...

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Defending Rights for the Discriminated

By Carly F. Gammill1427120936000

Last year we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins, a student who was denied admission to the Radiation Therapy Program at the Community College of Baltimore County (a public college) after he expressed a religious viewpoint during the program’s admissions process. Because Mr. Jenkins had...

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Victory For Religious Organization

By ACLJ.org1423158535092

Today, the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion in favor of our client, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, USA (IVCF), upholding a religious organization’s First Amendment right to select ministers and spiritual leaders free from governmental inference. The decision is a huge victory for religious...

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