America remains a country divided over the results of the 2020 presidential election. Some are calling for all the votes to be counted and all the potential legal proceedings to be resolved before naming the next president. But that hasn’t stopped some activists and government officials from looking ahead and imagining an America that looks far different from the one our Founders envisioned.
In particular, people like Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
At a rally over the weekend, Schumer celebrated the presumed Biden victory, but then set his sights on another goal: claiming a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate. In order to achieve that, Democratic candidates would need to win two run-off elections in Georgia on Jan. 5.
“Now we take Georgia, then we change America,” Schumer said.
The senator’s statement reflects the increasingly popular idea that America was born in shame and that it must be torn apart to make way for a new society, a new culture, and a new government to rise in its place.
Our nation was founded on the fundamental principles that all men are created equal and that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. These are lofty ideals. And it’s true that we haven’t always lived up to them.
But that doesn’t mean we need to “change America” by redefining our founding principles and restricting our most cherished liberties. Quite the opposite. We need to protect – not abandon – our God-given freedoms so that we can continue on the path to a more free and prosperous society.
That’s exactly what Alliance Defending Freedom is committed to achieve. ADF advocates for religious liberty, free speech, the sanctity of human life, and parental rights in courtrooms at every level, all across the nation.
And with God’s blessing (John 15:5), ADF will continue to defend these freedoms, no matter who is named the next president of the United States.
Here are just a few ongoing cases where we are working to do just that.
Uzuegbunam v. Precewzski
In 2016, Georgia Gwinnett College student Chike Uzuegbunam was handing out pamphlets and talking about his faith in a public area on campus when a college official stopped him. The official told Chike that to exercise his free speech rights like this, he had to reserve one of the campus “speech zones” – two tiny areas of campus that were open less than 10 percent of the week.
Undeterred, Chike did everything they asked him to do. But when Chike started sharing the Gospel in the speech zone during his designated time, he was stopped once again. And told that if he continued peacefully sharing his faith in this way, he would face discipline.
Chike knew he had to do something. So he reached out to ADF, and we filed a lawsuit against Georgia Gwinnett College on his behalf.
Eventually, Georgia Gwinnett officials adjusted their unconstitutional policies. Because of this and the fact that Chike later graduated, a court dismissed the case. But college officials still violated Chike’s right to free speech—twice! The government should not be able to violate someone’s rights and then walk away as if nothing happened.
That’s why Chike asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case. Thankfully, it agreed. And in early 2021, ADF attorneys will argue before the Supreme Court on Chike’s behalf.
Foothill Church v. Rouillard
In 2014, the California Department of Managed Healthcare mandated that churches and religious organizations fund elective abortions through their employee healthcare plans, claiming that all legal abortions are “basic health care services” and “medically necessary” and therefore must be covered.
These government officials made this decision without passing a regulation or allowing for public input. Though they did allow for input from pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.
Ultimately, elective abortions were added to church healthcare plans across the state. And many churches were not even informed that these changes would be taking place.
Foothill Church, along with millions of Christians across the country, believes that every human life – born or unborn – has worth and dignity. Opposing abortions in their health plans is non-negotiable.
With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, three churches, including Foothill Church, filed a lawsuit against the state. And on Nov. 20, ADF attorneys will argue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of these churches.
Meriwether v. The Trustees of Shawnee State University
Dr. Nicholas Meriwether has served as a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University for over 20 years.
When a male student who identifies as transgender approached Dr. Meriwether and demanded to be addressed as a woman, Dr. Meriwether couldn’t agree. As a philosopher and a Christian, Dr. Meriwether believes that God creates human beings as either male or female. To call a man a woman or vice versa endorses an ideology that conflicts with his beliefs.
So, Dr. Meriwether offered a compromise: He would refer to this student by a first or last name only. That way, he would not call the student something the student did not like, but he would also not say anything that contradicts what he believes is real and true.
This compromise was not enough for university officials. Dr. Meriwether was investigated and formally charged. University officials also placed a warning in his file that threatened “further corrective actions” if he did not embrace the transgender ideology.
That’s why ADF filed a lawsuit on Dr. Meriwether’s behalf. And on November 19, ADF attorneys will represent Dr. Meriwether before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.