ACLU: Attorneys Committed to Legalizing the Undoing of America

Background:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 by Roger Nash Baldwin. A Harvard-educated agnostic from a Boston family of Unitarians, Baldwin was mentored by Emma Goldman, the “Red Queen of Anarchy,” who had been mentored by Russian revolutionary Peter Alexeevich Kropotkin.

The ACLU comprises two different organizations, both of which go by the name ACLU. The American Civil Liberties Union, with a membership of over 500,000, engages in political lobbying while the ACLU Foundation works through litigation and communication. The national headquarters is in New York City, but each state has its own chapter which operates autonomously, though in high profile cases the national organization gets involved. Funding comes mainly from donations, grants, and attorneys’ fees. The ACLU has a staff of full-time attorneys, but the bulk of legal work is carried out by volunteer cooperating attorneys who either represent litigants directly or file amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” briefs in cases of interest to the ACLU. Most ACLU activity begins at the local level but often results in decisions which are imposed nationwide.

Wanted For:
From the beginning, the ACLU has taken its raison d’être from the Bill of Rights, particularly the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from abridging free speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of assembly, and the Establishment Clause which prohibits Congress from making a law respecting establishment of religion. As written, the Bill of Rights only applies to the federal government; state and local governments are not so bound. To Baldwin, this was an egregious omission. He not only set out to have those limitations enforced at all levels, but – worse – he interpreted them according to a wholly antithetical worldview. Whereas America’s founding documents sought to secure freedom within an ordered society under God, Baldwin’s philosophy effectively insisted that anyone should be allowed to do anything at any time without any interference, censure, or even implied disapproval. “Anything goes.”

Anything that is, unless it emanates from the Judeo Christian worldview. The first major ACLU case was the 1924 Scopes trial in Dayton, TN, which the ACLU contrived specifically to undermine the public’s belief in God and impose evolution-only science education in America’s schools, a move that has been devastatingly effective. Nearly a century later, the “rights” being enforced have become so intrusive that even disagreeable thoughts are imperiously suppressed.

ACLU Homeland Advisory System

Most Recent Offense:
It is difficult to identify one line of assault as the most offensive, but the ACLU’s attack on the consciences and souls of children seems to be the most contemptible. On an otherwise normal school day a few years back, elementary students in Novato, California were summoned to a mandatory program called “Cootie Shots,” presented by a homosexual theatre troop. Parents subsequently sued the school district, but the ACLU came to its defense and overpowered them. “Schools have the authority to require mandatory attendance in tolerance-building and diversity education programs,” ACLU staff attorney Julia Harumi Mass said at the conclusion of the ordeal. ACLU attorneys relentlessly oppose school choice initiatives, the Pledge of Allegiance, exposure of schoolchildren to Christmas carols, Christmas plays, and Christmas parties, voluntary prayer at school events, and even voluntary moments of silence. But compulsory gay education must be protected.

It is clear that the ACLU is not preserving liberty. It’s systematically extirpating the Judeo Christian roots from which American liberty grew.

Ultimately, it’s administering national suicide.

This article first appeared in Salvo 14, Fall 2010.

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19 Comments on “ACLU: Attorneys Committed to Legalizing the Undoing of America

  1. Where did you get that “Cootie Shots” was “presented by a homosexual theatre group”? Besides it being untrue, what was the purpose of your labeling as such?

    Here’s information about the group. There is nothing gay about it.
    http://www.cootieshots.org/about.html

    I don’t agree with everything the ACLU believes or does, but I believe they are motivated by a desire to protect the constitution of the United States.

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  2. I got my information from here, and here, both ACLU press releases about the case.

    The words in the ACLU’s press releases are clearly the language of the GLBT agenda. They are also, by the way, the words of your language when you talk about gay issues: protection from discrimination, harassment, and bigotry; prevention against teasing, bullying and hate behavior; equality; tolerance; safe schools. Note also that the ACLU’s national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project and the National Center for Lesbian Rights represented the theatre company.

    Here are a few quotes from various proponents of mandatory “Cootie Shots” attendance:

    “As advocates for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender individuals, the National Center for Lesbian Rights strongly supports the Novato school district’s efforts to increase tolerance on campus through creative programs like ‘Cootie Shots,'” said Courtney Joslin, a staff attorney with the NCLR.

    “Schools have an obligation to try to prevent harassment and promote diversity,” said Tamara Lange, a staff attorney with the national ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.

    “This result affirms the ability of schools to use anti-bias and diversity education to ensure that schools are safe for all students, including lesbian and gay students,” said Courtney Joslin, staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

    Here are the words from one of the skits about a little boy dressing up in his Mommy’s high heels:

    In Mommy’s high heels the world is beautiful,
    Let the peasants choke way down below.
    I’m standing high above the crowds,
    My head is breaking through the clouds.
    In Mommy’s high heels, I’m ten feet tall!
    In Mommy’s high heels life’s a fantasy;
    Ev’ry wish I make is a decree!
    Let Sissy keep her shrunken heads,
    Let Mary walk her dog who’s dead,
    In Mommy’s high heels I have it all!
    Here the world is beautiful:
    Forests of coat racks and shoe trees
    A land of hope and shopping sprees!!
    When I grow up I’ll have the cash
    To go out and buy a bag to match!
    So let them say that I’m like a girl!
    What’s wrong with being like a girl?!
    And let them jump and jeer and whirl–
    They are swine, I am the pearl!
    And let them laugh and let them scream!
    They’ll be beheaded when I’m queen!
    When I rule the world! When I rule the world!
    When I rule the world, in my mommy’s high heels!

    I got those here.

    To answer your questions, I called it a homosexual theatre group because it was clear from the above references that that’s exactly what it is. Most of the language of GLBT activism is repeated on the Cootie Shots site that you referred me to also, so I don’t see that I spoke an untruth at all.

    What was my purpose? To highlight the contemptible nature of ACLU activism. Please note a few important points: This was a program being shown, mandatorily, to children, as young as five years old, without their parents’ knowledge. In fact, Norma Bowles, the coauthor of the play, acknowledged the group wanted to isolate children from their parents regarding the assembly. She stated, “Children in a group are different than children alone. They look to a group to help them decide how they should feel and act, so what we try to do is to make it cool to do the right thing.”

    Separating children, as young as five years old, from their parents, requiring them to view this material with no option to opt out. This is beyond contemptible.

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  3. Terrell, I don’t understand what you are so afraid of. So what if your child heard that poem? It represents a point of view which you may or may not be sympathetic to, and which you may or may not understand. So you can discuss it with your child. You can show him other poems, right?

    But can I ask you about this poem? What makes you so incensed that children hear it? It’s about a kid who feels empowered when he puts on his mom’s shoes. Clearly, someone wrote this poem and is expressing how they felt. I can only conclude one of two things from your outrage:

    1. You are afraid a young kid who hears this poem will be exposed to this point of view. You don’t want him to know people who feel this way are out there.

    2. You are afraid a young kid who hears this poem will identify with it. You don’t want him to recognize it’s OK if he feels this way, too.

    If either of these are true, I can’t imagine you are a very good parent.

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  4. Mark, I’m not afraid here. I don’t see any words that communicate fear.

    Please note that I didn’t say Cootie Shots should not be performed or that children should not be exposed to it. What I find objectionable is that Fringe Benefits performs this controversial performance before them while they are at school, public school mind you, without so much as notifying their parents. And the ACLU agrees that this is a good thing.

    If someone is afraid of other viewpoints, it seems to me it would be Fringe Benefits and the ACLU. They are the ones coming into public schools, separating children from their parents without prior notification, and mandating attendance. Please note that they do not allow a child or parent to opt out.

    And this is done in the name of diversity and tolerance? You can imagine whatever you like about me as a parent, but I fail to see how this practice furthers acceptance or tolerance for anyone except those who share their viewpoint. I would say it’s more like viewpoint enforcement.

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  5. Please answer this two questions:

    Why do you think this event requires special parental notification?

    And why don’t you want your child to listen to that poem? What’s wrong with the poem, Terrell?

    I think you are conflating a particular quote from a co-author of the play – who expressed that she prefers to present her work to larger groups of children – and the viewpoint of the ACLU and the reasoning behind why they would choose to take on this case. I think the ACLU’s reasons for choosing this case to defend make a lot of sense. After the parents in the school district lost the case, this is the statement the ACLU put out:

    —-
    The lawsuit, which was touted in a January 31, 2002 press release by the right wing Pacific Justice Institute as the “”first in a major litigation campaign,”” tried to claim that parents had a right to prevent their children from watching the play, which advocates for teaching tolerance for gay people, because it constituted “”sex education.”” They also claimed that showing the play to their children violated their religious freedoms.

    “Teaching tolerance for lesbian and gay students has nothing to do sex education or religious freedom,” said Tamara Lange, a staff attorney for the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. “This lawsuit was a mean-spirited and vicious attack on lesbian and gay people that aimed to destroy an outstanding tool for teaching tolerance for all students.”
    —-

    So I think an important distinction they’re making here is that teaching about homosexuality is not the same thing as “sex education” — and I have to say, I agree with that. Anymore than talking about how mommy loves daddy very much is sex education. It sounds like you are uncomfortable with your children learning about alternative viewpoints. When your “viewpoint” is that you hate alternative viewpoints, then yes, your “viewpoint” shouldn’t be imposed upon the public sphere.

    Also, just a final thing, the way you talk about this case in your original article is disingenuous because it makes it sound like the ACLU is “overpowering” the parents’ group with resources, but in reality the parents group was supported by outside legal activist groups as well, including the powerful Pacific Justice Institute, which was one of the groups that spent millions lobbying for the passage of Prop 8. (In fact, the parents, supported by PJI, sued the SCHOOL DISTRICT, which almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to mount an equal defense had the ACLU not intervened.) You make it sound like these poor parents were defeated because they just didn’t have the money to compete, not because a judge or panel of judges found their case to be without warrant.

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  6. Imagine a public school having a program teaching racial equality and respect for people different than oneself. A group of racist parents decide they don’t want their children exposed to that point of view. They sue the school district. Whose side would you be on?

    Hate (whether racism, anti-semitism, sexism or homophobia) are taught by parents (and sometimes religious institutions). In a multicultural democracy, we have an obligation to fight against it.

    Terrell, you need to understand that EQAUL (not special) rights for gays and lesbians is the right and moral direction this country needs to and will take.

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  7. Les, you and I have already discussed this, remember? Gays and lesbians do have equal rights and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. They always have since the founding of this country. That is, unless they’re black, in which case they were actually denied civil rights, voting for example, or equal access to public education.

    Mark, your questions are certainly fair game. They require a little more thought and time that I have at the moment, though, so I’ll come back on them later.

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  8. Nice try, but saying that “gays and lesbians do have equal rights and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship” doesn’t make it so.

    Gays and lesbians do NOT have the right to:
    – enter into civil union and enjoy the state and federal privileges that go along with it, including tax and inheritance benefits, social security protection.
    – serve in the armed forces unless hiding ones identity (thankfully about to end, no thanks to the bigots and homophobes in the Family Research Council and other right-wing religious groups.
    – obtain health insurance benefits for ones spouse through ones employer.
    – be protected against discrimination in employment and housing (more right-wing bigots and homphobes against ENDA).

    As Dr. MLK said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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  9. Les is right. Gays don’t have equal rights in this country yet. Even if they did, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that bigotry and hate would automatically disappear. It’s in our public interest to support programs that teach children to be tolerant at a young age. Just like it’s in our public interest to teach them to share and listen to their classmates and participate in the community, or to not be racist (even if their parents might be).

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  10. Yes, I suppose the point with respect to military service is valid, so I’ll revise. Other than open military service gays and lesbians have the same civil rights, including marriage rights, as everyone. All citizens have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Gay marriage isn’t about securing equal rights; it’s about redefining marriage. We did cover that here.

    You are correct, of course, that undesired opinions and emotions continue to exist. You seem to believe that coerced approval of homosexuality will end those undesirable opinions and emotions. I suggest and predict that it won’t. In fact, I suggest it’s probably more likely to increase them.

    Mark, to answer your earlier questions: Why do I believe parents should be notified of Cootie Shots and allowed to opt their children out? Because in a free country, parents are the ones responsible for raising children. You might not like how they do so, but except in the event of blatant abuse or neglect, in a free country parents raise children, not the state.

    You asked why I didn’t want my child to hear the poem. I did not say that. I quoted the poem as part of my answer to Les’s question. Les said I was untruthful to call this theatre group a homosexual group. I included the words to the poem as part of my explanation as to why I called them that. I still believe I was correct to do so, and the direction of these comments confirms it.

    Cootie Shots presents one viewpoint concerning a controversial subject – sex and morality – to very young children. Just as a thought experiment, imagine if the NRA came into a school to conduct mandatory Second Amendment education. Or perhaps the CDC to present epidemiological data showing the statistical relationships between sexual practices and diseases. I really don’t want to take this discussion down either of those tangents, but I offer them up as food for thought. The point being, differences of views will exist. Mature, free people respect the rights of others to hold differing viewpoints and don’t try to force them on others, particularly young children apart from their parents.

    Returning to the original article, the salient point was that the ACLU, as a general rule, censors and silences viewpoints that emanate from the Judeo Christian worldview. As I noted, it opposes voluntary expressions of such. On the other hand, it affirms and defends mandatory attendance at an assembly where a viewpoint contrary to the Judeo Christian ethic is expressed. You apparently see this as a good thing since, in this example, its stance agrees with yours. I view it as a bad thing for everyone, you included, because it’s an assault on liberty and freedom of thought and conscience. And, as I pointed out at the conclusion of the article, it is the Judeo Christian ethic that provided the foundation for the individual liberties both you and I enjoy today. To pull those up means to invite tyranny for all of us.

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  11. re: marriage – Yes, it’s about redefining marriage so that it is a more equitable legal institution. So that those who want to get married to people of the opposite sex are legally able to do so, and enjoy the rights that come with that distinction. It is so selfish of you to seek to deny people this ability, and it’s really baffling to me because it doesn’t alter your rights or privileges at all. You won’t need to “approve” of homosexual unions, your church won’t need to perform them, yet you can’t bear to allow a gay couple the right to spousal hospital visits, or insurance coverage, or the dignity of a publically recognized marriage. Even when gay marriage is made legal – and it’s only a matter of time – you’ll still have the right to look a gay child (maybe your gay child or a gay relative or gay friend) in the face and tell her you disapprove of her sexual preference, that she is a sinner and may be going to hell unless she apologize. Nobody is taking the right to free speech away from you, Terrell.

    You sound like someone fighting the law banning interracial marriages, saying “everyone has the right to marry someone of the same color – changing that law changes the definition of marriage.” That law was not equitable to people in mixed-race couples, just as current law is not equitable to people in gay couples.

    re: the NRA and CDC examples, I’m in agreement that if a school board determined these lectures to be part of the curriculum, parents should not be given a special right to pull their kids out of school just because they disagree with these viewpoints. Their rights as parents are not being violated — they are still able to talk to their kids about whatever issues are being presented in school.

    What I think is different about these examples is that neither of them really seem to be as pressing of issues to the age group we’re talking about as the issues raised by a group like Cootie Shots. While Second Amendment rights are very important to learn about, you don’t really see a lot of 5-year-old’s being teased because they are exercising their gun rights or expressing support for the NRA. And the info presented by the CDC is definitely really good for kids to know, but that seems more appropriate in a sex ed type curriculum – something for older kids, when the risks of sexual activity become more imminent.

    However, the ridiculing, bullying and singling-out of gay kids – and kids of gay parents, and kids displaying non-heteronormative behavior – is widespread, and begins at a very early age. I know this not only because I myself experienced it, but because you hear about it all the time from places all over the country. It’s precisely because of the high incidence of this kind of bigotry that it’s important for all the kids in class to be present at a tolerance-building event like Cootie Shots. You can’t just have the parents who don’t want their children to learn about gay perspectives pull them out — in fact, those are probably the kids with the highest risk of engaging in the kind of hateful behavior Cootie Shots is seeking to eradicate!

    I’m guessing you never got beat up because of who you fell in love with because of what kind of clothes you liked to wear. But that’s real tyranny.

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  12. Saying “All citizens have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex” is not equality, any more than it was equality to say people had the right to marry someone as long as they were not of a different race! It’s bigotry — discriminating against people who are different than you.

    Just like straight people, most gays and lesbians want to form lasting unions with a partner and have the SAME CIVIL rights that CIVIL marriage provide. Would you prefer that a gay person marry someone of the opposite sex and live in lie?

    People who are against gay rights don’t believe that the lives of gay people are legitimate and, therefore, they oppose any effort to promote inclusion of gay people in all aspects of society. Anti-gay rights people call it a “lifestyle” and believe it’s a choice. They believe that somehow if their children learn that gay people are entitled to the same respect that all humans are entitled to, then they will choose to be gay. Such a poor understanding of human sexuality, tainted by a history of oppression by many religions and cultures against anyone who is different, has led to laws aimed at punishing gay people for being who they are.

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  13. Les and Mark, you and I have a fundamental disagreement over who is rightfully the primary moral educator of children – parents or the state.

    I welcome your comments, and thank you for responding to my article. Feel free to continue to do so. If I have called either of you a name, or ridiculed you, or bullied you, or said your life was illegitimate, or spoken disrespectfully or hatefully to you, I invite you to show me how and where. That is never my goal, nor would I excuse or defend someone else doing so.

    I think where we are could also be summed up this way: I hold to some different views than you do about sex and morality. You can either exercise tolerance or intolerance toward them and me. You can call me names, like selfish and bigot, and I will do my best to take it in stride and respond in a respectful manner because I believe each of you is a unique, infinitely loved human being created by God in his image. This is true regardless of your behavior, sexual or otherwise, and regardless of whether you even believe there is a God or not. My goal is to treat you as such.

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  14. Terrell, thank you for your respectful response. I do appreciate that.

    You seem to be fighting on behalf of intolerance, though, which is pretty low. And then to turn it around and say that I am being intolerant by calling you intolerant is ridiculous.

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  15. One more point about “redefining marriage”. Society has been doing it for thousands of years. Marriage in the Bible is quite different from now, especially since 1) men were allowed to have multiple wives, and 2) marriage was really a contract where the man “bought” (dowry) the woman from her father.

    The reality is that same sex marriage has absolutely no negative effect on heterosexual marriage. If you really want to “protect” the institution of heterosexual marriage, then one would advocate outlawing divorce. (You can see how much good that did the Catholic Church!)

    Terrell, as I’ve said before, I don’t believe you have been purposely disrespectful of me or gay people in general. However, I must say that pretending that prejudice against gay people does not exist and arguing against measures designed to fight such prejudice is being disrespectful.

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  16. Although it is almost 2 months past this dialogue, I am sending the information to my girls.

    Girls: I would like you to find the original premise, in the article.
    Then find follow up comments in the dialogue.

    Anything else you would like to add feel free, but I would like you to find those
    two things. This is a great exercise in sifting through verbage and staying focused on the original premise.

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  17. I’ll add one clarification for them. There was a thesis statement in the original article, i.e. a main point. Call it Point A.

    The ensuing comments took the discussion into a different (though related) direction, and it ended at an impasse over one particular point. Call it Point B.

    I’m pretty sure they can identify Points A and B. Bonus question: What is the relationship between them? Think on it for a while, and let us know what you come up with. Our nation desperately needs critical thinkers like you.

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