“Are you a Christian?” These were among the last words heard by several college students and a professor just a few weeks ago, as our nation witnessed the horror of another mass shooting, this time at a community college in Oregon. These were senseless deaths—deaths that appeared to be motivated by a hatred for Christianity. We grieve this loss not just because of the innocent lives that were cut short but also because tragedies like this force us to face our own mortality and the fact that, ultimately, we have little control over when our time on earth is done. That’s a harsh reality.
Circumstances like these motivate us at the National Center for Life and Liberty to approach the cases and concerns of our members and partners with a sense of urgency. We know that time is short. Yes, life is short, but our time to defend religious freedoms also appears to be growing shorter every day. Why? Because an organized anti-Christian agenda is infiltrating the very fabric of our nation. Those at the helm are highly motivated and, frankly, have tremendous momentum coming off the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage this past summer. We are fighting a multi-front war, and the stakes have never been higher.
While the forecast for Christians in our nation appears grim at times, we know God is on the throne, and we are motivated and encouraged to see God providing victory after victory at the NCLL. Here are a few highlights from what we’ve been up to these last few weeks and how we’ve seen God work:
Tax Victories: One church contacted us after having almost $40,000 in its ministry bank account seized by the IRS. After several rounds of negotiation, the IRS returned all the money, chalking the situation up to a “misunderstanding.” That’s a win not just for this church but also for all churches across America. In another case, the NCLL assisted one of our member churches that owed more than a million dollars in back taxes due to yet another “misunderstanding” about how the church and its Christian school were structured. The NCLL resolved this matter completely in the church’s favor, with the IRS forgiving every dollar of the tax debt. If nothing else, the IRS now knows the NCLL won’t back down in an attempt to assist our ministry partners with IRS-related questions and concerns—especially “misunderstandings.”
Parental Rights/Homeschool Victory: After filing motion after motion, we were finally able to secure a court date in New Jersey to argue on behalf of a grandmother/legal guardian of three children. She had been forced to stop homeschooling after a judge said she was “not qualified.” The problem? New Jersey doesn’t mandate “teacher qualifications” for homeschooling parents or guardians. This judge imposed his own extra-legal (illegal) requirements on this guardian either because he simply wanted to or out of ignorance of the law.
Such an egregious violation of a parent or guardian’s fundamental right to direct and control the education of her child threatens the liberties of all of us. The children had to begin the new school year in public school, pending the resolution of this matter, but they are now being educated at home once again.
The financial support we receive from ministries and people like you make it possible for the NCLL to take on cases like these. We are incredibly grateful for that support—and we don’t take it for granted. Yet know how desperately we also need your prayers. Consider the following this next month as you “let your requests be made known unto God.” Please pray for:
In the last few weeks, NCLL attorneys:
Now more than ever, we need you to continue standing behind the National Center for Life and Liberty. Thank you for entrusting us with your legal needs, and let us know how we can be of assistance to you.
Attorney David Gibbs III
NCLL President and Chief Legal Counsel