Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) — the legal activist organization founded in 1993 by “a band of TV preachers and right-wing radio ranters” which now constitutes the strong arm of what I call the Legal Right — is not taking the recent dismissal of a case they brought before the Idaho courts very well. The case sought to allow a charter school in that state to teach the Bible.
ADF is hopping mad and they’ve renewed an ongoing online spat with “gloating” Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU). ADF Senior Legal Counsel, David Cortman, goes all out in his bashing of both separation of church and state and AU in a recent post. “Organizations like AU have twisted the words and meaning of the Constitution to fit their own ideological agenda,” Cortman writes.
ADF was founded, according to their mission, as “a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.” You can read their “statement of faith” here. Their primary litigation objectives are to “protect” the sanctity of life, marriage and the family, and religious freedom. Over the years they have built a large stable of affiliated organizations and allies including Wallbuilders, Crusade for Christ, Family On The Family, Defense of Marriage Act Watch, Community Defense Council, The Heritage Foundation and a host of other organizations that comprise a who’s-who of conservative money and machinery.
Under the guise of “religious liberty” they have challenged advocates for equality and human rights in areas including marriage rights, health care (provider refusal laws or so-called “conscience clauses”) and education, as in the Idaho case.
Bob Boston writes at AU’s blog, demonstrating the tone of rancor that has developed between the two organizations, “You guys are so tiresome – and predictable. Repeat after me: ‘Legitimate instruction ABOUT religion, good (constitutional); sectarian indoctrination, bad (unconstitutional).'”