Dispatches from the Creation Wars

ACLU Defends Another Street Preacher

I want to call my readers’ attention to this comment left by Shawn Miller, a preacher from New Mexico who spent 109 days in jail for preaching on a street corner. The ACLU of New Mexico intervened at the request of Miller’s wife and they managed to get the preacher released from jail, where he has been held for nearly 4 months:

“Mr. Miller has a guaranteed right to stand on a street corner and proclaim his faith in God to all who pass by,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “He wasn’t harassing or intimidating anyone. He certainly should not have spent time under lock and key for such a minor incident.”

The ACLU became involved after Miller’s wife, Theresa, sent a letter requesting assistance. She and her two children had been with Miller on April 17 when he was arrested by Portales police for “disorderly conduct.” Miller had been preaching in the lot of an abandoned gas station that is commonly used by street vendors.

“I was preaching the word of God and not hurting anybody,” said Miller.

This is just another example of the ACLU defending the religious liberty of Christians, contrary to the fevered and hyperbolic rhetoric of the anti-ACLU crowd that the ACLU is just anti-Christian and wants to “remove religion from the public square.”

Comments

  1. #1 Dan
    August 28, 2005

    I look forward to seeing an extended report about this from Pat Robertson on the next edition of The 700 Club, and I can’t wait to see Bill O’Reilly sing the ACLU’s praises.

    And yes, I think I just saw a pig fly by my window.

  2. #2 Oolong
    August 28, 2005

    As a long time reader of Dennett and as someone who always knew there was a reason I liked teaching him to students, I say, “here, here!!”

  3. #3 Oolong
    August 28, 2005

    whoops. wrong thread.

  4. #4 Sergio
    August 28, 2005

    Hmmm..Me thinks posts like this will soon put you in the “big liberal conspiracy” to control the media of Paterico :P

  5. #5 David mazel
    August 29, 2005

    It’s interesting that the ACLU staff attorney could find it in his heart to say a few kind words about the American Family Association: “Both organizations are highly principled in their philosophies and policy positions.”

    I looked at the AFA website to see if I could find a similarly, um, Christian degree of charity among the self-proclaimed followers of Christ. Oddly enough I couldn’t find any reference to the Shawn Miller case at all. (Perhaps the AFA is not eager to publicize the fact that at times it is on the same side as the ACLU?) In a story about another case, however, the writer does appear to refer to the ACLU as “fanatics” (see http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/8/afa/262005e.asp).

    And you also have to wonder–how in the world could the ACLJ leave poor Miller to languish in jail for four months?

    said ACLU Staff Attorney George Bach.

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