Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
The ACLU comes off as being just wildly psychotic about perceived transgressions of the "church and state" clause.
Americans enjoy a degree of religious freedom unknown in most of the rest of the world, and they take full advantage it: the United States is home to more than 1,500 different religious bodies and 360,000 churches, synagogues and mosques.
The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone.
The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one's religion free of government interference. The establishment clause requires the separation of church and state. Combined, they ensure religious liberty.
The ACLU works to ensure that religious liberty is protected by keeping the government out of the religion business.
The American Civil Liberties Union has a long history of working to ensure that religious liberty is protected. From the famous 1920 Scopes trialâ€”in which the ACLU challenged a Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in schoolsâ€”to the current Ten Commandments case, the ACLU has remained committed to keeping the government out of the religion business and protecting every American's right to believe as he or she wishes.
Recent ACLU involvement in religious liberty cases include:
December 22, 2004: ACLU of New Jersey successfully defends right of religious expression by jurors.
December 14, 2004: ACLU joins Pennsylvania parents in filing first-ever challenge to â€śIntelligent Designâ€ť instruction in public schools.
November 20, 2004: ACLU of Nevada supports free speech rights of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the strip in Las Vegas.
November 12, 2004: ACLU of Georgia files a lawsuit on behalf of parents challenging evolution disclaimers in science textbooks.
November 9, 2004: ACLU of Nevada defends a Mormon student who was suspended after wearing a T-shirt with a religious message to school.
August 11, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska defends church facing eviction by the city of Lincoln.
July 10, 2004: Indiana Civil Liberties Union defends the rights of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets.
June 9, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska files a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim woman barred from a public pool because she refused to wear a swimsuit.
June 3, 2004: Under pressure from the ACLU of Virginia, officials agree not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County.
May 11, 2004: After ACLU of Michigan intervened on behalf of a Christian Valedictorian, a public high school agrees to stop censoring religious yearbook entries.
March 25, 2004: ACLU of Washington defends an Evangelical minister's right to preach on sidewalks.
February 21, 2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.
October 28, 2002: ACLU of Pennsylvania files discrimination lawsuit over denial of zoning permit for African American Baptist church.
July 11, 2002: ACLU supports right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.
April 17, 2002: In a victory for the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the ACLU of Virginia, a federal judge strikes down a provision of the Virginia Constitution that bans religious organizations from incorporating.
January 18, 2002: ACLU defends Christian church's right to run â€śanti-Santaâ€ť ads in Boston subways.
Just because you do not always agree with the ACLU and the cases they take does not mean they are not defenders of the constituton. I know I dont like all the cases they have defended, but we need organizations like the ACLU to ensure the government does not abuse its powers and that they follow the constitution as it was intended by our founding fathers. The ACLU does not just protect the majority. Sometimes the minority needs protection from the tyranny of the majority.
There is one thing we can be sure of -- Jefferson would have supported the ACLU and its fight to preserve the Bill of Rights.