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Author Topic:   What's the beef with the ACLU?
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 291 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 121 of 199 (384106)
02-10-2007 3:06 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Hyroglyphx
02-09-2007 9:57 PM


Re: What is wrong with Communism?
That’s it! That’s all that the 1st Amendment means. If you have bought into a lie, or read more into it than that, I am not shy to inform you that you’re wrong.

similarly, the fourth amendment says nothing about a right to privacy.

this "lie" we've bought into is the sum of the 200 year history of the supreme court of the united states. luckily for us, the field of constitutional law and civil rights is not merely restricted to a singular document written at the birth of our nation -- but the findings of many, many judges who have had to deal with real world situations, applications, precedent, and changing technology and society.

i'm sorry that republicans do not believe the supreme court should operate this way, deciding what is and what is not acceptable under the constitution. but you'll have the take that up with marbury v. madison.

I happen to agree wholeheartedly that the government should be kept free from forcing individuals to side with any particular dogma.

well, let's examine that statement for a second, and perhaps i can demonstrate the above a little better.

your child goes to school, according to the law. he attends a public school, which recieves state funding. in his science class, he is taught a single religious idea of creation -- say the hindu one, just to mix things up -- and no others. is this acceptable under the constitution, which says "congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion?"

certain, congress was not even involved. and no law has been made. and no one is establishing a religion. so why is this unacceptable? clearly, this is not ALL the first amendment says -- somehow, we are still violating the idea of it, if not the technicalities.

the first thing to understand is the basis of the federal system, as clarified by the 14th amendment. the 1st amendment, essentially, grants the freedom of religion. and under the 14th, no state may infringe on the freedoms granted by the federal gov't. schools act as part of the state gov't -- so the restrictions that apply to state and federal gov't also apply to them.

the second thing is that it is not "law" that's neccessarily important. the government may not, itself, establish a religion. "congress" has effectively been extended to mean the entire government -- the president may not do it, and the legal system may not do it, even if they are not members of congress. and making laws is not the only method of infringing on the freedom to establish our religions as we please. "establishment" has come to mean, in the course of many supreme court cases, the government espousing one religion over others. granting favor in a biased fashion. which is clearly what is going on in the example.

it's especially salient in schools, were young minds are being formed. teaching one religion, and only one religion, as truth has become equivalent to indoctrination: establishing that as the official governmental religion in the children's minds. and thus, is against the intention and modern readings of the first amendment.

that's why the aclu fights against such cases, as much as they defend the rights of christians practicing privately. the line exists because, when crossed, it is damaging to the freedom of association and religion. "us and them" really doesn't cut it, just because it is often christians who try to get religion into schools. they are really trying to protect the freedom of ALL religions, including yours, from government intrusion.

What you may not be aware of is that one could legitimately argue that the public school system, itself, violates the US Constitution. I say this because Article 10 of the US Constitution says that any powers not specifically cased by the Federal Government must allow the states to decide for themselves. This is not the case because the public school system is ultimately overseen by the Federal government.

they are state-run, actually. it's the states that are ultimately overseen by the feds. ...but welcome to the difference between the federal system, and confederation. it could be argued that the constitution supports either, but we hashed that one out a long time ago. and NOT in a court room.

The public school system was designed to afford everyone the opportunity to receive an education. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, except for the fact that its long been used as a vehicle to foist anti-religious sentiments.

apparently, education is dangerous to some religions. that is not the government's fault. stating historical or scientific facts is not establishment, even if some religions disagree with those facts.

Besides, if the ACLU is so about Constitutionality, perhaps they should delve in to this.

the aclu argues cases currently open or under review, and helps with legal proceedings for lawsuits. the case that establishes public education is quite old. if you disagree with it, feel free to sue the government, and ask for the aclu's help.

i'm not sure of the veracity of your quotes, but the biases of the founders really should have no bearing on the status of actual public education TODAY, under the law. in fact, many such restrictions on the school system's treatment of various faiths (including christianity) have been placed in large part due to supreme court cases argued by the aclu. if you feel that the public school system is in any way slighting your faith, or your child's faith, feel free to sue, and ask for the aclu's help. they take quite a lot of those cases.

t has been increasingly apparent that many Americans want a Socialistic/Communistic society. Do they really understand what it entails or are they just being anti-establishment because its emo? I don’t know what to tell you, other than the proof is in the pudding. We don’t see Americans clamoring aboard makeshift rafts, risking life and limb, in order to go to Castro’s Utopia

no. but we do see them buying medicine from canada. as i'm sure you're aware, canada's medical system is socialized. a little bit of socialism, in the right place, strongly moderated by democracy is not neccessarily a bad thing. socialism is an economic theory, not a political one. it is not entirely incompatible with representational democracy.

THEISTIC: Constitutional Republic

• The Creator sets moral standards.
• God-given rights are recognized.

constitutional republics can have any range of religious beliefs associated with them. our government is secular because they do not have the right to establish an official religion.

ATHEISTIC: Socialist Government

• Morals set by man’s opinions (usually one man or one system).
• Rights are granted by the state government only.
• Gov’t is the all-powerful provider, only.

none of that has anything to do with socialism. fascism, maybe, but you are playing a dangerous game of finger-pointing and false dichotomies. in any case, socialism is an economic idea, not a political one.

“My objective in life is to dethrone God and destroy Capitalism.” –Karl Marx

Mmmm, yes, I see how Jesus and communism parallel.

unfortunately, marx is not the end-all, be-all of communism. his ideas, even on a strictly academic level, are quite faulty. he proposes violent revolution to destroy the monarchy, and replacing the government with one that establishes socialism -- and then expects them to slowly give up power. yeah, right, marx. pull the other one.

he sought to destroy religion because he saw religion being used as a tool to manipulate people into doing the government's bidding. tactics i'm sure he would see in today's neo-cons. by his government, religion was simply replaced with nationalism. same function, different mask.

but religion itself is not incompatible with true communism. in fact, the only working models of real communism that exist in the civilized world today are rather strictly religious. and jewish.

Eight rules for a Communist Revolution:

now, i haven't read my copy of the communist manifesto in a while, but i certainly don't remember those. in fact, any of those statements regarding government are quite... strange when applied to communism, which by definition has no government.

In 1929, Joseph Stalin established gun control. From 1929 to 1953 he massacred an estimated 30-100 million dissidents because no one could defend themselves.

socialist/fascist.

Under Mao-Tse Tung, China from 1935 to 1949 exterminated 20 million of his own people.

fascist.

From 1939 to 1949, Adolph Hitler introduced gun control. The outcome was 13 million people murdered, because no one could defend themselves.

nazi - national socialist = fascist.

Which brings me to my next question. If the ACLU is so keen on protecting the Constitution and using the Amendments to back their play, why no mention of the 2nd Amendment? When was the last time they came to the aid of an offense against the Second?

why not ask the aclu?

now, i'm not sure i agree with them here, as i parse the second amendment a little differently. it says:

quote:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

this does not say that all firearms have to be in a well regulated militia. there are two groups being described, the militias, and the people as a whole. because, it says, the rights of the smaller group (militia) are so neccessary, the rights of the larger group (the people) must be maintained. the idea being that we can form our own army, if need be, not that we have to be in one to own guns. the key word, i think, is "free" and that should clue us into our own government as a potential enemy, as seen by the founding fathers. they had, afterall, just won an armed revolution against their government.

but there might be problems with this, of course. you can make a decent argument for balancing this with public safety, order, etc, which is evidently how we feel about this issue as a society. we may not like gun control laws, but we also don't like when a madman drives a tank down our street. this is another instance where the views have been revised a little with time, only in the other direction. it was a little different when all anyone had was ball and powder muskets and rifles.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-09-2007 9:57 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-11-2007 4:04 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 122 of 199 (384176)
02-10-2007 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by subbie
02-08-2007 4:10 PM


Re: The ACLU
You cited Gitlow, Whitney, and Brandenburg as cases that the ACLU took that "not only defend anti-American terrorism, but they also aide [sic] and abet them."

You've got the wrong post in your mind. I had stated in so many words that the ACLU defends anti-American causes, like sedition. Jaderis asked me to substantiate that they take on cases of sedition.

When I mentioned that they aid and abet terrorists, I was thinking of Lynne Stewart in my mind, who unquestionably aided and abetted known terrorists. When I reviewed the case again, I saw that she does not directly work for the ACLU. Nonetheless, the NLG and the ACLU are in cahoots and parallel in judicial philosophies.


"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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by subbie, posted 02-08-2007 4:10 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
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subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 123 of 199 (384179)
02-10-2007 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Hyroglyphx
02-10-2007 12:15 PM


Re: The ACLU
I don't know how I could have the wrong post since I quoted directly from the one I was responding to:

quote:
They regularly take on cases that not only defend anti-American terrorism, but they also aide and abet them.

Evidence, please.

Sure thing.

Gitlow v. New York, Whitney v California, Brandenburg v. Ohio, were all cases where the ACLU defended clients over sedition. All cases went to the Supreme Court and trial was a victory for the ACLU.

But now you are saying that the ACLU defends sedition cases and these are representative of that?

Bzzzzzzzz.

Still wrong.

As I said above:

quote:
Benjamin Gitlow was convicted in New York for having published and circulated, unlawfully, pamphlets and leaflets detrimental to the government. One of the pamphlets, called the Left Wing Manifesto, advocated overthrowing organized government by violent and other unlawful means.

quote:
[Brandenburg], a Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted under the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism statute for "advocat[ing] . . . the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform" and for "voluntarily assembl[ing] with any society, group or assemblage of persons formed to teach or advocate the doctrines of criminal syndicalism."

This is speech, pure and simple. It is not terrorism. It is not even aiding and abetting terrorism. It is advocating an idea. Speech is not terrorism.

A helpful tip, when responding to a post, it's always a good idea to read the whole thing.

Now, you are trying to create, by virture of a verbal fiat, a connection that simply does not exist and smear the ACLU with the actions of someone who is a member of a completely different organization. Can I take this as an implicit concession that you have no evidence of aiding and abetting terrorism by the ACLU and so now must move not only the goalpost but the entire playing field?


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 124 of 199 (384208)
02-10-2007 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by crashfrog
02-08-2007 4:33 PM


Re: The ACLU
quote:
Evidence, please.

That these men have been instrumental in programs that undermine American freedom? It's "common knowledge"

I asked for evidence, not conjecture. The common knowledge is the allegation. Evidence, however, is still pending.

don't you think that warantless electronic surveillance of Americans guilty of no crimes constitutes an erosion of our civil liberties?

"After the Oklahoma City bombing, Louis Freeh, head of the FBI, came to President Clinton-- I know because I was there-- and he said, "Look Mr. President, can't we change the rules; can't we get a search warrant just because a guy is a member of a terrorist organization that we no is planning an act of violence, even if we don't when or how?" And Clinton said, "No, no ,we're not going to do that. It violates civil liberties." And he was right. But then Freeh says, "Ok, just let us get the information to protect life, but we won't turn it over to the prosecutor. We won't use that information to prosecute this guy. We'll just use it to stop him from the action." Clinton still said no. So, as a result from that "no," and believe me, it was a big 'N'-'O', when they picked up Zacarias Moussaoui, neither the INS or the FBI could access the computer. The main purpose of the Patriot Act is to dismantle that wall. The fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments are designed to stop prosecution by unfair police tactics. We still have those, it doesn't change them. The point is, the system didn't work and that most people still have no idea what the Patriot Act actually is and what it isn't." -Dick Morris; former Campaign Advisor to President Clinton

No, you've presented evidence that they defend a certain type of case... That's not bias; that's specialization.

"Active in lawsuits, legislatures, the media and academia, the ACLU certainly is working to 'defend rights.' The inconsistency of its record, however, raises the question of just whose liberties they are working to preserve. An examination of the ACLU's involvement in and comments about individual rights reveals that it may not be working to defend 'every person in this country.' Becoming a 'card-carrying member of the ACLU' may make you a member of the world's largest organization for hypocrites.

...Although the ACLU lobbies Congress and state legislatures, its accomplishments derive chiefly from judges who share the ACLU's view of the Constitution as a 'living document'-more accurately described as the 'Gumby' version. Only a constitution that can be stretched, twisted and tied in knots could support most of the causes advocated by the ACLU."

But lets look at both sides of the coin, presented by those who respect them and those who denounce them by looking at the varying perspectives.

I don't see what the NLG, or more specifically, one of it's members, has to do with the ACLU.

Because they commiserate and collaborate. Those two ideologues are one and the same.

Where in it does it say how to murder a child?

Kidnapping and molestation aren't bad enough? Its the teaching of tactics, such as how to kidnap and molest children that NAMbLA should stand trial for in indictment. The murder by Jaynes and Sicari should be on their own heads.

quote:
You stubbornly maintaining your convoluted views next insurmountable evidence to the contrary does not constitute winning for you.

Your declarations of victory don't change the fact that you and your side always lose.

I don't declare victory or loss because its completely subjective to the viewers mentality. I'm simply questioning what you constitute as winning or loss, especially when all you've offered thus far, and typically, is unfettered rhetoric.

The point is, if public funds and support are provided to Christian creches, but not to other religious symbology involved in the other myriad holidays that occur at the same time, that's a special privilege for Christianity.

The plain fact about this nation is that it is predominantly comprised of Christians. For anyone to complain about that makes about as much sense as me going to Israel and throwing a hissy fit over that nation displaying more Menorahs and Star's of David than it does crucifixes. The same could be said about me going to Syria and complaining that more people celebrate Ramadan than they do Christmas.

Nobody in the United States disallows any one to believe as they do or to celebrate their holidays in the manner fitting to them. And I don't doubt highly that there is a nation more accommodating to those beliefs than Canada, the US, and the UK, who also predominantly celebrate Christian holidays, but respect others faiths. You seeing a pattern here?

Maybe they should suck it up and stop being a bunch of pansies. Maybe they should go visit Iraq or Syria where Christians are shot inside their homes. That's some real hardship.

Which makes it too bad when they do it anyway. And it means that, regrettably, an organization I support is justifiably opposed by the ACLU, another organization I support. (It's like when your two best friends break up with each other.)

Wait, huh? Who are you referring to? The ACLU and who? I deleted your quote of me.

To the extent that the Scouts benefit from public funds and facilities, they aren't a private organization; they have to follow the rules same as everybody else. And not being discriminatory is a part of that. Look, that's the rule. Change Federal laws if you don't like it.

You're not understanding what I'm saying. We're at a crux. Because the law states that the government will not interfere with people's religious freedoms and it also says that you can't discriminate against someone over their sexual preference. The reality is that allowing gay men to be a scoutmaster will go against the tenets of a religion, thus discriminating against their beliefs. However, not allowing the the gay man to be a scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation would inherently discriminate against him.

It seems like a catch-22 to me. No matter what the decision, someone's rights are going to be violated. In this case, either one man or an entire organization.

how does it prove an anti-Christian agenda for the ACLU to be defending the right of the school to have the championship rescheduled?

That's just one instance. I've already posted others, like the Mount Soledad war memorial, (a place that I used to bike to when living in San Diego), which is on city property. The ACLU is even trying to bring Donald Rumsfeld in to the mix. Its just ridiculous. Crosses aren't supposed to be on Federal property right? Why don't they start with the desecration of the dead by removing the crosses over all federal cemeteries.


Click to enlarge

Links to cases that prove you wrong! Links to situations you completely misrepresented, like the case of the Adventist basketball players. What on Earth does any of that prove, except that you're completely ignorant as to the actual history of the ACLU?

It shows that they go against Christian ideals a particular ardor. If there is even a little wiggle room for interpretation, they're all over it. They are even trying to remove the Los Angeles city emblem now because in the crest is a cross. Seriously, don't they have anything better to do?


"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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 02-08-2007 4:33 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 125 of 199 (384214)
02-10-2007 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Hyroglyphx
02-10-2007 2:44 PM


Re: The ACLU
Crosses aren't supposed to be on Federal property right? Why don't they start with the desecration of the dead by removing the crosses over all federal cemeteries. [sic]

The obvious answer to that, of course, is that the ACLU is not anti-christian, as you keep claiming. That's why they don't.

As far as a legal reason goes, those crosses are symbols of individual expressions of religion in places where such symbols are often found. If you look around the cemetary, I'm sure you will see that some of the stones have not a cross but a Star of David. Thus, they are not a governmental establishment of religion, but governmental accommodation to individual religious expression. Such governmental accommodation is not only not prohibited by the First Admendment's Establishment Clause, it is arguably required by the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause.

Edited by subbie, : No reason given.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-10-2007 2:44 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 126 of 199 (384222)
02-10-2007 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Hyroglyphx
02-10-2007 2:44 PM


Re: The ACLU
-Dick Morris; former Campaign Advisor to President Clinton

Well, shit, NJ - they never start the erosion with the good people. They always start the erosion by eroding the liberties of those nobody else will stand up for. Why do you think Hitler started with the Jews?

Because they commiserate and collaborate.

What's your evidence that they did so in this case? This is nonsense at best, NJ. The topic is the ACLU, not the NLG.

Kidnapping and molestation aren't bad enough?

They're not enough to support your assertions, no. Where does it advocate murder in the document you linked to?

The murder by Jaynes and Sicari should be on their own heads.

For doing something that they never advocated? Advocated against, in fact?

I realize I'm drawing some fine distinctions, but what you're doing is ridiculous. To go from a pamphlet that advocates "consensual" relationships between adults and minors to "the ACLU supports raping and murdering children" is a flight of fancy, NJ. It's ridiculous.

The plain fact about this nation is that it is predominantly comprised of Christians.

Fascinating but I don't see how that justifies special privileges. The nation is also comprised predominantly of white people. Should we all get a check from the government or something?

Maybe they should go visit Iraq or Syria where Christians are shot inside their homes. That's some real hardship.

Maybe you didn't notice, but they're the ACLU. As in "American." Not "Iraqi" or "Syrian."

But I recognize that issues of geography are troublesome for you. This isn't the first time you've been unable to recollect exactly which country you live in.

Wait, huh? Who are you referring to? The ACLU and who?

The Boy Scouts. Try to keep up, ok?

The reality is that allowing gay men to be a scoutmaster will go against the tenets of a religion, thus discriminating against their beliefs.

I don't see the relevance; the Boy Scouts is non-denominational.

That's just one instance.

An instance of what? The ACLU defended the religious school. On what planet is that evidence of an anti-religious agenda?

You're not making a lick of sense, NJ.

It shows that they go against Christian ideals a particular ardor.

They defended a Christian school! NJ, how does this statement make any sense at all?

You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-10-2007 2:44 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 31611
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 127 of 199 (384235)
02-10-2007 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by crashfrog
02-10-2007 3:16 PM


On Boy Scouts
NJ posted:

nj writes:

The reality is that allowing gay men to be a scoutmaster will go against the tenets of a religion, thus discriminating against their beliefs.

to which you replied:

quote:
I don't see the relevance; the Boy Scouts is non-denominational.

Not only are the Boy Scouts non-denominational, it is NOT a tenet of ANY religion that gay men should not be scoutmasters.

Not even all Christian Communions accept homosexuality as a sin.

As usual, nj is trying to assert that the beliefs of some subset of a religion represent the religion as a whole.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2007 3:16 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 128 of 199 (384238)
02-10-2007 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Hyroglyphx
02-10-2007 2:44 PM


Re: The ACLU
I know I replied already, but I'm going to break this section out because I think it basically proves my point about how conservatives approach the ACLU.

You said:

It shows that they go against Christian ideals a particular ardor. If there is even a little wiggle room for interpretation, they're all over it.

Which was a continuation of a point you've made several times:

quote:
Even worse! They know and have to respect the religious freedoms of the school. See, you and the ACLU want freedom for all, so long as "all" is inclusive to their beliefs. Its a case of, "you can believe in whatever you want, so long as you agree with me." That's the ACLU in a nutshell.

quote:
It proves their bias. I just presented at least 5 cases where they attack Judeo-Christian beliefs and spin it so that it infringes the Establishment Clause separation of church and state.

quote:
But their defense of such cases is usually geared towards some individualistic right they have manifested in their minds. For instance, the ACLU of Oregon recently took on a case against a Christian school. Apparently, this private school observes the Sabbath. Long story short, their basketball team did very well and were scheduled to go to the championships. The school said that if the championship was to be played, they would have to schedule it on a day other than the Sabbath. A few students protested that reached the ears of the players. Naturally, the ACLU jumped all over it.

Now, I don't know if you misread the article, or you're being deliberately dishonest, or what; but you've completely misrepresented the facts of this case by portraying the ACLU as against the Adventist school, when in fact, from your own link:

quote:
ACLU of Oregon Defends Religious Liberty Of Adventist School Boys Basketball Players

June 27, 2005 - Should a basketball team from a religious school be required to violate church doctrine and play on the Sabbath or forfeit being part of the state tournament? The ACLU of Oregon doesn't think so and is representing players on the Portland Adventist Academy boys basketball team urging the Court to require reasonable accommodation of the players' religious tenets.


Now, I don't see how the actual circumstance of the case could possibly be consistent with NJ's description of the issue.

What I think happened is what almost always happens with conservatives - NJ already believed that the ACLU was anti-Christianity, believed it because that's what conservatives told him to think about it, and so when he saw an article that said "ACLU" and "Christian school", he naturally leaped to the conclusion that the ACLU was suing the school, or otherwise arguing on the side against the school - rather than advocating for the school's right to not be excluded from championship games simply because of religious beliefs about when it was appropriate to be involved in sports.

At this point, I don't see how it could possibly be consistent with the facts for NJ to claim that this action by the ACLU represents anti-Christian bias on the part of the ACLU. That's a completely incoherent claim on his part, and I patiently await his retraction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-10-2007 2:44 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

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subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 129 of 199 (384240)
02-10-2007 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by crashfrog
02-10-2007 4:26 PM


Re: The ACLU
That's a completely incoherent claim on his part, and I patiently await his retraction.

Get in line.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2007 4:26 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 130 of 199 (384259)
02-10-2007 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Chiroptera
02-08-2007 5:46 PM


Re: The ACLU
Also, the Founding Fathers had no real idea of what a functioning democratic republic should look like. You should read their own words.

What makes you think that I haven't. There was a great division concerning the Constitution to the point where partisan publishings clashed between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. I have only read a few Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, and quite frankly, both parties have some really good points. Thus far I am moderate in how I judge the value of each. In an Anti-Federalist Paper, the author makes some good points concerning the condition of the Constitution that seem to contain some parallels to my argument some 220 years later. He goes on to say about revising the Constitution before it is implemented:

"It is agreed, the plan is defective-that some of the powers granted are dangerous-others not well defined-and amendments are necessary why then not amend it? Why not remove the cause of danger, and, possible, even the apprehension of it? The instrument is yet in the hands of the people; it is not signed, sealed, and delivered, and they have power to give it any form they please... all the powers of rhetoric, and arts of description, are employed to paint the condition of this country, in the most hideous an frightful colors... private faith and credit are disregarded, and public credit is prostrate; that the laws and magistrates are condemned and set at naught; that a spirit of licentiousness is rampant, and ready to break over every bound set to it by the government... in short, that we are in a state of the most grievous calamity at home, and that we are contemptible abroad, the scorn of foreign nations, and the ridicule of the world." -Melancton Smith

It sounds familiar to our current situation. And as much as I love the Constitution and Amendments as robust concepts of justice, perhaps it is far too broad in interpretation. How can we still have such a division were even the highest court in the land can't solidly agree on matters let alone the People? Its quite the predicament. And certain nations have exploited that weakness for its own gain. We are again facing the same dilemma that Mr. Smith relays. We are again in a state of the most grievous calamity at home, and that we are contemptible abroad, the scorn of foreign nations, and the ridicule of the world.

They were quite aware that the principles they were laying down were based on guess work and compromises between very different visions. They themselves did not really trust the finished product -- in fact, they fully expected the next generations to correct their mistakes.

What I like about the Constitution and the Amendments was that the Drafters had the forethought to understand that, as you've shared, nations change with time. No nation is immune to that because priorities change for enumerable reasons. But I have to concur a bit with Mr. Smith when he says,

"But it is contended, adopt it first, and then amend it. I ask, why not amend, and then adopt it? Most certainly the latter mode of proceeding is more consistent with our ideas of prudence in the ordinary concerns of life If men were about entering into a contract respecting their private concerns it would be highly absurd in them to sign and seal an instrument containing stipulations which are contrary to their interests and wishes, under the expectation, that the parties, after its execution, would agree to make alteration agreeable to their desire. They would insist upon the exceptionable clause being altered before they would ratify the contract. And is a compact for the government of ourselves and our posterity of less moment than contract between individuals? Certainly not. But to this reasoning, which at first vie would appear to admit of no reply, a variety of objections are made, and number of reasons urged for adopting the system, and afterwards proposing amendments." -Melancton Smith

Finally, we are under no obligation to become slaves to the vision of past generations. We, as a society, are free to collectively decide on how we will structure the society in which we live.

Not if we keep granting the powers of the government to be greater than that of the People. The intent of the government in the early days served a few purposes. That was to protect its people-- i.e. the military. To establish and maintain a postal service-- i.e. USPS. And to institute taxes in order to fund those services for its people-- i.e. the IRS. That was it. The rest was supposed to fall in to the hands of the States. They were supposed to handle every thing else, where the People really mattered. That was the whole purpose of having states. They're all pretty much the same now or days. Before, the States couldn't agree on anything. Which in some respects is bad, such as undue animosity towards one another. But on the other hand it was good because the people got decide for themselves the way they wanted things run democratically.

I guess an example of how things are beginning to go awry, in my opinion, is the power of the Supreme Court. And this is a bipartisan issue because it has the potential to effect both the left and the right and everyone in between adversely. They have too much power. Why is it that a body of Justices can decide the fate of millions? Why aren't we allowed to vote on important decisions, like Roe v Wade? That shouldn't be up to them. They are there to "interpret" the law, not pass them. The Judicial Branch of the government has always been the smallest with the least amount of influence and power, and with good reason. We should be able to speak through democratic election and have our Representatives representing us. There is a decline with all of this because the government just keeps getting bigger. And even Republicans who have historically wanted a smaller, yet highly efficient government, even they are expanding in to some ridiculous programs that consume tax dollars that could be going to some more worthy causes.

What say you about all of that?

Conservatives themselves show very little knowledge and less interest in actual history. The utopia they promote are a historical, and, like all utopias, probably unworkable in real life.

What Utopia do they promote?

Is there evidence that the ACLU promotes the "unchecked and unquestioned" acceptance of "leftist ideal", or is this another conspiracy that required the conservatives' magic crystal ball to uncover?

The evidence is in the cases they choose compared to what they ignore, which is what I've been saying. If you're asking me if I can scry and read minds, no I cannot. Maybe its all justa vast right-wing conspiracy. Speaking of Hilary, I'm curious to know if you're planning on voting for her or another democrat hopeful.


"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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Chiroptera, posted 02-08-2007 5:46 PM Chiroptera has responded

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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6810
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 131 of 199 (384270)
02-10-2007 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by Hyroglyphx
02-10-2007 5:53 PM


Re: The ACLU
Um, okay. I guess my point wasn't very clear.

What do the intentions of the Founding Fathers have to do with anything, and why should we feel any obligation toward their vision? I ask because you have, several times, brought up the "intent" and the "vision" of the Founding Fathers, and I'm wondering what this has to do with whether the or not the ACLU is a danger to our freedoms or a watchdog for our freedoms.

Added by edit:
I'll just say, to make my point clear, that the intents and visions of our ancestors are really irrelevant to how we decide we should organize our society. Now I myself may quote one or more of the Founding Fathers (especially Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine), but only because they have expressed very nicely something with which I agree, not because I feel that they are any sort of moral authority to which we are beholden.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.

Edited by Chiroptera, : awkward wording


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by Hyroglyphx, posted 02-10-2007 5:53 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 132 of 199 (384280)
02-10-2007 7:28 PM


Our Founding Fathers
nj has suggested, rather obliquely and without specifics, that somehow the ACLU is working against what our "Founding Fathers" had in mind. Here are a few of the things that one of our Founding Fathers said that touch upon what the ACLU actually does (as opposed to what nj seems to think they do):

Thomas Jefferson

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plentitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves. But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. "No two, say I, have established the same." Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments? Our sister states of Pennsylvania and New York, however, have long subsisted without any establishment at all.

We are all Republicans — we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.

In the middle ages of Christianity opposition to the State opinions was hushed. The consequence was, Christianity became loaded with all the Romish follies. Nothing but free argument, raillery & even ridicule will preserve the purity of religion.

I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.

(On members of the clergy who sought to establish some form of "official" Christianity in the U.S. government) They believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

And, of course, Ben Franklin: "Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither."


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 133 of 199 (384351)
02-11-2007 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by crashfrog
02-09-2007 10:01 AM


Re: The ACLU
Some "differing opinions" are flat-out wrong, and inappropriate for a Justice on the Supreme Court. For instance, a justice that believes that the President holds unitary powers above and beyond those specified in the Constitution that descend from the powers traditionally afforded to kings - as Alito and Roberts maintain

What? Please explain and substantiate how Alito and Roberts want the President to hold unitary powers above and beyond those specified in the Constitution that you liken to a Monarchy. You forget that a President can't even wipe his own ass without two thirds of Congress' approval. And the President has veto powers. Its a checks and balances system so that no entity can become too powerful.

He was supposed to just get a pass and walk into his seat?

No, I like the idea of a Senate Judiciary Committee. That's more checks and balances in action. It was their redundant harangue in an obvious effort to trip him up and to either have him make contradictory or careless statements based on hypothetical situations without regard to a plethora of factors. Basically, without actually saying it, they were trying to make Alito share his personal opinion on Roe v Wade in order to make the determination of whether he was going to personally overturn it.

No, you were asked to defend your assertion that the ACLU defends sedition.

Crash, come one buddy... Though I don't agree with the ACLU's agenda, I can still recognize that they are nonetheless comprised of some pretty sharp attorneys. No attorney would advocate sedition, or support terrorists outright, or subscribe to anything that was illegal. What they would do, and do very well, is manipulate the existing law so that they can make a person or group seem as if they are going against a law. In the same way, when they are defending a person or a group, they will manipulate the law in their favor setting a precedence or trying to have the court hyperfocus on one specific thing in order to redirect them from the actual situation at hand. Almost all lawyers do this to some extent. Unfortunately, that is the nature of their job. And I have no problem admitting that the ACLU is very, very good at what they do. In fact, they have a 67% win/loss ratio. They win more cases than they lose which obviously is a testimony to how well they debate. And of the cases they win, a tremendous amount of those cases has gone all the way up to the Supreme Court which evidently shows how divided the cases themselves are.

But just because someone is good at being an intelligent sycophant doesn't make it good, moral, or just.

I've asked you this several times now, and you refuse to answer. What's "anti-American" about defending someone in a court of law?

And I've told you, over, and over, and over again that nothing-- as in "no" "thing"-- is wrong about defending people in court. What is wrong, in my estimation, is that they choose cases, intentionally, that pander to the criminal. They often come down on the side of criminals in an attempt to impugn those who don't deserve it. Don't you think that's odd that an extremely large percentage of Americans can recognize this about the ACLU, but you are sort of preening and fawning them every step of the way? I don't think there is any other organization with a more sordid reputation than the ACLU. Don't you think that there might actually be some basis for my concern? Can they do no wrong?

I can say with all honesty that they have taken on cases that I agree with concerning legitimate civil rights cases. But the majority of the cases they take on are a complete waste of time, as if the friggin emblem of LA were such a travesty or a war memorial with a cross is cause for alarm. They seem more interested in taking on pointless cases than they concern themselves with more urgent and pressing matters.

Of course, the materials you've presented actually prove something else - they prove the ACLU's contention that our government has a nasty habit of accusing innocent people it doesn't like of committing "anti-American" activities, and then trying to ensure conviction by making those people too unpopular to defend. Thank goodness the ACLU won't be bullied by the government or by the immature... How is it "anti-American" to defend an innocent person against being railroaded by the government? I can't think of anything more American than that.

Keep going with this, because this is exactly the mentality the ACLU has. They see themselves as crusaders who free the oppressed from the tyranny of the US government, when 9 out of 10 times the government of this nation has a legitimate basis for concern.

Because if you're old enough to have sex you're old enough to make other decisions about your body.

A couple of 12 year old kids who are physically capable of having sex are old enough to make decisions about their own bodies they hardly know a thing about? The funny thing about abortion and choice is this: You can't elect to have a hysterectomy without a doctor to legitimize the need, no matter how old you are, which is actually apart of one's body, but you can elect to remove a body inside of your body at your own discretion. I don't understand that. If the "my body, my choice" can apply to abortion, why doesn't extend to actual parts of somebody's body?

Honestly the idea of needing to get parental consent for an abortion disgusts me. It turns my stomach.

Abortions disgust me.

And it's not on-topic in this thread. I can kick your ass all around another thread on the subject, if you wish.

As terrifying as that prospect is for me, I might just consider it. Write it up and I'll follow you in there.

Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Jerry Falwell... the list goes on and on.

Not so fast. The only reason why the ACLU chimed in was because they were questioned on why they hadn't supported him on certain talk shows. By taking cases like this, (which they didn't initially do), allows them to gloat about taking on cases that give them the appearance of bipartisanship. Its a good move on their part.

Howard Simon, who is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, even commented, "For many people, it may seem odd that the ACLU has come to the defense of Rush Limbaugh. But we have always said that the ACLU's real client is the Bill of Rights and we will continue to safeguard the values of equality, fairness and privacy for everyone, regardless of race, economic status or political point of view."

Why would it be strange if the ACLU didn't have a historical record against conservative ideology?

I'm sorry, I guess I didn't realize I couldn't take down a cross in my own chapel, of my own volition, without triggering a Constitutional crisis.

The issue is that the Wren Church, along with the cross, is more than just a religious symbol, its also a historic part of that church that its congregation wants to keep. No one was protesting having inter-faith services, and interestingly enough, no one from another faith complained about the cross. Most people are either happy about the cross or indifferent to it. According to a few articles on the subjects, even the secularists were wondering what this guy's problem was. I think its great that he reaches out to other faiths, however, he has to think about the rest of the congregation, many of whom were at that church before he ever became president.

I'm not even sure what statement the ACLU issued concerning this case. Then again, they also take a lot of strange cases on. For instance, a teacher was fired because he went on public access television to display his hobby, which is painting. What makes him unique is that he likes to paint using his butt cheeks and scrotum. As bizarre as it is, I agree with the ACLU that he shouldn't have been fired over it, especially since he made an effort to disguise himself.

Of course, that's exactly the position of conservatives - Christianity is so special that it's only equal to other religions when it's set above them; and treating Christianity the same as any other religion is unfair and infringes on its rights. You've really got a messed-up worldview, NJ.

You've invented this all in your mind. I have never said that any religion should be more esteemed than another. What I have a problem with is this guy taking it upon himself to try and "accommodate" people of other faiths who never asked to be accommodated to begin with, even at the risk of undermining the entire congregation. Its a church! You know, if I went to an inter-faith service at a Mosque or a Temple and the Imam or Rabbi denied his own congregation in an attempt to make me feel more welcome, but everyone was protesting, I'd be pissed at that Imam or Rabbi too. Its a mosque for crying out loud! No surprise that the crescent moon is going to be displayed. Likewise, it shouldn't be a surprise that churches have crosses in them.


"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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by crashfrog, posted 02-09-2007 10:01 AM crashfrog has responded

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 291 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 134 of 199 (384355)
02-11-2007 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by subbie
02-10-2007 12:36 PM


Re: The ACLU
quote:
Benjamin Gitlow was convicted in New York for having published and circulated, unlawfully, pamphlets and leaflets detrimental to the government. One of the pamphlets, called the Left Wing Manifesto, advocated overthrowing organized government by violent and other unlawful means.

actually, allowing for the right to advocate violent overthrow of the government is the purpose of the first amendment. not only is it speech, it's precisely the kind of speech the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the bill of rights.

Edited by arachnophilia, : omitted word


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 135 of 199 (384380)
02-11-2007 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 133 by Hyroglyphx
02-11-2007 12:44 AM


Re: The ACLU
NJ, it's astounding your links prove my point about conservative criticisms not being reality-based. In addition to your bizarre habit of posting cases the ACLU isn't even involved in as though that somehow impeaches them, your Media Matters link is a great example of how conservatives like Tucker Carlson ignore the facts to present a biased picture of how the ACLU operates:

quote:
On the May 1 2006 edition of MSNBC's The Situation, host Tucker Carlson attacked the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for "not standing up for" nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh while he was being investigated for allegations of committing fraud to obtain prescription painkillers. Carlson asked: "Where is the ACLU?" and concluded: "They're not standing up for him because they think he's a right-wing creep. That's why." But in January 2004, the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Limbaugh's case protesting the state of Florida's seizure of Limbaugh's medical records as a violation of his right to privacy.

Now, of course, you completely misrepresent the situation when you say:

The only reason why the ACLU chimed in was because they were questioned on why they hadn't supported him on [the Tucker Carlson show].

Apparently you're having some trouble with the timeline, here? Let me lay it out for you. First The ACLU defends Rush Limbaugh in his drug case, then Tucker Carlson accuses them of not defending Rush Limbaugh in his drug case.

Not the other way around, as you state.

As I've said, conservatives, finding no basis in reality to conclude that the ACLU plays favorites or has an anti-Christian agenda, apparently feel it's completely appropriate to simply argue from falsehoods to prove their point. What I can't understand is how you would read an article where Calrson criticizes them for not doing something they actually did do, and conclude that the ACLU only did it in response to Carlson's accusations.

What, they responded two years before he made them? In what world is that supposed to make sense to us?


This message is a reply to:
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