Saturday, March 26, 2011

ACLU v. Religious Liberty

You would have to be brain-dead not to be aware of the number of incidents involving prayers, signs, decorations, sculptures, crèches, Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, blessings, etc., wherein the ACLU, famous defenders of the Nazis' right to march in Jewish Skokie, have harassed and brought charges against citizens attempting to do something worthwhile and in keeping with the traditions and history of our country – a country that was founded and established by Christians applying Christian principles.

What you may not know is that our government has in place a law that forces the loser, in a case involving religious liberty, to pay the court costs and attorneys’ fees of the plaintiff. This is why most cities, towns and organizations that are sued by the ACLU give up so quickly. They realize that the ACLU collects millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees, and to fight them in court risks bankruptcy.

The Democratic Party and the ACLU maintain that the “establishment” clause precludes any organizational unit that is wholly or partly supported by public funds, from allowing any display of religious beliefs, period. The rest of us maintain that the clause means just what it says – that the FEDERAL government cannot establish a state religion – as was the case in many foreign countries from which our Founding Fathers came. We also think it odd and significant that Congress has always been opened with a prayer.

The ACLU also intrudes in many other matters in a harmful way. In Rhode Island, a high school student wore a tee-shirt that said f**k Bush. When told to replace the shirt, the ACLU stepped in. In Massachusetts, the ACLU defended the right of a website that showed, in detail, how to seduce and molest a child, and then how to stymie any police investigation of the incident.

ACLU v. Religious Liberty

By J. Matt Barber March 24, 2011 The American Thinker (Excerpt)

“Irony is defined as "the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning." The term doublespeak means "evasive, ambiguous language that is intended to deceive or confuse."

There is perhaps no greater example of ironic doublespeak than inclusion of the phrase "civil liberties" within the inapt designation: "American Civil Liberties Union."

Indeed, few leftist organizations in existence today can compete with the ACLU in terms of demonstrated hostility toward what the Declaration of Independence describes as "certain unalienable rights" with which Americans are "endowed by their Creator."

Consider the doublespeak inherent throughout the "progressive" Goliath's flowery self-representation :

“The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

Now contrast that depiction with ACLU founder Roger Baldwin's candid vision :

“I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”

Ironic, isn't it? So much for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." By combining straightforward segments from each ACLU rendering we arrive with an accurate portrayal. One that cuts through the doublespeak:

The ACLU is...working daily in courts, legislatures and communities. Communism is the goal….”

“Even the ACLU's own promotional materials overtly advocate religious discrimination: "The message of the Establishment Clause is that religious activities must be treated differently from other activities to ensure against governmental support for religion."

Utter hokum.

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause -- a mere 10 words -- says nothing of the sort. Its message is abundantly clear, requiring severe distortion to stuff within the ACLU's Marxist parameters. It merely states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." That's it.

Now let's break it down. What do you suppose the Framers of the US Constitution -- a document expressly designed to limit the powers of federal government -- intended with the word "Congress"? Did they mean State government? Municipal government? Your local school district? Your third grade teacher?

Of course not. They meant exactly what they said: Congress . As in: The United States Congress! It takes someone with a distinctly disingenuous ulterior motive to derive anything else.

Now what did they mean by "...shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion?"

Well, in a letter to Benjamin Rush, a fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson -- often touted by the left as the great church-state separationst -- answered that question. The First Amendment's Establishment Clause was singularly intended to restrict Congress from affirmatively "establishing," through federal legislation, a national Christian denomination (similar to the Anglican Church of England).

Or, as Jefferson put it : "[T]he clause of the Constitution" covering "freedom of religion" was intended to necessarily preclude "an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States."

How far removed we are today from the original intent of our Founding Fathers. The ACLU is largely responsible for creating the gulf between the Constitution's original construction and its modern misapplication.

The ACLU remains one of America's most powerful secular-socialist political pressure groups. It relentlessly tramples underfoot the First Amendment, which guarantees sweeping and absolute liberty for all Americans -- including government employees -- to freely exercise their faith both publicly and privately without fear of reprisal: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Examples of its constitutional abuses are manifold, but one of the most recent involves an ACLU assault against a group of Christians in Santa Rosa County, FL. Liberty Counsel represents those Christians.

An ACLU-crafted Consent Decree has been used as a weapon to threaten school district employees with fines and jail time for merely praying over a meal, and for exercising -- even while away from school -- their sincerely held Christian faith. You read that right. The ACLU is literally seeking to criminalize Christianity.

In August of 2009, Liberty Counsel successfully defended staff member Michelle Winkler from contempt charges brought by the ACLU after her husband, who is not even employed by the district, offered a meal prayer at a privately sponsored event in a neighboring county.

Liberty Counsel also successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges, after the ACLU sought to have the men thrown in jail for blessing a lunch meal served to about 20 adult booster club members.

Under the Consent Decree teachers are considered to be acting in their "official capacity" anytime a student is present, even at private functions off campus.

Liberty Counsel describes this unconstitutional decree:

Teachers cannot pray, bow their heads, or fold their hands to show agreement with anyone who does pray. Teachers and staff cannot 'Reply' to an email sent by a parent if the parent's email refers to God or Scripture. Teachers either have to delete such references from the original email or reply by initiating a new email. Teachers and staff are also required to stop students from praying in their own private club meetings.

During witness testimony, Mrs. Winkler sobbed as she described how she and a coworker, who had recently lost a child, literally had to hide in a closet to pray.

Although the case continues, on Monday the ACLU suffered a tremendous setback while freedom took a significant step forward. Federal District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers granted in part a Preliminary Injunction in favor of Liberty Counsel's twenty-four Christian clients.

Judge Rodgers concluded that even though "a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy," one aspect of the Consent Decree -- its attempt to prohibit school employees from fully participating in private religious events -- is so flawed that it must be immediately halted.

The Court thus enjoined the School Board "from enforcing any school policy that restrains in any way an employee's participation in, or speech or conduct during, a private religious service, including baccalaureate" pending a trial on the merits.

"Progressives" are nothing if not consistent. As they gain confidence, they invariably rush across that bridge too far. They engage wild-eyed efforts to "fundamentally transform America" to reflect their own secular-socialist self-image.

I'm certain that both the bare-knuckle spirit of the American people and Liberty Counsel's enduring 92 percent win record against the ACLU will maintain a durable safeguard - an "impenetrable wall of separation" if you will - between our constitutionally guaranteed liberties and a subversive "progressive" agenda built upon the distinctly un-American creed: "Communism is the goal."” The American Thinker


AddThis Social Bookmark Button


At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Why are the American People so oblivious to this? These Secular Progressives are supported by a wide majority of the members of the Democratic Party. How can anyone, particularly a devout Christian or Jew, be proud of being a Democrat?
Why would anyone embrace Communism? These are just some of the questions I have that will haunt me till the day I die.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Doug Indeap said...

Leaving Barber's ridiculous Red-baiting to others (e.g.,, I'll focus on his equally ridiculous reading of the First Amendment.

The principle of separation of church and state is derived from the Constitution (1) establishing a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, and (3), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office and the First Amendment where the point is to confirm that each person enjoys religious liberty and that the government is not to take steps to establish religion.

James Madison confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

Barber makes much of the First Amendment's reference to "Congress." By his literal reading, are we to suppose the President could, by proclamation, establish a national religion? Or direct federal agencies to use stationery bearing statements touting the virtues of Scientology? Nonsense. Congress itself cannot make any law whatsoever without the approval of the President, except in the instance of overriding a President's veto. As laws in the ordinary course are "made" by actions by both Congress and the Executive, the establishment clause is reasonably understood to constrain both branches.

Observing that a state government is not Congress, Barber suggests that applying the Amendment to states is far removed from the original intent. Unmentioned by Barber is that the Constitution was later amended to protect from infringement by states the privileges and immunities of citizenship, due process, and equal protection of the laws. The courts naturally have looked to the Bill of Rights for the important rights thus protected by the 14th Amendment and have ruled that it effectively extends the First Amendment’s guarantees vis a vis the federal government to the states and their subdivisions--hence the law does reach the city councils and public school teachers.

While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as Barber also notes, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope as he suggests. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision ("no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed") and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, its aim could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion--stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

Wake Forest University recently published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

It is noted in the convoluted logic of the above mishmash that the author chose not to capitalize "God".


Post a Comment

<< Home