August 2, 2002
Office of the President
Its time to stand up and fight! And there is currently no more important religious liberty battle facing us as Americans than stopping the ACLU.
Dear Concerned Friend,
As you know, the National Legal Foundation is dedicated to defending religious liberty wherever it is under attack.
One of the hottest battles right now is defending religious displays . . . especially the Ten Commandments. In fact this battle is so hot that I have written to you about Ten Commandments cases several times in the past few years.
BUT . . . there is one aspect of this battle that I have never had an opportunity to alert you to before. So, I want to tell you about it now and tell you how you can help.
Let me explain this simpleyet revolutionaryidea.
For years, the ACLU and other groupssuch as Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the misnamed People for the American Wayhave been blackmailing cities, towns, and counties all over the United States.
They think its their job to scour the country looking for religious symbols . . . especially displays of the Ten Commandments!
When they find one, they literally blackmail the local officials!
They say, "If you dont take down the Ten Commandments, well sue you."
Im sure youve heard the stories. The ACLU is always screaming "Separation of Church and State."
And thats where the National Legal Foundation comes in. Thanks to our fine friends like you who faithfully give to this ministry, we can provide free legal services to those towns and counties that want to stand up to the ACLU. If the ACLU sues, the National Legal Foundation will defend the town or county for free.
BUT . . . the ACLU has another trick up its sleeve. They tell the local officials, "Thats fine, but if you lose, you will have to pay our legal fees!"
These fees can be as high as $500,000!
And its no surprise that they often pick on small towns and counties. Can you imagine the financial burden on a small locality that must come up with an additional $500,000?
How would you like for your tax dollars to be used to pay the ACLUs legal fees?
Its no wonder that many local officials vote to tear down the Ten Commandments . . . even when they dont want to.
But heres why I need you to stand with us today . . . to take this weapon away from the ACLU and other radical secularist groups!
You see, the only reason that the ACLU can blackmail cities, towns and counties all across America is because there is a federal law that says that if a local government violates the "rights, privileges, and immunities" of its citizens, it has to pay attorneys fees.
What does that have to do with the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols?
NOTHING! These symbols dont violate anyones rights.
So how does the ACLU get away with it?
Because no one has ever challenged them!
It really is as simple as that.
Only once has a federal court even stopped to question the practice. That was in 1991 when Good Friday was challenged as a state holiday in Hawaii for . . . you guessed itviolating the separation of church and state!
But that one case is the key!
Now the National Legal Foundation will take the opportunity that has been lying dormant for all these years and run with it!
The idea is simple but the implementation will take a long time and cost a lot of money. The National Legal Foundation will have to spend hundreds of hours researching the history of the federal law, its use in federal courts, and its abuse by the ACLU.
And that is why I need your help.
We will have to develop a whole series of test cases. At first, the courts may not go along with the idea. But the team here at the National Legal Foundation is determined to keep going back to court as often as it takes.
Ultimately, the issue will have to go to the Supreme Court to be resolved.
The whole process could take years of untold effort. On top of that, as I mentioned, the National Legal Foundation does not charge the cities, towns, and counties to defend them.
Again, thats why I need you to help us with this vital project.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
I have already procured one research grant from a major Christian University. But that will not be enoughnot by a long shot!
Thats why I need to know that you will be part of the team. Im sure you will want to stand with me, with the National Legal Foundation staff, with the University, and with other friends and supporters of the National Legal Foundation.
We are the only organization that we know of that is taking this approach. NO OTHER GROUP IS TRYING TO TAKE THIS WEAPON AWAY FROM THE ACLU!
Please pray about how you can help take away this weapon!
It is time for us to sound the call to battle again!
The ACLU must be stopped and it is up to us to lead the fight. If we dont do it, no one else will!
In defense of freedom,
Steven W. Fitschen
P.S. Please respond without delay. Even as we launch this exciting new long-term project, we must continue to work on all the many time-sensitive projects, too. In my last letter, I mentioned that we might have the opportunity to file as many as four briefs in the Pledge of Allegiance case. Well, the first opportunity has already come. The first brief must be out the door NO LATER THAN August 19th.
Please send your very best gift today to help with this new project to stop the ACLUs blackmail, the Pledge of Allegiance briefs, and all of our work on behalf of religious liberty, the defense of the family and the unborn, and against pornography and the homosexual agenda! Thanks so much.
Post Office Box 64427, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23467-4427
© 2006 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute