If a STACLU contributor says something in a forest with no one around to hear it, is it still ridiculous? I couldn’t let a day go by without pointing out some stupid statement from them, and this one again occurs in the middle of a post on a subject where I actually agree with them on the substance. Glib posts about this silly situation in Columbus, Ohio where a church group came to a school on a Sunday and “blessed” the school and its inhabitants. The ACLU of Ohio sent a letter to the school principal complaining of it, but it’s unlikely anything will actually be done. It’s a case they won’t win in court because, as the principal points out, anyone can come onto school property on a weekend. It wasn’t done during school hours, it wasn’t an official school function, it was a bunch of Christians having their own little meeting on school grounds to do something pointless. Clearly, no establishment clause violation here and this is just a silly overreaction by the ACLU. I think most people would agree with that. But those STACLU folks, as usual, see it as proof that the satanic ACLU is out to make the Baby Jesus cry and they’re engaging in their usual hyperbolic rhetoric:
Once again, the ACLU demonstrates a pathological aversion and hostility to the free expression of faith, even by private citizens in their individual capacities. How many more examples like this do we need before ACLUophiles (like the ones who’ve decided to make criticism of this site a career) acknowledge that the ACLU is NOT the grand defender of religious liberty they claim to be?
Anyone can find plenty of examples where the ACLU has overreacted to something only very tenuously connected to an establishment clause problem. But the problem here is not that the ACLU is out to destroy religious liberty, it’s that they overreact to even the faintest hint of religious establishments. Anything that anyone might possibly interpret as a government endorsement of religion is viewed as a potential violation, and sometimes they definitely do go too far in that regard. But it’s not done out of a desire to crush religious liberty, it’s done out of a sincere opposition to religious establishments (even if the connection is fanciful, as it is here).
What the STACLU crowd hasn’t figured out is that it is possible, indeed quite reasonable, to criticize someone’s position without claiming that they’re satanic communists hellbent on destroying God, mom and apple pie. They are so caught up in what Eugene Volokh rightly called the ACLU Derangement Syndrome that everything they do is filtered through the prism of evil and comes out as proof of evil intent. But someone can be wrong without being part of an evil conspiracy.
As far as the thinly veiled attack on me concerning making criticism of STACLU a career, I can only suggest that Glib step down off that high horse. Don’t flatter yourself. I spend 10 or 15 minutes a day maximum correcting the steady stream of nonsensical drivel that emenates from your site. What I find amusing is that you never seem to learn from that criticism. No matter how completely irrational it makes you look, you just plow on ahead and shovel a bit faster.