Stop The ACLU Coalition Nonsense

In some circles it is currently considered cool to bash the ACLU and to pretend that they are a dangerous organization. These people will cite chapter and verse about all of the many ways in which they allege the ACLU is hurting America, but they rarely discuss the benefits that the organization brings or why it is advantageous to continue a system of checks and balances.

They have a very narrow definition of what civil liberties are and like to run amok like chicken little screaming about how their own are impinged upon. Oftentimes the liberties that they claim are being infringed upon are those that are constitutionally illegal.

Kesher Talk has a very important post that describes how they have gone overboard. Here is a big chunk of that post.

"Once in a while I am reminded of why I insist on calling myself a liberal hawk. I mean "classical liberal values", which is increasingly not what "liberal" means anymore, and why I am no longer a member of the ACLU. I support their original mission (just as I supported Amnesty International's original mission), but every organization is susceptible to mission creep and bias.

But, while some conservatives also believe in a strict interpretation of the Establishment Clause, on this issue the label "liberal" still fits me the best, and here I make common cause with many fellow Jews with whom I disagree on the Iraq War, the 2nd Amendment, and many other issues.

The Stop the ACLU Coalition exemplifies the kind of conservative who makes me call myself a liberal. Its latest project is called "Expose the ACLU Plaintiff," and yes, it's just what you think it is.

When an individual, group or even church (yes, there are churches that support the ACLU) is using the ACLU (or similar groups like Americans United, People for the (Anti) American Way, Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists) to facilitate removal of a cross, the 10 Commandments or other religious symbols or the ceasing of prayer from a school or government entity, we want the community to know about it.

The proud first use of this campaign, on March 6th of this year, was to harass the Dobrich family, formerly of Indian River, DE. The Dobriches moved to Wilmington to escape threats from their neighbors, because they were one of two families (the other choosing anonymity) to challenge pervasive bias at their children's school. (More background here.) Patriot Boy - among many bloggers who jumped on this story - has a screen shot of the original post. (Scroll down to the middle of Patriot Boy's post.)

(Here's the current page. The proprietor Nedd Kareiva says he made "some minor corrections" to the page (i.e. removing the Dobrich family's street address and phone number) "not as a direct result of your e-mails but because I believe it was the right thing to do. However, there will be no more changes.")

Other bloggers who don't show the best face of conservatism are rallying around Nedd. Jay of the Stop the ACLU blog wants you to know that it is a separate entity from the Stop the ACLU Coalition. But he doesn't disapprove of Nedd's campaign:

. . . we reject any and all race/religion/ethnicity-based personal attacks on anyone, with special protection due children. Second, we reject physical violence on individuals and incitement of the same.
But he doesn't reject the tactic of revealing people's personal information; about Nedd in particular he only says:
We support each others main cause of exposing the dangerous agenda of the ACLU, but obviously use different methods. I can’t control what Nedd does, and he doesn’t control what I do."
Sometimes logic escapes them.


Anonymous said...

You know, I was born in Delaware and my entire family is from there. And what you see there is not so far removed from what we experience here in southwestern PA. I honestly just shake my head. I know our rabbi has gone before the school board here where her son goes to junior high and has asked them to change Christmas Break to winter break and Easter Break to spring break. She has been denied and a board member whom I attended a leadership development program with laughed about it and blamed the rabbi.

I get this type of discrimination all day every day. No kippot here...although in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh - well, that's where those weird-ass Orthodox Jews live so as long as they stay there, well, that's okay I guess but none of that sort of shit out here.

Every event I attend, every Chamber event, every Athena Award event, everything starts with a prayer given by someone who always closes it in the same Christian-affiliated way. Except the ones at my old university...because that's where the Holocaust Education Center is...and they actually are quite respectful.

But I can see the same attitudes in Indian River (where I summer by the way - make note on the kippah for Ev) that it's the BIBLE and regardless, it's GOOD for you. I have heard the same crap here about the creche in front of the courthouse. It's RELIGION and to say we want to modify it...well, we might as well be satan worshippers you know?

Top that off with the fact that a lot of people don't even have a remote idea about the tenets of Judaism. Several people have told me we're just like Christians except we worship Jesus as a teacher and prophet.


I have to admit though that I worry...Evan HAS experienced religious intolerance at camp and at school. The kids at camp told him they idolized Hitler. A boy at school called him Jewboy.

I experience it at work when we have a luncheon and I request a kosher alternative and am told millions of Jews don't eat kosher, they all just SAY they do. Then the implication is that I am making life difficult to make a religious statement.


We decorate for every religious holiday (and yes, they do try to put up stuff for Hanukkah) but the community college in which our state/federally funded agency is housed is strictly 100% Christian and around here, that's usually Catholic.

Our secretary thinks we Jews are the biggest perverts, the most godless people, who drink (Purim) and have orgies in the basement of our "church." (Hadassah had a lingerie party at someone's home so that's why she thinks that.) She asked to see our Bible once and I gave her a Tanakh and she couldn't bring herself to see what was different, she was afraid it would "ruin" her.

Again, WTF?

Our hood is strictly NON-Jew and we are the only Jews in town. The public school has a Christmas party complete with a visit from Santa and blow up Christmas figures (and an Easter Bunny for the spring) in the cafeteria. The kids color and make Christmas themed crafts. There's a frickin' paper fireplace in the cafeteria for Santa to come down for heavens sake!!!! We do have a Hanukkah flag but I am not so comfortable putting a gefilte fish placard on my Saturn...I really think someone would set fire to our house. I really do.

I wish I knew these Dobrich folks. I'd love to have a chat. I can certainly empathize with them.

As an aside an ancestor of mine was a founder of the ACLU. And I seriously believe the Conservatives may disdain them NOW but just wait until they need them next.

PS. That Nedd guy is an asshole.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a post almost a year ago defending the ACLU because of their stance on prayer in school. Now that I'm beginning to face some discrimination becuase of my decision to convert to Judaism, I'm glad they are still around.

I'm still a member though I don't read the e-mails sent by them anymore.

Living in the heart of the Bible Belt makes my congregration that much more supportive of one another.

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