Last night I noticed a post at StopTheACLU that included a claim that I highly doubt, but the comments were closed. It was written by Gribbit, so I found the same post on his blog and left two comments. This should actually be a really good test of the intellectual honesty of the StopTheACLU crowd, to see how this plays out. Here's the passage in his post that I am skeptical of:
We have seen this already. The ACLU fought to gain equality for after school projects so that a gay tolerance group could meet on school grounds after the school day. The fight went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and they won. Shortly there after, the ACLU sent a letter to all Washington public high schools reminding them of this victory and demanded that they comply. However, when a bible study group in another state attempted to gain the same recognition, the ACLU then asked the Supreme Court to reverse itself. They cannot have it both ways.
I left two comments asking for the specific cases he is referring to here. The first one said:
Can you provide the specific case where the ACLU allegedly asked the Supreme Court not to allow a bible study group to use school facilities. I'm aware of no such case, and I'm sure you agree that if you're going to make such an accusation, you ought to provide the evidence for it.
Then I got to thinking about the first claim, that the ACLU had fought a case for gay groups to have access to school facilities all the way to the Supreme Court, and I began to doubt that one too. So I wrote a second comment:
As I think about it, I'm not sure the first claim is correct either. I am not aware of any case involving a "gay tolerance" group and use of school facilities ever reaching the Supreme Court. The closest I know of for the second one, a bible study group asking to use school facilities after school, is Good News Club v Milford, but it simply isn't true that the ACLU asked the Supreme Court not to allow them to use the school facilities. In fact, that decision was largely based upon the Lamb's Chapel case, and in that case the ACLU filed a brief on behalf of the Christian group wanting to use school facilities. So in fact, I don't think either of the cases you mention actually exist. Can you provide citations for them? If not, perhaps you should retract those accusations.
I checked this morning to see if they had been answered. Gribbit had deleted the two comments and replaced them with the following admonition:
Ed needs to read the first section of the Diclaimer page as well. No link - No voice.
Ed also has until noon Wednesday to edit his registration to include a valid link to his own site or it too will be deleted.
That seems rather odd. It means, essentially, that only other bloggers can comment on his site. But hey, his site, his rules. So I edited my profile to include a link to this site and left a third comment, giving a link to here again and repeating the questions. I am very curious to see how he responds. Will he be intellectually honest and either provide the citations for the two cases? If he does, and if he's portrayed them accurately, then I will certainly owe him an apology and a thank you for pointing me to two cases I was not previously aware of. Or will he choose another path? Stay tuned to find out.
The hypocrisy runs just the other way around. The ACLU's position is quite consistent, and in line with federal law: public schools do not have to open their facilities to extra-curricular clubs, but [i]if[/i] they do so, they cannot discriminate on religious basis. That means both GSA clubs and Bible clubs are allowed. Or neither.
In contrast, the religious right wants Bible clubs allowed, but gay clubs banned. It is that religious preference that the ACLU quite justly fights.
I love blogs with 'choose life' in one picture and fighter jets in another.
Can I post here If I don't own a bible, Ed?
Wow, not only can you not comment on his blog if you're not a blogger, but apparently he doesn't even want you reading it if you're not willing to provide a link. I sometimes read STACLU myself but found that it was impossible to continue, because in fact they don't care if what they're writing is true. I've tried correcting a few factual errors in the past, and they seem to prefer the propaganda. Don't count on an answer.
Gribbit doesn't have a polite bone in his body. Instead of calmly notifying a new visitor of his unorthodox policies, he deletes comments and threatens to ban people for leaving comments. Who behaves like that? I wonder if he has ever laughed - or smiled, for that matter.
Ed, tread lightly. I once pointed out one of his lies, and he threatened to break my jaw. He lives in Cleveland, too, so he's not that far away!
From his 'disclaimer' section:
"...leave a pithy comment ..."
"...Bloviating will not be tolerated..."
BAAAAAD BAAAAAAD O'Reilly wannabe.
Burried in his diatribe about half way down.
"I will admit that I did make an error in my initial statement of this situation yesterday. I stated that the ACLU asked the Supreme Court to reverse a decision that they had won in a previous case. That isn't correct and I apologize."
I note he's also publishing the host names of the people who vote that he lied in his current opinion poll. Real classy, that guy.
The Washington State ACLU indeed sent a letter outlining school responsibilities towards student clubs. This May 6, 2005 letter was sent in light of "a recent federal court decision," Prince v. Jacoby, 303 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 2002).
Of course Prince was not before the Supreme Court and did not involve gay tolerance groups. Rather, Prince involved the right of a student Bible club "to meet as an Associated Student Body ("ASB") club, entitled to the same benefits as other student clubs."
The Washington-ACLU letter did not shirk the holding. It plainly and repeatedly stated that a non-curriculum based club could not be discriminated against on the grounds of religion. Given that the Washington-ACLU letter was written to emphasize the right of Christian-Bible based groups to meet, raises the question of whether Gribbit read the letters and holdings he attacks... or has simply accepted their tyranny through faith based analysis.
" initially heard about this last year when it was discussed on the O'Reilly Factor. I then read an Internet thread about it on a news site that I cannot now seem to be able to find. And since I lost my archive at the beginning of the month when I upgraded from WP 2.0.2 to 2.0.3, I cannot reference my previous sourced material."
Oh, Infallible O'Reilly allegedly said it! What an utter plum. Trying to scare people who disagree with you by posting their IP addresses - nice one big man.
Also, Nigel, hairstylist quips:
"Having a shaven head and a cell phone in your picture does not make you looks scary. It does go well with leather chaps. Have you considered a handlebar moustache?"
Ed, why do you choose to tango with this guy? His blog looks like bush league material. The man's clearly compensating for an insecurity streak that's a mile wide. Surely there are ACLU critics more worth your time?
BTW, don't delete this! I'm not one of the common people who merely read blogs. Oh, no. I have my own blog! I am somebody!
Ompus, obviously he read the letters with his gut.
I agree that the guy isn't worth your time, Ed. He's clearly got less than no interest in discourse, or he wouldn't threaten to "get" dissenters. And he's clearly got no interest in fact, or he wouldn't cite "I think I heard it on TV and then I think maybe I saw it on the internet" as his support, and then accuse you of being unwilling to do research. This guy can't be talked to -- he's a troglodyte. But as Jeff pointed out, he's clearly a very very unhappy troglodyte, so that's some consolation.
He has posted a Just for Clarification update on his blog. Given his, "But in order to pacify our non-reading, "I can't do my own research" trolling types, I've decided to give a few resources for you to look over at your leisure." comment, I don't hold out high hopes that rational discourse will long thrive, but there it is.
Screwed up the link, but Rich has it anyway.
The full text of WESTSIDE COMMUNITY BD. OF ED. v. MERGENS (1990).
If you want to know where Andrew Richardson (Gribbit) lies on the integrity scale, imagine DaveScot and then take the elevator a few floors down. If you want to know exactly how he responds to debunkings of his claims, start here:
Note that I got the "no link, no voice" treatment.
My response is here:
He replied to this here:
And I answered that reply here:
In the end, perhaps owing to my adopting a tone these STACLULESS fellas can relate to when "debating" them, he admitted to me that he simply doesn't care about facts. The concessions he has made to you so far are marginally more generous, but be leery of anyone who substitutes "clarification" for "a rationalizaton of one of my sloppy-ass fuck-ups from earlier."
From his profile.
"Liberalism armed with the moronic lack of belief in direction from a Divine influence known as atheism is the agent of the devil"
The omitted comma makes this a funny...
"..Divine influence known as atheism.."