Respectful Insolence

Ed over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars has been on a tear lately defending the ACLU against spurious attacks from right wingers and religious. Now I see that that dreaded atheistic, America-hating organization has invaded a little too close to home, coming into my area of the country.Clearly any real God-fearing American can’t let this be tolerated. Look at how the ACLU has managed to provoke a fawning editorial is doing yesterday:

Awesome God is a wildly popular signature song of religious praise music. The lyrics refer to crucifixion, to God’s mighty power, to his imminent return to earth and include an impas sioned call to believe in him. It’s no wonder Frenchtown school officials were taken aback when a second-grader wanted to sing the Christian anthem at an evening K-8 talent show.

School administrators in the small Hunterdon County borough yanked Awesome God from the program, but they shouldn’t have. The song’s performance might have made some uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t have violated the constitutional mandate for separation of church and state.

That’s the compelling argument of both the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and a conservative legal advocacy group, the Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona. They’re right because no reasonable member of the audience could have assumed that the performance of Awesome God meant the district favored Christianity, any more than that the show’s rendition of the famous caldron scene from “Macbeth” constituted a school board endorsement of witchcraft.

I wonder what Ann Coulter would say about that.

The actual amicus brief can be found here, and more can be found here. (Heck, the actual song in question can be found here.) Ed had noted this brief before, but I don’t think even he quite plumbed the full depths of the ACLU’s perfidy.

Yes, the ACLU is so clever that, in order to promote its nefarious plan to remove God from America, it’s even teamed up with a real God-fearing, life-promoting, organization like the Alliance Defense Fund, which in the past has fought for the display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings, view the separation of church and state as not being part of the true meaning of the First Amendment, believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, and was founded by Dr. Bill Bright, the late Larry Burkett, Dr. James Dobson, and Dr. D. James Kennedy, with the express concern and being the “dramatic loss of religious freedom in America’s courts and the resulting challenges to people of faith to live and proclaim the Gospel.” The Alliance Defense Fund has fought for “Choose Life” specialty license plates in Missouri, fought for “Defense of Marriage” Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, and supported a National Day of Prayer.

Clearly, there can only be one reason for the ACLU to make common cause with an organization that is normally its opponent: To subvert and destroy it!

Or maybe, just maybe, the ACLU isn’t as unrelentingly hostile towards religion as some of its more out-there critics say that it is, and, maybe, just maybe, the ACLU actually fights for religious freedom more than its detractors would like to admit.

Nahhh, couldn’t be!

The hearing is tentatively set for July 3, the day before Independence Day. How appropriate.

Comments

  1. #1 Eh Nonymous
    June 13, 2006

    PZ: Of course, watch out for the erstwhile-opponents.

    The ACLU believes in strong individual rights, including to practice (or not practice) one’s own faith. It also believes in strong-separation, or weak-government-ability-to-endorse. Not “establish,” “endorse.” The first is the text, the second is the meaning of the Lemon test etc. Nobody sane is advocating establishment. *Everyone* wants to argue over endorsement, and whether scholarships (Davey v Locke) or early-release or school vouchers or Under God (no, it isn’t; see the legal news re Newdow) constitute such endorsement.

    The ACLU’s erstwhile opponents believe in strong individual rights to practice their version of Christianity, and weak ability of courts to adjudge when a violation of the establishment clause has occurred. They also would agree with Justice Thomas’ view, that Virginia could constitutionally have established a state religion, because Virginia is not “Congress” – that is, that the 14th amendment did not incorporate the religion clauses of the 1st amendment against the states.

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