Kelly Shackelford on the Defense of Religious Liberty, Part 2


>>Christians in America are
being persecuted as never before in our nation’s
history. It is taking place in the military, the classroom,
the workplace and the public arena. Is there any good news
at all? Well, I am delighted to report that there is. Stay
>>Lamb and Lion Ministries presents Christ in
Prophecy, a program that focuses on the
fundamentals of Bible prophecy, showing how current
events in the news relate to Biblical predictions of end
time events and the soon return of Jesus. Now, here’s
your host, Dr. David Reagan.>>Greetings in the name of
Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
Last week I began presenting excerpts from the remarkable
presentations that were made at our annual Bible
conference, whose theme was Contending for the Faith. I
began with our keynote speaker, Kelly Shackelford,
the founder and president of the largest law firm in
America that is dedicated solely to the defense of
religious liberty. Last week the portion of the
presentation that I presented was the summary of Christian
persecution going on all over our nation today. It was all
bad news. If you missed that program, you can find it on
our website at This week we are going to pick
up where we left off last week with the second half of
Kelly’s presentation, which was all good news concerning
the appointment of federal judges, and recent court
victories concerning both the Free Exercise Clause and the
Establishment Clause contained in the First Amendment of our
Constitution. Here now, is Kelly Shackelford.>>[music]>>And the greater
news is, I would say, six months ago I would
have said we have an opportunity to begin to change
history in this area of religious freedom. I’ve been
doing this for 30 years. But now I won’t say that. We are
changing history right now. It has started. Stuff that I
never thought possible in my lifetime are happening. What
am I talking about? Well, let me lay some of these out. Why
is this happening? Why is there this new hope and we’re
watching history change? Let’s start with judges. When the
election occurred between Hillary Clinton and Donald
Trump, we were preparing for how to advance religious
freedom under a Hillary Clinton presidency, because
our job is to advance religious freedom. And then
this Trump guy won. And we’re like, okay, we’ve got to
reevaluate. What can we do to advance religious freedom? And
we immediately saw tons of opportunities. But the
greatest of which was there were 140 judicial seats opened
waiting to be filled. These were lifetime appointments. We
thought, “You know if you want to affect the future of
religious freedom, you put judges on there who are going
to follow the Constitution and protect religious freedom.”
That’s a generational shift and protection. So, I said,
“Alright.” And I went to our Board and I said, “Look, here
is the opportunity we have. We’ve never really worked on
judges before, and so we don’t have a budget for this. And I
can’t take people and say, ‘Stop working on your Supreme
Court case to work on vetting judges.'” And they said, “What
do we need?” And I said, “About 2.5 million dollars for
every two years that we do this.” And they said, “Well,
let’s see if we can raise the money.” And I had a couple
people quickly come forward for the first two years and
say, “I’m going to do a million dollars. You start.”
“I’m going to $100,000” “$100,000.” And we got the
money. And the first one was Gorsuch. You know Gorsuch, is
I think, has one of the most incredible history of
religious freedom opinions before he was a Supreme Court
justice than anybody I have ever remember. He is excellent
on religious freedom. And I can’t tell you everything
about what happened. But I’ll tell you that the work we did,
the research and the things behind the scenes. And I’ll
tell you this he was not the first choice, but he ended up
being the first choice. And he is a great choice. And I am
convinced he wouldn’t have been there if not for what we
did behind the scenes on this.>>[clapping]>>Brett Kavanaugh. Brett
Kavanaugh donated time with me 18 years
ago as a young attorney on religious freedom cases.
Donated his time. If you’re a rising star attorney like he
is and you say, “Hey, I’m going to stop, I’m going to
put my career aside now because I want to give my time
for religious freedom.” That’s the type of guy you want on
the Supreme Court, somebody who believes in the First
Amendment, who sacrifices, who believes in religious freedom.
And he’s already shown his–he and Gorsuch both, which I’ll
talk about in a little bit, when we argued a case at the
Supreme Court just a few months ago. I can’t tell you
how awesome it was to look to my left, and see Gorsuch, and
look to my right and see Kavanaugh. They were awesome
in that case. But I’m not even really just talking about the
Supreme Court. I’m talking about what is happening with
judges all the way down. And that’s because in the past
it’s always been, well, I helped you get elected and my
brother is an attorney and he’d make a great judge. Okay?
Well, that is not how it’s working this time because
candidate Trump said, “I’m going to pick judges with a
particular philosophy; a philosophy that they are not
politicians. They are going to follow the original meaning of
the Constitution.” And that’s what a conservative judge is,
not a judge who thinks they’re some brilliant moralist that’s
going to decide all of our issues for us. Their job is to
say what the law is. And it is the legislature’s job to pass
laws. And so, all of a sudden, we started putting incredible
judges on the court. And there is no way for me to–you want
to talk about our network attorneys all over the
country. Guess what? They’re all becoming federal judges
all over the country. Okay. And I’ll just give you one
example. There is a guy who is top of his class from law
school at the University of Texas. Went to work for one of
the biggest law firms in the country. Did great work. And
then decided I want to do something a little more
significant. So, he went to work in the US Attorney’s
office putting away terrorists. Won a national
award for his prosecution and conviction of terrorist, and
people who are a danger to this country. And then Eric
Holder came in as the Attorney General and started pulling
him off of that work to work on political type stuff for
part of his work. And he’s like, that is not why I came
here, so he left. Well, where did he go? He came to work at
First Liberty. He was our Deputy General Counsel. And I
got a picture of him being sworn in as a new federal
judge for the rest of his life. That’s Matthew
Kacsmaryk.>>[clapping]>>President Trump nominated
him at age 39 to be a federal judge for the rest of his
life. He is brilliant. He is a strong believer. He would
rather gnaw his arm off than ever turn away from the
Constitution or his faith. You’ll never have to worry
about him and a lack of integrity on the court. That
picture also is interesting because guess who is swearing
him in? That other judge was one of our network attorneys
Judge Jim Ho who is already setting records for his
opinions on religious freedom, Second Amendment. He’s just
been incredible. So, I love seeing that picture because it
is showing how what is happening is changing the
future of the country. So, literally what is happening,
oh, and I’ve got some pictures for you. Let me show you what
happened in the first two years under Trump, under
President Trump. Eighty-five judges were confirmed,
eighty-five for life. Now they’re going to be on the
bench 30 years, maybe 40 years. But let me show you
what we are in the midst of doing now for the second two
years; 160. Okay? We are doubling the rate.>>[clapping]>>And if this occurs,
I mean I just want you to understand what is
happening. In the next year we
are solidifying things for the next 30 years. We are changing
the future of our country. We are putting people in here who
would be sitting next to you in your pew at church. This is
very different, and its great news for the future of our
country. Now, let me tell you the other reasons I say
history, that we are really changing history is there are
two religion clauses; there is the Establishment Clause, and
there’s the Free Exercise Clause. Both clauses have one
major opinion that have caused grave damage to religious
freedom. Under the Free Exercise Clause, it’s a case
called the Smith Decision, which really has made it to
where you can’t even bring a Free Exercise claim. People
tend to instead they’ll bring a free speech claim and say
that the speech was religious and was being censored or
infringed. Which it’s just sad. Well, we have a case, the
Couch Kennedy case. I think a lot of people are aware of the
Coach Kennedy case. Coach Kennedy was a guy who after
the game he made a pledge to God that he would go by
himself to a knee for 15 to 20 seconds and say a silent
prayer. When everybody goes to the center of the field and
does their stuff. He said a prayer thanking God for the
privilege of coaching those young men. And they said, “If
you do that again we’re going to fire you.” Well, he made a
pledge to God, so he did it, and they fired him. And
unfortunately for him he lives in the 9th Circuit, which Rush
Limbaugh calls the 9th Circus. And, the most liberal court in
the country it is out of San Francisco. By the way the 9th
Circuit, we are, when we get the judges through we have in
the pipeline right now, that will be two seats away from
flipping to a conservative circuit. That’s how
things are changing.>>[clapping]>>But, it’s not there yet. So,
what did they say in the Coach Kennedy case? They said,
“Coaches are not allowed to pray in public if anyone can
see them.” Spectator, anybody else. Now, that is not the
law, but that’s what they said. So, we had to go to the
Supreme Court. And when you go to the Supreme Court, they get
about 8,000 requests they take about 70 cases. Most of the
time what you get is, cert denied; it means they’re not
saying they agree or disagree with the case, they’re just
not taking it, and that’s all they say. And so, we were
waiting on the Coach Kennedy case. And that’s certainly
what you don’t want to hear when you’ve lost at the court
below. And we got a cert denied. And we went, “Oh, no.”
And then somebody said, “Wait, there is a statement attached
by the four conservative justices.” And it only takes
four to take a case. And in that statement they said, “You
know this is only cert denied for now. Go back down there’s
a fact we want established, at the trial court, that is very
favorable to us, and then come back.” They said, “Secondly,
we find the 9th Circuit’s opinion below very troubling.
We can’t even believe that they mean what they really
said.” And then they said, “Third,” and this is what sent
shockwaves through the legal community. They said, “By the
way we noticed that the claim that reached us first in this
case was a Free Speech claim, not the Free Exercise claim.”
They said, “Maybe that’s because of the Smith Decision
that has caused so much damage to religious freedom in the
last three decades.” And they said, “But we haven’t been
asked to review that decision, yet.” So, we literally are on
the cusp of the possibility of destroying the biggest
hindrance to the free exercise of religion that we’ve had in
this country. And opening up free exercise in ways that
none of us have experienced. And they have invited us to
come back and to do so. That’s incredible!>>[clapping]>>And then, the other
clause is called the Establishment
Clause. The Establishment Clause says, “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” I
think most of us know what our Founders were trying to do. We
don’t want there to be a national church that all of us
have to support. And that’s what it was about. No national
church. No coercion of people to support such a national
church. But it got twisted in a case back in the 1970’s. A
case apply called the Lemon Case. In this case all these
new concepts were thrown in like separation of church and
state, things that aren’t in the Constitution. Things like
offended observers, if somebody walks by and they
feel offended by some religious symbol then that is
a violation of the Establishment Clause. Well,
they totally contorted the Constitution into something it
never was. And really, they made the Establishment Clause,
that made the government hostile to religion, because
anywhere that religion was around government, they had to
get rid of it. So, that’s why you see all these attacks on
nativity scenes, on Ten Commandment monuments, on
Veteran’s memorials with crosses, or Stars of David.
So, we had a case this term the Bladensburg Cross. This is
a memorial that was put up almost a 100 years ago by
mothers who lost their sons in World War I. And the American
Legion, it was on their land, but eventually, this is right
outside of DC, they built roads around it. And the
government took over the land to take care of the roads, but
they didn’t want to disturb the memorial. But then years
later the American humanists come along and say, “Hey, you
can’t have this cross on government land. You have to
tear it down.” Well, we won at the district court. At the
court of appeals we had one of the three judges say, “Why
don’t we just cut the arms off the cross, because that way we
won’t have to tear it down and nobody will be offended.” So,
this is the mindset we were dealing with. They ruled 2-1
unconstitutional, after 100 years. So, we went to the
Supreme Court. And we said, “We realize number one that if
they uphold that decision, two miles away from Bladensburg is
Arlington National Cemetery. They are going to have to go
in there and tear down the large free-standing crosses.”
We said, “We don’t think there is anyway the Supreme Court
wants to do that.” So, rather than go for a bunt single win
at the Supreme Court, you just protect this memorial, we felt
it was time to say, “Lemon needs to go. That’s what is
causing all these attacks against religious freedom.
It’s not what the Founders wanted. It’s not what or
Constitution says. It’s making the government hostile to
religion. And Lemon is bad law, and it needs to go. And
that’s the grand slam, right, we went for. Well, the Supreme
Court came back with their decision. We argued it in
February. I was sitting in the court three weeks ago when
they handed it down. And I knew immediately one of three
things could happen, either it could say, “We’re upholding
this decision.” And a religious cleansing would
begin that we couldn’t even imagine. Every, I mean they’d
go into Arlington and take down the crosses. They’ve got
to go into every community of every state of the country and
take down their religious symbols. I mean we couldn’t
even imagine where that would go. That’s option one. Option
two is they say, “We’re upholding this memorial, but
we’re not going any further to talk about other things.” Or
number three is they could say, “We’re upholding this
memorial, and Lemon is gone.” You know that fruit is
squeezed until its dry, and we’re lighting it on fire.
Well they ruled in our favor that 7-2 don’t touch the
memorial, and then six different justices attacked
Lemon said, “It was garbage.” And said, “They’re not
applying it in this case, and in fact it’s really
inconceivable any other case that they’ll ever apply a
Lemon again.” So, I really believe Lemon is now dead.>>[clapping]>>And this major
weapon that they’ve used for 50 years to
attack religion in public is over. Now, if that’s
true think of what that will mean for the Gospel. Instead
of everybody tensing up when religion occurs in public
everybody will go, “Religion in public is fine.” Are you
being coerced? Is this a national church? No. Welcome
to America where there are religions symbols and
monuments all over the country. Where prayer opens
our meetings, as they do our Congress. We’re not ashamed of
religion. We like religion. And religious freedom and
expression is fine across our country. Think of what that
will mean for the receptiveness of the Gospel.
It’s literally a change of culture. And I think this is
happening because for the first time since the 1920’s we
have five justices who think their job is to figure out
what the original meaning of the statute or the
Constitution is.>>[clapping]>>So, what this is doing with
religious freedom is, it is taking us back to our first
principles. And this is literally just the beginning.
I mean this is just the first case. Look at what is coming
next. It’s really incredible when you look at the
possibilities that are ahead of us. But I want to before I
get to that I want to point out something very important.
Why is this happening? It’s happening because we’re just
brilliant lawyers. No. It’s happening because God is
moving His hand. And I just want to show you a couple of
quick, quick examples. If you look you can see His hand. A
lot of people don’t look. But let me show you something. I
don’t know how many of you saw this but there was a movie
that came out called, “They Shall Not Grow Old.” And I’m
going to show you the trailer of this. It’s only a minute
and a half, and then I’ll explain why this is
important.>>[music, whistling,
cannon fire, guns shooting]>>[music, whistling,
cannon fire, guns shooting]>>I was 16 years old and
my father allowed me to go.>>I just turned 17 at the time.>>I was 16.>>I was 15 years.>>When they came to us,
they were frightened children and had to be made
into soldiers.>>Alright boys, here it comes,
we’re in the pictures.>>[laughing]>>I gave every part of my
youth to do a job.>>[music]>>Extend this part
of the trench over there.>>[music]>>[music]>>Fourteen million
dead. One of the most brutal wars we’ve ever had. All of a
sudden, a documentary comes out on this that brings in
color, to life, to sound, in the most powerful way we’ve
ever seen it. Three weeks, this comes out three weeks
before our argument at the Supreme Court where we are
arguing about a cross that was put up 100 years ago to
recognize 49 men’s names on that monument who died in
World War I. Now, people are like man, Peter Jackson he’s
like a famous director. He did the “Hobbit” and you know “The
Lord of the Ring” and all. I can’t believe you got him to
release this right before your oral argument. Right? You know
obviously I didn’t get him to release this. God got him to
release this just weeks before the oral argument.>>[clapping]>>And I’m having
lunch with our lead attorney, he was about
to argue the case. And he said, “You know
that 30 years ago we made this same argument to get rid of
Lemon; that it wasn’t constitutional.” And I said,
“Yeah.” And he said, “Did you know that the Justice
Department agreed with it?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Did you
know who wrote the brief for the Justice Department that
agreed with this?” And by the way we’re going into the
Supreme Court where we feel like we have four votes to get
rid of Lemon. But the Chief Justice was the question,
Chief Justice Roberts. He said, “Do you know who wrote
that brief in the Justice Department that said we need
to get rid of Lemon?” I said, “No.” He said, “John Roberts.”
Thirty years before we got to this case God was already
working on the case. Three weeks before the case He was
still working on the case. This is God’s hand that’s
moving. And I just want to be on His train because I can see
what is happening in the country and it is something, I
never thought possible with regard to religious freedom.
So, I’ll just say that we are literally just the beginning
of this. So, you know the opportunity is right in front
of us. God’s laid it right in front of us. The only question
is: Are we going to be faithful and take advantage of
what He’s laid right in front of us? And you might, you know
some people say, “What can I do? I’m not a lawyer thank
goodness. What can I do?” Well, number one you can pray
because the spiritual warfare that goes on in these cases is
tremendous. And pray for our staff. Pray for our families.
I can’t tell you the kind of stuff that happens, but this
is a prayer battle. This is ultimately a spiritual battle
so you can be in prayer. Number two you can educate
other people. It doesn’t do us any good if we have freedoms
that people don’t know they have them. If we are winning
ground and people don’t know we’re winning ground. People
need to be bold because they see what God is doing in the
freedoms they have, and so you can be sort of the Paul
Revere. And so, the easiest way to do that make sure, we
have a table out back I bet a lot of people here get our
e-mail every two weeks, but if you’re not, get it, because
then you’ll see it and you can pray. You’ll see stuff that
you can share. And as we sort of unite the body of Christ, I
think it will be more and more powerful what’s going on. But
the third things I would say is to stand. You know if what
I think is about to happen, if we are faithful, and I think
we are at the beginning of maybe ten years of starting to
see case, after case, after case where we are going to
expand religious freedom, and have more than we’ve ever had
in our lifetime in this country. It’s not going to do
any good if nobody is willing to walk into those open areas
of religious freedom and actually do something. I mean,
you know, if God is expanding the areas, right when the
hostility is coming everywhere, He is expanding
the areas for freedom, but we’re not willing to walk and
speak the truth, then God help us. Right? I mean this is a
tremendous opportunity that the Lord’s giving us. And so,
I’ve never seen a more exciting time. I just, what I
would say to you is let’s go make history together, and
let’s change this country in a way that will be an incredible
blessing for our children and our grandchildren.>>[music]>>What a wonderful
presentation about how God is working behind the
scenes to preserve our precious
religious liberties! But we must not sigh with relief and
assume the battle is over. It is not. The Humanists and
Socialists are determined to do everything they can to
restrict the influence of Christianity in our society.
So, we need to commit ourselves to pray for Kelly
and his team of lawyers at the First Liberty Institute. Pray
that the Lord will continue to give them victories in the
courts. Next week, the Lord willing, I will continue to
share with you excerpts from some of the presentations that
were made at our 2019 annual Bible conference. Our featured
speaker next week will be Mike Riddle the founder and
president of a ministry dedicated to the defense of
the creation story in the first chapter of Genesis.
Folks, I cannot emphasize too strongly how important it is
to accept Genesis chapter 1 as the literal truth of creation.
One of the many reasons it is so important is because if we
cannot trust the opening chapter of the Bible to mean
what it says, namely, that the earth was created in six
literal days about 6,000 years ago, then how in the world can
we believe anything the Bible has to say? How, for example
can we be positive that the resurrection of Jesus took
place? Or, how can we be confident that Jesus meant what
He said when He promised that one day He would return again
and reign in glory and majesty over all the world from Mount
Zion in Jerusalem? I hope you will be back with us next week.
Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion
Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our
Redemption is drawing near.” ♪♪>>Folks, I am delighted to
announce that the video album of our 2019 Bible conference
is now available for distribution. The theme of the
conference was Contending for the Faith. The album contains
three DVD discs and they, in turn, contain all six of the
presentations that were made at the conference, most of
which run 50 minutes in length. Kelly Shackelford, the
founder and president of First Liberty Institute kicked off
the conference by providing an update on the legal fight for
Christian liberties. His law firm is the largest in the
nation that is solely dedicated to the defense of
religious freedom. He was followed by Mike Riddle, one of
Christendom’s foremost Creation speakers who spoke on
“Defending the Genesis Account of Creation.” Next was Mike
Gendron, an expert on Christian doctrine. He
presented a challenging sermon on “Defending the Integrity of
the Bible and the Gospel.” Dr. Ron Rhodes, one of the most
prolific authors on the scene today, spoke on “Defending the
Promise of the Lord’s Return.” Eric Barger, who heads up a
discernment ministry called, “Take a Stand!” spoke about
“Defending the Church Against Apostasy.” The last
presentation on the album is one that I made that was
titled, “Defending the Divinity of Jesus.” One of the
three DVDs in the album also contains a printable file of a
special publication I prepared for the conference about the
divinity of Jesus. To order a copy of the album, call the
number you see on the screen or place your order through
our website at the address on the screen. If you call,
please call Monday thru Friday, between 8 am and 5 pm,
Central Time.♪♪ ♪♪>>Thank you for
joining us on today’s Christ in Prophecy,
a presentation of Lamb and Lion Ministries, a
non-denominational ministry dedicated to teaching
the fundamentals of biblical prophecy and proclaiming
the soon return of Jesus.


2 Responses

  1. Keith Shelley

    September 16, 2019 6:22 pm

    The prayers of the faithful are being answered. Praise the Lord.God said Find me 10 righteous people living there and I will not destroy it.Genesis 18:32. God loves you. Amen.


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