ABOUT USWe're Defending You

FAQ

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

Recognizing the need for a strong, coordinated legal defense against growing attacks on religious freedom, more than 30 prominent Christian leaders launched Alliance Defending Freedom in 1994. Five exceptional men took a leading role in forming this legal organization, and set the high standard of excellence and good stewardship that we continue to abide by today. They are Dr. Bill Bright (Founder, Cru); Larry Burkett (Co-founder, Crown Financial Ministries); Dr. James C. Dobson (Founder, Family Talk); Dr. D. James Kennedy (former Senior Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church); and Marlin Maddoux (former Host, “Point of View” radio program).

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For decades, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its allies used the courts to drive out public expressions of faith and to radically change America into something the Founding Fathers never intended.

Despite outstanding efforts by many Christians, our Founders saw that there was limited unity and no common strategy. There was also no organized method to recruit and train attorneys to defend our God-given constitutionally protected rights in modern legal challenges. And inadequate funding allowed much territory to be lost by default. 

Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith. As an alliance-building legal organization, we unite attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, and like-minded organizations in a common purpose, a shared commitment to defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

To keep the doors open for the Gospel by advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

Alliance Defending Freedom operates under the strict charter given to us by our Founders. We focus exclusively on legal cases and projects impacting religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. While there are many worthy causes outside of these parameters, we must concentrate on these areas to most effectively achieve our mission. This means that, while we may provide legal advice to legislators and allies or defend legislative initiatives pertaining to our mission in court, and join forces with allies in many legal endeavors, Alliance Defending Freedom refrains from participating in or promoting any type of legislation or political parties, including handing out voter guides or reviews of judges. Alliance Defending Freedom also does not lobby government officials.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building legal organization. As an alliance, we draw on a comprehensive legal strategy that includes training the lawyers of today and tomorrow, funding critical cases across the country, and advocating directly in courtrooms. It is a strategy whose foundational objective is to impact and reshape our culture by restoring protections for religious freedom and promoting key changes in the worldwide legal culture.

We want our friends and supporters to be informed and equipped to knowledgeably pray about our efforts, but we understand that many people are concerned about their general mail volume – and not just what they receive from Alliance Defending Freedom. In light of that, we generally send our letters monthly and our “Faith & Justice” publication three times per year to all who give a gift, unless they specifically ask not to be put on the mailing list.

If receiving mail is not the most convenient way to keep updated on our cases and projects, please feel free to call our offices at 1-800-835-5233 or use our contact form to let us know your mail preferences.

Alliance Defending Freedom will never sell, rent, or make available your name for purposes not related to this organization. For a complete list of our Ministry Friend Bill of Rights, click here.

The most important way you can help us is with your prayers and financial support. We face well-funded opposition and would be honored by your prayers or gift of any amount. To stand with us financially, please click here and know that we will maximize every penny we receive to advocate for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

We also rely on you to spread the word about our work. Please share the stories and information on our key issues – 
marriage and family, sanctity of life, and religious freedom – with others.

Here are some additional ways you can help:

  • Sign up for email alerts to stay informed on cases and projects that impact religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.
  • Connect with Alliance Defending Freedom on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Direct Christian attorneys you know to our world-class constitutional law training program called Alliance Defending Freedom Academy.
  • Tell Christian students you know who are considering future careers in law, government, and public policy to learn about our Areté Academy.
  • If you know Christian students attending law school who would be interested in a summer internship and leadership program, inform them about Blackstone Legal Fellowship.
  • Inform your pastor, elders, or church leaders about the Alliance Defending Freedom Church Project.
  • Refer college students you know to our University section, where they can learn more about their rights as Christian students on campus.
  • Be our eyes and ears in your community. If someone you know is in need of our legal assistance, tell them to fill out the legal help form or call us at 1-800-835-5233.

We appreciate your desire to join our team! In order to find the most current listing of job opportunities, please visit the careers section of our website.

To help us troubleshoot, please use the contact form to give us a brief summary of what problem you are encountering and to answer the following questions. Your feedback provides us with details that may be very important in resolving your situation.

  • Which operating system do you have – Windows 8, Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc.?
  • Which browser are you using – Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari?
  • Do you have a high-speed Internet connection or dial-up?

Alliance Defending Freedom uses popular video sharing sites – like YouTube and Vimeo – to post most of the informative and inspirational videos we produce. Here are some minimum system requirements that must be met on your computer in order to properly view these videos:

  • Adobe Flash Player version 7.0 or higher must be installed on your system.
  • You can easily find out which Flash version is installed on your computer by going here.
  • If the version of the Flash Player is less than 7.0, you can download and install the most up-to-date version for free by going here.
  • If your computer is a PC, you must be running Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or higher. If your computer is a Mac, you must be running OS X 10.3 or higher.
  • You must be using the web browser Internet Explorer version 5.0, Firefox 1.1, or Safari 1.0 – or more recent versions. If your browser does not meet these requirements, you can download the latest versions for free with these links:

A high-speed internet connection is also recommended to download files with large sizes that are associated with watching a video.

Most legal organizations have very specialized roles; for example, two groups may deal with highly technical pro-life issues, and another may deal only with zoning issues or local regulation of pornography.

Ultimately, almost every legal entity serves a unique "niche." In reality, there is very little duplication or overlap by those participating in strategy through the alliance.

Learn more about some of our prominent allies.

In fact, we are on the offense. Together with our allies, Alliance Defending Freedom is working aggressively to remove oppressive legal barriers to the free exercise of religion and to secure religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family for future generations.

Two excellent examples are our Church and Education Projects.

The Church Project: We recognize the importance of the Church in communicating biblical truth. We work vigorously on shaping a legal environment in which churches and pastors are free to speak, act, and minister in accordance with biblical principle, without unlawful regulation or censorship. Learn more about
Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

The Education Project: Students do not shed their constitutional rights once they set foot on a public school campus. Our attorneys understand this well and are proactively seeking out and challenging the many unconstitutional speech code policies that exist throughout tax payer supported public schools and universities. As these policies are systematically toppled, more and more students are authentically able to live out their faith on campus and advocate for important principles of freedom, life, family, and faith. Discover the stories of 
university and k-12 students we've helped.

Alliance Defending Freedom is also transforming the legal system by equipping Christian attorneys and law students to defend religious freedom through our world-class training programs. To date, more than 1,700 Allied Attorneys have received constitutional law training at the Alliance Defending Freedom Academy
, and more than 1,500 law students have graduated from the Blackstone Legal Fellowship leadership development program. 

The ACLU boasts of more than 1 million members, activists, and supporters across the country, more than 2,000 volunteer attorneys, and about 100 staff attorneys. According to their 2014 financial statements, the ACLU and the ACLU Foundation had combined total assets of more than $666 million. The ACLU and its allies are incredibly well-funded to engage in legal intimidation and campaigns of fear and disinformation against people who want to freely live out their faith.

Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Alliance Defending Freedom is recognized by the IRS as a ministry exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. We are not a private foundation, and we continue to operate as a publicly supported organization as described in IRC Sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).

Alliance Defending Freedom is entirely dependent on the generosity of our Ministry Friends for our sustenance. We accept no government funds.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a “no-debt” organization, which means we only move forward with initiatives as people provide the resources in advance. We do not borrow operating funds, and we only implement our programs based on available funds already in the bank. We retain funds committed to grants we award for cases and projects in a designated account. An organization or attorney who is awarded a grant is not paid until the work or expenses are completed.

Alliance Defending Freedom makes copies of its financial reports widely available in accordance with standards and guidelines established by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).You can download PDF copies of our audited financial statements and Form 990 here.

We are governed by a non-paid, independent board of directors which has adopted principles of financial accountability, including strict internal controls, external and board oversight, and a Ministry Friend Bill of Rights. Additionally, our annual IRS Form 990 is available here.

We have been a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 1995, the year Alliance Defending Freedom first became eligible to join. More about ECFA and its standards for membership are available on the
ECFA website. Alliance Defending Freedom complies with individual state charitable registration requirements and also submits to an annual audit by an independent accounting firm.

Alliance Defending Freedom has chosen to belong to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and its ministry standards of responsible stewardship. Alliance Defending Freedom has been a member in good standing with the ECFA since 1995 when the ministry first became eligible to join. More about ECFA, its standards for membership, and information about choosing a ministry to support are available on the ECFA website. Because of this, Alliance Defending Freedom does not typically attempt to keep track of other group’s standards, such as those of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Grant applications are available here or by contacting our Grants and Funding Department at Grants@ADFlegal.org.

Most details about our cases involve confidential information protected by the attorney-client privilege; we therefore cannot ethically respond to every question in full. An excellent source of information for most of our cases is our Alliance Defending Freedom news releases. If you have a general question or need further assistance, send us a message here. You can also stay informed about our cases and issues through our blog, Facebook, or Twitter

If you think you might need legal assistance, please fill out our legal request form or call 1-800-835-5233.

America was founded on the pursuit of religious freedom, including the liberty to acknowledge God and to pray in the public square.

This liberty originates in higher law, or “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God,” as the Declaration of Independence puts it. In the words of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the Founding Fathers modeled themselves “upon God's ancient people” and “wrote what they considered to be a modern-day interpretation of the basic biblical principles of government.”

Those principles demand a place for religious expression in the public square. Unfortunately, radical advocates have long been trying to re-write the Constitution by making the First Amendment say something it doesn't. The First Amendment plainly forbids the creation of a national church, because that would be an “establishment of religion.” It says nothing about the so-called “separation of church and state,” a largely misunderstood phrase the Supreme Court used many years later to help explain the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The free exercise of religion is America's First Liberty, and is both a fundamental and inalienable right. Because the principles of religious freedom apply broadly, Alliance Defending Freedom has assisted people of other faith traditions in the past when it advances our common cause for religious freedom. In extremely rare situations, Alliance Defending Freedom has assisted persons who claim no particular faith when the legal principle is crucial and prevailing in the case – and will advance the organization’s mission. Whether a particular case is accepted for representation depends on its alignment within our mission and the capacity of our team.

As a pro-life organization, Alliance Defending Freedom believes that God is the author and creator of all life and that we should all work together toward fostering a culture that recognizes human life as sacred – from conception to natural death. Alliance Defending Freedom unequivocally condemns any form of violence used to defend the sanctity of human life, as a contradiction of that God-given right to life and a denial of God’s sovereignty and authority.

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We actively oppose, through legal action and advocacy, partial-birth abortion, dismemberment abortion, and all other forms of abortion on demand, as well as the public funding of abortion. We oppose methods of "research" or "family planning" that require the taking of human life and any efforts to legalize doctor-aided death or euthanasia. We defend rights of conscience to not be forced to assist in or facilitate the taking of innocent life, or life prevention or life-destroying drugs. We also defend the free speech rights of pro-life counselors and advocates, and support the legality of parental notification, informed consent laws, admitting privilege requirements, and other common sense regulations that protect the health of mothers.

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The government’s overriding interest in recognizing marriage is to connect children to both their mother and their father by connecting mothers and fathers to each other.

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Information and resources for your church and pastor can be found here

If you would like to invite Alliance Defending Freedom to come and speak at your church or gathering, please complete the Speaker Invitation Request form here or call 1-800-835-5233.

Generally, yes. In cases won by Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies, it has been made clear that if a public school or other government building like a community center allows access to private groups, it cannot deny access to a religious group. For example, if a civic club is allowed to meet, the state can't deny a church the right to meet on the same terms. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal we filed, leaving in place a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which held that a Board of Education of the City of New York policy that prohibited school facilities from being used for religious worship services was constitutional. We are not currently aware of any other school districts that have such a policy, and New York City has indicated that it may revise its policy to allow churches to continue meeting for worship.

If you are facing a circumstance that prompted this question, please call our office at 1-800-835-5233 or click here
 to tell us more about the specifics of your situation.

Yes. There is no legal authority that allows a public school to "ban" its students from possessing a Bible on campus – from kindergarten on up. Students may read their personal Bibles during non-instructional time and may use them as a resource for class assignments – when that use squarely meets the academic purpose for the assignment. Learn more about the freedom students have to live out their faith at school by downloading our free Student Rights Handbook.

If you are facing a circumstance that prompted this question, please call our office at 1-800-835-5233 or click here to tell us more about the specifics of your situation.

Yes. A student has the right to pray at school, and it is permissible for several students to pray together. Prayer – just like any form of speech – cannot be done in a way that causes a material and substantial disruption. But so long as student prayers are not disruptive, they are protected by the First Amendment.

If you are facing a circumstance that prompted this question, please call our office at 1-800-835-5233 or click here
 to tell us more about the specifics of your situation.

Student-led prayer at public school graduation ceremonies is constitutional, so long as the student speaker is neutrally-selected, the school does not review the student’s remarks beforehand, the student is given the freedom to speak on the topic of his or her choice, and the school does not encourage a student to pray. Under these circumstances, student speakers, such as valedictorians or salutatorians, can incorporate a prayer or other religious sentiment into their presentations as part of their free speech right.

If you are facing a circumstance that prompted this question, please call our office at 1-800-835-5233 or click here
 to tell us more about the specifics of your situation.

A primary and growing response to the anti-religious efforts of America’s government-run public school system has been the decision of religious parents nationwide to transfer their children to private schools or other public school options like charter schools, or in many cases, to take on the teaching responsibilities themselves through homeschool programs. The goal of Alliance Defending Freedom is to facilitate, promote, and defend religious liberty as it relates to the educational choices made by parents and lived out by students regardless of the form or funding of their chosen school.

Yes. Voluntary Bible studies during non-work hours are usually permitted at the work place—this is especially true for government employees. Non-religious employers cannot generally require people to attend or base job performance evaluations on whether they are attending the Bible study.

If you are facing a circumstance that prompted this question, please call our office at 1-800-835-5233 or click here
 to tell us more about the specifics of your situation.

Neither public nor private secular employers may discriminate on the basis of religion. Government employers are required to respect the First Amendment rights of their employees. Private employers must respect religious liberties under the law known as Title VII.

If you are employed by a
government entity and have experienced religious discrimination at your job, please contact us at 1-800-835-5233 or complete our legal help form and tell us your story.

If you are employed by a
private employer and have experienced religious discrimination at your job, depending on the facts of your situation, we may be able to put you in touch with an attorney who could handle your case. For more information on Title VII and religious discrimination, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.


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