"Former Coach Sues Dearborn Schools" -- Is Religious Liberty for all?

Many people have seen the story out of Dearborn:

"A former high school wrestling coach who is Christian filed a lawsuit Monday against Dearborn Public Schools and a high school principal who is Muslim, saying he was terminated because of his association with an assistant who had helped convert a Muslim student to Christianity.

The suit was filed in Detroit by a Livonia law firm and attorneys with the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor.

Jerry Marszalek, a longtime wrestling coach at Fordson High School in Dearborn, was let go last year by the district, which did not renew his contract.

The lawsuit says that the district and Imad Fadlallah, principal at Fordson High School, violated constitutional rights to free speech and exercise of religion, and Michigan laws against discrimination."


What is interesting is, if the facts were reversed, the attorneys would not take the case. The Thomas More Center only takes cases of religious discrimination against Christians. So, if the coach were Muslim at a Christian school the center would have no part in the case. That’s an odd result to me.:rolleyes:

My question for the forum is if the restriction of fighting for the religious liberty only of Christians means the Thomas More Law Center is not interested in the religious liberty of all, just some. Just think if an organization only got involved in the free speech rights of, for instance, Puerto Ricans. You know what folks would say!

The ACLU, on the other hand, is non-partisan. While the Thomas More center was representing those protesters at Notre Dame, the ACLU represented the Bridgeport diocese against state interference. It all makes one wonder.:confused:

You mean like PRLDEF (the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund)? Or Centro Legal? They are a little broader; taking on cases for all types of Latinos.

What do people say? They say such a group shouldn’t be necessary but if they can honestly advocate, great!

The Thomas Moore Center and the ACLJ seem to be a response to the track record of the ACLU which was not always so non-partisan. For many years, the ACLU would not defend Christians in religious discrimination cases. They have become more broad minded over the years. :smiley:

I doubt that the ACLU would not represent Christians. I remember their defense of free- speech rights of some folks in the Klan.

You have a source?

"The ACLU of Utah (1990s) represented an evangelical Christian ministry that had been evicted and denied future access as a vendor at a state fair because fair-goers objected to the religious content of the message. "


There is an interesting laundry list of ACLU religious activism on the link. The ACLU represented Christian plaintiffs in a freedom of religion case before the Supreme Court in 1943.


Since you have made it a personal vendetta to go after the Thomas More Center for only helping Christians, are you also going after the Muslim Legal Fund to make sure that they help people of all faiths? How about Dogs Trust in the UK…why are they only concerned with stray dogs? What about the stray cats? :stuck_out_tongue:

Your vendetta is silly and petty. There are plenty of advocacy groups which focus on particular segments of the population. If you wish to start one devoted to religious liberty for all faiths, you have the freedom to do so. Why not take an active part rather than be a critic? :shrug:

ACLU is non-partisan? :rotfl: What world are you living in.

I don’t know of any legal defense funds that are truly non-partisan. The publicly funded urban legal clinic I’ve seen in L.A. unabashedly displayed the AFL-CIO banner in their office.

Thomas More Law Center (God bless them) wouldn’t even exist if Christians, especially Catholics are able to get a fair treatment in today’s society.

You are indeed confused my friend.

Deal with the question: It’s small for a legal aid group to aid only one faith. Some are more equal than others?

Let’s not personalize this. The thread is informational, as a matter of fact. I did not know how much The ACLU had done with religion until I did the research.

I think that it makes a very tinny sound to call for liberty of only one type of religion. It could lead to dangerous biases. As a result, I have a real problem with the Thomas More Law Center.

I suspect that the Thomas More Law Center’s activities are, to a degree, made with an eye to its donors. They get involved in cases which attract donations.

The Thomas More Law Center’s image as a conservative Catholic/Christian legal defense fund seems to be working for them - why would they want to change?

Its ministry is defense of Christianity from restrictions. OK, I can accept that. But they have no interest in defending other religions from being restricted.:confused:

Can you imagine a Catholic hospital which did not admit Jews?

Thomas More Center is small for aiding only one faith?
What about the Anti-defamation League? Are they small for only addressing Jewish issues?

Isn’t the ACLU dangerously biased against the Boy Scouts of America?
You seem to have a very skewed idea of “liberty”.

That’s an ethnic organization which was involved in marches sponsored by black folks, said marches protesting racial discrimination. It seems to be against racial discrimination, no matter the victim. Which brings us to the Thomas More Law Center: If you’re going to be for religious liberty, be for religious liberty for all.

Thomas More Center is a CHRISTIAN organization.
They make no secret about who they serve.


Last time I checked it’s OK to be Christian. That’s part of our “liberty”.

I dealt with the question. It is completely unrelated to the article you linked, because it is based on your personal distaste for the Thomas More Center - not the facts of the case at hand. You are the one who has personalized it by going after a group for following their mission rather than doing what you would like them to do. I and others gave examples of other groups which focus on only one segment of the population.

How about the NAACP? Have they helped any white kids get into college recently? Are they racist?! Isn’t education for everyone??

The question is if the NAACP has protested racial discrimination against folks other than blacks. It has.

The Thomas More Law Center is not an ethnic organization. As a law center, it should be more non-partisan. Simple as that.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It isn’t a black-only organization - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

So, I ask again, what about non-minorities? Have they helped any white folks who have been discriminated against? If so, please provide evidence. If not, then you should be condemning them for not helping everybody. Isn’t racial equality important for all? Be consistent counselor, if you can.

This is like saying the AARP is evil because it doesn’t stand up for grade-schoolers, or fighting autism is bad because you didn’t also fight ADHD.

You are setting up a false syllogism. I don’t expect the Italian American anti-Defamation League to have been involved with a black person being discriminated against. If asked, such a group should condemn it. And, like B’nai B’rith, it is not a rival to other anti-discrimination groups.

However, a legal organization is something else. It is not constrained by ethnic ties; but by constitutional principles. As such, religious liberty should be for all. This means not being a mirror-image rival of an atheist or Islamacist group. That is where the Thomas More Center falls short and it affects the group’s credibility. It seeks religious liberty only for some.

You have developed your entire argument on a false premise. There are legal defense groups for many different religious and ethnic groups. Your point is moot. As someone else mentioned, we have the right in this country to free association. There is nothing wrong with a group focused on religious liberties of Christians. It’s a very American thing to do.

I brought up this group, which you completely ignored: Muslim Legal Fund of America

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a national non-profit tax-exempted organization committed to defend, protect, and strengthen the Civil & Legal Rights of American Islamic institutions, and Muslim individuals in the United States of America.

They would take the case you mentioned where the situation of the linked article is reversed. Are you outraged that the Muslim Legal Fund of America would not have helped Mr. Marszalek? Of course not. It isn’t their mission.

Pretty much. There are million examples, but Beau is blinded by his myopic distaste for the Thomas More Center.

This was your OP.

And I gave you:

Both PRLDEF and Centro Legal are legal defense funds. And they are specifically focused on a single group.

The TMC “falls short” only because it keeps its focus on the area for which it was founded. It is not a rival of other legal defense groups. It works to defend a clearly defined aspect of relgious liberty in the same way that groups such as PRLDEF defend another clearly defined group.

From the TMC website:

**The Thomas More Law Center is a not-for-profit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. Our purpose is to be the sword and shield for people of faith, providing legal representation without charge to **defend and protect Christians and their religious beliefs in the public square.

From the PRLDEF (now calling itself LatinoJustice) website:

Since 1972, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has been litigating precedent-setting impact cases that have profoundly improved the way Latinos are treated in our society. Our current areas of focus include immigrants’ rights; voting rights; housing, education, and job discrimination; the treatment of day laborers, freedom of movement, and all forms of bias that affect Latinos.

You are offering a distinction without a difference.

Under what authority do you claim that Thomas More Center is supposed to be a non-religious legal organization? Their mission statement is spelled out on their website. They are what they are. They have a right to be what they are, not what you and only you what them to be.

You’re the only person who have a problem with their credibility.

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