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Author Topic:   What's the beef with the ACLU?
Jaderis
Member (Idle past 1809 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 1 of 199 (382803)
02-06-2007 1:41 AM


Rather than drag an interesting discussion off topic I wish to propose this topic:

In Message 178, Nemesis Juggernaut repeatedly asserts that the ACLU is "atheist," "diametrically opposed to Judeo-Christian morals" and "would rather die that hire a Christian zealot" and while I have no issue with the last statement (as "zealot" often implies insanity and I am sure they do not want to hire mentally instable people of any stripe) I would really like to know NJ's and/or others support for this sentiment.

My first question would be - Have you (and I am using you in the general sense, directed to anyone who agrees with NJ, not just NJ himself) never even visited the ACLU's website? Do you really not know of all the work the ACLU has done in support of freedom of religion and defending various churches in court?

Examples:

Following Threat of ACLU of Virginia Lawsuit, Officials to Agree Not to Ban Baptisms in Public Parks

Louisiana Court Affirms Christian Protester's Free Speech Rights

ACLU of New Jersey Applauds Ruling in Favor of Student's Right to Sing "Awesome God"

ACLU of Virginia Defends Federal Law Guaranteeing Religious Rights of Prisoners

ACLU of Georgia and Baptist Church File Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

ACLU of Rhode Island Files Appeal on Behalf of Christian Prisoner Barred from Preaching at Religious Services

ACLU of New Jersey Successfully Defends Right of Religious Expression by Jurors

After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries

And the list goes on and on and on.

I only listed the ACLU defending Christians above to prov a point. They defend Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Wiccans, Atheists, etc, etc. IOW, EVERYONE.

You will find among these cases, of course, cases where the ACLU also takes on Christians, but only when they try to impose their particular brand of religion on others (sometimes thru the government - take the ten commandments in courthouses issue or distributing Bibles in schools, for example and sometimes all by themselves - requiring inmates in drug rehab programs to convert in order to successfully complete the program) or engage in discriminatory or otherwise illegal practices.

My second question would be - if you hadn't been to the ACLU's website and/or didn't know about these above cases, then how did you form your opinion about the ACLU? Did you hear it on a talk show or from your pastor or just in passing? Did you form it all by yourself? If the last one, how?

My third question would be - if you did know of the above cases (or others like them), then how can you honestly believe that the ACLU is "diametrically opposed" to Christianity?

My last question would be - do you understand the Establishment Clause?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

While the ACLU definitely fights against government endorsement of religion (whether it is tacit or overt), many people seem to forget that the ACLU also fights for the people's right to freely exercise their religion, whatever it may be.

Social Issues or Coffee House, please.

Edited by Jaderis, : fixed message link


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AdminNem
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 199 (382863)
02-06-2007 7:53 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5892
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 3 of 199 (382865)
02-06-2007 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
02-06-2007 1:41 AM


The ACLU
Hey Jaderis,

Its a great thread and I will definitely get into it when I have more time. But for now I've got to get to work. Cheers. :)


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis

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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13556
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 4 of 199 (382890)
02-06-2007 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
02-06-2007 1:41 AM


This Post will spark a debate!
I agree with you and have no issues with the ACLU except when they mess up some Christmas play simply because little Suzy Whiner is atheist and her activist Daddy doesn't want the play to bring up any mention of religion even when its a cultural issue rather than a religious one.

I think the ACLU often goes too far, but I am no proponent of a strict secular humanist government even though it may be the fairest way.

Its like forcing a business to spend lots of money to build wheelchair bathrooms when there is only one wheelchair person in the old darn town! Sometimes, bending over backwards to appease one minority is ridiculous in the inconveniences it fosters on the rest.


This message is a reply to:
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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 199 (382897)
02-06-2007 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-06-2007 9:41 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
I agree with you and have no issues with the ACLU except when they mess up some Christmas play simply because little Suzy Whiner is atheist and her activist Daddy doesn't want the play to bring up any mention of religion even when its a cultural issue rather than a religious one.

I remember when I was in school, and we tried to put on a Christmas play. Suddenly, Nadine Strossen ran in, personally kicked the guy playing Santa in the nuts, screamed, "THERE IS NO GOD!", and ran back out, leaving a trail of crying children in her wake.


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6856
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 6 of 199 (382899)
02-06-2007 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-06-2007 9:41 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
quote:
Its like forcing a business to spend lots of money to build wheelchair bathrooms when there is only one wheelchair person in the old darn town!

About 40 years ago these businesses had lots of money to build entirely seperate restrooms for colored folk. Now they don't have enough money to remodel one already existing bathroom to install a larger toilet stall? How odd.


This world can take my money and time/ But it sure can't take my soul. -- Joe Ely

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nator
Member (Idle past 553 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 7 of 199 (382900)
02-06-2007 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-06-2007 9:41 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
quote:
I think the ACLU often goes too far,

Like when?

quote:
but I am no proponent of a strict secular humanist government even though it may be the fairest way.

So, you do not like the idea of the fairest government?

Curious.


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CK
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 8 of 199 (382902)
02-06-2007 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Chiroptera
02-06-2007 10:13 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
quote:
About 40 years ago these businesses had lots of money to build entirely seperate restrooms for colored folk. Now they don't have enough money to remodel one already existing bathroom to install a larger toilet stall? How odd.

Shame on you - don't you know what Jesus said:

quote:
But when thou makest a feast, don't call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind as they are uppity and don't want to have to urniate in the road.

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Jaderis
Member (Idle past 1809 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 9 of 199 (382911)
02-06-2007 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-06-2007 9:41 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
I agree with you and have no issues with the ACLU except when they mess up some Christmas play simply because little Suzy Whiner is atheist and her activist Daddy doesn't want the play to bring up any mention of religion even when its a cultural issue rather than a religious one.

Could you please provide evidence for the ACLU "messing up" Christmas plays? I know alot of schools have opted out of Christmas plays, but could you provide me with a case where the ACLU actually prevented Christmas plays from occuring?

I think the ACLU often goes too far

When? And who gets to define "too far?"

I abhor the KKK, but the ACLU defends them. I do not, however, think they are going too far because I believe in the right to free speech, no matter who is speaking.

I suspect that sometimes the ACLU supports a case not to win, but to set parameters. For example, they might file in a nativity display case not to ban nativity displays outright but to establish acceptable rules surrounding such a display (Is it accompanied or allowed to be accompanied by other holiday symbols? Is anyone allowed to erect a display without getting prior approval from a government entity providing it correlates with the holiday season? What kind of disclaimers, if any, are necessary? Are taxpayer funds used to maintain the displays? etc). This may not always be the case, but it seems likely to me.

but I am no proponent of a strict secular humanist government even though it may be the fairest way.

If it is the fairest way, then why do you oppose it?

How else would you propose we live in such a religiously diverse nation?

Its like forcing a business to spend lots of money to build wheelchair bathrooms when there is only one wheelchair person in the old darn town! Sometimes, bending over backwards to appease one minority is ridiculous in the inconveniences it fosters on the rest.

In that case, it only "inconveniences" the owner of the business and then, only monetarily. Also, in the case of new businesses, it doesn't require "lots of money" at all. Just a slightly bigger stall and a handrail. Handicapped bathrooms do not inconvenience the rest of us in the slightest. They even help more than the permanently disabled. The elderly, pregnant women, people temporarily injured or recovering from surgery, obese people and others can garner a benefit from a larger stall and/or the handrail.

Besides, can you not imagine the daily inconveniences suffered by those in wheelchairs? The extra expense that requires from their own pocket just to get by?

What a selfish outlook that is to gripe about nominal expenses "forced" on someone to help make someone's already extremely difficult life a little easier.


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berberry
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 199 (382923)
02-06-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Chiroptera
02-06-2007 10:13 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
quote:
About 40 years ago these businesses had lots of money to build entirely seperate restrooms for colored folk.

I agree with your sentiments but I think this statement is factually incorrect. Most places simply didn't have restrooms for "coloreds" (bus stations and train depots were among the rare exceptions). If my memory of MS history serves, the law back then required only a very few types of businesses to maintain any restrooms at all. Restaurants, for instance, were required to provide them for patrions if an indoor, sit-down area was available. But most white restaurants either didn't serve African-Americans at all, or they did so only through walk-up windows. Thus, since there was no sit-down area for "coloreds", there was no need to provide them a restroom.

Some employers would provide facilities, but not all of them. Quite a few older black men around here can tell you about having to either go all day without using a restroom or find a secluded outdoor spot. Black women didn't suffer this precise indignity quite as often, if only because they tended to work inside white homes and had access to at least one bathroom there.


W.W.E.D.?

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ringo
Member
Posts: 17829
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 11 of 199 (382934)
02-06-2007 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jaderis
02-06-2007 11:11 AM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!
Jaderis writes:

... can you not imagine the daily inconveniences suffered by those in wheelchairs?

For reasons I won't get into, I once worked a whole shift in a wheelchair. Even for a fit young man, it's very difficult to get through doors, carry equipment, etc.

I recommend the experience to anybody who complains about the cost of accessibility.


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jar
Member
Posts: 32019
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 12 of 199 (382959)
02-06-2007 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by ringo
02-06-2007 12:19 PM


Re: This Post will spark a debate!


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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jar
Member
Posts: 32019
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 13 of 199 (382963)
02-06-2007 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
02-06-2007 1:41 AM


A few more for your list.

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petrophysics1
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 199 (383169)
02-07-2007 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
02-06-2007 1:41 AM


Jaderis said,

My last question would be - do you understand the Establishment Clause?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

While the ACLU definitely fights against government endorsement of religion (whether it is tacit or overt), many people seem to forget that the ACLU also fights for the people's right to freely exercise their religion, whatever it may be. .

So the beef is here, you and the ACLU think that:

"an establishment of religion" = "government endorsement of religion"

This is simply untrue and was not the origional intent of the Constitution. You and I and the ACLU all know that clause was inserted to prevent the establishment of a Federal( US) church. Let's stop pretending otherwise.

I am not the one trying to change the meaning of this clause, but you and the ACLU appear to be doing just that. Some reason I should blindly accept your new interpretation of this clause?

BTW, that clause did not prevent individual states from having State Churches. Massachusetts had a State Church (Congregationalists) until 1830 as I recall, supported by tax dollars. It was never declared unconstitutional, but the law was changed.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/overview.html

Read all of the above Library Of Congress exhibit, then come back and support "the ACLU definitely fights against government endorsement of religion (whether it is tacit or overt)" from a Founding Father's/historical perspective in regards to what the Constitution actually states.


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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 199 (383171)
02-07-2007 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by petrophysics1
02-07-2007 9:43 AM


This is simply untrue and was not the origional intent of the Constitution. You and I and the ACLU all know that clause was inserted to prevent the establishment of a Federal( US) church. Let's stop pretending otherwise.

Don't forget the Supreme Court and Congress! They're all pretending, too!

In fact, the entire history of constitutional law has been one big game of make believe, that got a little out of hand. Sorry, folks. It started when Thomas Jefferson put a towel around his neck, and ran around the living room like Superman... from there, it just sorta snowballed.


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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