Background: Alliance Defense Fund is like a conservative counterpart to the ACLU — basically a well-funded law firm with a socio-political agenda that operates in jurisdictions throughout the United States. They do things like pick up cases pushing for Bible clubs to meet at public schools, for teaching Intelligent Design in public classrooms, etc. However, they claim they are not a law firm, but instead a “Christ-centered” “servant organization” and a “legal alliance.” Among other things, this enables them to circumvent laws against discrimination in employment. In particular, they only hire Christians. Here is the “Statement of Faith” and a list of activities you may be asked to be involved in during work hours.
Of more interest to Mormons, ADF is the legal counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the pro-Prop 8 organization sponsored by the Church (sponsored in the sense that members have been directed to donate their money to that organization specifically). Several stories have been written about ADF hiring practices in light of the participation of expressly (i.e. Jewish) or allegedly (i.e. LDS) non-Christian groups in the coalition. BCC readers likely even noticed a recent sidebar link to one of the stories under the header “legal counsel for the Yes-On-8 campaign won’t hire Mormons.”
So, first question: Is it true?
In an effort to better answer this question, I sent an email to ADF Human Resources asking specifically about hiring Mormons. Their response was terse, generic, but friendly, simply redirecting me back to the Statement of Faith, noting that “every member needs to be in full agreement” with it. The Statement reads as follows:
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity and humanity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His present rule as Head of the Church and in His personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe that all those who die in God’s grace through faith are assured eternal salvation; those who die in a state of sin and unbelief suffer the punishment of Hell.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, with equality across racial, gender, and class differences.
As well as a list of “duties” required or potentially required of all “team members”:
During working and non-working hours, ADF Team Members, as part of their duties as Team Members, shall: (i) be ready, willing, and able to participate in public and private prayer, chapel or other similar Christian services held or sponsored by ADF, including prayer with and for friends and allies of the ministry; (ii) refrain from statements and conduct that detracts from the biblical standards taught and supported by ADF; (iii) be spiritually ready, willing, and able to fulfill such other ministry functions and requirements as may be requested by ADF; and (iv) abide by the practices and policies of ADF, including without limitation, those that pertain to corporate religious activites, beliefs, and practices.
So I ask again — is it true? Would the ADF hire a Mormon? Two potential sticking points I see in the SOF are 1) the infallibility and authoritativeness of the Bible, and 2) the “punishment of Hell” for unbelievers. Other possible sticking points are less clear. We do believe in one (supreme) God, but most non-Mormons, especially non-Mormon conservative Christians, firmly believe that we are polytheists. (Perhaps the tension here is broken by the fact that a potential hiree appears to only have to individually affirm acceptance of said principles.) The list of duties might furnish other potential sticking points, but I’m really more interested in your responses to it all.
Which leads us to my second, and final question: does it matter?