Freedom for Churches

– I don't think in my wildest dreams, I thought the day would
come in my ministry, where I would have to fight the state. – We received a letter that
indicated the city was aware, we were worshiping in our building and if we continued to do that, we would receive a fine of $250 a day. – The way that we are trying
to serve our community, is being challenged on a daily basis. – We don't see any difference between what's right in this building and what's right out there. If the Bible proclaims it here, it proclaims it for there. – Churches are increasingly
coming into contact with moral and ethical issues. And I think that's
certainly the case for us. The Department of Managed Health
Care issued this memorandum that said, doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter if you're a church, religious organization at all, all contraceptive coverage,
including abortions, you have to cover all that
within your insurance benefits. We didn't wanna put our head in the sand. We didn't want to say, let's
just hope this goes away. This affects every single
church in California. If we don't stand up, who will? – Our city council, the
mayor, passed an ordinance that would allow biological
males into women's restrooms. A group of pastors stood up and when we opposed it, the
mayor decided to retaliate. And she subpoenaed five of us. And she wanted our sermons
and 17 other categories. But we knew that if
somehow we didn't prevail, that what took place here, was gonna be replicated
all over the country. – Life in this DC metro
area is high pressure and we wanted people to have a place to come and rest and enjoy good things, like good coffee and good
conversation with people. Three days after walking
through this building with city staff, they introduced
a change in zoning code and said non-profits were not allowed and houses of worship were not allowed. – We are trying to create a safe haven for women and victims. And the attorney general
in our state decided to pass a law that would allow a man to walk into a ladies bathroom. And we need to be prepared and the preparation starts
with knowing your resources. – We needed a larger space to meet. So we approached the local public school and that's when they turned us down. – We went to the church and we said, we need to decide this together. Are we gonna go ahead with the lawsuit with the city of New York? – We simply could not
have afforded, on our own, to go hire a private
attorney or a private firm and say, can you go
fight this battle for us and we'll pay your fees for that. I don't know how we would have done that. This comes from a place of
not just professional ability but it comes from a place of
their Christian convictions and they're fighting
for what they believe in and what we believe in. – Alliance Defending Freedom
has always had the mission of keeping the legal door open for the spread of the Gospel. And the Church Alliance is a program that is intended to provide and does provide practical,
focused legal help for churches on a much
more widespread basis, than it ever has been in the past. – The Church Alliance
provides practical resources and focuses on, what are the means that we need to take to
ensure that churches continue to have the right to speak the Gospel, whether that's on Church Street, Wall Street, or Market Street. To be able to speak the truth and to live it out in the public square. – The Gospel is bigger than any opposition that people might muster against us. We wanted to see that,
we wanted to show that and we wanted our people to see that. – And so we see it as our privilege, our right, and our responsibility to stand for righteousness
in the middle of the culture. – And we can actually hear
the relief in the voice of the church leader or the pastor, when we're able to
explain the law in a way that helps them to understand that they can still fulfill their mission that God's called them to do as a church in a way that doesn't
run into legal problems. Or that if it does run
into legal problems, that the Church Alliance
can help the church to break through that or
to overcome that obstacle. So that the church can fulfill it's mission more effectively. – And churches are gonna need
to have somebody standing up for them, ADF has provided
with the Church Alliance, a wonderful resource. And you know they have your back. Then you can stand with
a lot more confidence, knowing that you don't have
to worry about that stuff. – I think it's gonna let most
pastors sleep well at night. And feel like hey, when
those issues come along, I don't have to put my head in the sand. I can speak up and say something about it and we can go do something about it, because Church Alliance
will be there to help us.

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