The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

ACLU vs. religious liberty

Photo of Matt Barber
Matt Barber
Vice President, Liberty Counsel Action

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 the 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Constitution — a document expressly designed to limit the powers of the 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.

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  • rockhard

    ACLU means wanting to kill real freedom and promote communism and socialism, get rid of our Christian faith and traditions….they are enemies of most American people who like their faith and freedom.

  • Sproing

    I have to agree with the post of Alaskan with just this one additional observation.

    If we can agree that, at a minimum, 1% of any population is composed of individuals who have some form of mental instability or derangement then by extension it would be easy to understand that over 3 MILLION Americans share this same condition and that makes them easy prey for a variety of self-serving groups and individuals who depend upon their monetary largess to survive.

    Look around at your neighborhood or your local community and I’m almost certain that you’ll have no trouble picking out those individuals whose lives are only fulfilled by taking up ’causes’ that to them appear to be of the utmost importance to the continuation of human existence. To such individuals their is no argument that can be made or example shown that would sway them from their firm belief that what they are espousing is the absolute and inviolable truth and if they must constantly harass certain individuals, groups, or communities with their collective psychosis they will. They then go home at night and tell themselves that they are saving the world, or at least their segment of it.

    There’s no other way to explain such hilariously unhinged organizations such as PETA or the number of foolish and easily conditioned people who will swallow the kind of propaganda that is spun by groups such as the ACLU. Many of these types of organizations simply would cease to exist if they were ever to undergo any form of serious unbiased examination and investigation by any non-partisan individuals. The very fact that they do exist shows the level to which a small portion of our society has fallen. Couple this with the vast amounts of wealth that were accumulated by American citizens over the past 100 years and you can begin to understand how so many of these dysfunctional groups can survive and even thrive to continue their work of tearing apart societies that their founders and followers think are bad even if they are in a distinct micro-minority.

    One of the greatest failures of modern liberalism is the failure top recognize that their support of moral relativism and situational ethics has led, in great part, to the rise in public acceptance for groups that in fact do great social, economic, and political harm to the rest of the American community.

    • Alaskan

      Yep. When I hear the term “Community Activist” thrown around the synonym “Busybody” comes to mind.

  • slehar

    Liberalism is simply rife with such contradictions! Liberalism is a LIE — they spout the words they *know* we like to hear — individual liberty, civil rights, most transparent administration, Obamacare will reduce the cost, you can keep your old coverage, I will not raise taxes, Fannie and Freddie are sound, there is no financial crisis, etc. etc… while their ACTIONS speak the exact opposite!

    When will America wake up and throw the bums out!

  • Alaskan

    While I share Mr. Barber’s distain for the ACLU, I think he is fundamentally incorrect about the current nature of the organization. This makes his otherwise interesting column vulnerable to rebuttal by ACLU supporters who will point to the many instances where the ACLU has supported the freedom of religion including Christians. (I’m sure that Robin Lionheart will be here soon to do just that.)

    Mr. Barber has placed a great deal of weight on Roger Baldwin’s original vision for the organization. However, organizations change and the first order of business is the survival of the organization itself. This requires a substantial and consistent revenue stream and that is what is driving the ACLU’s decisions. If the ACLU adhered to Baldwin’s vision they would at least be a principled organization, stupidly wrong, but at least principled and that would make them easier to deal with as they would soon be marginalized by the American people.

    Instead they have carved out a sweet deal for themselves that involves endless litigation and endless Public Purpose Legal Fees. The establishment clause and the free exercise clause are often in conflict with one another. This requires balance on the part of public officials. So the ACLU initiates litigation charging public officials with violating the establishment clause. So public officials, wishing to avoid the ire of the ACLU, go overboard and restrict the free exercise of religion and then the ACLU comes to the rescue and initiates another round of litigation.

    This explains why the ACLU will sue for the removal of both a Nativity and a Menorah from a holiday display under the establishment clause and then turn around and sue when a government prevents baptisms in a public park under the free exercise clause. Like a defense attorney, they really don’t care if their client is innocent or guilty, just if they can pay the fee.

    This also explains why they go after certain targets and not others. The Lincoln Memorial contains, carved in stone, his Second Inaugural address that in a different context could be described as a sermon. The ACLU ignores this while they will go after even the most benign expressions of religion in small school districts. They litigate against the 10 commandments in a Tennessee courthouse while ignoring Moses and the 10 Commandments on the SCOTUS building.

    Why? Because, trying to remove the Second Inaugural address from the Lincoln memorial or similar high profile actions would get a lot of press and the American people would rightly conclude that the ACLU had gone off the rails. (They would become PETA fighting for the rights of files buzing around Obama.) So instead they go after vulnerable and low hanging fruit.

    There is no principle here. Only the ACLU’s bottom line.