Bill Gray--Dead Wrong about the ACLU!

In an earlier string on this forum (See You at the Pole), Bill Gray posted the following ignorant and erroneous statement:

 

“That is the kind of good which can come from such Christian events on campus.  And, that is exactly whey [sic] the ACLU and all other atheist organizations are fighting tooth and nail to keep as much Christian activity as possible off school campuses.  They know the power of Christians gathered in His name.  And, they know the power of our God -- even as they fight to deny Him.”

 

I believe that it is appropriate to co-opt one of Bill’s favorite forum techniques and begin a new entry on this subject matter.  Bill has, in his predictable, knee-jerk manner, lashed out at the ACLU without making an effort to learn the FACTS about where that organization stands on the application of the First Amendment’s free exercise clause. I want this post to have higher visibility than it would receive if buried deep within the aforementioned prior post.

 

With respect to the “See You at the Pole” observances, is a FACT that the ACLU not only does NOT oppose such gatherings; they have listed this particular observance as one that they recognize as entirely legal and constitutional.  This, and numerous other forms of student religious behavior and expression are listed on the ACLU’s web site in a document entitled “Joint Statement of Current Law on Religion in the Public Schools”.  The document is endorsed by the ACLU and numerous religious organizations.  Here is just a partial list of permissible activities in the public schools, as listed in the Joint Statement:

 

 

<<<<1. Students have the right to pray individually or in groups or to discuss their religious views with their peers so long as they are not disruptive. Because the Establishment Clause does not apply to purely private speech, students enjoy the right to read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, pray before tests, and discuss religion with other willing student listeners. In the classroom students have the right to pray quietly except when required to be actively engaged in school activities (e.g., students may not decide to pray just as a teacher calls on them). In informal settings, such as the cafeteria or in the halls, students may pray either audibly or silently, subject to the same rules of order as apply to other speech in these locations. However, the right to engage in voluntary prayer does not include, for example, the right to have a captive audience listen or to compel other students to participate.  

 

5. Students may be taught about religion, but public schools may not teach religion. As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly said, "[i]t might well be said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparative religion, or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization." It would be difficult to teach art, music, literature and most social studies without considering religious influences.  

The history of religion, comparative religion, the Bible (or other scripture)-as-literature (either as a separate course or within some other existing course), are all permissible public school subjects. It is both permissible and desirable to teach objectively about the role of religion in the history of theUnited Statesand other countries. One can teach that the Pilgrims came to this country with a particular religious vision, that Catholics and others have been subject to persecution or that many of those participating in the abolitionist, women's suffrage and civil rights movements had religious motivations.  

 

7. Students may express their religious beliefs in the form of reports, homework and artwork, and such expressions are constitutionally protected. Teachers may not reject or correct such submissions simply because they include a religious symbol or address religious themes. Likewise, teachers may not require students to modify, include or excise religious views in their assignments, if germane. These assignments should be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance, relevance, appearance and grammar.  

 

9. Students have the right to distribute religious literature to their schoolmates, subject to those reasonable time, place, and manner or other constitutionally- acceptable restrictions imposed on the distribution of all non-school literature. Thus, a school may confine distribution of all literature to a particular table at particular times. It may not single out religious literature for burdensome regulation.  

 

11. Student participation in before- or after-school events, such as "see you at the pole," is permissible. School officials, acting in an official capacity, may neither discourage nor encourage participation in such an event.  

 

12. Students have the right to speak to, and attempt to persuade, their peers about religious topics just as they do with regard to political topics. But school officials should intercede to stop student religious speech if it turns into religious harassment aimed at a student or a small group of students. While it is constitutionally permissible for a student to approach another and issue an invitation to attend church, repeated invitations in the face of a request to stop constitute harassment. Where this line is to be drawn in particular cases will depend on the age of the students and other circumstances.  

 

13. Student religious clubs in secondary schools must be permitted to meet and to have equal access to campus media to announce their meetings, if a school receives federal funds and permits any student non-curricular club to meet during non-instructional time. This is the command of the Equal Access Act. A non-curricular club is any club not related directly to a subject taught or soon-to-be taught in the school. Although schools have the right to ban all non-curriculum clubs, they may not dodge the law's requirement by the expedient of declaring all clubs curriculum-related. On the other hand, teachers may not actively participate in club activities and "non-school persons" may not control or regularly attend club meeting.  

The Act's constitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court, rejecting claims that the Act violates the Establishment Clause. The Act's requirements are described in more detail in The Equal Access Act and the Public Schools: Questions and Answers on the Equal Access Act*, a pamphlet published by a broad spectrum of religious and civil liberties groups.  

  

15. Schools enjoy substantial discretion to excuse individual students from lessons which are objectionable to that student or to his or her parent on the basis of religion. Schools can exercise that authority in ways which would defuse many conflicts over curriculum content. If it is proved that particular lessons substantially burden a student's free exercise of religion and if the school cannot prove a compelling interest in requiring attendance the school would be legally required to excuse the student.  

 

17. Religious messages on T-shirts and the like may not be singled out for suppression. Students may wear religious attire, such as yarmulkes and head scarves, and they may not be forced to wear gym clothes that they regard, on religious grounds, as immodest.  

 

18. Schools have the discretion to dismiss students to off-premises religious instruction, provided that schools do not encourage or discourage participation or penalize those who do not attend .>>>

The link below includes the full Joint Statement and the lengthy list of religious and secular organizations that have signed on to this statement.>>>>

 

It is more than appropriate--it is downright necessary--to challenge the all-subsuming indictments of the ACLU made by Bill and other ignorant die-hard right wing extremists. The ACLU and other groups (e.g. Americans United) work to ensure that governments do not control student religious activity or engage in other inappropriate governmental intrusions into religion.   That might rankle theocratically-inclined Christian nationists, but Bill and others who erroneously condemn the ACLU do not help their cause by repeatedly making absurd, ignorant blanket statements that mischaracterize the issues!

 

Read up and get educated:

http://www.aclu.org/religion-b...igion-public-schools

I yam what I yam and that's all I yam--but it is enough!

Original Post

The ACLU has also defended the rights of Christians in some instances. Just as the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery has taken on cases concerning the civil rights of many disenfranchised people--not just African Americans.

 

As for giving money to either group, I would advise anyone to thoroughly research the groups and decide for themselves.

Originally Posted by Jobe:

ACLU stands for anti-Christian lunatics united.

*****

 

Is THAT the best you can do, Jobe?   You offer nothing whatsoever to dispute anything I posted.  You provide nothing whatsoever of substance in your silly, un-cute attempt at cuteness.  Go back to my opening post and see if you can come up with just some tiny bit of responsible commentary to support your views on this issue--assuming you have sufficient intelligence to put your views into words.

Originally Posted by Jobe:

ACLU stands for anti-Christian lunatics united.


Let's see.  We had a post with factual information presented for anyone to read.  It was simply the group's stand on the issue.  We had another post that offered another bit of factual information.  We made it to 2 posts this time...whee!

 

And then there was this one.  Oh well, perhaps two would be a record anyway..sigh.  Nice, and I'm sure this has contributed to the thread greatly.

Some years ago, a certain former Florence City Council member denied Elizabeth Ernestine Romine the right to speak. In fact, he had the seventy-something year old arrested. She was defended in court not only by a consummate local attorney, but by an attorney working with the ACLU as well.

 

It's easy to criticize until it's our free speech that's verboten.

      A few years ago, I had a chance to talk to Mrs Romines, she would attend murder trials mostly . during breaks or lunch time.. we would talk and share our opinions of what we had heard.. I found her to be very wise and interesting to chatt with.

     Some times some topics of local goverment would come up, and she very much in the know. Not saying I agreed with her on ever thing, but the lady at least took the time to attend some meetings and try to speak her opinion, & I know most everone did not have the time or take the time to do as she did if they agreed or not. But honestly if more people got involed in what is or not going on within our city or county, but if more did ,it just might make our local goverment a little more acountable for the better. Yes many in the power to be ,did not want to hear her voice to be heard, and most of the time her voice would be the truth as I know it to be.

         If something is so wrong for so long and no one trys to make a change, then we are excepting what ever it maybe.. as Ok .

        This is just my opinion, after chatting with Mrs Romines.

 

    I too have been stoped from speaking of what I truely beleave in,  by some elected officals , I guess in fear of me speaking only the truth, and them not wanting the voters of that county to know , in how they are not doing their jobs as elected to do ! 

 

 Do not jump on me for my poor Grammer or Spelling, I am still learning.

It's the message that's important, and Bama always does a great job of bringing it to us. Some of us have had the great pleasure of meeting him and know what support he and his wife are to victims' families. There have been times I have disagreed with him, but there are few individuals that I respect more. Thank you for all you do!

It seems so ignorant for my more mainstream Christian brethren to be critical of the ACLU. I think sometimes they and defense attorneys are the only ones standing between us and the tyranny of the government. I understand how fundamentalists could perceive ANY disagreement to their doctrine as a threat. Their worldview is intolerant to the extreme so obviously the ACLU - a vehicle that forces ideas of tolerance on others - is considered Satan incarnate.

I disagree with the ACLU on many issues but their overall effect is a positive one.

Originally Posted by Bamafnatk:

      A few years ago, I had a chance to talk to Mrs Romines, she would attend murder trials mostly . during breaks or lunch time.. we would talk and share our opinions of what we had heard.. I found her to be very wise and interesting to chatt with.

     Some times some topics of local goverment would come up, and she very much in the know. Not saying I agreed with her on ever thing, but the lady at least took the time to attend some meetings and try to speak her opinion, & I know most everone did not have the time or take the time to do as she did if they agreed or not. But honestly if more people got involed in what is or not going on within our city or county, but if more did ,it just might make our local goverment a little more acountable for the better. Yes many in the power to be ,did not want to hear her voice to be heard, and most of the time her voice would be the truth as I know it to be.

         If something is so wrong for so long and no one trys to make a change, then we are excepting what ever it maybe.. as Ok .

        This is just my opinion, after chatting with Mrs Romines.

 

    I too have been stoped from speaking of what I truely beleave in,  by some elected officals , I guess in fear of me speaking only the truth, and them not wanting the voters of that county to know , in how they are not doing their jobs as elected to do ! 

 

 Do not jump on me for my poor Grammer or Spelling, I am still learning.

******

 

I miss Ms. Romine.  This city is deficient in eccentrics.  She and her lawyers whupped the city when they tried to convict her of "obstructing government operations."  Too vague, said the court; her actions were not such as to be illegal under the law the city tried to use.

 

Later, the City "got even" by jailing the lady for not cleaning up her yard.  In many other cases, the City would simply do the cleanup itself and put a lien on the property for payment of cleanup costs. But they went hard line on Ms. Romine.

 

She was so cantankerous and disruptive in the jail that the jailer worked to get her released well in advance of completion of her sentence. You go, Elizabeth Romine!

From the article:

 

The ACLU is anti-Christian. The list is endless on this one. Under the guise of “separation of Church and State”, the ACLU has made a name for themselves on being rabidly anti-Christian. This is one area where they are most hypocritical. They oppose tax exemptions for all churches, but fight for them for Wiccans. They are against Christianity in school, but oddly remain silent as our children are taught to be Muslims. Whether its baby Jesus, ten commandments, or tiny crosses on county seals, the ACLU will be there to secularize America, and rewrite our history.

 

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/history-of-the-aclu

 

beternu and his liberal friends can have the aclu.

Maybe you'd have better luck slamming the aclu if you were truthful. Wiccans aren't satanic. Keep lying, keep trying to spread ignorance, then wonder why no one wants your brand of crap spread around. And oddly christians claim that atheists are afraid when it's christians that are so afraid that they resort to lies about other religions or groups.

This is your "baby jesus" story:

 

Christmas In July

Looks like this city got an early Christmas present this year. You got to love it when the ACLU loses. It kind of rekindles some hope in the justice system. Alliance Defense Fund won this case for religious liberty against the ACLU. This is one organization you all should really look into becoming a part of. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….being offended is not grounds to sue. When will the liberals get out of this victim mentality?

Heres your "ten commandment" story:

 

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Haskell County, demanding that a Ten Commandments monument be removed from the courthouse grounds in Stigler.

Haskell County commissioners had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

It alleges the display violates constitutional protections against government endorsement of religion and entanglement of government with religion.

The ACLU brought the complaint on behalf of Jim Green, a retired veteran and a longtime resident of Haskell County. He objects to the monument because he believes the display violates the U-S Constitution and trivializes religion.

The 8-foot, $2,500 monument was funded by efforts of Stigler-area residents and church members. It was erected last November after approval from the Haskell County Commission.Source

Notice a few things here. It was not funded by the government, it was a gift paid for by the area residents. I’m assuming since the residents paid for it, that the majority wish for it remain. But this one guy who is offended is more important to the ACLU. I predict this one gets shot down if the community stands up for their rights.

All I did was copy and paste the article. What difference does it make if the aclu won or lost? Beternu started this thread saying all these great things about the aclu. My point is to show how anti-Christian the aclu is. Not that hard to do.

The difference is the insinuation that something happened because of the aclu when it didn't, it claimed wiccans are satanic, they aren't. It's a hate page against the aclu. They're not my favorite group either but at least they do represent and fight for everyone.

Originally Posted by Bestworking:

Heres your "ten commandment" story:

 

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Haskell County, demanding that a Ten Commandments monument be removed from the courthouse grounds in Stigler.

Haskell County commissioners had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

It alleges the display violates constitutional protections against government endorsement of religion and entanglement of government with religion.

The ACLU brought the complaint on behalf of Jim Green, a retired veteran and a longtime resident of Haskell County. He objects to the monument because he believes the display violates the U-S Constitution and trivializes religion.

The 8-foot, $2,500 monument was funded by efforts of Stigler-area residents and church members. It was erected last November after approval from the Haskell County Commission.Source

Notice a few things here. It was not funded by the government, it was a gift paid for by the area residents. I’m assuming since the residents paid for it, that the majority wish for it remain. But this one guy who is offended is more important to the ACLU. I predict this one gets shot down if the community stands up for their rights.

****

 

You miss the point badly. The monument provided by the private citizen was accepted by GOVERNMENTAL officialdom.  It was placed in a public (GOVERNMENT) building "...after approval from the Haskell County Commission" (a unit of GOVERNMENT).

 

The private sources of the funding for that monument do not launder it into conformity with the First Amendment. Judge Roy Moore paid for his 5280-pound 10 Commandments monument out of his private funds, but that did not make it legal for him to place it in the Judiciary Building. He lost his case big time, as you should recall.

 

The ACLU is right and they will win the Oklahoma case hands down, since there is very considerable judicial precedent supporting their case.  Those Okies from Muskogee are on the losing side.

 

The fact that in Muskogee "the majority wish for it to remain" is irrelevant.  The Bill of Rights protects the rights of minorities; it was not drafted to defend majority community religious preferences.  

 

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