Meet the Staff: Christopher J. Klicka
“When I was in college two major cases trampled the rights of Christians and motivated me to study law.
“I was attending Grove City College in Pennsylvania at the time of their famous court battle. The state claimed if government monies were going to the school in the form of student loans, the government had the right to regulate the school. Grove City College disagreed. The case was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the college lost.
“The other case involved my home church in Wisconsin. In that case the state was trying to take away the church’s tax exempt status. The state of Wisconsin was defining what a church should be—establishing their own guidelines, such as requiring that elders had to hold seminary degrees. In an unprecedented action, the church lost.
“No Christian lawyers who understood the constitutional rights were available to help with either case. I witnessed first hand the desperate need for Christian attorneys in the field of constitutional law. Our legal system desperately needs restoration to reflect God’s laws. I want to be part of the solution.
“When I went on to law school at Oral Roberts University, my convictions in this matter were only strengthened by witnessing their battle for accreditation with the American Bar Association.”
Christopher J. Klicka joined HSLDA as the first full-time staff attorney in the summer of 1985. At that time there was only one secretary and two part-time attorneys (Mike Farris and Jordan Lorence). His training was “on-the-job” and he learned by experience.
One of the aspects that surprised Chris in 1985 was that in the U.S.—a free country—the rights of parents to train their children are repeatedly questioned and challenged. He found the bias of the public school system and their adamant desire to shut down home schooling astonishing. He never thought it would be so bad.
Chris is quick to point out, however, that there was a flip side to this negative situation. He says: “I am amazed and grateful to see how God has used this minority of people [home schoolers] and done great things with them against all odds. I have witnessed thousands of miracles: legislative and legal miracles, and miracles where school districts have backed down—even in cases where they had every right under the law to prosecute the families.”
When asked what he enjoys the most about his work at HSLDA, Chris’ quick response was, “Everything!” He went on to say that his greatest joy comes from working with the people themselves. “The common mind-set and commitment of families all across the country—families who don’t know each other—to train their children and raise their families in God’s principles is tremendously encouraging. There is no human, master plan at work here. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that we are witnessing. And hundreds of thousands of children are being grounded in the Word of God while academically excelling.”
HSLDA’s staff continually witness Chris’ concern for each of the member families with whom he works. He thoroughly handles each detail of their case and faithfully brings them before the Lord during weekly staff prayer meetings.
In addition to representing families who are contacted by school officials, Chris also works with state leaders to achieve good legislation for home schoolers or fight harmful legislation. Recently Chris has been working with the National Center on the federal PAT legislation and has been instrumental in making contact with several of the sponsoring senator’s offices, convincing at least one to withdraw his support.
Chris enjoys writing and is the author of the annually updated chart, Home Schooling in the United States. His next book will be available from Noble Press this summer. In approximately 350 pages it presents a thorough biblical, historical, academic, and legal perspective of home schooling and includes a special section exposing the failure of the public schools.
As many of our readers know, the Klicka family has faced extreme physical suffering. Tracy’s severe case of ulcerative colitis almost took her life 3 years ago. That crisis was followed by Chris’ involvement in a head-on collision, succeeded immediately by a serious physical illness. But God has used those times of suffering to reveal to Chris and Tracy His love, grace, and deliverance. God has also blessed Chris and Tracy with two daughters which they home school. They are anticipating the birth of their third child in October.
One result of the illness and suffering Chris and Tracy have experienced is the realization that life is so short. Chris explains, “We have become much bolder in sharing our faith. Presenting the message of Jesus Christ is the most important thing that we can share with anyone.
“This realization also spills over into my job. In the face of court losses and daily attacks from public school officials, I know that God is sovereign over all. I believe that the reason God is blessing the home-schooling movement is because the vast majority of these families are spreading the message of Jesus Christ to the world, and more importantly to their children.”