Democrats & Liberals Archives

War Against Christmas in July

The ACLU has taken on a new client in a free-speech case: The Church of the Good News. This church apparently wanted to run ads on some very sensitive and controversial topics, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority wouldn’t let them.

One of the ads said that early Christians did not "believe in lies about Santa Claus, flying reindeer, elves and drunken parties." (Historical evidence suggests some early Christians did, in fact, believe lies about drunken parties.)

Another rejected ad said: "There is only one true religion. All the rest are false." (Not actually controversial, although there is some disagreement about which is the true one.)

John Reinstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. "We are confident that the court will preserve the principles of religious liberty and free speech and rule in favor of our client, no matter how asinine and poorly-written their ads are." (Actually, he didn't say all of that).

Bill O'Reilly has seized on the incident as the long-awaited proof of the ACLU's liberal bias against elves and flying reindeer. (That part's not true either.) Rush Limbaugh, a a previous beneficiary of ACLU's legal efforts, who recently was detained for possession of Viagra while returning from the Dominican Republic, a well-known sex tourism site, has not commented. (And that's all true.)

Santa Claus declined to comment on the incident. Speaking from his home at the North Pole, Santa also disclaimed any worries about global warming. "Personally, I think it's all a hoax" he said in response to queries. "Al Gore and George Soros have enlisted almost every climatologist on the planet to support this wild moonbat theory as part of a world-wide left wing conspiracy." He then returned to his workshop, where he and his elves were hard at work on repairing the air conditioning.

Myself, I'm going to look for some more drunken parties. Seeing is believing, I always say.

Posted by William Cohen at July 6, 2006 1:27 PM
Comments
Comment #165259

William,

What can I say? Beautiful, simply beautiful!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 6, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #165263

William Cohen

The MBTA is a quasi-govermental dumping ground for every washed-up Democratic hack in the Commonwealth.

Thanks for pointing out the abuses that could occur in a state so one sided with hackery that even a free speech issue gets ripped.

Romney has no juice over that outfit. Zero. That’s a Kennedy dumping ground.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at July 6, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #165271

SE-

Are you a Bay Stater? Must live in Hingham.

Posted by: David S at July 6, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #165278

The likelihood of the ACLU protecting a religous organization is about as likely as Christmas happening in July (I hope my use of Christmas was not offensive).
I read the article but still can’t believe it. There must be more to the story. The ACLU role is suppose to be the supression of the word “Christmas” in order to protect our rights as Americans to not be offended. More to come I’m sure.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 6, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #165279

“The ACLU role is suppose to be the supression of the word “Christmas” in order to protect our rights as Americans to not be offended.”

The ACLU is as close as you can get to Constitutional purests. They support American Civil Liberties… and unless you are not in favor of civil liberties, they are not the evil empire you make them out to be. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACLU

Posted by: tony at July 6, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #165280

I like how curmudgeon claims it’s unlikely that the ACLU would protect a religious organization in direct response to a story about the ACLU protecting a religious organization.

I guess predisposition is more important that facts.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 6, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #165282

The ACLU has taken up more freedom of religion cases than any other organization, because it goes to their core principal: protecting the Bill of Rights. Go to their website and see for yourself.

Posted by: David S at July 6, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #165284

“I guess predisposition is more important that facts.”

Didn’t Jack just post on that issue? or maybe I just expected him to.

Back to curmugeon - the ACLU is not a liberal organization. It defends every bill-of-rights civil liberties issue (except for 2nd amendment ones) whenever it can, which includes freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but also the separation of church and state, to the great annoyance of some conservatives. It often takes the side of religious groups.

Posted by: William Cohen at July 6, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #165285

David

Yup. North of Boston. Famous Mill City.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at July 6, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #165293

possession of Viagra while returning from the Dominican Republic, a well-known sex tourism site,

I will soon be asking for viagra for its original purpose, of increasing blood flow to the legs and feet, hopefully without provoking skeptical laughter, my own included.

Where are the women? I want some Adrienne, Betty Burke, and Sandra Davidson.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 6, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #165298

Of course the ACLU has to do some token religious cases in order to appear like a less than communist organization. Look into the history of these people, and you notice a red thread running throughout it. To everyone singing their praises, should we believe that an organization founded by a card carrying communist is really one of Constitutional purity? Yeah, maybe the constitution of the U.S.S.R.

Posted by: Duane-o at July 6, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #165301

Roger Nash Baldwin, ACLU founder I chose the wikipedia article so I wouldn’t be accused of a partisan site, but try googling this guy and see how many times the old “C” word comes up.

Posted by: Duane-o at July 6, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #165303

>>To everyone singing their praises, should we believe that an organization founded by a card carrying communist is really one of Constitutional purity? Yeah, maybe the constitution of the U.S.S.R.

Posted by: Duane-o at July 6, 2006 07:42 PM

Do you reside on our planet? Earth people know better.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 6, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #165304

Gag, supporters of the ACLU telling us to visit their website. Please! If one desires to know what they are about just look at the history. Christians, keep your mouth shut in public, support pedaphile rights and intimidation of small municipalities. Even the LA times realizes they are a mess….

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-kaminer2jul02,0,4254534.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 6, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #165308

Curmudgeon and Duane-o’s apparent confusion about why the ACLU would defend the Church folks is not surprising. They seem hopelessly incapable of understanding the ACLU’s actual position on things, preferring instead to rest in their comfortable world of self-delusion.

Shall we try it again? The ACLU supports the free exercise of religion, as long as it is not state-supported. Thus, private groups can pray together in the school. Yet, the school authorities can’t lead prayer. That’s the whole freedom-of-religion vs. no-establishment-of-religion dichotomy in the 1st Amendment. For more evidence of the ACLU’s consistent position on these matters, here’s an excerpt from a Christianity Today website:

For example, in 2001, the group interceded with a school district in Michigan that had deleted a high school senior’s yearbook entry because she included a Bible verse. In 2002, the ACLU filed a brief on behalf of a pastor associated with Operation Rescue who was prevented from participating in a parade because his pro-life poster showed a photograph of an aborted baby. And last September, the organization joined a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey second-grader who was not allowed to sing “Awesome God” in a school talent show. (All of these examples are easily accessible on several Web pages now devoted to defending the ACLU ‘s record on Christianity.)

Now, the ACLU’s view on free-exercise vs. state-supported religion seems to me to be a fairly easy principle to understand. (Whether or not you agree with the principle is another matter, although I do.) And, it’s a principle that the ACLU repeats over and over (and over) again. So, it amazes me how often the anti-ACLU crowd seems oblivious to the ACLU’s actual views. Are people really that dumb?

Posted by: Homer at July 6, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #165309

“look at the history” yourself, curmugeon:

http://www.aclu.org/religion/discrim/relatedinformation_press_releases.html

Some extracts below.

The ACLU will fight tooth and nail against having the government fund or favor any particular religion, but they constantly support freedom of religion. (Even for kooks that mount ad campaigns against Santa Claus.)

And if you’re offended by some of their clients, take heart: they’re so catholic about who they chose to defend, almost anyone can find someone to detest. Pedophiles, pornographers, wiccans, rastafarians - they even defend spamming as freedom of speech. Those crazy commies seem to think that the US constitution applies to practically everyone! Quaint, huh?

Now the extracts:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, charging that the city of East Point, Georgia violated a federal religious discrimination law when it denied the church a zoning permit….

The New York Civil Liberties Union, working with the New York University Law School Civil Rights Clinic, filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan today challenging a Coast Guard regulation that withholds merchant marine licenses from people who do not remove their religious head covering…

ACLU of New Jersey Successfully Defends Right of Religious Expression by Jurors: The State Supreme Court ruled today that a prosecutor violated the New Jersey Constitution when he removed two jurors from a jury pool, one for wearing Muslim religious clothing and another for having engaged in missionary activity…

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Omaha on behalf of Lubna Hussein, a Muslim woman who was told she must remove her religious garb in order to accompany her children at a municipal swimming pool….

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland today called on the Baltimore Police Department to reinstate a suspended Rastafarian police officer who wears his hair in locks for religious reasons…

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia yesterday asked a federal judge to issue a summary ruling in favor of a minister who declines, for religious reasons, to have his photograph taken for a drivers’ license….

I dare you to actually “look at the history”, curmugeon. Reality isn’t always what Rush tells you it is :-)

Posted by: William Cohen at July 6, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #165311

Duane-o,

Check out this list of 28 other times the ACLU fought for Christianity. This isn’t all of them either.

Of course the ACLU has to do some token religious cases in order to appear like a less than communist organization. Look into the history of these people

I am showing you the history of these people, and this consistent application of their principles in support of Christianity shows that you are wrong.

And yes, some of the founders were involved in the American Communist Party (back in the days before it was apparent what a problem Communism would turn out to be). If that means the ACLU today 80 years later is still communist, does that mean that my wife is a Nazi because she owns a Volkswagen?

Of course not, but your argument is no less silly.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 6, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #165317

ohrealy

FYI, Viagra was originally developed as a treatment for angina (heart-related chest pain). It was found to be ineffective, but men in the original study reported enhanced sexual performance, which led to its current use.

Posted by: ulysses at July 6, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #165321

Posted by: sicilianeagle at July 6, 2006 04:31 PM

There are organizations that can help you remove yourself from the cult you seemingly cannot escape on your own, but one has to be willing.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at July 6, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #165331

I plan to do some research into named instances of the ACLU defending religion. If they prove to be true, than Duane-O and Curmudgeon have been drinking just a little too much canal water, to use local lingo.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 6, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #165335

LawnBoy,

If your wife started an organization sympathetic to the Nazi cause and even wrote a book called “Peace under the Gestapo” and then years later tried to soften her fascist position for political convenience, I’d still call her a Nazi. The American Communist Lawyer’s Union is no different.

Posted by: Duane-o at July 6, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #165337

Duane-o,

Of course the ACLU has to do some token religious cases in order to appear like a less than communist organization. Look into the history of these people, and you notice a red thread running throughout it. To everyone singing their praises, should we believe that an organization founded by a card carrying communist is really one of Constitutional purity? Yeah, maybe the constitution of the U.S.S.R.

You do realize that our country was founded by racist slaveholders, don’t you? Does that make you and me racists or slaveholders? Or is it possible for an organization (and, perhaps, an entire country) to overcome its beginnings?

The ACLU’s motivations have been explained here several times. On the matter of religion, they support the INDIVIDUAL’s rights to practice their religion, but oppose any STATE SPONSORSHIP of religion. Can you show us even ONE example where they have failed to follow that standard? Where they have either opposed an individual’s rights, or supported state-sponsored religion?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at July 6, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #165340

Duane-o,

The people who founded the ACLU are long dead. The attempt at guilt by association is weak and lame.

Your claim that the changes in the ACLU in the past 80 years are based on “political expedience” isn’t supported by anything more than your imagination.

Please try to make arguments based on current facts. It shouldn’t be that hard of a standard.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 6, 2006 11:11 PM
Comment #165348

the ACLU is not a liberal organization.

How true. It Communistic.

If the American Communist Lawyers Union is defending a religious organization for any reason there’s a catch to it. Now to figure out what it is a stop them before they do some real damage.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 7, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #165350

“I have continued directing the unpopular fight for the rights of agitation, as director of the American Civil Liberties Union…. I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.” (Roger Nash Baldwin, in 1934)
LawnBoy: some of the founders were involved in the American Communist Party (back in the days before it was apparent what a problem Communism would turn out to be).
i beg to differ: 1934 is long after it became apparent what a problem Communism turned out to be.
and as for more recent events: was there even a peep from ACLU about the beheading of those 2 Amer. soldiers in Iraq? or about the DePaul U. Prof. Thomas Klocek affair? etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: alice at July 7, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #165351

Some people just always love to play the victim. I didn’t see the liberal United Church of Christ running to the ACLU when their ads of acceptance were rejected by the major television networks.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 7, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #165354

Duano: Red-baiting? Soooo 1950’s. Almost nastalgia.

Curm. Please please turn off whatever propaganda station that has you hooked and do your own reseach. You are too bright for that drival.
My only complaint with the ACLU is that they rarely do 2nd amendment cases. I think they should. I can see why they do not. The NRA does a good job at it already so people are not without aid and the Supreme Court has pretty much refused to hear significant 2nd amendment cases for about 80 years now. It would be healthy to get some finality. It would also be interesting to have the ACLU and NRA on the same case,don’t you think?

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #165357

Duan-o: More evidece the ACLU is not communist is that they are defeneding a group that is dissing Santa Claus. You know that fat communist and his annual clandistine wealth re-distribution scheme. He even wears red,for Christ sakes!When he says “HO,ho,ho” he is really saying,”HO,HO,Ho Chi Minh.” And the elves could right now be sneaking into our most sensitive installations or poisoning our precious bodily fluids and we would never know. His raindeer could be used to confuse our radar with raindeer-chaf. Maybe we should give another 9 billion or so to that anti-missile project so they can filter it out.

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #165367


I have never thought of Santa Clus as a political figure especially a Commie, but you can’t argue with facts. “Ho,Ho,Ho,Chi Minh.” Thanks Bill.

Posted by: jlw at July 7, 2006 2:10 AM
Comment #165380
was there even a peep from ACLU about the beheading of those 2 Amer. soldiers in Iraq

This just shows the inanity of the people who attack the ACLU.

The ACLU defends Americans when the U.S. government oversteps constitutional bounds. In what way was the beheading the result of constitutional overreach by the government? None whatsoever.

I’m sure that every single member of the ACLU was disgusted by the beheadings, but there was absolutly no role for the ACLU to play in response.

i beg to differ: 1934 is long after it became apparent what a problem Communism turned out to be.

I beg to differ, myself. The destructive totalitarian nature of the Stalinist regime was not well understood or known in the west until well after 1934.

Anyway, they learned their lesson soon after:

In 1940, the ACLU formally barred communists from leadership or staff positions, and would take the position that it did not want communists as members either. The board declared that it was “inappropriate for any person to serve on the governing committees of the Union or its staff, who is a member of any political organization which supports totalitarian dictatorship in any country, or who by his public declarations indicates his support of such a principle.”

The purge was led by Baldwin.

Either way, we’re arguing about ancient history of an organization that has worked for the U.S. Constitution for decades. Why dredge up irrelevant history in preference to relevent present?

If the American Communist Lawyers Union is defending a religious organization for any reason there’s a catch to it.

It always amuses me how many people are willing to go so far out of their way to make up conspiracies and insults when the simpler explanation supported by facts is staring them in the face.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #165385

The ACLU is an incredibly dangerous, anti-American organization. But these asshats should be allowed to exist, as long as they do not aid the sworn enemies of this country. That is the New York Slime’s job…..

Posted by: nikkolai at July 7, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #165390
The ACLU is an incredibly dangerous, anti-American organization.

Would someone please explain how supporting and defending the American Constitution makes an organization anti-American? Because it just doesn’t make sense to me. The only thing I can figure is that you believe that to disagree with you is to be anti-American (Ann Coulter logical fallacy #76). And that’s just not right.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 9:40 AM
Comment #165399

“Would someone please explain how supporting and defending the American Constitution makes an organization anti-American?”

I don’t know about being anti-American, but if the aclu were to actually support and defend the entire US Constitution, I believe they would not have the “leftist” reputation they have earned today.
IMO, the 2nd Amendment, “political correctness, “religious double standards and bullying schools are probably the biggest reasons many on the right are upset with them or don’t trust them.

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #165412

I completely support those who would protect freedom of speech, as well as being an avid supporter of seperation of church and state.
What I find frustrating is that completely stupid speech is as protected as intelligent speech. Early Christians didn’t beleive lies about Santa Claus,.,.,etc.? Well duh! The origins of St Nicholas date in the 4th century and the Santa Claus-Elf-Reindeer image didn’t surface until the early 1800’s, in a childrens story.
I don’t see anything wrong with Churchs paying to advertise thier services/worship schedules on buses and bus stop kiosks, but I also beleive that the transit authority has just as much right as any other business to have final approval on content.

Posted by: DOC at July 7, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #165421

DOC,

While it’s annoying that speech we would consider stupid is as protected as speech we would consider intelligent, it’s necessary. After all, at one point in our history it was considered stupid to believe that women deserved the vote. Now it’s considered stupid to believe they don’t. Who’s to say what beliefs and speech now considered stupid might someday become tha conventional wisdom?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #165423

It’s funny how many of the people commenting here from the right choose to use their free speech to throw around snide, red-baiting insults.

It would be easier for you people to regain some ground in things if you were less pushy and offensive about your point of views. Too many people took Goldwater’s point about extremism in the defense of liberty to heart, forgetting that in liberty, people are free to ignore or oppose folks who try and browbeat them and insult them into submission.

Why don’t you folks try reasoned arguments? There are no guarantees with that, but in politics, there are never any guarantees anyways. Stop offending potential supporters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #165424

I know it’s fun to bash Rush but….

We know that Rush had exactly 29 Viagra pills prescribed by Dr. Steven Strumwasser for his erectile dysfunction. We know this because someone in either Customs or from Palm Beach released it.

Think about how dirty politics can get if this tactic gets repeated.

Posted by: George in SC at July 7, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #165435

Stepan et al. The accusations that the ACLU are commies etc. is just more chilling evidence that many on the right actually favor totalitarinism,that is if they get to make the rules. The enemy of liberty has always been the right. And what is this drivel about “politically correct”?They do have the right to hurl racial epithets at school children if they want but they might get their butts kicked. No fault of the ACLU.

FYI: The ACLU came to the defense of OLIVER NORTH and has sided with the NRA to change a Texas law that unfairly harrassed gunowners. Probably the right suspects a hidden motive by the those commie ,jew,lawyers who use big words.

I really try(sometimes anyway) to use logic and decorum in my post but the inane,rote,reaction to what is one of Americas most important NGO’s just does not deserve any respect.

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #165441

Browbeat? Like muting a girl for wanting to give her reasons for succeeding in public simply because her inspiration to succeed is based in religion?
Insulting? I find it insulting for an org to say it supports and defends the US Constitution but then turns around and only supports or defends the parts of the Constitution it deems worthy.

“Why don’t you folks try reasoned arguments?”

Because any argument against is automatically labeled as being racist, being a phobia or being based in hate.
If you want civil discourse, try offering what your asking for first.

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #165449

Lawnboy - Well put. I have no argument with that at all. I just hope we never get to the point where businesses that cater to a specific clientel are not hijacked by the courts and forced to support opinions with witch they disagree. I also hope that we intellectually evolve to a point where contemporary wisdom does not include serious concern regarding the existence of Santa Claus.

Posted by: DOC at July 7, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #165454
IMO, the 2nd Amendment, “political correctness, “religious double standards and bullying schools are probably the biggest reasons many on the right are upset with them or don’t trust them.

It’s true that the ACLU does not handle 2nd amendment cases, which is viewed by some as inconsistent. On the other hand, the NRA is doing a pretty good job on that one. If you really want the whole bill of rights defended then I suggest you split your charitable contributions proprtionally between the two.

Re bullying schools, religious double standards, political correctness, etc - I beg to differ. Public schools are government funded, and have no business pushing any particular religion down the throats of children - that is the job of their parents. There’s no double standard - if you look at the history, the ACLU has supported wiccans, muslims, jews, mormons, and even christians. And “political correctness”? give me an example.

IMO, many on the right have no real clue what the ACLU is all about. It’s not communist (at least for the last 60 years or so). It’s not liberal - altho many supporters are liberal, they don’t push liberal causes in any systematic way: they’ve defended Nazis, Aryans, pornographers, Mormons, and many other groups that are anathema to liberals.

Posted by: William Cohen at July 7, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #165466

poisoning our precious bodily fluids, Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2006 12:52 AM
sounds like General Jack D. Ripper
The ACLU came to the defense of OLIVER NORTH, Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2006 12:46 PM
well then, to hell with the ACLU.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 7, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #165483

“It’s true that the ACLU does not handle 2nd amendment cases, which is viewed by some as inconsistent.”

Then they cannot say they support and defend the US Constitution.

“On the other hand, the NRA is doing a pretty good job on that one.”

And they clearly state that.

“If you really want the whole bill of rights defended then I suggest you split your charitable contributions proprtionally between the two.”

I want an org who says it supports ALL of the bill of rights to actually support ALL of it and not just the parts they agree with.
Besides, when it comes to the 2nd, the NRA is almost as worthless as the aclu.

“Public schools are government funded, and have no business pushing any particular religion down the throats of children - that is the job of their parents.”

I totally agree. But raising hell over somebody giving their personal reasons for success because it concerns religion, is in no way pushing religion down the throats of children and is wrong and only hurts the aclu’s image.

“And “political correctness”? give me an example.”

Matt’s post over on the red side right now.
Fearing somebody may be offended or that the aclu would take very costly legal action, the school silenced an individual.
You also have the disabilities lawsuits that the aclu takes huge advantage of.

“IMO, many on the right have no real clue what the ACLU is all about.”

ALOT do, they just don’t like what they are “all about.”

“It’s not communist (at least for the last 60 years or so)”

Agreed. But they are hardly pro US Constitution either.

“It’s not liberal - altho many supporters are liberal, they don’t push liberal causes in any systematic way”

We will just have to disagree on that part. I have spent many hours looking over their site trying to find anything that would prove they were neutral.

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #165488

kctim,

“It’s true that the ACLU does not handle 2nd amendment cases, which is viewed by some as inconsistent.”
Then they cannot say they support and defend the US Constitution.

You and I have argued about this before, and you’ve stated this before, but I just don’t understand this position. They definitely support the Constitution, but focus on specific parts of it. Are you claiming that it’s not valid to do good works unless you do all the possible good works? Do you have such anger at the NRA because they support their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment but do not put forth any energy towards the rest of the Constitution? Do you find their efforts as invalid as the ACLU’s because they are also not completists?

The ACLU defends the rights in certain parts of the Constitution. What’s wrong with that?

I want an org who says it supports ALL of the bill of rights to actually support ALL of it and not just the parts they agree with.

Then your problem is resolved. They don’t claim to support ALL of the bill of rights. Here’s what they say:

The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

  • Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

  • Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

  • Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

  • Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

They are quite open and explicit about the parts of the Bill of Rights they focus on, and they are consistent in doing so. The only problem left is that you insist they claim something that they don’t.

But they are hardly pro US Constitution either.

BS! Every effort they make is rooted in the Constitution. Your requirement for completism is bizarre. They have chosen to focus on specific parts and don’t interfere when others focus on other parts. Again, what is the problem?

I have spent many hours looking over their site trying to find anything that would prove they were neutral.

How about the dozens of cases cited so far defending Christianity? Or the defense of Oliver North? Or the defense of Jerry Falwell?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #165498

LawnBoy

“Do you have such anger at the NRA because they support their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment but do not put forth any energy towards the rest of the Constitution?”

Well, I do not like the NRA but not for your reason. The NRA does not claim to fight for anything else other than your 2nd Amendment rights.

“Then your problem is resolved. They don’t claim to support ALL of the bill of rights. Here’s what they say”

Well, they also say this and you know this is what the aclu and the left want every American to believe the aclu is about.

—-The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Our job is to conserve America’s original civic values: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.—-

It appears even they are confused about what they are really about.

“BS! Every effort they make is rooted in the Constitution”

Really? Even the San Diego seal debacle?
Their every effort is rooted in how THEY view the Constitution.
IF not, then they need a new PR manager.

“How about the dozens of cases cited so far defending Christianity? Or the defense of Oliver North? Or the defense of Jerry Falwell?”

A 70-30 or 80-20 split still shows favortism for one side.
Surely you don’t deny that most of their views are more in line with those on the left?

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #165499

LawnBoy wrote:
“Your requirement for completism is bizarre.”

LOL!
I can’t tell you why that particular combination of words is so damn funny to me, but I haven’t been able to stop laughing.

(Ooh! Breathe!)

Thanks.

Posted by: DOC at July 7, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #165502

(deep breath)

Okay I got it. We are always so serious that we tend to completely overlook bizarre ideas as personal opinion. Out of respect we treat the idea as legitimate.

But that one really was just,,,well,,,bizarre.

Thanks again.

Posted by: DOC at July 7, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #165503
It appears even they are confused about what they are really about.

No, that’s just a general statement (which is still accurate). When you go to the About page, the more detailed description is there. Do you really expect them to give the full list in every little nook?

Even the San Diego seal debacle?
Huh?
I have spent many hours looking over their site trying to find anything that would prove they were neutral.

This is what I responded to. You found things that showed that they weren’t exclusively liberal but you discarded them because you didn’t think they were sufficient. I consider myself to have answered the question.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #165509

LB

They have a “general” statement saying they are there to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States” but what they really mean is that they preserve a “list” of protections and guarantees? Or is it the other way around?

“This is what I responded to. You found things that showed that they weren’t exclusively liberal but you discarded them because you didn’t think they were sufficient.”

I didn’t say they were “exclusively” liberal. Hell, I doubt anybody could be that way and still be sane.
What I said was 70-30 or 80-20 would still be a bias towards one side.

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #165510

kctim,

They have a “general” statement saying they are there to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States” but what they really mean is that they preserve a “list” of protections and guarantees?

There’s a general statement in one place, and a more specific statement if you want details. What’s so confusing?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #165514

Whats so confusing?
The fact that they say the want to defend and preserve ALL of our rights in one place (which you say is accurate) but yet their mission states the rights which they deem worthy of defending.
Which is it?

Oh well. I guess its just PR work on their part. They want and need the people to think they stand for all of our rights even if they don’t.
Deceiving yet effective strategy.
Thx LB.

Posted by: kctim at July 7, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #165516

kctim,

Where is the word “ALL” in this phrase: “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”?

It seems you’re the one using a deceptive strategy, but I don’t think it’s effective.

They do what they say and they say what they do. Stop making up strawman claims for them.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 7, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #165569


KCTM: You just described the republican party to a tee.

Posted by: jlw at July 7, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #165570

The wonderful thing about the ACLU is they now determine what is and is not appropriate speech. WAKE UP clones, they are interpreting the constitution FOR YOU. The ACLU is censoring graduation speeches……..they are not the organization they use to be…….

Just this year-

Brittany McComb was one of the valedictorians at Foothill High School recently. She graduated with a 4.7 GPA. She earned the right to address the other graduates at Foothill, located in Henderson, Nevada.

She gave a copy of her graduating speech to the school administrators. It contained some Biblical references and even mentioned (one time) the name “Christ”. The school administrators censored some of the Biblical references. They also censored the single reference to Christ.

Then the school officials handed the speech over to the ACLU for approval and/or more censoring. After getting the OK from the ACLU, Brittany’s speech (minus the censored references to the Bible and Christ) was approved. Brittany was warned that if she deviated from the ACLU approved language, her mike would be cut off.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 7, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #165580

curmudgeon-at-large,

I’m not sure I agree with the ACLU’s stance on the Brittany McComb speech. However, their stance still remains internally consistent. They claim (rightly or not) that her speech crossed the line into proselytizing, which is inappropriate at a school-sponsored (and therefore government-sponsored) event. If the speech did cross that line, then I agree with their stance. If it didn’t, then I don’t. Having not seen the speech, I can’t make the call.

But either way, her Freedom of Speech wasn’t violated. Nobody said she couldn’t say those things… they just said that she couldn’t use the microphone at a school function while saying them. A graduation ceremony is not an open forum for anyone. If your speech doesn’t match the nature of the event, it doesn’t belong. As far as I can tell, the Constitution does not guarantee high-GPA kids like Brittany an open forum at any school event.

Consider this — if her speech had included references praising drug use, prostitution, or pornography, the school probably would have removed them, as it doesn’t want to endorse those behaviors. But the school CANNOT, whether it wants to or not, endorse religion. Separation of Church and State forbids it.

So I don’t see how this example proves that the ACLU isn’t supporting the Constitution.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at July 7, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #165602

“As far as I can tell, the Constitution does not guarantee high-GPA kids like Brittany an open forum at any school event.”

Rob you cannot be serious? She wanted to thank God in her speech and the ACLU states she cannot….NOT THE SCHOOL. Whats next, can’t thank your dad because he is a smoker? She was asked to speak and should not be told who she can and cannot thank. Her speech is not the position or opinion of the school. Any moron should realize that. A dangerous attack on free speech.

The school is so intimidated they do whatever the ACLU commands to avoid a lawsuit. Your examples of prostitution, drug use, etc are not apple and oranges. Those activities are illegal, God is not.

The ACLU uses the same tactic time and time again. Intimidate in order to stay out of court (as much as possible) in order to enforce what they believe is constitutional.
If college professors can use the classroom for a political forum, I certainly believe thanking God in a school speech is quite acceptable. Is there no limit to the height of this wall (Still looking for this wall in our constitution)?

Pink Floyd

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 7, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #165628

Linda Wilson was one of the valedictorians at Greenwood High School recently. She graduated with a 4.7 GPA. He earned the right to address the other graduates at Greenwood, located in Tupelo, Mississippi.

She gave a copy of her graduating speech to the school administrators. It contained some pagan references and even mentioned (one time) the positive influence of Satan on Miss Wilson. The school administrators censored some of the pagan references. They also censored the single reference to Satan.

Conservatives all over were appalled by this assault on her free speech rights.

Ok, I made this one up, but free speech is free speech, right? If you are favoring one deity (or anti-deity) over another, then you aren’t really defending free speech as such, just the kind of speech you favor.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 7, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #165632

curmudgeon-at-large,

Your examples of prostitution, drug use, etc are not apple and oranges. Those activities are illegal, God is not.
I think you meant to say that these example are like comparing apples and oranges (i.e., they are nothing alike). However, I disagree. Prostitution and drug use may be illegal (in most cases), but speaking about them is not illegal. The point that was being made is that the topics do not reflect the opinion of the school, and a graduation is a school-sponsored event.

Posted by: Introspective at July 7, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #165649

“The point that was being made is that the topics do not reflect the opinion of the school, and a graduation is a school-sponsored event.”

Introspective,

I think the point you want to make is that the topic doesn’t reflect the opinion of the ACLU……right? Does this cause you to reflect so many years back to the Brown Shirts? The ACLU are the ones doing the censoring, not the school! The school asked the ACLU to do the censoring because they are intimidated! You know, the right to not be offended? School administrators are very very fearful of lawsuits brought by the ACLU. Its clear intimidation.

I would venture to guess, like most schools, the large majority of teachers could care less if a student mentions God.

Welcome to the world of your new censoring organization. I sit here amazed that so many on this blog would be OK with such activity. One day, they more come to censor you. I for one will continue to protest.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 7, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #165746

What really pisses me off is the rights of a few are taking over the rights of the rest of us. As per the constitution I have the right to say Merry Christmas or any other saying I want to, but then those that are not christian are now offended by that so now we are reduced to saying Happy Holidays.
When I was in school, we had a moment of silent meditation. That didn’t mean you had to pray, it meant that you could think about anything you wanted, what was going on in your day, whatever. Not anymore.
We also said the pledge of Alegiance, now certain people want that taken out of school also because of the reference to god.
What the hell about my rights. If you don’t want to say the pledge, don’t. If you don’t want to meditate, don’t. If you don’t want to say Merry Christmas, don’t. You say it offends you to have to hear this, you are having your rights taken away, I and many others like me are having our rights taken away also, by not being able to say what we want. Our 1wt amendment rights are going down the toilet also. If I moved to another country, by all means I would attempt to learn the customs and the language, I would not try to force my beliefs onto someone else, but by the same token what I do in my home is not anyones business but my own. The same should be said for those coming to this country if you don’t like it leave.

Posted by: Sherri at July 8, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #165747
I and many others like me are having our rights taken away also, by not being able to say what we want.

No, you have every right to pray any time you want to - just not part of an official act. In contrast, what you want to do is force other people to say the pledge when you want to say it and to pray when you want to pray. You want to force your wishes on others, when their desire is merely to not have you force your wishes on them.

You are not being restricted from doing what you want, and others are not being forced to do what they don’t want to do. No one’s rights are restricted.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 8, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #165761

Posted by: thelibertine at July 7, 2006 10:09 PM

“Think that kctim and friends should get down on their hands and knees,think the ACLU for defending the 1st amendment.”

Hmmm? I don’t get down on my knees and pray to a God so why in the hell would I get down on my knees and thank the aclu for being a leftist organization pretending to be for everybody?

“We here defend your right to say what you want.”

Unless what you want to say is about God!

“We also know that most of what kctim and friends have to say is 100 percent bullshit.”

Ah yes, we disagree with you so we are the ones who are wrong. And to think Stephen D. was just saying it was the “right” who was so narrowminded.

It’s ok though, I rather enjoy watching people trying to explain their double standards by ignoring the facts and changing what was said and meant.
It’s something I have much experience in.
I’m married and get to see it everyday.

Posted by: kctim at July 8, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #165804

Wow! All this verbage over an organization that runs on donations and defends everyone the same. So what do you on the right suggest, that GW be the decider on what get defended in court. I send my money every year to the ACLU and I really do not agree with about a third of the cases they file on. However, I am so very thankful that they are there looking out for everyone for someday I may need their help, when GW is finished packing the Sup. Court and they decide that a blog such as this is dangerous to the constitution. It does not matter if they “lean” left or right, it only matters that they take the wording of the constitution as written and defend those who are wrongly held to standards ( the PC of the right) that are not in our constitution. By the way what is all the talk of Political Correctness as when I read on this blog as well as the red side that the PC that seems to be shoved downed everyones neck it the views and opinions of the right. It seems if you disagree the way this administration is doing things in DC then you are a trator or un-American, which no matter how you spin it is still PC with the right wing spin.

Michael M.

Posted by: Michael M. at July 8, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #165856

Just reading the news and stumbled across this:

“American filmmaker detained for 55 days in Iraq sues Rumsfeld, Casey”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060708/ts_alt_afp/usiraqjusticemilitary_060708165438

“Kar, a US navy veteran of Iranian ancestry, was set free only after the American Civil Liberties Union sued for his release.”

“Even though FBI agents cleared him of suspicion, he did not have access to an attorney and was able to make only a few short phone calls to his family. And the US military did nothing to send him home even after a military panel recommended his immediate release, according to the court papers.”

Bad, bad ACLU. How dare they represent a US citizen who was illegally imprisoned and subjected to abuse.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at July 8, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #165964

Kansasdem

I suppose we can overlook the bad cases as long as there enough good ones? Turn our heads and keep our mouths shut?

I suggest you take that approach with the Republican Party since that approach seems to be OK for the ACLU. They have done SOME good things. Somehow I doubt you will….

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at July 8, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #166441

Sherri,

Every school has a period that kids can meditate, pray, say the pledge or whatever they want. That time is called recess.

Curmudgeon-at-large,

Neither of us know the words or bibilical references that the school censored from that girl’s speech. If the school told her to remove words that expressed a desire for the audience to worship her god, then they were acting within their Constitutional bounds. If the school censored words that mereley acknowledged that religion helped her achieve what she had done then that is a complete violation of her Constitutional rights and she should contact a lawer or the ACLU and/or file a lawsuit.

Also, could you do me a favor and show me a link to this story about this school in Nevada. I’d like to read into this more and find more details than what you have provided.

Posted by: Warren P at July 10, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #166483

The Brittany story can be found here

Turns out the school did the editing, the ACLU lawyer was merely commenting for the story.

Posted by: CliveSL at July 11, 2006 2:07 AM
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