According to co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor, the anti-religion organization sent nearly 1,200 demand letters last year—yet of those, it only won or settled five lawsuits. There was no word on how many of the other 1,186 demand letters resulted in actual lawsuits, but according to Gaylor, that’s not the point.
Although FFRF sent out 1,186 letters to school districts, sheriff’s offices, and other government bodies last year, it only won or settled five litigated cases, Gaylor said…These letters are intended to have exactly the effect they had in Kountze: to scare school districts with the threat of a lawsuit. . .*
DEFENDING AGAINST EMPTY THREATS
Every year, First Liberty receives several requests for help from individuals and organizations who have received a demand letter from FFRF, claiming that they are somehow in violation of the First Amendment.
Those who don’t know about First Liberty or their legal rights often give in to the demands “alleged” in the letter out of fear, without consulting anyone on what the law is, claims Jeremy Dys, First Liberty Senior Counsel.
“These demand letters are often misleading because they usually present only one side of the law,” Dys said. “If you receive a letter from FFRF, although it is unlikely they will file a lawsuit, do not be scared. Instead, contact First Liberty, and let us fully inform you of your rights.”
FIRST LIBERTY’S REPEATED VICTORIES AGAINST THREATENING LETTERS
First Liberty has helped multiple individuals and organizations stand firm against such threatening letters, including:
First Liberty attorneys have helped over a dozen such individuals and organizations, thanks to the generosity of supporters who are passionate about enabling Americans to defend their rights against threatening letters like the ones from FFRF.
WHAT IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER LIKE THIS?
So what happens if you receive a demand letter from FFRF attacking your free religious expression? First Liberty gives some advice:
If your free religious expression is under attack, don’t panic. Call First Liberty immediately.
News and Commentary is brought to you by First Liberty’s team of writers and legal experts.
Dear Coach Kennedy,
I would like to say thank you. Your dedication to your faith and your commitment to the positive education of our youth is truly admirable. I am deeply grateful for your military service and for taking a courageous stance in protecting religious liberty rights for teachers and administrators.
If our First Amendment protects a player’s right to kneel in protest, it certainly protects your right to kneel in prayer.
I was shocked to learn that Bremerton High School suspended you after denying your request to continue your wholesome practice of giving thanks after football games.
The Bremerton School District’s actions violate the law and send the wrong message to coaches, young people, our communities, and our nation — a message of hostility to religious freedom and intolerance toward personal religious expression.
Please know that you are not alone in this difficult time — I support you and First Liberty as you continue to fight for religious freedom! Our schools need more coaches like you, our country needs more citizens like you, and our world needs more people like you.✖