The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

ACLU Losing Touch With Reality

The ACLU continues to offend me in its actions. I understand the separation of church and state quite clearly, but when they attempt to sanitize the public sphere of any and all references to God and faith in the name of "civil liberties" they cross the line, not to mention far exceeding the boundaries of the constitution. Strange that, in instances of religious expression, they seem to forget the primary purpose of the First Amendment (for which they otherwise stand so starkly in defense), that being the protection of free speech.

Communities as well as individuals should be free to express themselves, and their faiths, as they so choose. Those who are public servants are also citizens, for whom the First Amendment applies as equally as it does for the rest of the populace. They should not be prevented from supporting a public cause with their own time and private resources, simply because they are employed by the state.

The ACLU continues to overinterpret the clause that separates church and state, and the example below only serves to further demonstrate that the organization has ulterior motives beyond mere "defense of civil liberties."

ACLU wants parish to forget cross

Katrina memorial bears Jesus' face
Sunday, August 06, 2006
By Karen Turni Bazile

Alarmed by newspaper reports that a hurricane memorial in St. Bernard Parish will feature a cross bearing a likeness of the face of Jesus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is reminding parish officials of the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Never one to back down, Parish President Henry "Junior" Rodriguez has a simple reply: "They can kiss my ass."

In a July 28 letter to Rodriguez and other officials, Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Joe Cook said that the government promotion of a patently religious symbol on a public waterway is a violation of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prohibits government from advancing a religion.

Rodriguez did not say whether he has responded to Cook's letter, but in an interview, he said he sees nothing improper about the memorial, which will be mounted near the shoreline of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet at Shell Beach. The cross and accompanying monument listing the names of the 129 parish residents who died in Hurricane Katrina are earmarked for what the parish says is private land and are being financed with donations, Rodriguez said.



  • At 1:25 AM, Blogger Wang said…

    I think other religions should test Sean's belief and that of the Christian American citizens. Are we really free to believe whatever we want and to erect a religious symbol for everyone to see?

    I want other religions, Judaism... or espeicially Islam to create public symbols within their community and see if there is acceptance of their symbols with 0 social repercussions. For some reason I just don't think anybody would react nicely to a large crescent moon and fascimile of Mohammed in the midst of their suburban lives.

  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Sean said…

    I agree. Other religions should feel free to do so as well.
    I think you will find that people are more tolerant than you might expect, especially in reverence to the deceased.
    There is a muslim cemetary with a large memorial at the front of it in Minnesota near where my family lives - I've never seen any bad reactions to it.

  • At 10:13 AM, Blogger Sean said…

    Also, you forget that what we are talking about here are small individual communities. A community that is predominantly muslim or jewish is likely to want to put up memorials for their community members. You see Jewish communities doing this here in new york often enough - just take a look at Riverdale in the Bronx. There are small muslim communities in suburban areas throughout the US that do the same. If one's community voices a desire to put these memorials up, there is less of a likelihood that there will be negative repercussions. My point is they should not be prevented or prohibited from doing so simply because someone at the ACLU doesnt like it.


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