21

ACLU Attempting to Criminalize Christianity: ‘Communism is the Goal’

Irony is defined as “the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.” The term doublespeak means “evasive, ambiguous language that is intended to deceive or confuse.”

There is perhaps no greater example of ironic doublespeak than inclusion of the phrase “civil liberties” within the inapt designation: “American Civil Liberties Union.”    

Indeed, few leftist organizations in existence today can compete with the ACLU in terms of demonstrated hostility toward what the Declaration of Independence describes as “certain unalienable rights” with which Americans are “endowed by their Creator.”

Consider the doublespeak inherent throughout the “progressive” Goliath’s flowery self-representation:

The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Now contrast that depiction with ACLU founder Roger Baldwin’s candid vision:

I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.

Ironic, isn’t it? So much for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” By combining straightforward segments from each ACLU rendering we arrive with an accurate portrayal. One that cuts through the doublespeak:

The ACLU is…working daily in courts, legislatures and communities. Communism is the goal.

In 1931, just eleven years after the ACLU’s inception, the US Congress convened a Special House Committee to Investigate Communist Activities. On the ACLU it reported:

The American Civil Liberties Union is closely affiliated with the communist movement in the United States, and fully 90 percent of its efforts are on behalf of communists who have come into conflict with the law. It claims to stand for free speech, free press and free assembly, but it is quite apparent that the main function of the ACLU is an attempt to protect the communists.

To be sure, the “main function of the ACLU” is entirely counter-constitutional.

A shared objective between both Communism generally, and the ACLU specifically is the suppression of religious liberty; principally, the free exercise of Christianity.

Karl Marx, high priest of the ACLU’s beloved cult of Communism, once said: “The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.”

Even the ACLU’s own promotional materials overtly advocate religious discrimination: “The message of the Establishment Clause is that religious activities must be treated differently from other activities to ensure against governmental support for religion.”

Utter hokum.

The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause — a mere 10 words — says nothing of the sort. Its message is abundantly clear, requiring severe distortion to stuff within the ACLU’s Marxist parameters. It merely states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” That’s it.   

Now let’s break it down. What do you suppose the Framers of the US Constitution — a document expressly designed to limit the powers of federal government — intended with the word “Congress”? Did they mean State government? Municipal government? Your local school district? Your third grade teacher?  

Of course not. They meant exactly what they said: Congress. As in: The United States Congress! It takes someone with a distinctly disingenuous ulterior motive to derive anything else.  

Now what did they mean by “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion?”   

Well, in a letter to Benjamin Rush, a fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson — often touted by the left as the great church-state separationst — answered that question. The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause was singularly intended to restrict Congress from affirmatively “establishing,” through federal legislation, a national Christian denomination (similar to the Anglican Church of England). 

Or, as Jefferson put it: “[T]he clause of the Constitution” covering “freedom of religion” was intended to necessarily preclude “an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States.”

How far removed we are today from the original intent of our Founding Fathers. The ACLU is largely responsible for creating the gulf between the Constitution’s original construction and its modern misapplication.

The ACLU remains one of America’s most powerful secular-socialist political pressure groups. It relentlessly tramples underfoot the First Amendment, which guarantees sweeping and absolute liberty for all Americans — including government employees — to freely exercise their faith both publicly and privately without fear of reprisal: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Examples of its constitutional abuses are manifold, but one of the most recent involves an ACLU assault against a group of Christians in Santa Rosa County, FL. Liberty Counsel represents those Christians.

An ACLU-crafted Consent Decree has been used as a weapon to threaten school district employees with fines and jail time for merely praying over a meal, and for exercising — even while away from school — their sincerely held Christian faith. You read that right. The ACLU is literally seeking to criminalize Christianity.

In August of 2009, Liberty Counsel successfully defended staff member Michelle Winkler from contempt charges brought by the ACLU after her husband, who is not even employed by the district, offered a meal prayer at a privately sponsored event in a neighboring county.

Liberty Counsel also successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges, after the ACLU sought to have the men thrown in jail for blessing a lunch meal served to about 20 adult booster club members.

Under the Consent Decree teachers are considered to be acting in their “official capacity” anytime a student is present, even at private functions off campus.

Liberty Counsel describes this unconstitutional decree:

Teachers cannot pray, bow their heads, or fold their hands to show agreement with anyone who does pray. Teachers and staff cannot ‘Reply’ to an email sent by a parent if the parent’s email refers to God or Scripture. Teachers either have to delete such references from the original email or reply by initiating a new email. Teachers and staff are also required to stop students from praying in their own private club meetings.

During witness testimony, Mrs. Winkler sobbed as she described how she and a coworker, who had recently lost a child, literally had to hide in a closet to pray. 

Although the case continues, on Monday the ACLU suffered a tremendous setback while freedom took a significant step forward. Federal District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers granted in part a Preliminary Injunction in favor of Liberty Counsel’s twenty-four Christian clients.

Judge Rodgers concluded that even though “a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy,” one aspect of the Consent Decree — its attempt to prohibit school employees from fully participating in private religious events — is so flawed that it must be immediately halted.

The Court thus enjoined the School Board “from enforcing any school policy that restrains in any way an employee’s participation in, or speech or conduct during, a private religious service, including baccalaureate” pending a trial on the merits.  

“Progressives” are nothing if not consistent. As they gain confidence, they invariably rush across that bridge too far. They engage wild-eyed efforts to “fundamentally transform America” to reflect their own secular-socialist self-image.  

I’m certain that both the bare-knuckle spirit of the American people and Liberty Counsel’s enduring 92 percent win record against the ACLU will maintain a durable safeguard – an “impenetrable wall of separation” if you will – between our constitutionally guaranteed liberties and a subversive “progressive” agenda built upon the distinctly un-American creed: “Communism is the goal.”

(Originally published in American Thinker) 

(© 2011 J. Matt Barber)


Matt Barber is Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action. He also co-hosts the nationally syndicated “Liberty Live” talk radio program on AFR Talk.
  • goral

    The Communists that we opposed during the Cold War are all here in the US. This is the country they want and already have. They’ve constructed the money flow in such a way as to fund their activities with taxpayer money. ACLU, NPR, PP, Public Schools, Unions…;I could keep going. My IRS, and local tax dollars go to the people that I logically and morally oppose. Even the tithes that I put into the basket, in part, also go to them. This is why locally and personally we talk to our neighbors and entertain one reality while on the state and national level the reality is entirely different.
    The media is also pro-com.

    How can we hope to win the battle with an enemy that we fund?

  • LNF

    goral,
    What proof do you have that the ACLU receives taxpayer’s money? The ACLU says it does not.

  • Mary Kochan

    LNF, when the ACLU sues a city, county, or state — as they do every time you turn around — and then they get awarded a judgement for millions of dollars in attorney’s fees, where do you think the money comes from?

    • NY lawyer

      Ordinarily I wouldn’t waste my time getting involved in this sort of discussion, but this is just too stupid for words. The ACLU is certainly NOT funded with taxpayer’s money, as the first poster erroneously indicated. LNF is correct. If you, Mary Kochan, can’t see the difference between an organization receiving taxpayer funding, and an attorney getting paid whether he wins a case OR he doesn’t… that’s sad.

    • LNF

      Mary,
      I see. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Public Radio, and Planned Parenthood, as well as our public schools and unions, have been infiltrated by communists, and these pinkos have found ways to use our tax dollars to fund their anti-American activities. This is very disturbing. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Mary Kochan

    What he said was “They’ve constructed the money flow in such a way as to fund their activities with taxpayer money” — that is quite correct. One of the ways they do this is by suing school districts, townships, etc. and then claiming attorneys’ fees in exorbitant amounts. They have gotten so good at this bullying, usually over things like the 10 commandments in a courtyard, or a cross in a park, etc. — and the courts have been so egregious in defending actual constitutional liberties or freedom of speech and religion that now they can simply make the threat of a lawsuit and in many cases get a settlement out of rattled public officials who don’t want to gamble with… uh, uh, how can I delicately put this – THEIR CONSTITUENT’S MONEY, BECAUSE THEIR CONSTITUENTS ARE TAXPAYERS. What you don’t get about that, I don’t know.

    Maybe you simply forgot that governments of no level have ANY MONEY OF THEIR OWN. It ALL belongs to the taxpayers. Every time the ACLU sues any government entity at any level it is suing taxpayers.

  • Mary Kochan

    I’ll add that is not the main source of funding for the ACLU although it is a signifcant source. Their main source of funding is liberal foundations.

    According to here:
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6145
    The ACLU has received funding from the Open Society Institute, the Arca Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Columbia Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Columbia Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Lear Family Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Woods Fund of Chicago.

  • I’m not entirely sure that this article is more than simple, poorly constructed, hyperbolic editorial, filled with logical fallacies placing it not too far above simple mud-slinging.

    Now let’s break it down. What do you suppose the Framers of the US Constitution — a document expressly designed to limit the powers of federal government — intended with the word “Congress”? Did they mean State government? Municipal government? Your local school district? Your third grade teacher?

    Of course not. They meant exactly what they said: Congress. As in: The United States Congress! It takes someone with a distinctly disingenuous ulterior motive to derive anything else.

    Now what did they mean by “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion?”

    If we are taking this argument against the ACLU all the way back to the words of the Constitution and ignoring 200-plus years of case law interpreting those words, then its not only the ACLU which would suffer. The Thomas More Law Center, for example, would have not even a chance of redress against the City of San Francisco with respect to an anti-Catholic resolution, issued in 2006, under the theory of law the author proposes, I don’t believe (though I’m not a lawyer). The Constitution’s First Amendment doesn’t address whether a state or municipality may or may not make a “law respecting an establishment of religion;” therefore, without the interpretation made by the courts in years subsequent to the writing of the US Constitution, a state or municipality may make such laws. Is this the way we want it?

    Can you really blame the ACLU for arguing that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment should make the provisions of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states (Gitlow v. New York, 268 US 652)? Maybe it should be acceptable that Catholicism should be outlawed in Virginia but that Catholicism is the only acceptable religion for residents of Maryland. I’ve enjoyed living in North Carolina and being able to be Catholic, but if we accept the author’s argument and return to the happy pre-ACLU days, I may not have such enjoyment to take for granted.

    This, by the way, is not a defense of the ACLU, merely an observation that, in my layman’s view, the article’s author makes a straw-man argument through oversimplification.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  • As an aside, I tend to support (though not in all things) the Institute for Justice.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  • I also think that the argument that “because Baldwin said X, therefore the organization he founded believes X,” is base sophistry, too. This may be true, but it may not. In point of fact, Baldwin grew disillusioned by Communism and wrote the book “A New Slavery: Forced Labor, the Communist Betrayal of Human Rights,” curiously absent from the author’s assessment of Baldwin and the ACLU.

    Does this new information mean that the ACLU became anti-Communist? No, it merely means that Baldwin may have been (at least for a period).

    There are a few other logical arguments that could be put up against this piece, but I’m satisfied with saying that a better series of arguments could have been made against the ACLU and weren’t.

    In Christ,
    Michael

    • Sorry: Baldwin edited the book not wrote it, but it doesn’t change the argument. Read pp. 18-26 (the Forward) to see just how much he changed his mind about Communism by 1953.

      Michael

  • Mary Kochan

    Come on Michael, Catholicism wasn’t illegal in NY before the 1920’s.

    I’ll agree that better arguments could have been laid out. The main flaw in this article was that the real “story” came too late in the piece and should have led. But the facts of the cases the author cited are the facts. And I don’t think they add up to the conclusion that the ACLU is a friend of relgious liberty — at least not anymore, if someone wants to argue they ever really were.

    • Mary:

      I’m only arguing against bad argument, not that the ACLU is a friend of religious liberty. I think that they are quite the opposite. But a bad argument in support of a position can actually do damage. In the first place, it arms those who support the authors position with bad information. In this case, it can make those arguing against the ACLU look ignorant through post hoc, ad hominem, “poisoning the well,” “straw man,” and “appeal to ridicule” fallacies – just the few that I’ve found so far (though I’ll forgive “poisoning the well” as that is very often the case with a headline to an article).

      The Christian (especially the Catholic) does not need to fear the truth in an argument because we have the Truth in our lives. Leading with an attack on the ACLU via Mr. Baldwin lacks a certain truth and calls the entire article into question from the very beginning.

      With respect to my comment about the separate states being able to establish a religion, though my examples were made up, the concept was true. Connecticut was officially a Congregationalist state until its constitution was re-vamped in 1818; thankfully, however, almost all states incorporated the Bill of Rights into their state constitutions very early on. My point is that it was not the Federal Constitution that provided the protection the author envisages, originally, but the states’.

      But again, my overarching point is that this is an article that is so poorly constructed and argued that it is does a disservice to anyone wanting to argue that the ACLU could be counted among the enemies of Christianity. In the end, however, I appreciate the fact that the article is up because it does exercise the mind and should provoke people to further thought on the issue.

      In Christ,
      Michael

  • Mary Kochan

    I understand, Michael. And I recognize what you were tying to say about religious freedom — it is just that I wanted to point out that the ACLU had nothing to do with the fact that the states don’t establish religions. In fact, the ACLU has turned the entire establishment clause into its opposite meaning. And I know we are agreed on that.

  • Mary:

    Thanks. When referring to the “happy pre-ACLU” days I wasn’t meaning to imply that the ACLU is fighting for Freedom of Religion, only making fun of the idea that the ACLU is the boogyman responsible for changing the original purity of our US Constitution.

    That didn’t come across so clearly, perhaps, so I stand rightly chided.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  • I decided to look at the dockets for the case Allen v. School Board (Case No. 3:10cv00142) and saw that the lawyers for all parties have been pretty regular about filing their hours with the court. The private law firm representing the school board, superintendent, and principle; the ACLU, representing the “Minor Doe” I and II, and Liberty Counsel representing the plaintiffs all provide the court with a nice summary of their hours.

    Unless one or more of these are doing the work pro bono (and I don’t know whether they are or not), it looks like taxpayer money will be split among all of the attorneys. For the month of October 2010 alone, and even assuming a very modest $200/hour for attorney/non-attorney time, the bill will be about $35 thousand and change in fees (96.5 hours for the private firm, 44.3 hours for the ACLU, and 34.9 hours for LC). Again, that is for only the month of October.

    Belly up to the trough. This signals either a potential rise in property taxes or a reduction in services. Not that the case isn’t worth advancing, but to Mary’s point that the School Board has no money of its own, someone’s gonna pay; either the taxpayers or students will likely feel the greatest impact, regardless of the final outcome. In a way, I feel for the board and the school officers, since they are between the students and teachers on this one, it seems.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  • Mary Kochan

    Neither the ACLU nor the Liberty Counsel charge their clients. If the ACLU loses, it gets nothing, Liberty Counsel and the private counsel can get a judgement against them for the fees, and the taxpayers will be off the hook — not to mention that justice will be served.

    If ACLU wins, Liberty Counsel gets nothing, the private firm bills the school system and other parties and the ACLU makes off with taxpayer money for its fees.

    That is why government entities have become so afraid of fighting with the ACLU, because they are gambling with their taxpayers’ money when they do so.

  • Thanks Mary. That’s good to note.

    The ACLU, like Rainbow PUSH and other ultra-left groups, seems to have become very good at this particular brand of … what … extortion? That word may be too strong, but some form of strong-arm tactic anyway.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  • Mary Kochan

    LNF, I wouldn’t say that the public schools are infiltrated by communists. That phrasing is a bit over the top, I think. I would say that the education departments in many of the post-secondary schools are in the hands of very committed leftists, some of whom certainly espouse Marxism very openly. So the education the teachers get is very slanted. There are serious problems with the textbooks as well in many cases. At the level of the teachers, I think they probably mirror the general population of the country which is center right. But the teachers unions at the higher levels again, slant very leftward.

    We have the phenomena that a “ruling class” has developed in this county — some call it “the elites” — whose world view is very much socialistic when not out and out communistic and atheistic, while the vast majority of the people — teachers included — hold to more traditional, Judeo-Christian, and conservative views.

    Through various tactics, such as the ACLU uses, as well as union dues, various political patronages etc., they are able to further their agenda using the money of people who really do not agree with them.

    BYW, the person to read on this really is Thomas Sowell — “The Vision of the Anointed” is just great.

  • goral

    NY lawyers who call themselves as such are below the bar. The real ones call themselves small town lawyers and ordinarily never comment on “stupid discussions”.

    LNF, the point of the article is that what the ACLU claims it does is not what it does. If you don’t believe that then this article will not convince you.

    “and these pinkos have found ways to use our tax dollars to fund their anti-American activities. This is very disturbing. Thanks for the heads up.”

    You’re velcome… I sink. I wish you wouldn’t use the pejorative term – pinkos. The preferred word is civil libertarians or secular-socialist guardians or terminology that can actually be argued in court of law.

    Finally, thank you good lady and I really mean good lady, for “delicately” buttressing my comment.
    That can be risky but you’ve demonstrated your sound intuition over and over again.

  • Pingback: Why so Sensitive? | Fellowship of the Minds()