The past twelve months, Liberty Counsel’s silver anniversary year, was characterized by intense activity and notable triumphs as we built a firm foundation for our next quarter century of service. We strengthened our core assets while creating new strategies and vehicles to advance our mission well into the future. Read more in our highly refined list of 2014’s many legal actions, campaigns, achievements, and honors.
We began 2014 issuing an urgent call for active Christian citizenship in this pivotal midterm election year. Liberty Counsel’s unprecedented Pastors & Patriots travelling tour, coupled with our powerful Who Will Stand? rallies at churches across the nation, and a greatly increased media and Internet outreach, aggressively emphasized the crucial role Christians and people of faith and values must play in our culture. By the end of the year, we gave God praise for the stern repudiation American voters gave the radical Obama agenda!
But as gratifying as the 2014 landslide victories were, we recognize that our liberties are still in great peril under the most tyrannical administration in American history.
This notable year also included significant personal realignments as Mat transitioned from his nearly nine years of distinguished service as Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, which has freed Mat to focus his energy on Liberty Counsel. With the law school now on firm footing, and with the nation’s culture wars intensifying, the timing is perfect for this transition. Mat will continue to provide consulting to the law school as it enters its next decade. And, we will maintain a Liberty Counsel office at the law school to work with the next generation of Champions.
This year has also been one of strategic growth in the midst of increasing challenges to our core liberties, both here and abroad. The Lord brought us into oversight of Christians in Defense of Israel (CIDI), a vibrant group of over 90,000 American Christians dedicated to standing with the nation of Israel against her many enemies. We also assumed a strategic role in RUN Ministries’ (Reaching Unreached Nations) amazing outreach to refugees suffering from ISIS evil in northern Iraq.
In short, the past year has required us to be flexible and responsive to new opportunities the Lord has brought us. The success we have achieved in advancing liberty, life, and family is simply not possible without a sizable group of faithful partners who share our perspective and realize that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
As you review the scores of legal actions and other culture changing activities Liberty Counsel undertook in 2014, please realize that we could not have succeeded at any level without the faithful support of thoughtful, patriotic Americans like you! The strength of our resolve to answer His call is certain to be tested again in 2015, but with God’s help, we can overcome in every circumstance. Together, we will continue making a positive difference in our culture regardless of the misguided and dangerous policies our adversaries are forcing upon the American people!
Liberty Counsel Had an Ever-Growing Impact on the Culture in 2014
Together, We are Fighting for Life, Liberty, and Family!
The pivotal 2014 mid-term elections proved to be an outcry against both the corruption and anti-Christian bigotry of the current administration and its sycophants in Congress. Liberty Counsel and our affiliated organizations had a major impact in moving the hearts and minds of concerned Americans to vote their consciences and principles in this watershed election. Thankfully, we will soon have a dramatic change in power balance in Congress, but this is no time to let down our guard and simply trust elected officials to do what they promised. We plan to take even bolder initiatives to positively impact the culture in 2015!
|The following brief synopsis of hundreds of cases and other legal and policy actions Liberty Counsel undertook in 2014 is just a sampling of the actual volume of activity friends like you have enabled us to achieve. Besides being one of the nation’s first Christian
legal ministries, we are also among the most aggressive and productive. We have organized the highlights of our activities over the past calendar year in accordance with Liberty Counsel’s motto: Restoring the Culture by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life, and
- Filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that the Christian business did not have to comply with the ObamaCare HHS contraception and abortion drugs mandate.
- Defended the First Amendment rights of a Pueblo, Colorado, citizen who regularly engages in street evangelism.
- Won a federal lawsuit on behalf of high school students with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Florida through which the club will now have equal access to meet on campus.
- Filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway, wherein the Court issued a significant opinion upholding prayer at city or town meetings.
- Testified before the U.S. Congress on Threats to
- Successfully defended homeowners Enock and Ines Berluche in Kissimmee, FL, when their homeowner’s association allowed numerous lawn ornaments, including human skulls and four-foot topless Greek statues, but tried to force them to remove two small statues of Mary and Jesus.
- Filed a brief with the Supreme Court to defend the rights of a church to advertise or display religious messages like other entities can advertise or display secular messages.
Sanctity of Human Life
- Continued to defend pro-life sidewalk counselors against a law in south Florida that restricts pro-life speech near an abortion clinic.
- Worked with legislators and pro-life groups in Arkansas on pro-life laws and defense of a law that bans abortion after twelve weeks.
- Filed a major brief before the Alabama Supreme Court, which then ruled that the word “child” in a child endangerment law includes unborn children.
- Defended a pastor’s right to speak out on abortion after he was arrested and jailed for four hours simply for holding a sign stating that abortion kills children.
- Filed a brief with the federal Court of Appeals arguing that abortion viability standards should be revisited in light of modern advancements in medicine and understanding of children in the womb.
- Filed an important brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, in which the Court struck down a Massachusetts law that featured a 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics.
- Continued to defend Massachusetts pastor Scott Lively who faces charges from Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) for allegedly violating international law by speaking out against homosexual conduct while visiting Uganda. Even though the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the Alien Tort Statute cannot be used against citizens in America for alleged violations of international law, the federal judge, who calls himself the “legislator of mankind,” refused to dismiss the case.
- Filed suit and submitted a brief in New Jersey on behalf of a family against a law that bans minors from receiving counseling regarding unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity.
- Defended natural marriage by filing briefs and arguing in courts in Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, and other states.
- Presented oral argument in federal district court and the court of appeals and filed a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of counselors and counseling organizations challenging New Jersey Bill A3371, which bans counselors from offering, and minors from receiving, counseling to diminish or eliminate same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity.
- Filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of minors, parents, counselors, and counseling organizations challenging California Law SB 1172, banning minors from receiving, and counselors from offering, counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity.
- Worked to defeat laws banning change therapy in multiple states including Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, and the District of Columbia.
- Fought for Justina Pelletier and her family against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and finally won her release to return home to her mom and dad.
- Arranged for Justina Pelletier to address more than 70 members of Congress regarding her experiences, urging Congress to pass “Justina’s Law,” a bill protecting children who are wards of the state from involuntary medical research.
- Successfully defended a Christian business owner who refused to host a same-sex ceremony at his venue.
Other Significant Events
- Received the Medal of Honor from the Peruvian Congress after speaking to a packed Senate room. The event was broadcast on Peruvian national TV, showing how a worldview based on the existence of God makes a difference in laws and policies, particularly on life, marriage, and religious freedom.
- Produced and released a feature film entitled Uncommon about religious liberty in high schools. The storyline of the feature film follows a group of students who face religious discrimination and who persevere in the face of opposition.
- Filmed and released I Choose on the Eleventh Annual Day of Purity. The short video encourages young people to look past casual sex to lifetime intimacy.
- Launched the Twelfth Annual Friend or Foe Graduation Prayer Campaign to educate and, when necessary, litigate to ensure that prayer and religious viewpoints are not censored from graduation.
- Launched the Eleventh Annual Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign to educate and, when necessary, litigate to ensure that Christ and Christianity is not censored from Christmas. This campaing includes the Naughty & Nice list of retailers.
- Christians in Defense of Israel (CIDI) became a ministry of Liberty Counsel. The 90,000 supporters of CIDI joined Liberty Counsel’s own Israel outreach with more than 150,000 supporters, making CIDI one of the largest Christian pro-Israel organizations in the country.
- Hosted law student interns at the U.S. Supreme Court as part of our 10-week program to train a new generation of Christian legal advocates through Liberty University School of Law’s internship, externship, and constitutional litigation clinic programs. A Supreme Court Justice spoke to the interns.
- Co-hosted the Seventh Annual TeenPact Judicial Program at Liberty University School of Law, a week-long program that instructs motivated teenagers in the rule of law and the importance of a Christian worldview.
- Co-sponsored the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., with about 2,000 people in attendance.
- Conducted many conferences to educate teachers and public school administrators on how to integrate Christian values and history into their curricula and informed them of students’ rights to religious liberty.
- Hosted and spoke at many pastors’ conferences to educate and mobilize pastors to speak out on biblical values.
- Launched the Pastors & Patriots traveling tour mobilizing pastors across America and then conducting Who Will Stand? rallies at churches to activate Christians to engage
- Hosted a training and educational tour of Israel as part of our Liberty Ambassador Counsel program with the goal of strengthening participants’ Christian faith and equipping them to be goodwill ambassadors for Israel. Participants also met with high-ranking Israeli political, military, academic, business, and religious leaders, including members of the Knesset (the legislature of Israel).
- Hosted high-level Israeli government and national security experts on national conference calls to update Americans about Israel and political issues.
- Co-sponsored the Thirteenth Annual Israel Solidarity event, celebrating Israel’s independence at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.
- Completed service on a national panel of legal experts for The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations and issued a detailed report of findings on legal issues affecting churches and nonprofit organizations.
- Sponsored the Women Impacting the Nation (WIN) conference in Orlando, Florida, with the theme For Such a Time as This.
Ministry Projects and Other Affiliations
- Liberty Counsel Action is a 501(c)(4) sister organization. This group increases our ability to engage in issue advocacy and lobbying legislators and other elected officials. LCAction.org.
- Liberty Action PAC is affiliated with our sister organization, Liberty Counsel Action, and engaged in voter mobilization during 2012, 2013, and 2014. We are now strategically positioned to greatly impact future election cycles and fully engage the unique supporters of Liberty Counsel’s family of ministries. LibertyActionPAC.com.
- Liberty Ambassador Counsel connects hundreds of thousands of Americans with the nation of Israel and includes tours of biblical sites, special briefings by leading Israeli officials, and educational updates. AmbassadorCounsel.com.
- New Revolution Institute provides training to educate and mobilize citizen activists in order to advance our nation’s core values and celebrate its first principles.
- New Revolution Publishers produces books and educational materials on American history, the Founding Fathers, first principles, and Christian citizen activism.
- Liberty Counsel Connect website links all of the Liberty Counsel entities and provides updates and interactive news. This website allows easy access to the websites of our various ministry outreaches LibertyCounsel.com.
- For the second consecutive year partnered with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the largest Hispanic organization in the country comprised of 40,118 Evangelical Hispanic churches, by sponsoring the Life Directive. NHCLC now also includes Conela, which represents nearly 500,000 Evangelical Hispanic churches throughout Latin America and Canada.
- Joined with The Salt and Light Council (SLC) to educate and mobilize pastors and churches to engage in responsible Biblical citizenship.
- Enlisted people to pray and intercede for America through the Liberty Prayer Network, a prayer ministry collaborating with our extensive group of friends and supporters. Liberty Prayer Network is headed by International Director Maureen Bravo.
- Encouraged and inspired church leaders through the Pastors and Patriots Initiative, designed to educate and mobilize pastors and churches to engage in responsible citizenship. Liberty Counsel sent tens of thousands of churches a DVD entitled “Silence is Not an Option,” in which Mat Staver informs pastors about how they can be involved in shaping local, state, and national issues.
- Liberty Counsel’s 60-second weekday radio program, Freedom’s Call, and 15-minute weekday program, Faith & Freedom, is broadcast on more than 500 radio stations each weekday. In addition, Liberty Counsel’s 60-second weekday Llamada de Libertad, the only Hispanic, conservative public-policy radio show in the United States, is heard in 10 of the biggest Hispanic-populated cities, including Dallas and Miami. This year, Liberty Counsel launched a weekly 30-minute version of Faith & Freedom, which is aired on Kaliki, an on-demand, audio news and information platform. LC is active in traditional and new media including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and sends Liberty Alert email updates and News Releases.
- Who Will Stand? Pastors’ and Wives’ Meetings and Church Rallies are key components of the ongoing Pastors & Patriots campaign.
Christians in Defense of Israel
Joins the Liberty Counsel Family!
he fault line of Western civilization runs through Israel, and the epicenter is Jerusalem. Radical Islamic Jihadists call Israel the “Little Satan” and refer to America as the “Big Satan.” Israel and America share Judeo-Christian values and consequently have shared threats to those values. For many reasons, we must stand with Israel and the Jewish people!
Along with Liberty Counsel’s current Israel initiative, Liberty Ambassador Counsel, we are pleased to announce that Christians in Defense of Israel has now merged with Liberty Counsel.
In 2011, Liberty Counsel launched the Liberty Ambassador Counsel program to connect people with Israel through a program designed to strengthen the participants’ Christian faith and equip them to become goodwill ambassadors for Israel. The unique tour components include biblical and historical sites, but, unlike other tours, we also include political, military, security, academic, and business sites and instruction from experts in these fields. The tour is literally life-changing.
Now, we are excited to announce that Christians in Defense of Israel (CIDI) has become part of Liberty Counsel! Combined with our more than 150,000 self-identified supporters of Israel, CIDI brings more than 90,000 additional supporters, making Liberty Counsel’s CIDI outreach one of America’s largest Christian, pro-Israel organizations! CIDI has regular mailings dedicated to all things related to Israel and the Middle East.
CIDI was founded by Dr. Ed Hindson, the Dean of the School of Religion and Distinguished Professor of Theology at Liberty University. Dr. Hindson is an expert on the Bible, Israel, and the Middle East. He is a walking encyclopedia of information! With a sincere desire to expand the influence of CIDI, Dr. Hindson has merged CIDI with Liberty Counsel.
We will now advance our impactful outreach to Israel under the name ofChristians in Defense of Israel. Mat Staver will take over the leadership of CIDI, but Dr. Hindson will remain involved as a consultant and will accompany us on some of our future trips to Israel. The next trip is May 17-26, 2015. Visit AmbassadorCounsel.org for more information and to sign up for the trip of a lifetime!
We will soon be launching a dedicated website under the name Christians in Defense of Israel. Stay tuned for more information.
Mat Staver recently had lunch in the home of the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, to discuss this new development and some additional exciting initiatives. We will share those developments with you in the near future!
If you want to support Christians in Defense of Israel, or to sign up for our next tour, please go to AmbassadorCounsel.org for more information. You will receive special CIDI monthly updates and other pro-Israel action alerts. If you provide us with your email address, we will share breaking news with you on a nearly real-time basis. We will also be making special online training relating to Israel and the Middle East available to you as we develop the materials.
Along with your request to join the CIDI communications program, if you are able, please include a generous gift to Liberty Counsel.We are a faith-based ministry stepping out to fight Goliath, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is with us!
Also, make plans now to join us in Israel on May 17-28, 2015. You will never be the same after visiting Israel on one of our totally unique tours. This is the land where the Bible was written; you will be able to walk where Jesus walked. As many of your fellow believers who have joined us have testified, the Scriptures will come alive for you and the experience will be truly life-changing!
To learn more, please visit AmbassadorCounsel.org or call
800-671-1776. Stand with Liberty Counsel and CIDI as we stand with Israel!