“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1
It’s the time of year in America when we gather with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving. As Americans we have so much to be thankful for this year – the wonderful blessings of life and liberty we enjoy on a daily basis.
At the ACLJ, we have much to be thankful for this year as well. I wanted to take a moment to highlight just some of the “wonderful deeds” and the victories we have witnessed.
This year after more than two years of diligent legal advocacy, American Pastor Andrew Brunson was freed from prison in Turkey – spared from wrongfully spending the rest of his natural life behind bars.
It was a great moment of celebration – after tirelessly working on Capitol Hill, with the White House, and delivering multiple submissions to the United Nations to put pressure on Turkey to urge his release – to see this Christian pastor reunited with his family back home in the United States.
We also gave thanks when, after a long, grim struggle, Christian mom Asia Bibi – sentenced to hang under Pakistan’s archaic blasphemy laws for her Christian faith – was acquitted and had her execution sentence overturned by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
This past year has given us so much to be thankful for in our tireless fight to defend precious unborn babies from the horrors of abortion.
After years battling an unconstitutional law aimed at shutting down pro-life pregnancy centers in California, the Supreme Court struck down this anti-free speech law. We were also able to defeat a similar law in a case out of the state of Hawaii, where pro-life pregnancy centers were going to be forced to promote government dictated pro-abortion propaganda, undermining the core of what these pro-life centers stand for.
Not only is this a major victory for free speech, allowing pro-life pregnancy centers to fulfill their intended mission without government interference, it’s impossible to even calculate how many innocent little lives may have been saved.
We also saw a huge step forward in our fight to end all taxpayer funding to Big Abortion for good. The Trump Administration announced a proposed rule to cut taxpayer funding for abortion clinics – like Planned Parenthood – through Title X, eliminating approximately $60 million of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding.
We quickly filed our public comments in support of this new rule. Our tax dollars have funded Big Abortion against our will for too long. This new pro-life regulation will be a major blow to Planned Parenthood and hamper their ability to kill more unborn babies.
None of these tremendous victories for religious liberty would have been possible without the dedicated prayers and support of all the ACLJ members. For that we are especially thankful.
On a personal note, I am also so thankful to have been present when the U.S. embassy in Israel officially moved to Jerusalem – a momentous occasion I personally spent decades fighting to see come to fruition.
That moment was long overdue. It had been almost 23 years since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and ordering the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Yet no administration since was willing to follow through, as each President repeatedly invoked waivers, citing multiple explanations and excuses. President Trump officially acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and shortly thereafter announced the U.S. Embassy in Israel would reopen in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
I am deeply thankful for you. Without your hard work, unending support, constant vigilance, and faithful prayers we would not be able to effectively perform the work we do.
We could not fight for the rights of persecuted and endangered Christians around the world, fight government corruption here at home, or protect the lives of the unborn and end taxpayer funded abortion.
I know the road may still be long and there is much to be done, but I am grateful for every ACLJ member.
As I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and thank God for his many blessings for my family and our nation – on behalf of the entire ACLJ family, I wish you and yours a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
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