ACLU: First Amendment Protects Against Being an "Outsider"

7 08 2007

Filed under: Church and State, First Amendment, ACLU, Alorton IL, Secularism, Christianity

The ACLU in Illinois says a small town must remove a sign that reads, “Welcome to The Village of Alorton. Where Jesus is Lord. Randy McCallum Mayor,” even though there have been no complaints about the sign and virtually every resident approves.

“If it’s been put up by the city, then it definitely raises a constitutional issue,” said Wendy Park, a staff attorney with the group.

A city-funded sign with a specific religious message appears to violate the religious liberty guarantee of the Constitution, she said. That guarantee says no religion should be promoted over any other by a government.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the past that a government cannot endorse religion or express a message that endorses religion because “it basically leads nonbelievers to feel that they are outside the political community and are not participants in the political community,” she said.

A government? I’m certain that in Ms. Park’s time in law school she was introduced to the wording of the First Amendment, though I doubt she was trained in it’s vast and overwhelming history of pro-religion cases. More than likely, she was shown every case in the last 50 + years.

My six-year old can read what the The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Not “a govnerment.”

“If the community didn’t want that Jesus there, I’d take the signs down immediately,” the mayor said.

But the ACLU said it doesn’t matter whether residents approve of the signs.

“Even if the whole community is Christian, if someone is non-Christian and driving by Alorton or coming there to visit and sees that sign, they are led to think they are not full participants, or they are outsiders and don’t belong in that community,” Park said.

Outsiders? Not full participants? This is laughable that an organization with seemingly intelligent people that have passed the bar exam would make such a claim of the First Amendment. If the First Amendment was written to prevent people from being “outsiders,” America would not exist. Additionally, why was there no discussion of “full participation” in the design of the First Amendment if that was its intent, as the ACLU claims?

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said:

“If the Supreme Court hadn’t erroneously decided at one point that the First Amendment phrase ‘Congress shall make no law…’ should now include states, municipalities, even schools, we would not be in the position where an organization like the ACLU could roam to and fro across the land, seeking those acknowledgements of God they could devour with their well-oiled machine of intimidation and litigation.

But here is the most bizarre statement from the ACLU:

The ACLU hasn’t determined what, if any, action it will pursue, she [Park] said.

Maybe Ms. Park and her gang of imbecilic breathingists should call the Florida chapter of the ACLU and ask them what happens when you have no plaintiff.

Good luck to you, Ms. Park, in finding someone willing to have their name plastered forever to a losing case that was doomed from the start.

My guess is that the ACLU in Illinois will attempt to do as the Florida chapter did and play fire-breathing dragon in an effort to scare the small town of 3,000 residents into taking the signs down. While there may be alternative courses of action for the ACLU here even without a plaintiff, none seem to be very appealing. It is rare that the ACLU is “unsure of its course of action.” And when it is, it typically has no case.

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