A Christian legal organization has received a $9.2 million grant to defend religious speech and expression at universities and colleges, the group announced this week.
The grant, given by a family whose name was not disclosed, is matched by the recipient group, Alliance Defense Fund, so nearly $20 million will go towards its University Project.
“Christians on public university campuses shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “Many colleges and universities across the nation have enacted unconstitutional policies and practices censoring Christian speech, banning Christian groups from campus, and punishing professors and students.”
According to French, more than 70 percent of public universities and colleges have restrictive speech policies.
ADF hopes the “extremely generous gift” will help it to restore academic institutions to be “marketplaces of ideas” that they were intended to be.
In a recent case the group tackled, a Tennessee school district didn’t allow Christian parents to hang posters about events such as See You at the Pole and National Day of Prayer at public schools. Parents are now allowed to post posters that contain the word "God." A current case ADF is involved in concerns a homeschooled girl who was ordered to attend public school partly because the court deemed her Christian faith to be too “rigid” like her mother’s.
The legal Christian group highlights that in over 40 cases brought against public universities, it has never failed to gain policy changes or other positive results for students and professors.
Alliance Defense Fund is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys that take on cases involving religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and the family. It was launched in 1994 by the late Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ; James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; the late D. James Kennedy, founder of Coral Ridge Ministries; the late Larry Burkett, founder of Crown Financial Ministries; and other Christian leaders and organizations.