Society

Why do people lie about the ACLU, when it defends religious liberty for all?

| by Jerome McCollom

The American Civil Liberties Union, or the ACLU for short, is one of the strongest defenders for the religious liberties, and in particular, the religious liberties of Christians, in America. It has defended the rights of Christians to wear crosses in schools, including Colorado. It has defended their right to preach their religion in public parks. It has defended the right of inmates to preach in prison. It has defended the right of Christians to have religious statements in school yearbooks. I think you get the idea.

So, why is it when conservative columnists or talk show hosts mention a Christian who had his/her rights violated by the government, he/she inevitably asks rhetorically, "where is the ACLU?" The point of such a statement is supposed to show that the ACLU does not care or defend the rights of Christians, when time and time again, the ACLU did just that. In fact, these statements just show how incredibly lazy the host or writer or columnist who makes it, is. Before condemning the ACLU for not taking action, did they even do a quick google search or go to the ACLU website? No, of course not, because to them it is gospel that the ACLU wouldn't protect the rights of Christians. The fact is, this lazy behavior on the part of these men and women has huge consequences because some of these hosts have audiences in the millions. They take the word of these hosts/columnists, as fact. I listened to one host and he made the statement that of course the ACLU is not defending the rights of Christian students to put 10 Commandment stickers on their lockers. Actually, the ACLU did exactly that.

Now, the ACLU does not believe that any religious group, including the majority, have a right to use the government to further their religion. Judges shouldn't be putting 10 Commandment displays on public lawns, abusing their powers as judges. The ACLU doesn't believe school districts should have children being led in bible verses. This would be just as wrong as if they were led in the verses of the Quran. Ironically, that would be something the Christian right would agree with, indeed, they are some of the strongest advocates of the Establishments clause (which deals with prohibiting the government using its' force to advocate or establish religion or a particular religion) when on those rare occasions where there is an Establishment clause violation involving Islam.

It is obviously easy to bash the ACLU, but there is no organization that is a stronger supporter of our Constitution and our rights. I don't always agree with the ACLU, but time and time again it defends the rights of the average American from the powers of the government. It ensures the government can't torture you for a confession or break down your door in the middle of the night without a warrant. It ensures that we have a right to protest, unlike nations such as China. Indeed, an America without the ACLU would be closer to China or Cuba or Apartheid South Africa. I am proud I personally have supported this organization, but I hope for the day that it would no longer be necessary. Until that day, may the ACLU continue to ensure that the rights of Americans are protected.

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