Letter to the Editor

ACLU is selective

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Dear Editor,

Perhaps the ACLU might be taken more seriously if that organization vigorously defended ALL of the civil liberties guaranteed to Americans by the Bill of Rights.

From what I have read in the headlines, however, they do not. They pick and choose their cases in such a manner that average, mainstream Americans feel left behind.

One need not go through the entire Bill of Rights to illustrate this. The first two Amendments are more than enough. The ACLU certainly stands firmly behind freedom of the press, free speech, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and the prohibition against government establishing a state religion, but what of the "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof" clause?

I'm quite certain that the ACLU would jump at the chance to support a Satanist's right to practice his religion in prison, but what about Christian citizens who wish to practice their religion in other government buildings? I have read the phrase "separation of Church and State" ad nauseum in newspapers and magazine articles, but never in the First Amendment. Do you know why? Because it does not APPEAR in the First Amendment, nor anywhere else in the Constitution. And yet it's repeatedly hawked as being the law of the land.

Has the ACLU ever taken a stance on the Second Amendment at all? "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." INFRINGED, folks. Not "eliminated", not "denied", not "rescinded," but INFRINGED. I contend that the Second Amendment has been violated more often than any other over the last 35 years, and that this affects ALL Americans. Not just criminals. Not just iconoclasts. All of us.

Tell me, Mr. Butz: where does the ACLU stand? And where in that oath you swore were you authorized to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution of the United States you would defend from "all enemies, foreign and domestic." I took the same oath, and I recall no such exemption.

Owen J. McPhillips


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