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Far-Right Christian Extremist Group Alliance Defending Freedom Grows into a Powerful Legal and Political Force

Alliance Defending Freedom has led the fight to allow baker Jack Phillips, a Colorado “cake artist” to continue to discriminate against LGTBQIA couples who wish to buy cakes from his shop. The case itself has stirred up controversy and created headlines all across the US and around the world, but as Sarah Posner, a writer for the nation has discovered, the organization that is defending him is just as interesting.

The Christian Right, as they have been named, is a small but vocal part of the American culture. Even smaller still are extremists such as the Alliance Defending Freedom who hold very conservative political and religious views and fight for them in the name of Christianity. While many Christians try to distance themselves from political groups like these and are quick to point out that Christians fall on the range of political beliefs and political engagement. In other words, not all Christians are politically engaged and of those that are, many consider themselves to be part of the religious left.

However, the Alliance Defending Freedom and other groups like them are a growing part of the political landscape and have crossed the line from a fringe group to a formidable force with the resources and manpower to change the way laws are interpreted and enforced. In the last year alone, Trump has nominated four judges with ties to this rapidly growing group.

The consequences are enormous and they threaten the way of life that many Americans have been fighting for over the last two hundred and fifty years. ADF and groups like them believe that by protecting the rights of minorities it is destroying religious freedom. But this kind of argument is destructive and is held together by logical fallacies that will destroy most Americans if left unchecked. In 1968, a SC BBQ join owner filed a lawsuit against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it “contravene[d] the will of God” and violated free exercise of religion, arguing that his religious beliefs “compel him to oppose any integration of the races.”

While most Americans agree that this nonsensical argument is actually a detriment to the American way of life, the ADF uses freedom of speech and freedom of religion to defend beliefs like this and endangering the lives of everyday people.

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