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American Civil Liberties Union

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The ACLU logo.
A screenshot taken from a video on the ACLU website, depicting a fervent ACLU supporter, the liberal singer Macklemore.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a New York-based organization which provides attorneys and legal counsel for legal cases in which it believes individual rights have been violated. Their website boasts that they are America's "guardian of liberty"[1]. The organization is notoriously anti-American and a member of the non-official anticreation lobby in the US government judicial system. The ACLU claims to be a defender of the rights of US citizens, but claims exclusivity over the Constitution to define homosexuality, abortion, and even going as far to claim that burning or desecrating the flag of the United States to be free-speech.[2]

The ACLU's supporters say it has been vital in preserving personal freedoms by fighting for the principles contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and while in some cases this may be true, the ACLU severely neglects the 1st Amendment, which provides free-speech for the Christian majority and instead insists on promoting that other religions are persecuted in the United States. Its critics say it has done more to promote moral decay in the United States than has any other organization, and it works feverishly to undermine the nation's Christian and moral heritage. [3] However, the ACLU has been called up to protect the rights of Christians, as well, including the freedom of religion and free exercise, the freedom of speech to speak against abortion, homosexuality, etc.[4] Ironically, the ACLU defends the rights of people to be verbal against things such as homosexuality, but it itself is staunchly in favor of it.

The ACLU also believes that black people are treated worse than white people in public schools. Their source of these claims is the Education and Justice departments in the federal government. The ACLU has advocated that the federal government enforce 'training programs' for schools that are seen racially discriminating.[3]

American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
http://www.aclu.org/

Contents

History

The American Civil Liberties Union began in 1920. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (NCLB) that lawyer Crystal Eastman and sociologist Roger Baldwin organized in 1917. The NCLB gave legal aid to conscientious objectors (those who objected to doing military service) and to those whom the government was prosecuting under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.

Early ties to communism

A picture taken from the ACLU website Note the shirt worn by the man, depicting the words, "Revolutionary Communist Youth".

In its early years, the organization had close ties to the Communist Party. The General Secretary of the Communist Party, Earl Browder, said the ACLU functioned as "a transmission belt" for the party. [5] Even though Baldwin removed communist members from the ACLU board by 1940, the Report of the California Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities in 1943 said in part:

While it professes to stand for free speech, a free press, and free assembly, it is quite obvious that its main function is to protect Communists in their activities of force and violence in their program to overthrow the government. [6]

Opposition to American values

The ACLU continues to have a reputation as a leftist organization because of its support for such matters as homosexual marriages, [7] abortion on demand, [8] and tax exemption for Satanists. [9] It opposes school prayer, [10] public religious displays, [11] and tax exemption for churches. [12]

Opposition To Scientific Alternatives

Creation Science

The ACLU has long opposed teaching creation science in public schools. In 1925 it mounted a challenge in Tennessee to the Butler Act, which outlawed—in state-funded institutions—teaching:

... any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals. [13]

In a test case, the ACLU recruited Tennessee schoolteacher John Scopes to stand trial for having taught evolution in a public school. [14] Scopes lost the trial, but the fundamentalist side, led by lawyer William Jennings Bryan, suffered ridicule that cost it much public sympathy.

ACLU opposition to creation science includes:

  • The ACLU has opposed creation science since the famous Scopes evolution trial of 1925. In this trial, the ACLU backed Tennessee schoolteacher John Scopes in defying a state law that banned teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in state-funded institutions.
  • In 1968, the ACLU argued in Epperson vs. Arkansas that Arkansas' ban on teaching "that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animals" was a violation of the First Amendment, which forbids official religion.
  • In the 1986 case of Edwards vs. Aguillard, the ACLU convinced the court to strike down a Louisiana law that required public school science teachers to give "equal time" to creation science if they taught students about the theory of evolution. [15]
  • In August 1999, the ACLU sent a letter to public school districts in Kansas and Western Missouri warning them that teaching creation science "could lead to legal action on religious liberty grounds." [16]
  • The ACLU Position Statement on "creation-science" (March 11, 2002), which opposes teaching creation science and intelligent design in public schools. [17]
Vigilance requires firm and consistent opposition to every effort to use the nation's schools to teach any biblical text, including Genesis, as literal truth, either directly or disguised as 'alternative' science. To reject creationism as science is to defend the most basic principles of academic integrity and religious liberty.

Intelligent Design

The ACLU regards the intelligent design movement as "creation in disguise". Its opposition to intelligent design includes:

  • On February 14, 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent a letter to the Toledo public schools demanding they stop staff from teaching intelligent design in science classrooms throughout the district. [18]
  • The ACLU praised a court’s ruling on December 20, 2005 that struck down a school board’s decision in Dover, Pennsylvania, to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. [19] The ACLU led the legal challenge in the case.
  • On January 13, 2005, the ACLU issued a media release applauding a federal judge’s ruling that placing disclaimer stickers warning that evolution is "a theory, not a fact" in public school science textbooks is an unconstitutional government intrusion on religious liberty. [20]

ACLU’s Opposition To Christian Values

There is a long history of the ACLU's opposition to what the United States was buil upon, namely Judeo-Christian values representative of biblical pincipals.

Prayer
In 1992, in the case Lee vs. Weisman, the ACLU said including a prayer at the beginning of a public high school graduation ceremony violated the Establishment Clause. [21]

Euthanasia
In the court's first right-to-die case, the ACLU represented the family of a woman who had been in a vegetative state for seven years. Although the court did not go as far as the ACLU urged, it did recognize living wills as evidence of a patient's wishes. (Cruzan vs. Director of the Missouri Department of Health) [22]

Abortion
In 1973 the ACLU fought for women's right to terminate their pregnancy. (Roe vs. Wade/Doe vs. Bolton) [23]

Prostitution
In 1945 the ACLU opposed laws requiring prostitutes to submit to examinations or vaccinations, saying these violated the women's rights to "medical liberty." [24]

Homosexuality
In its first "homosexual rights" victory, the ACLU in 1996 convinced the court to squash a Colorado constitutional amendment that barred the state from enacting gay rights laws. (Romer vs. Evans) [25]

Indecent speech
In 1997 the court struck down Congress's Communications Decency Act, which tried to ban indecent speech on the internet. (Reno vs. ACLU) [26]

Critics of the ACLU

In his Coral Ridge Hour broadcast on May 2, 2003, Christian leader Dr. D. James Kennedy said the ACLU was "strenuously opposed to anything that most Americans consider good and normal." [27]

On June 2, 2004, FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly called the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a "fascist organization". On radio the same day O'Reilly said the ACLU was "the most dangerous organization in the United States of America right now." [28]

In 1990, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson founded the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), as a response to the ACLU, which Robertson said was "liberal" and "hostile to traditional American values". [29]

On September 13, 2001, two days after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York, Rev. Jerry Falwell said on television that "The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this." Next day, he issued an apology for his comments and said he believed that the terrorists alone were responsible for the attacks. He added, however, that he still believed that groups trying to secularize America have helped remove the nation from its spiritual foundations. [30]

A video critical of the ACLU by Steven Crowder.

Related references

  1. About the ACLU American Civil Liberties Union, Accessed January 10, 2014.
  2. [1] The ACLU believes in flag-burning.
  3. [2]

Anti-ACLU sites

Pro ACLU sites

See also

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