Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom is an American conservative Christian legal advocacy group. Alliance Defending Freedom was founded to counter what founder Alan Sears sees as a “culture war against people of faith. The organization pursues litigation for individuals’ religious-related free speech and free exercise rights under state and federal laws.

  1. History

It was founded in 1993 by Alan Sears, a lawyer who left a prominent Houston law firm to create Alliance Defending Freedom after reading the book Soviet Minded. Since its founding, ADF has focused on defending religious freedom for Christians.

  1. Leadership

The current president of the Alliance Defending Freedom is Michael Farris, who also serves as Patrick Henry College’s Chancellor and Providence Foundation’s Chancellor.

In 2018, John Eidsmoe joined the organization as Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel, and Center for Academic Freedom Director. It has ties with conservative Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family and others that are part of the Council for National Policy.

  1. Finances and Donors

It receives funding from major donors, including the Howard F. Ahmanson Foundation, the DeVos family (Scion of Amway), and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The organization also receives funding from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which has donated over $2 million to ADF.

  1. Cases/Litigation

The Alliance Defending Freedom was founded by a group of Christians who were concerned that the liberties of faith communities were slowly being infringed upon by new anti-discrimination laws. They formed the non-profit but legally-oriented Alliance Defending Freedom to protect these liberties, and it began to gain recognition for victories in courtrooms across the country.

It litigates cases in civil and state courts on issues of religious freedom. The organization typically represents employers, business owners, and individuals who claim their rights to free speech and free exercise of religion are under threat about same-sex marriage, state anti-discrimination laws, and other areas of public policy.

It has been accused of a lack of transparency. Most of the group’s largest donors are Christian organizations that do not disclose their faith-based funding. ADF has additionally been criticized as a conservative Christian legal organization that advocates for creationism, prayer in public schools, and other issues of theology rather than being an advocate for equal rights for all people. If you want to learn more, just click here.

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