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Author Topic:   The ACLJ and its commitment to rights and freedom
Chiroptera
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Posts: 6649
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 1 of 8 (428104)
10-14-2007 5:46 PM


In a recent thread, a member produced a quote from the American Center for Law & Justice. My immediate reaction was that the source cannot be trusted. My reasons for this is that the ACLJ is associated in my mind not only with partisan conservatives, but the American Religious Right as well.

But I could be wrong about the non-partisan nature of the ACLJ. Perhaps they really do have a sincere respect for peoples' rights, even if their view of rights don't coincide with mine.

But when I look at the ACLJ website I notice something that, to me, is telling. In every single case (except, perhaps, for McConnell v. FEC) the ACLJ took the side in favor of those holding and espousing conservative political or religious views. By the way, I will say that in a couple of instances I agree with the stance taken by the ACLJ, but the entire pattern I see here seems to indicate that the ACLJ isn't dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens, but in advancing the conservative cause.

In a long ago thread, it was pointed out how the ACLU had defended a wide variety of cases, including defending individuals and actions the members of the ACLU find personally objectionable, and even defending organizations that are opposed to the very principles for which the ACLU stands. This, to me, indicates that the ACLU has a consistent view of rights that it is dedicated to protect, even at the expense of defending individuals that the members of the ACLU might find objectionable.

I have several questions:

Are there many cases where the ACLJ has defended individuals that the members of the ACLJ might personally oppose? Have they ever defended the rights of an individual against a conservative government, or the rights of a secularist or non-Protestant Christian? Have they ever defended the case on the side that could be considered the liberal position?

If not, could we conclude that the ACLJ is not an organization committed to the protection of rights to the point of defending positions opposed by the members, but rather it is really a partisan conservative organization committed to advancing the conservative movement?

This is a Coffee House topic, but since it might be considered contentious I felt that it should be vetted by the moderators first. Also it might be good for people to notice this topic and think about it first before we get the predictable "pile on".

Edited by Chiroptera, : some typos, some clarity, and added last sentence

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Changed tag for the second link from "ACLU website" to "ACLJ website".


In many respects, the Bible was the world's first Wikipedia article. -- Doug Brown (quoted by Carlin Romano in The Chronicle Review)
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AdminPhat
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Message 2 of 8 (428129)
10-14-2007 8:59 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
jar
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From: Texas!!
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Member Rating: 4.2


Message 3 of 8 (431045)
10-28-2007 10:35 PM


Bump to see if anyone can justify ACLJ
Bump

Edited by jar, : No reason given.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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aristarchus
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Posts: 31
Joined: 01-11-2005


Message 4 of 8 (431053)
10-28-2007 11:14 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
10-28-2007 10:35 PM


Re: Bump to see if anyone can justify ACLJ
They supported the students in Morse v Frederick, which was the "bong hits for Jesus" case.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 10-28-2007 10:35 PM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 30997
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 5 of 8 (431054)
10-28-2007 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by aristarchus
10-28-2007 11:14 PM


Re: Bump to see if anyone can justify ACLJ
Actually, I think that was the ACLU as well.

link


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6649
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 6 of 8 (431057)
10-28-2007 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
10-28-2007 11:17 PM


One example provided.
From the ACLU website:

quote:
The case attracted support from more than a dozen groups across the ideological spectrum, from the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, Christian Legal Society and Rutherford Institute to the Student Press Law Center, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Drug Policy Alliance and National Coalition Against Censorship.

It's not clear yet how much support this was, but this is the sort of thing that I was asking for.


Computers have cut-and-paste functions. So does right-wing historical memory. -- Rick Perlstein
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 7 of 8 (431058)
10-29-2007 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
10-14-2007 5:46 PM


My immediate reaction was that the source cannot be trusted. My reasons for this is that the ACLJ is associated in my mind not only with partisan conservatives, but the American Religious Right as well.

i think they need to work on their acronym. ACLJ always reads to me like "american christians for leviticus and jesus" to me. but maybe that's just me. i could see "air conditioning and livejournal" too.


אָרַח

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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 8 of 8 (431059)
10-29-2007 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Chiroptera
10-28-2007 11:48 PM


Re: One example provided.
Let's not pretend why the ACLJ was involved in the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case.

They want the right for kids to wear "Sodomy Is A Sin" t-shirts in school. By making sure that a kid can use Jesus to promote drug use, surely that same kid can use Jesus to condemn gays.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
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