Dispatches from the Creation Wars

And More STACLU Ignorance

Hot on the heels of the last post, take a look at this post from our old pal Glib Fortuna, showing his ignorance once again. As I did, he cites the FIRE report on speech codes on college campus. But then he uses the standard “where is the ACLU” demagoguery we see so often among the uber-righteous:

So why has the ACLU ignored such an obvious target that would allow it to demonstrate its First Amendment fealty? Well it’s just another example of the ACLU’s hypocrisy. The university is the last station in what the ACLU hopes will have been a steady diet and rigorous regimen of Leftist orthodoxy from birth (and instant abandonment in day care) until at least 22. The old saying goes, “Give me a child until seven and I’ll give you the man,” but groups like the ACLU and their sub-intellectual allies in the universities want to three-up that just to make sure they’ve captured minds and emptied souls. The ACLU allows the fascism (no, this is not hyperbole, it’s calling a spade a spade) to continue without comment because those strong-arm policies marginalize the very people, ideas and organizations the ACLU would gladly see just dry up and go away.

Bzzzt. Thank you for playing, Glib, but this one is utter nonsense. You cite FIRE as a group actively opposing such speech codes, and I applaud that; I’m a huge supporter of FIRE myself. But if you’d done just a tiny bit of research you would have found out, for example, that FIRE was founded by Harvey Silvergate and Alan Charles Kors, both staunch civil libertarians and ACLU supporters. In fact, Silvergate has been on the board of the ACLU of Massachusetts for over 30 years now.

A tiny bit more research and you would have found out that included on its board of advisers are no fewer than three current or former members of the ACLU’s national board (Nat Hentoff, Wendy Kaminer) or full time employees of the ACLU (Woody Kaplan). You might also notice that ACLU President Nadine Strossen is a prominent supporter of FIRE who in on their board of editors for the legal guides they put out has promoted their work widely.

You might have found out that the ACLU has often intervened along with FIRE in cases that they work on. For example, their suit against the University of Maryland; their intervention in a case at Occidental College; and in the Rhode Island case; in the various cases involving the Muhammed cartoons; and at Columbia University. You might have found out, also, that they’ve often issued joint open letters with FIRE in various cases. And you could have found out all of that, and much more, just from the FIRE website.

A little bit more research would have turned up even more information that might have prevented you from looking quite this ignorant. You might have found out that the ACLU has a strongly worded position against campus speech codes. And if you’d read Nat Hentoff’s book Free Speech for Me But Not for Thee, you would know that the ACLU has filed two lawsuits against campus speech codes that resulted in Federal district court rulings striking them down (one was against the University of Wisconsin, the other against the University of Michigan). In the only Federal appeals court decision striking down a campus speech code, Iota Xi v. GMU, the ACLU filed amicus briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs.

If the ACLU REALLY cared about the First Amendment and held universities accountable, instead of allowing its breeding ground to be a laboratory for the ugly future society it prefers, the college campus would be a freer place today. Alas, the ACLU proves once again that it couldn’t give a rip about the First Amendment beyond the ruffle-and-flourish cover it provides its dark intent.

No, Glib. What this proves, once again, is that the STACLU crowd never lets little things like facts get in the way of a perfectly good emotional rant.


  1. #1 Karl
    December 12, 2006

    Glib, in this context, quoting the statement “Give me a child until seven and I’ll give you the man,” is particularly ironic since that is precisely what organized religion does. And that is the difference between indoctrination and education. We, in teaching evolution, do not attempt to do so until children reach the age ( about 15) when they are able to think critically.

  2. #2 chris
    December 12, 2006

    We, in teaching evolution, do not attempt to do so until children reach the age ( about 15) when they are able to think critically.

    As an atheist I think it is all nonsense, but one thing I have always thought was a good idea was the practice of the various Anabaptist groups not to baptize members until they are at least 16 years old. That was one of the main objections the founders of the movement had during the Reformation. The idea that an infant could be held accountable and had to be baptized right away they found unacceptable. They believed a person should willfully choose their faith when they were older and aware of the options and implications. This person would be more committed to the life they had chosen, more likely to be an advocate for it, and less likely to lapse. All of which is borne out in the tremendously strong and close communitites they have forged here in the States and in Canada. These include the Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, and several other smaller groups.

    There is a great documentary from 2002 called “The Devil’s Playground” that looks at the practice of rumspringa in which teenagers leave the community when they turn 16 or so and live in the “real world”. They get jobs, date, party, drink, use meth, etc, and then have to decide which path is for them. Most choose to return and become baptized, some choose to stay away. But at least it is their choice, not one based on their parents’ actions decades ago. Highly recommended. The film, that is.

  3. #3 Kate
    December 12, 2006


    I agree with your comments about baptism with a slight caveat. I was raised in a church where the baptism was a promise by the parents and community to raise the child as a Christian, the confirmation and conferral of membership was only done once the child had 1- asked to be confirmed, 2- taken the series of confirmation classes (10 or so) that detail (and explore) the beliefs and theology of the denomination and 3- were willing to stand infront of the congregation and take specific vows and afirm their beliefs.

    I don’t know a single member of that church that was confirmed before the age of 18.

    Same idea, different terminology.

  4. #4 grasshopper
    December 12, 2006

    My father-in-law, who is a devout Christadelphian, and who had four children, only one of whom accepted his faith, told me that he was once criticised by his congregation because he had ‘failed’ to raise all his children as believers. He said he replied that he had not failed in any regard, because the only intention he had had was to raise his family in a Christelphian household, and in that regard he had succeeded.
    That response impressed me greatly.

  5. #5 Jurjen S.
    December 12, 2006

    Said Karl: Glib, in this context, quoting the statement “Give me a child until seven and I’ll give you the man,” is particularly ironic since that is precisely what organized religion does.

    IIRC, the quote’s originally from Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits.

  6. #6 Prup aka Jim Benton
    December 13, 2006

    About STACLU in general:
    They are currently running #3 in the Weblog voting for “Best of the Top 250 Blogs” (by Technorati, and these are blogs not nominated in other categories). They seem to be comfortably behind Feministe (almost 1000 votes) and 230 behind Talk Left, but Orcinus — my choice for the best political blog going but not on the ballot — is almost 600 votes behind them. Methinks a few votes there and scattered among the others would keep them from even winning the bronze, which would be a truly horrible thought.

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