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June 16, 2003

Office of the President
Steven W. Fitschen

You have helped us win an incredible victory for all Christian parents! You helped prove that parents—not the state—control the upbringing of our children. Read below what you helped accomplish!

Dear Friend of the National Legal Foundation:

I want to tell you about an incredible victory that you helped us achieve.

In May of 2002 we were asked to help get a terrible decision by a federal district court reversed. We gladly filed a brief and have just now seen the fruits of that labor with this incredible victory!

Here’s the story. A schoolteacher in Texas named Karen Jo Barrow hoped to get a promotion to Assistant Principal. She was well qualified. BUT the school superintendent refused to even interview her because her children went to a Christian school.

That’s right! The Superintendent engaged in blatant religious discrimination!

So Karen Jo was forced to sue. She should have won.

BUT SHE DIDN’T! A federal judge said it was OK for the school to try to force Karen Jo to send her children to public school.

And not only that, but the judge also rejected EIGHTY YEARS of Supreme Court cases that say that parents get to decide issues relating to their children’s education.

So Karen Jo had to appeal. And that’s when we were asked to help.

And when we were asked to help, I turned to you and all of our faithful supporters for prayers and financial support. Because you responded, we were able to file an important brief in this case.


The article I have enclosed tells part of the story. When I talked to this reporter, he really didn’t seem to understand WHY the district court had been reversed. I had to explain to him that the district judge had ignored binding precedent.

Our brief—the one you helped fund—explained that the district judge had relied upon the wrong precedent and ignored the precedent that it was obligated to use.

Well, guess what! The Court of Appeals completely agreed with us! When I read the opinion I knew I just had to write to tell you the good news.

You see, many people cry out against judicial activism. But we—with your help—do something about it. When you get a judge who deliberately uses the wrong cases and deliberately ignores the binding precedent . . . that’s judicial activism.

We knew it was incredibly important to file a brief in this case. And now all the hard work has paid off.

When I was interviewed for the article I enclosed, the reporter kept insisting that it makes common sense to force school employees to send their children to the school where they work. I was able to explain that constitutional rights trump "common sense."

Can you imagine what would happen if the constitutional rights of parents were subjected to somebody’s view of common sense?!

But you helped us prevent that . . . and educate the media and the public!

Thank you for being there when we needed you. And more importantly, thank you for being there when Karen Jo needed you. In this country, you cannot hold someone’s promotion hostage until they agree to remove their children from Christian school.

Even though I have used this letter to tell you about this incredibly important victory, please remember that all of our other work continues. UNFORTUNATELY, WE CANNOT HANDLE ALL THE REQUESTS. But we MUST be able to take more and more cases. You see, the forces arrayed against us are formidable . . . the ACLU, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the so-called People for the American Way—and hostile school districts like Karen Jo’s.

If we don’t stand up to them, they will continue to trample on the rights of Christians everywhere.

For Religious Liberty,
Steven W. Fitschen

P.S. This summer will be incredibly busy for us. Even as new cries for help continue to come in, those that we have already committed to are overwhelming the staff. I desperately need to hire additional summer clerks . . . yet summer is traditionally the time when contributions drop off.

Won’t you please send an extra generous gift TODAY to help us get our summer funding off on the right foot? People like Karen Jo are counting on you and me. We helped her; now let’s help the rest!




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© 2006 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute