From the Desk of:
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman
This is a long message, but I hope you will read it
to the end. I feel it is important that you do. — Mat
On Constitution Day, after an all-day hearing, Santa Rosa County,
Florida, Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman
were cleared of criminal contempt charges that arose from the
simple blessing of a meal!
A wave of relief swept over Frank and Robert. When they heard
the decision, tears of joy and cheers swept through the throngs
of people who had waited outside in the rain for over ten hours.
We are, of course, very pleased and grateful to our God that
these fine men – and Assistant Michelle Winkler in an earlier
case – no longer face fines, possible loss of retirement benefits
and jail time.
But, honestly, that’s about as far as the rejoicing can go.
The outrageous court order still hangs over the school
system. The ACLU is still soliciting “informants.”
And the employees and students of this iconic rural school
district remain intimidated and confused about their God-
given, inalienable rights as Americans.
I want to assure you – right here and now – that we are far from
done with the ACLU in Santa Rosa…or anywhere else they try to
pull this kind of outrageous legal manipulation!!
Our first order of business will be to get the despicable underlying
court order overturned. It’s like a snake in the grass ready to
strike again at the next innocent passerby. And like any other
poisonous snake in the grass, it needs its head blown off!
++Please listen to the recorded message I’ve prepared for you
After the long day of trial in Pensacola, it is late in the evening
and I am in the Charlotte airport waiting for a connection to Nashville,
where I will record a “Fox and Friends” segment about today’s events
at 4:30 a.m. From there I fly to Liberty University where I will
speak to 11,000 students about the Constitution.
Later, I will fly to Nashville to address the American Association
of Christian Counselor’s convention about legal developments
impacting their members’ ability to render Christ-centered advice
But right now, I AM SO GRATEFUL to you and our many other friends
around the Nation that have prayed and stood with us financially
in this battle, that I want to share some of my impressions with
you. Please go here to listen to my message:
Kevin, you might think this is peculiar…
..but as I look back on the day’s events, I must tell you that if
I didn’t know that I was actually experiencing them, I might have
thought that I was in another dimension watching an over-the-top
“B” movie about hypothetical future events.
The reality, however, was that the day’s strange occurrences
were actually happening!
++The entire day was completely surreal
First of all, the facts of the case were ludicrous from the beginning.
It is absolutely ridiculous that these distinguished public servants
even had to think twice about blessing a meal.
Then, how absurd it was that the ACLU was spending Constitution Day
trying to deny these life-long educators the most basic tenets of
our Nation’s founding document!
When I entered the courthouse, I passed by hundreds of our clients’
friends and neighbors carrying signs who had begun gathering at
dawn in a steady rain to show their support.
The Liberty Counsel legal team and our clients were met with
swelling rounds of applause as we entered and left the courthouse
at various times during the long day’s proceedings.
It was very touching and, well, humbling. Emotions ran high.
Chants of, “We came to pray for Lay! We came to pray for Lay,”
the Lord’s Prayer and familiar hymns were at times audible
inside the courtroom itself. The Pensacola News Journal
noted that the chants were heard many blocks away, and
++ By 9:00 am, when the hearing started, the scene took on the
characteristics of a revival
The Lord was on the scene! Inside, we were told that bus loads
of church members, Christian associations and everyday citizens
who wanted to show their support were arriving from throughout
the region and emptying into the congested parking areas. Many
stayed and prayed all day long!
How then was it possible, in this Nation that was literally
born in prayer, that we were listening to the ACLU’s harsh
recitation of CRIMINAL charges against two of the
community’s most beloved citizens for…praying?
There’s a lot more I want to share with you – please go here to
listen to my recorded message:
Kevin, I REALLY thought I was in the Twilight Zone when
I entered the courtroom and saw, prominently hanging on the wall,
one of the largest reproductions of the famous John Trumbull
painting “Signing of the Declaration” that I have ever seen.
It was large enough to hang in the State Capitol building!
Didn’t everyone in the courtroom know that the Founders spent
many, many hours in fervent prayer during the drafting of our
Declaration of Independence?
Again I thought, “Can this be happening in America?” Several
times during this most peculiar day I felt I was a player in
“the theater of the absurd.” I wondered how I would describe this
series of incongruities and contradictions to friends who
weren’t there. For instance:
After sharing a letter of encouragement to our clients
endorsed by over 60 Members of the United States
Congress…we were forced to pay rapt attention to the
distorted and embarrassingly off-base complaints of our
ACLU adversaries. It was just bizarre!
++We were all encouraged by the prayers and warm expressions
of support that flooded in from around the Nation
Perhaps Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia, Chairman of the
Congressional Prayer Caucus, said it best in a News Release
from his office in Washington, D.C.:
“Today it is the school employees in Santa Rosa County.
Tomorrow it could be your kid’s high school coach, your
school’s athletic sponsors, or your spouse. If we do not
stand up today for our liberties and the right of all
Americans to pray according to their faith, our children
and grandchildren will have no foundation left on which to
++I wish it weren’t so, but there is still much left to do
We have come to a point of crisis in the history of justice in the
United States of America. The super-funded ACLU is completely out
of control and, encouraged by massive donations from the likes of
billionaire George Soros, is running amok.
The ACLU literally mugged this small Florida school system! What
And as Congressman Forbes said, it could have just as easily been
your school district, your community, and your dedicated public
servants. This story has shocked the entire Nation.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough what a crucially important case
this continues to be. The future of American law and our precious
freedom of religious expression still hang in the balance in this
small Florida Panhandle community.
++The ACLU won’t rest until they’ve criminalized Christianity
Kevin, the super-rich, ultraliberal ACLU bullies fully
intend to add precedent upon precedent in highly targeted cases
like Santa Rosa County until it is a CRIME to express one’s faith
in a public setting ANYWHERE in the United States.
++The original court order cannot stand! The ACLU must not
be allowed to win!
We have spread the word of the ACLU’s outrageous attempt to
criminalize Christianity in America in every way we can. We
have appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and scores of other
national broadcast outlets, and will continue doing so.
But today, even after our victory on Constitution Day, I need your
help in two very important ways:
ACTION ITEM ONE: Please continue to pray! As the Pensacola
newspaper said, this case is turning into a revival! And
the ACLU can’t make headway on their secular, statist
agenda when we faithfully pray!
ACTION ITEM TWO: Tell your Christian friends about this
pivotal battle for the soul of our Nation, and ask them to
join you in prayer. Pass this message along!
We simply MUST win the remainder of this case – both for the good
people of Santa Rosa County and also for every other school district
in America – but it won’t be easy.
As you know, we’re up against the deep-pocketed ACLU that has
hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re certainly thanking God
that Principal Lay, Athletic Director Freeman, and Assistant
Winkler are “off the hook,” but the snare is still laid in
Santa Rosa County.
If you can make a special gift today to help Liberty Counsel
attorneys make an end of this ACLU offensive in Santa Rosa
County before it hits cities and towns like yours, please go here:
BUT WHATEVER YOU DO, PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR LIBERTY COUNSEL
AND THIS CASE! And please forward this message to as many of
your like-minded friends, church members, and associates as
possible to enlist their prayers!
Liberty Counsel attorneys are on the front line of this battle
and we simply can’t succeed without your help.
Thanks in advance and may God bless you and yours!
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
PS Thank you for taking the time to read this entire message! We
are praising God for our initial victory in the Santa Rosa County
case, but everyone knows that if we don’t get the underlying court
order thrown out, we’ll soon be back in court defending another
group of hapless school system employees who have been victimized.
If we let the ACLU succeed in criminalizing prayer before meals in
Santa Rosa County, Florida, we will witness an unprecedented
assault across the country in the days and weeks to come. And
let’s face it… with Barack Obama in charge of the Justice Department,
the ACLU is emboldened and we can expect to see more and more cases
like this one, especially if they start gaining momentum.
Your gift right now of $25, $50, $100 — or whatever the Lord
leads — will help Liberty Counsel continue to fight in Florida
and in communities like yours across the Nation. This war with
the ACLU is far from being over – even in Santa Rosa County.
Please go here to help, even if you’ve already invested in the
Liberty Counsel litigation fund:
Again, thank you for your friendship and support!
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Liberty Counsel, with offices in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C.,
is a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to
advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the
Liberty Counsel . PO Box 540774 . Orlando, FL 32854 . 800-671-1776